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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Smartphone Patent War, In 1 Graphic

There's a legal war on in the smartphone industry. Everybody is suing everybody else for patent infringement. The patent war is a key reason Google is buying Motorola for $12.5 billion: Motorola has some 17,000 patents that will belong to Google when the deal goes through.

This graphic from Reuters shows how many lawsuits are flying back and forth. The key for Google is not Google itself, but rather all the hardware makers that build smartphones and tablets that run Android, Google's mobile operating system. Those companies are the ones with green dots next to their names.

For more on why programmers don't like software patents, and why patents may be hindering innovation in the industry, see our story "When Patents Attack."

Hat tip: Gizmodo via @abwardlaw

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why You Should Be Skeptical When We Report The Latest Economic Numbers

When the government says the the nation added 117,000 jobs last month, or the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent last quarter, it doesn't mean that the nation actually added that many jobs, or that the economy actually grew at that rate. It means those are the best estimates from the people who are trying to figure out what's really going on.

The thing is, those estimates are often off by a wide margin. We know this because the people who are trying to figure out what's really going on revise their estimates as more data come in. The later revisions, based on more and better data, are closer to what actually happened than the initial estimates.

We were reminded of this uncertainty by the recent massive revision in economic growth numbers, which showed the U.S. economy grew much more slowly than was previously thought in the first quarter of this year.

This morning's New York Times has a useful explainer on that revision — and a broader look at estimates of economic growth. Here's the key big-picture paragraph:

 

The growth rate that the government announces roughly one month after the end of each quarter ... has been off the mark over the period from 1983 to 2009 by an average of 1.3 percentage points, compared with more fully analyzed figures released years later, according to federal data.

That 1.3 percentage points is a big deal, given that economic growth is typically around 3 percent per year.

The NYT piece also has a detailed look at why the first-quarter estimate was so far off. Quick summary:

The answer in this case is surprisingly simple: the Bureau of Economic Analysis, charged with crunching the numbers, concluded that it had underestimated the value of vehicles sitting at dealerships and the nation's spending on imported oil.

We, like lots of journalists, economists and investors, pay close attention to a handful of these key indicators, including economic growth. It's worth paying more attention to the revisions — and keeping in mind that the initial estimates may be way off.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Tuesday Podcast: The Euro's Model Student

Tallinn
Jorbasa/Flickr

For years, Estonia played by the rules and did everything exactly the way it was supposed to. It made cut after cut and, just a few months ago, the country finally got what it wanted: It joined euro.

Despite the euro's troubles, Estonia's still doing well. It has the highest growth rate and the lowest public debt of any EU country.

On today's podcast, we talk to Estonia's president.

Subscribe to the podcast. Music: Ott Lepland's "Läbi öise Tallinna." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook. Note: This podcast originally aired in January, 2011.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hackers' Low-Tech Tool: A Phone Call

Let it ring.
Willy D./Flickr

The conference for the best hackers in the free world is held every year in Las Vegas. It's called DefCon. The entrance fee is $150, cash only. (And it's a bad idea to use the ATM at a hacker conference.)

There are lots of hacking competitions at DefCon, most of which are complicated and technical. But one contest is very simple.

Hackers call up a corporation and try to persuade the person who answers the phone to give them sensitive information. The technique is called social engineering, and it's been a key element of some recent high-profile hacks.

 

At the competition, contestants sit in a glass phone booth and call unsuspecting corporations. Their conversations are played on a P.A. system for dozens of spectators.

A guy named Mark is up next. He calls Wal-Mart and says he's in the company's I.T. department.

Each contestant has 25 minutes in the glass booth. There's a checklist of information they're supposed to get: What time the company's packages are delivered, what kind of anti-virus software they use, whether the company uses the most up-to-date operating system.

Mark is only 18 years old. It's his first time competing here. But he actually gets a few key pieces of information. (Wal-Mart declined to comment for this story.)

The audience at the contest — as at many DefCon competitions — isn't just hackers. Also in attendance: Security companies that corporations hire to defend themselves.

And a couple seconds after Mark leaves the booth, he gets a job offer from a security company.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Germany: From Hero To (Almost) Zero

The European currency euro logo is shown in front of the  European Central Bank in Frankfurt.
Frank Rumpenhorst/Getty Images

Strong economic growth takes the sting out of debt. When a nation's income increases, tax revenues go up. Existing debts become more manageable.

By the same token, when economic growth stalls, debt problems become tougher to solve.

So this morning's news out of Europe is cause for concern: Overall, the EU economy grew by just 0.2 percent between the first and second quarter of this year, officials reported.

