At the peak of the housing bubble, a number of reality shows appeared on cable television that featured real-estate speculators who bought distressed properties and made enough improvements to sell them quickly at a sharp profit.

Called “flipping,” the entertainment industry glamorized the quick-profit practice that helped fuel a spectacular rise in housing values – and made the crash worse than it otherwise might have been. Flipping has since become a reviled practice, a symptom of an irrational and irresponsible market, not to mention the negative political connotations of speculators in general as gas prices rise rapidly yet again.

So why has the Obama administration decided to bail out the speculators in his latest iteration of a housing policy? Bloomberg reports that the White House, obviously frustrated with the lack of success from their Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), has expanded the latter to include real estate consortiums for the first time.