"Americans ramped up their borrowing at the end of last year as their confidence improved, posting the largest increase in household debt since before the recession."
Jeffrey Toobin's profile of Elizabeth Warren is subscriber-only in the New Yorker, but that's the tip of the iceberg. The woman does not, it's safe to say, care to politic. Very wonderful.
Today begins NCAA basketball's "March Madness." The tournament's eventual champions will get to bask in the national spotlight until the next cruise-ship disaster/naked Congressman/shark attack/GOP primary/baseball season/chain-restaurant review by a flyover-state newspaper happens. And sure, winning a basketball title is worth bragging about. But we all know the real champion is the institution of higher education that can charge the most tuition and still have enough would-be students to be able to send out rejection letters every year. For a second year, here's the NCAA bracket by tuition, using the college information resource Peterson's. (Where available, in-state tuition was used.) Who will be the champs this [...]
Who read Warren Buffett's homework assignment to the U.S. today, in the Times? Because I am suspicious, I always think: "How does publication of this benefit the world's best investor?" Let us translate what he is saying.
What a fascinating time. When you start staring at our government and its economy, you can start to feel an urge to put together a Carrie Mathison-style wall chart. Because on some level, it all starts to seem like it fits together, doesn't it?
• Here is an "explainer" about What The Federal Reserve Does. Spoiler: what the Fed has done for the last several years is literally give money for free to banks every day. Banks use that borrowed money to make money, including, even, sometimes, by loaning that money to customers. Exciting policy, am I right? "The campaign that gets all the publicity is called quantitative [...]
Under the current regime, the most effective means of sticking it to the proverbial man would in theory be for all students to simply pay off all their debts at once. But even if they could scrounge together a trillion dollars out of their collective couches just like that, there is little doubt in my mind that Sallie Mae and its student-loan-sharking brethren would simply see it as an opportunity to levy a massive prepayment penalty. The Internet is a rich trove of surreal personal accounts of being penalized for overpaying student loan bills. But no one notices, because student borrowers are so utterly powerless. They can borrow [...]
According to at least one math-doer, Americans have a total of $826.5 billion in "revolving credit"-largely credit cards. The current estimated total of outstanding student loans, both federal and private? $829.785 billion.
There are several metrics one uses to determine the success of a new venture on the web. Page views, user retention, and brand awareness are three of the most common, but there is a lesser known, and harder to quantify, indicator that suggests a new website is coming into its own: crazy emails from random strangers.
While many startups will receive their fair share of odd inbox effluvia once they've begun to attract attention, it is only sites with a serious potential for growth that attract the high-quality bizarro queries from correspondents with nonsensical sender addresses. I am happy to inform those of you who care about the health [...]
"OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT." It's the Rolling Jubilee! There are some tricky issues with this as a program but guess what? TECHNICALLY, it actually works.
This series is brought to you by TurboTax Federal Free Edition. Mike: So, Logan, I heard that after we left the bar last night, I went home to go to bed, and you went back to your neighborhood in Brooklyn and got more drinks?
Logan: Well, that is almost true. I went back to our friend Adam's neighborhood and got one more drink, and also some macaroni and cheese, yes. That happened.
Logan: I'm guessing that you're interested in this fact because you think there are other things I could have spent that $26 on! ($6 for the drink, $10 for the mac and cheese, and [...]
There's something sort of patriotic about the fact that I'll be memorializing the aughts well into this brave new year with a sizable debt to Bank of America. Like our great nation, I spent the last ten years getting stung and overcompensating, acting indecisive and entitled, living way beyond my means. And now I am paying. With interest! My credit card statements are so textbook "Don't" they deserve a reality show: a trip to Japan for the wedding of a couple I'd never met; $500 worth of phone calls from what was supposed to be a budget trip to the Dominican Republic; shitty new Ikea furniture to replace shitty broken [...]