 

The German economy — the export powerhouse, the core of the core of Europe, the economy on whose future Europe depends — grew by 0.1 percent. The French economy, the continent's second-biggest, didn't grow at all in the second quarter. Growth in other countries was slightly higher, but still weak.

In the coming months, Germany and France are likely to be pulled more deeply into supporting the weaker economies on Europe's periphery. There's been talk recently of issuing eurobonds, which would put Germany and France on the hook for the debts of other EU countries.

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting today to discuss Europe's debt troubles. Officials have said eurobonds aren't on the agenda — not surprising, given significant political opposition in Germany to further bailouts.

But more bailouts will almost certainly be needed. The stalling economy in the core of Europe is likely to make that opposition more intense, and make future bailouts more economically painful.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's Really Hard Not To Leak A Big Album

But Kanye West and Jay-Z managed to keep Watch the Throne under wraps until its release date last week.

Billboard reports:

Tracks were saved directly to password-protected external hard drives that remained locked in [the engineer's] Pelican briefcase. At no point during the album's creation did works-in-progress reside on laptop hard drive. ...

Outside producers for the project, such as Q-Tip, the RZA, the Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, Hit-Boy and No I.D., were asked to appear in person to preview and submit potential beats. Email wasn't an option to send mixes; when West wanted to hear a track, he would demand that producers travel to his location to work on a track.

For more on the work of art in the age of electronic reproduction, see our story "How Much Does It Cost To Make A Hit Song?"

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Google Escalates The Patent Arms Race

Droid
George Frey/Getty Images

Google just dropped $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility, the mobile phone company. It's Google's biggest acquisition ever, by far. It's a big push into the hardware business.

And, perhaps most importantly, it's huge play in the patent arms race that's engulfing the smartphone industry, where Google's Android is one of the leading operating systems.

In other words: Google is buying Motorola in large part because it wants the company's 17,000 patents.

 

Accusations of patent infringement have been flying back and forth in the smartphone business lately, with everyone suing everyone else. Companies have been buying up patents to defend themselves.

Here's how we described it in our recent story, When Patents Attack:

All the big tech companies have started amassing troves of software patents — not to build anything, but to defend themselves. If a company's patent horde is big enough, it can essentially say to the world, "If you try to sue me with your patents, I'll sue you with mine."

It's mutually assured destruction.

The arms race has radically escalated in just the past few months.

In April, Google announced its bid on the patent portfolio of Nortel, a defunct tech company. Google said it wants the patents to defend itself against lawsuits.

But Google — which was willing to pay more than $3 billion — got outbid by a consortium of tech giants, including Apple and Microsoft, which paid $4.5 billion.

A few weeks later, news emerged that Google had bought over 1,000 patents from IBM for an undisclosed price.

Less than a month ago, Carl Icahn, a big Motorola shareholder, pushed the company to sell off its patent portfolio. He mentioned the Nortel patent sale and the "current heightened market demand for intellectual property in the mobile telecommunications industry."

A few weeks ago, Google described "a hostile, organized campaign against Android ... waged through bogus patents."

And in a blog post this morning, Google CEO Larry Page wrote:

Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google's patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

Google is buying these patents, in large part, to defend itself against lawsuits. This is a legal expense — it's money that the company is not putting into developing new products or hiring new workers.

The big tech companies have huge cash piles and can afford to fight this patent war. The likely casualties, as we've noted before, are the young startups that may get sued out of existence before they have a chance to become the next Google, or the next Apple.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Friday Podcast: Why The World Still Needs Dollars

Dollar bill
ceoln/Flickr

Every day, all around the world, people do business in U.S. dollars — even when their business has nothing to do with the U.S.

The dollar is the international language of money. It's essential for global trade.

This provides huge benefits for the United States. U.S. businesses can trade in their own currency. Our government can borrow money more cheaply. Mortgages and student loans are cheaper, too.

For the moment, the dollar's dominance seems secure. Safe-haven currencies like the Swiss franc are too small to replace the dollar. And bigger currencies like the euro and the Chinese renminbi have problems of their own.

On today's show, we hear about how people use the U.S. dollar Brazil and South Africa. And we talk to an economist who says the dollar's days as the world's lone reserve currency may be numbered.

Subscribe to the podcast. Music: Foster The People's "Life On The Nickel" Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
EXTENDED INTERVIEWS

“What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden? Why did it have to be a completely dark market?”

Brooksley Born

Chair, Commodities Futures Trading Commission (1996-99)

    + WASHINGTON - Clinton administration
  • Brooksley Born

    “What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden? Why did it have to be a completely dark market?”

