Morning Roundup: The Many Ways To Rip Off Americans

  • Life insurers increasingly sell plans to the very wealthy. This is making it difficult for life insurers to convince Congress that they deserve special tax treatment as protectors of America’s middle-class widows and orphans. [WSJ]
  • A study by a Princeton sociologist suggests that when the foreclosure crisis hit U.S. cities, it was especially hard on … wait for it … African Americans. This is because of a little thing we like to call “predatory lending.” [Reuters]
  • A personal finance writer tries to live without a bank for a month and finds herself awash in usurious fees. Our personal favorite: the customer-service line for a prepaid card that charges $1 a minute. [AP]
  • Big companies are borrowing money for almost no interest. Then they sit on it, instead of investing it to stimulate the economy. This is not exactly what the Federal Reserve had in mind when it decided to push down long-term interest rates. [NYT]
  • Joke’s on the corporations, though, because interest rates may actually go up next time the Fed engages tries to push them down. Some people think the bond market has already priced in the Fed’s next round of money printing. [Bloomberg]

mtaylor@observer.com

Twitter: @mbrookstaylor