There's an opinion in today's WSJ about a guy named Ed DeMarco. He's the acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, an independent regulator of Fannie and Freddie. He's basically the cop that prevents bad policy decisions that taxpayers would have to pay for. F&F are already some 141 billion in the hole, so his job is to make sure the situation doesn't get appreciably worse. Which brings us to the question of principle write downs, when lenders would reduce the mortgage principle amount for loans owned by F&F. IOW, a bailout, just in time for the 2012 election, another stimulus plan that bypasses Congress, imagine that. Except Mr DeMarco won't play ball, he says the taxpayers loseout in the deal, which is true. He says principal forgiveness is not within his statuatory mandate, and Congress should be the ones to appropriate money to fund the idea if they wish. Hard to argue with that, but of course the democrats are outraged. Bear in mind we've seen several housing relief programs in the lst few years, none of which have worked. And how fair is it to reduce somebody's mortgage but not somebody else's? So, this all leads to the question: what do you think of the idea of lowering somebody's mortgage principle with the US taxpayers paying for it? I can see extending the mortgage period out to 40 or even 50 years, or requiring a lower loan interest. What's your opinion?