Presidential contender Sen. John McCain stepped into a political hornet’s nest Tuesday night when he proposed that the U.S. Treasury department “buy up the bad home-loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes at the diminished value of those homes.”
In subsequent explanations, McCain’s economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said McCain is proposing that the government would buy mortgages from banks and investors at the original value of loan, no matter how inflated that it now appears to be, and then give the home owner a new mortgage at current value at a more affordable interest rate. “Obviously, the taxpayer is on the hook for the difference,” Holtz-Eakin said.
Barack Obama’s top economic advisor Austan Goolsbee was among those highly critical of the idea. “This proposal, if enacted, would be a massive government subsidy from taxpayers to the most irresponsible banks, including the ones that committed fraud,” Goolsbee said, adding, “This proposal would give the taxpayer all the risk, with no gain.”
Source: BusinessWeek.com, Jane Sasseen