President Bush today is announcing several measures to help Americans with risky mortgages avoid losing their homes in foreclosure. One key step will be to make it easier for borrowers with spotty credit to sign up for mortgage insurance through the Federal Housing Administration.

This was just what the volatile stock market needed to hear, said Robert Holmes on Getting more people to refinance with FHA insurance will surely reduce the severity of the coming wave of foreclosures. Now if only Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke could find it in his heart to lower interest rates.

Up to now Wall Street has been the only whose pleas for a “helping hand” got any attention, said The New York Times (free registration required) in an editorial. But “today’s troubled homeowners took undue risks in dicey mortgages, as Wall Street did.” Any solution to the credit crisis has to include them.

Don’t be too hard on banks as we beat ourselves up over the subprime mortgage meltdown, said The Chicago Tribune (free registration) in an editorial. Yes, these loans to people with poor credit can be very risky. But they are also godsends for “millions of Americans who were once locked out of home ownership.”