US taxpayer bailout for subprime firms

New revelations showing the sickness at the heart of the US financial system.

The Center for Public Integrity presents a new report showing that firms that created the subprime lending frenzy, including subsiiaries of Countrywide, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, are now getting $21 billion of US taxpayer money to fix the problem. All done under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which was created in February by the Obama administration to coax lenders into modifying mortgages that might otherwise result in foreclosure.

And unlike the bank bailouts, taxpayers won't get any return. At least not directly.

And as the Center points out, we don't even know if it will work with figures showing at least half the loans were either severely delinquent or had gone into foreclosure.

If that's right, the program is a massive waste of public money.


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