    Brooksley Born

    Chair, Commodities Futures Trading Commission (1996-99)

  • Michael Greenberger

    “[Greenspan] had this utopian vision of markets working rationally the way gentlemen function in the best clubs in London. And the market blew up in his face. It's not self-regulating.”

    Michael Greenberger

    Director, Commodities Futures Trading Commission Division of Trading & Markets (1997-99)

  • Arthur Levitt

    “The failures in our regulatory and oversight mechanism that brought us to where we are today were far more consequential than merely the decision not to regulate swaps.”

    Arthur Levitt

    Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission (1993-2001)

  • Gene Sperling

    “No budget goal, no balanced budget, no surplus, no deficit number is a goal in and of itself. They are all means to having a country that has shared prosperity, where you have a growing middle class that makes room for everyone.”

    Gene Sperling

    Director, National Economic Council (1997-2001)

  • Joseph Stiglitz

    “The reason that the invisible hand seems invisible so often is that it's not there. Markets are often not efficient.”

    Joseph Stiglitz

    Council of Economic Advisers (1993-97)

  • David Walker

    “What we're going through right now is a recession. We'll get through it. It's not the big one. The big one would be a meltdown in the federal government's finances.”

    David Walker

    Comptroller General of the United States (1998-2008)

  • + Washington - Bush administration
  • Sheila Bair

    “We need an exit strategy for all of this, because we don't want government support to become a crutch. We'll have larger problems ... if that's the case.”

    Sheila Bair

    Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

  • Michele Davis

    “Confidence is only going to come from the government showing action, and we've used every tool we have, and ... we need more.”

    Michele Davis

    Asst. secretary for public affairs, director of policy planning, Treasury Department (2006-2009)

  • Allan Hubbard

    “The only way to control spending is that you've got to minimize taxes, because if you minimize taxes, [Congress knows] the deficit can't be too big.”

    Allan Hubbard

    Director, National Economic Council (2005-07)

  • Paul O'Neill

    “Here's the fundamental problem: How much money can a society borrow before it begins to have negative effects on our ability to borrow any more?”

    Paul O'Neill

    Secretary of the Treasury (2001-02)

  • Harvey Pitt

    “The world to which the securities laws apply -- laws now 70 and 75 years old -- is light years away from the world we have today.”

    Harvey Pitt

    Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission (2001-03)

  • David Walker

    “What we're going through right now is a recession. We'll get through it. It's not the big one. The big one would be a meltdown in the federal government's finances.”

    David Walker

    Comptroller General of the United States (1998-2008)

  • + Washington - Obama administration
  • Sheila Bair

    “We need an exit strategy for all of this, because we don't want government support to become a crutch. We'll have larger problems ... if that's the case.”

    Sheila Bair

    Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

  • Timothy Geithner

    “I don't think there's a credible argument you can make that we can fix this system by leaving it largely intact.”

    Timothy Geithner

    Secretary of the Treasury

  • Gary Gensler

    “Looking back now, knowing what we know now, I believe we should have done more to protect the American public ... through stronger, more vigorous regulation.”

    Gary Gensler

    Chair, Commodities Futures Trading Commission

  • Peter Orszag

    “The single most important thing we can do on our long-term entitlement problem is to reduce the rate of growth of health care costs. Everything else is almost a footnote.”

    Peter Orszag

    Director, Office of Management and Budget

  • + Washington - Congress
  • Chris Dodd

    “This is the chairman of the most important central bank in the world, announcing to the leadership of Congress, ‘Unless we act within days, the financial system will melt down.’”

    Chris Dodd

    Chair, Senate Banking Committee (D-Conn.)

  • Chris Dodd

    “Someone once said that the Mafia would blush at some of the rates that are being charged today.”

    Chris Dodd

    Chair, Senate Banking Committee (D-Conn.)

  • Barney Frank

    “People said, ‘Oh, let them go belly up,’ and then it turned out dead bellies aren't as much fun to look at as maybe right-wing theology predicted.”

    Barney Frank

    Chair, House Financial Services Committee (D-Mass.)

  • Newt Gingrich

    “Reagan would’ve told you every time you try raising taxes in Washington, Washington spends more. Washington's a city which will spend as much as it can get away with, without regard to tax rates.”

    Newt Gingrich

    Speaker of the House, (1995-99) (R-Ga.)

  • Jeb Hensarling

    “I can assure you, you don't want Congress to be in the business of allocating credit in the United States of America.”

