I don't think many people understand how this securitised mortgages work, and this lack of understanding is going to cost people a lot of money. Right now the new line we are hearing from washington is that, well if we buy these distressed mortgages the government can work with the homeowner, reduce the interest rate, make the terms of the loan longer and more favorable in other ways. BS, they can not. That's not how mortgages get securitised, they are split up into multiple packages. If you buy one package, it might have 10,000 people's morgtages in it, but, Wall Street thought they could lower risk by only putting a small bit of each mortgage into the package...so you have 10,000 mortgages, but only 5%, 10%, 2%, of that mortgage. You get the idea. If the gov't is the owner of 5% of the mortgage, they are not going to be able to do a whole lot. It's not just Wall Street that owns these, foreign governments, banks, individuals, pension funds...all kinds of people are involved in the ownership of each bit of debt. I do think that the people on Wall Street have been able to genuinely dupe a lot of members of congress who support this package, those who think they are going to "help the people". They wont be in a position to help anyone, no matter how good the intent is.