If only Congress drove a Hyundai

achstillMy esteemed colleague, Elyse Pickle, recently profiled the Hyundai Assurance incentive program.

The Hyundai offer promises that if you find yourself “upside down” in a car (i.e. responsible for payments that, collectively, vastly out-value the vehicle you’re paying for) due to certain, contractually specified, circumstances you get to walk away, credit intact.

They keep the car, but it rescues some consumers from a payment schedule jacked sky-high by late fees and penalties.

This program popped into my head tonight as I read this drudge-linked FT article about Obama’s notion to transform banks into IKEAs, or at least get a little Swedish in approach.

The ‘negative-equity‘ tie-in came from Lindsey Graham’s quote:

“Mr Graham says that people across the US accept his argument that it is untenable to keep throwing good money after bad into institutions such as Citigroup and Bank of America, which now have a lower net value than the amount of public funds they have received.

It’s important, in view of this harrowing assessment of the book-value of those institutions we collectively ‘rescued’ to make sure that stimpak dollars are spent on capital improvements, not to pay salaries.

Also, note the URL suffix of the Hyundai program…”/walkawayusa” … wow.

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