I’m beginning to think that John Cassidy must have a serious masochistic streak: he’s now back for a third round of smack-downs, after having drawn unanimous scorn for his first two attempts to demonize bike lanes.
Antony Currie has a handy little FAQ on debit interchange. I agree with most of it, especially his final conclusion that the US should move to a secure chip-and-pin system. But I take issue with his idea that for the time being, the Durbin amendment is flawed and “needs a do-over.”
There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about saving money, and restaurants wouldn’t pay Groupon lots of money for the privilege of using its service if they didn’t want lots of people to come in and claim a discount. But still, it’s undeniable: there’s a faint whiff of cheap associated with any coupon, to the point at which some restaurants are implementing built-in gratuities to try to stop people from tipping on the discounted amount. And I have friends who are adamant that they’ll never use a groupon or anything like it, for fear of the perceived stigma involved.
Chris Kirkham has a fantastic story at HuffPo today about Ashford University, a small college in Iowa which was acquired for its accreditation in 2005 and is now the face of the billion-dollar for-profit education company Bridgepoint Education.
Bank of America is setting up a bad bank, which will be run by Terry Laughlin. Roughly half of its 14 million mortgages are going to be carved off and put into the bad bank, in an attempt, according to FBR analyst Paul Miller, “to get investors focus on the good” and as “a way to talk about good things and ignore the bad.” The presentation which Laughlin handed out talks about how his new group will work on loan modifications for delinquent customers: “as borrowers default,” he said, “we’ll evaluate them for a loan modification.”