• Don't like the company?

    Just change the name.

    Word is President Obama wants to keep the government playing a very big role in the nation's mortgage market...

    But what to do with "Fannie Mae" and "Freddie Mac"... The scandal-scarred big mortgage finance giants that are owned by the government?

    Just change their names.

    I'm serious.

    Among some of the options reportedly being considered by the White House for the future of the nation's mortgage market... Is keeping the guys who did such a swell job controlling much of that market.

    Only they won't be called "Fannie" and "Freddie," but they will have significant new constraints.

    Good to know. Here's what is not...

    Changing the name of an albatross, and assuming people forget it's an albatross.

    Or in this case, "two" albatrosses.

    More often than not... New paint job...ends up being the same snow job.

    Like when ValuJet changed its name after that everglades plane crash back in may 1996 that killed 110 people.

    It eventually forced the company to merge with the much smaller AirTran Airways, and taking on the AirTran name in the process.

    Things were really never the same.

    It's like when they call a "tax hike" a "revenue enhancement," people know it's still a tax hike. Shut up.

    Or like when "stimulus" got a bad name, so they changed it to "initiative"...same deal. No deal.

    But you know there is hope.

    Sometimes name changes "can" work...

    ...like when Andersen Consulting changed its name to Accenture... I thought it was beyond stupid at the time.

    Then the accounting scandal hit... And the very name "Andersen" was synonymous for it... Except Andersen wasn't the name anymore... It was Accenture.... As it is today.

    Sometimes the jury remains out on name changes... Like Kentucky Fried Chicken changing its name to KFC...

    As if folks still didn't, and don't know its "fried" chicken... Now it's "f" chicken?

    Are you "f" serious?

    I just had to say that.

    But my only point is this--

    Name changes can work if the underlying product is sound and popular.

    ...which is why I think KFC survives very nicely, thank you.

    Fannie or Freddie coming back as, let's say, "flip" and "flop."

    I don't know.

    Out of the frying pan.

    Into the fryer.

    If you ask me.