I’ve got nothing against
horizontally stacked (?) bar charts with only one group of data such as the
results of the U.S. government’s loan modification program portrayed in
at ProPublica (spotted at Barry’s Big Picture blog).
But in my view, this was a dataset that was just crying out for a pie chart.
There’s really not much that
needs to be added to the graphic above, that is, aside from the fact that
those 35% who made it through to “permanent” status have a
freakishly high median back-end debt-to-income ratio of over 60%, making the
use of the word “permanent” to describe their status premature at
For those new to this story, HAMP (Home
Affordable Modification Program) was much more of a bank rescue program than
one for homeowners since most people who entered the trial couldn’t
make it through to permanent status and, for those who did, the odds of
surviving such an onerous debt load for more than a year or two are not good.
The banks, however, were able to stretch out the entire process, delaying the
realization of even bigger losses.