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Pickled Hard-Boiled Egg Mortgages? The Weekend Poll

Chances of Congress requiring lenders to include "plain vanilla" versions on their menus of mortgages and other loans seemingly died this week. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank circulated a memo to Democrats on the Committee listing changes he intended to make in the bill that would establish a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. "Financial institutions will not be required to offer plain vanilla products and services and CFPA will not have authority to approve or change business plans," the memo said.

But it looks like Frank had already taken vanilla off the menu back in July. In remarks to the National Press Club, posted on Frank's Web site, he said:

As far as the banks are concerned, there was a little overreach in some of the consumer product--one proposal was that, well people are going to have to offer a plain vanilla product. I don't think you can force people to [offer] a palatable product. I--again, going back to my youth, remember when there were bars that were told they couldn't just serve liquor; they had to serve food. And they served the most inedible food known to man. (Soft laughter.) I can still remember the jars of hard-boiled--pickled hard-boiled eggs that sat on the counters of some bars. We're not going to make bankers offer people pickled hard-boiled egg mortgages. (Laughter.) I don't think that's going to be a problem.

WEEKEND READING: In Saturday's Real Estate section, we'll have two pieces about selecting a neighborhood based on the quality of its schools. Barbara Ruben talks with homeowners about how they made the decision, and Post education columnist Jay Mathews offers some really practical tips on how to size up a school. Emma L. Carew also has ideas on shrinking the cost of your vacation--by offering your home as a swap.

The Weekend Poll

This is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  September 25, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Mortgages , Neighborhoods , Poll , Weekend Poll  
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