In an alternate reality, the one progressives wanted, the government wouldn’t have bailed out the banks during the 2008 crash. When mortgage-backed securities began catching flame like newspaper under logs, the government would have prioritized struggling homeowners instead. It would have created a corporation to buy back the distressed mortgages and then worked to refinance those mortgages—lowering monthly payments to reflect the real underlying values of the homes or adding years to the mortgages to make the monthly payments more manageable. If a homeowner missed mortgage payments, rather than initiating a foreclosure after two months, as was done by many banks during the recession, the government would have held off for an entire year, maybe more. In the event the homeowner still couldn’t keep up, the government would have acquired the home, fixed it up, and rented it out until another person bought it.