Credit crunch: crisis or crock?

Are politicians who call for borrower assistance badly misreading public opinion? Was the Federal Reserve right to bail out investment giant Bear Stearns? Does credit-card debt stand to experience a meltdown similar to sub-prime mortgages? All week, the Center for Responsible Lending's Paul Leonard debates the severity of the credit crunch with Beacon Economics founder Christopher Thornberg.

  • Wall Street bailout?

    Was there any justification for the Fed’s guarantee of Bear Stearns’ bad debt? Will the government be doing this for other distressed financial institutions? Beacon Economics’ Christopher Thornberg and the Center for Responsible Lending’s Ginna Green debate.

  • Relief or a raw deal?

    Should lenders and debt holders be required to renegotiate mortgages for borrowers in default? How much money should they be required to lose in order to do this? How do they provide this relief without punishing the vast majority of mortgagees who are still paying their bills? Paul Leonard and...

  • Payday scammers or saviors?

    Do government efforts to curtail payday lending help the poor or merely reduce their financial options? Christopher Thornberg and Paul Leonard debate.

  • Do we even want assistance?

    According to recent polls, barely 25% of Americans favor a bailout for people in danger of foreclosure, and a mere 20% favor a foreclosure moratorium. Is the majority wrong to oppose assistance? Are politicians right to promote plans like these in spite of public opinion? Are the polls themselves...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World