Saturday, October 3, 2009

Elizabeth Warren discusses gotcha capitalism

American Public Radio's Tess Vigeland interviews Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren. Warren is chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel set up to oversee the TARP program. The interview appeared on today's broadcast of Marketplace Money. Read a transcript of the interview here.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:
Warren: What has innovation brought us over the last 30 years?

Vigeland: The option ARM.

Warren: Right, there you go, thank you. Credit cards. Actually, there's a perfect example—because I've got a great little piece of documentation. Do you know how big Citibank's credit card agreement was in 1980?

Vigeland: No.

Warren: It was a page and a half long. It was 600 words. And now that same credit card agreement is more than 30 pages long. What they've really brought us is the kind of innovation, what that's come to mean in financial services, is how many ways can I fool people about the new products? That is the current marketplace, and quite frankly, that's the one that some of the largest financial institutions in America want to protect right now. Because they're raking in tens of billions of dollars off it.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson