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Mortgage Lenders Get A Taste Of Russian Diplomacy

Faced with mounting lawsuits, the government is taking a page out of the Russian model and putting the screws on mortgage lenders to pick up the modification pace. As we are way past the time when the likes of Citi and BAC should have be looking at things like a borrower's ability to repay a loan, the White House figures it might as well get some political bonus points out of its stakes in firms that would have a tombstone next to Lehman's were it not for the Washington safety net. Throwing caution to the wind, the administration's bogey is for lenders to produce 500,000 trial loan modifications by November 1st- which will likely convert soon after into full-blown losses and pave the way for TARP version 2.0.