Some people regard Brent T. White's point of view as an affront to basic notions of right and wrong -- perhaps even a threat to the general financial well-being of the country. Others see him as a voice of reason, a calm explainer of a stance that just a few years ago was nearly unheard-of in this country: that walking away from a mortgage contract not only can make financial sense for some homeowners, but it also can be morally justifiable, an act that shouldn't be a source of shame. White has written extensively on the legal and psychological aspects of "strategic default" -- the apparently burgeoning phenomenon in which homeowners deliberately default on their mortgages because their homes are so far underwater they figure that continuing to make payments amounts to t...