Thursday, December 30, 2010

Obvious Things I Never Knew

"But the whole logic of life insurance completely fails to apply to retired people."

Well, of course not. So why is the AARP marketing the stuff to its members?

Yglesias, in pointing out that being ripped off is not just for tourists in developing countries, lottery ticket purchasers, and fortune teller visitors adds:
But if you look at the price premium people are willing to pay for “organic”-labeled products and the dubious science behind the theory that these products are superior to conventional varieties, I think it’s clear that yuppies aren’t immune to getting ripped off, either. And I think we should be open to the possibility that this is happening in finance. How much do the sundry pension fund beneficiaries, 401(k) holders, endowed nonprofit managers, etc. of the world really know about the investment game? Are they really that much more savvy and sophisticated than their working class lottery ticket buying peers? Or does their self-image as savvy sophisticates make them that much more prone to being ripped off? After all, Bernie Madoff was able to swindle a bunch of very sophisticated investors out of a great deal of money. He did it through actual, prosecutable, criminal fraud. But not every scam and ripoff is a fraud, and not everything that’s legal is a mutually beneficial transaction.

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