The prospect of being hanged, they say, concentrates the mind wonderfully. So perhaps the impending midterm electoral massacre of Democrats has sharpened the Obama administration's thinking. I cannot otherwise figure out how a White House that never met a bailout it didn't like could have so sensibly denounced the idea of a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures.
``A national moratorium would be very damaging to exactly the kind of people we're trying to protect,'' said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in pooh-poohing a moratorium, ``because the consequence of that would be in neighborhoods that have been most affected by the foreclosure crisis, where you see lots of houses on the block empty, unoccupied. . . . Those communities will be living longer with houses unoccupied, with more pressure on their house price with the people still in their houses.''
Hearing somebody from the White House speaking intelligently about economics naturally raises suspicions that space aliens slipped a pod under the president's bed while he slept. And especially so in this case, since the call for a moratorium doubtless appealed to Obama's primal instinct for giving away other people's money. Read my full op-ed column on the latest mortgage "scandal" in Tuesday's Miami Herald.