Frauds, Mimicry, Medical School Snowflakes, etc.

Posts of the day
Robert Reich: tax on wealth?

Paul Krugman
The Consumer Protection Bureau

There was, however, one piece of the reform that was a shining example of how to do it right: the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a stand-alone agency with its own funding, charged with protecting consumers against financial fraud and abuse. And sure enough, Senate Republicans are going all out in an attempt to kill that bureau.

Why is consumer financial protection necessary? Because fraud and abuse happen.

Don’t say that educated and informed consumers can take care of themselves. For one thing, not all consumers are educated and informed. Edward Gramlich, the Federal Reserve official who warned in vain about the dangers of subprime, famously asked, “Why are the most risky loan products sold to the least sophisticated borrowers?” He went on, “The question answers itself — the least sophisticated borrowers are probably duped into taking these products.”

And even well-educated adults can have a hard time understanding the risks and payoffs associated with financial deals — a fact of which shady operators are all too aware. To take an area in which the bureau has already done excellent work, how many of us know what’s actually in our credit-card contracts?

Now, you might be tempted to say that while we need protection against financial fraud, there’s no need to create another bureaucracy. Why not leave it up to the regulators we already have? The answer is that existing regulatory agencies are basically concerned with bolstering the banks; as a practical, cultural matter they will always put consumer protection on the back burner — just as they did when they ignored Mr. Gramlich’s warnings about subprime.

So the consumer protection bureau serves a vital function. But as I said, Senate Republicans are trying to kill it.

The idea: Republicans continue to believe that it was Freddie and Fannie that caused the housing bubble. That isn’t true; but this is one of those cockroach ideas that is impossible to kill.


Yes, this is an insect!

This is a nice David Brooks column about how data can challenge our intuition.

Yes, pre-med students attempt to game the system, and helicopter parents are still there…even in MEDICAL SCHOOL admissions.

Worth A Thousand Words

Should have Listened to Momma


How Significant ARE We? (or: did Jesus die for the sins of sentient beings on other planets, in other galaxies, etc? 🙂

Thank for for reenforcing a stereotype! Yes, you DO have the right to wear jeans that are 3 sizes too small!



February 5, 2013 - Posted by | economy, education, evolution, humor, nature, political humor, political/social, politics, science, social/political | , ,

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