Imagine this scenario. Bankers and Mortgage Brokers have gone berserk writing mortgages for people who could not afford to pay them off. Some customers didn’t even make the first payment. Some signatures were forged to get approval. It was an era of pure “greed.” Now, imagine this fictitious conservation between two bankers: “Tom, you know we have a lot of junk here with some of these mortgages.” “Yes, says Bill. Why don’t we just package them together and resell them to hedge funds and pension funds? We’ll use a fancy name like Collateralized Debt Obligations. That way no one will know exactly what we are selling them.” This scheme goes along for a while until a few “sane” investors start thinking: “I don’t think we should buy this stuff.” There are no bids and the market freezes up. Panic sets in and the markets are in freefall. The bankers run to the politicians and beg, hat in hand, for a bailout from Congress. The politicians dream up a fancy name like TARP and give the bankers $787 billion of taxpayer money. However, this is just a drop in the bucket. A whopping $7 trillion of household debt has been wiped out.