Brother, can you spare a mortgage?

Mortgage bailout t-shirtPresident Obama announced a $75 billion plan to help 9 million homeowners from going into foreclosure.  The plan is aimed at homeowners who are current on payments, with the aim being to prevent more foreclosures from further dragging down the housing market and the economy as a whole.

Announcement of the program provided a mild boost to the embattled stock market, which fell so sharply this week that some news anchors found it difficult to make coherent sense of it all.

foreclosure saleThe bailout program offers incentives to lenders to modify mortgage payments to “sustainable levels,” to be defined as no more than 31 percent of a homeowners income.  Obama also seeks to change bankruptcy laws by allowing judges to restructure mortgages – which is popular with the judges and community advocates, and not so popular with those in real estate or finance.

picture-93In addition to the $75B aimed at personal loans, the Treasury also plans to invest $400B in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which were bailed out by the Bush administration in September.

stimulus package t-shirtFunding for the $75 billion program will be taken from the $700 billion allocated to bail out out the financial industry in 2008 – which is perhaps a better use of taxpayer dollars than sending a bunch of bankers to Vegas to hang at the Venetian, but then again the Venetian does have a lovely nightclub sure to be an oasis for stressed-out bankers.

News of the bailout program comes a day after the $787 billion stimulus package was passed.

weapon of mass consumption t-shirtThose who didn’t buy into an overvalued housing market – or bought within their means – are now sitting on the sidelines, left to wonder whether this package punishes responsible consumers.

Overall, the general feel of our design community seems to be that bailouts are bad.  Will the spirit of the shirts change as the packages are implemented?  Time – and T-shirts – will tell.

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