    Jeb Hensarling

    Representative (R-Texas), member of TARP Congressional Oversight Panel

  • + WALL STREET/BANKING INDUSTRY
  • Nessa Feddis

    “History has shown that government controls, interest rate caps, don’t work. It means that a lot of people who need loans don’t get them.”

    Nessa Feddis

    Senior counsel and vice president, American Bankers Association

  • Alan “Ace” Greenberg

    “I wasn’t as vociferous as I should have been, maybe. It’s very hard to stop a locomotive going 60 miles per hour.”

    Alan “Ace” Greenberg

    Former CEO, chair, Bear Stearns

  • Rick Lake

    “If the government starts taking rights away from consumers by saying this product can be offered and that product cannot be, where does it stop?”

    Rick Lake

    CEO, California Check Cashing

  • Ken Lewis

    “It just seemed to me that the conservative, right thing to do was take the [TARP] money. Little did I know the pain that would invoke…”

    Ken Lewis

    CEO, Bank of America

  • Shailesh Mehta

    “Lending money to people is never a difficult, OK? People will take money if you're willing to give [it to] them.”

    Shailesh Mehta

    Former CEO, Providian

  • Bill Strunk

    “Most people know that they’re overdrawn. They'll just do it anyway.”

    Bill Strunk

    Banking consultant

  • John Thain

    “"[Lewis’] shareholders were angry. ... He said, ‘You’re gonna take the blame for the fourth quarter.’ I guess in his view, someone had to take the fall.”

    John Thain

    CEO Merrill Lynch (2007-08)

  • + ECONOMISTS/ANALYSTS/MEDIA
  • Adam Davidson

    “If we were shooting the horror movie, the first sign something is going wrong would have been in 2006. It would have been in the office of someone in the mortgage industry...”

    Adam Davidson

    Correspondent, NPR/Planet Money

  • Martin Eakes

    “It’s almost as if 15 years ago, the industry discovered that you could make money off of the most vulnerable people in America over and over, and that would be the business model.”

    Martin Eakes

    CEO, Center for Responsible Lending

  • Martin Feldstein

    “You have a bank the size of Citigroup with a $2 trillion balance sheet, and you invest $25 billion in them. What’s that going to do?”

    Martin Feldstein

    Economist, Harvard University; President Reagan’s chief economic adviser

  • Mark Gertler

    “I kept thinking, the one way we’re going to have a Great Depression is if the political process gets in the way.”

    Mark Gertler

    Economist, New York University

  • Diana Henriques

    “A world full of Warren Buffetts, geniuses, who could make money for you had become so embedded in the financial psychology of this country, it made Madoff increasingly plausible.”

    Diana Henriques

    The New York Times

  • Simon Johnson

    “We’ll wake up one day, there’ll be a story in the paper: ... ‘The Fed now provides 70, 80, 90 percent of the credit in the U.S. economy.’”

    Simon Johnson

    Chief economist, International Monetary Fund (2007-08)

  • Paul Krugman

    “I think it’s possible to greatly exaggerate the extent to which the players involved knew what they were doing.”

    Paul Krugman

    Economist, Princeton University; columnist The New York Times

  • Elizabeth Warren

    “The big mistake is to say, ‘North 90 miles an hour,’ and then go south 140 miles an hour. Confidence that these guys have a clue drops to zero.”

    Elizabeth Warren

    Law professor, Harvard University; chair, TARP Congressional Oversight Panel

WEB-EXCLUSIVE CLIPS

“We need an exit strategy for all of this, because we don't want government support to become a crutch. We'll have larger problems ... if that's the case.”

Sheila Bair

Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

    Inside the Meltdown
  • Sheila Bair

    “We need an exit strategy for all of this, because we don't want government support to become a crutch. We'll have larger problems ... if that's the case.”

    Sheila Bair

    Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

  • Adam Davidson

    “If we were shooting the horror movie, the first sign something is going wrong would have been in 2006. It would have been in the office of someone in the mortgage industry...”

    Adam Davidson

    Correspondent, NPR/Planet Money

  • Chris Dodd

    “This is the chairman of the most important central bank in the world, announcing to the leadership of Congress, ‘Unless we act within days, the financial system will melt down.’”

    Chris Dodd

    Chair, Senate Banking Committee (D-Conn.)

  • Martin Feldstein

    “You have a bank the size of Citigroup with a $2 trillion balance sheet, and you invest $25 billion in them. What’s that going to do?”

    Martin Feldstein

    Economist, Harvard University; President Reagan’s chief economic adviser

  • Barney Frank

    “People said, ‘Oh, let them go belly up,’ and then it turned out dead bellies aren't as much fun to look at as maybe right-wing theology predicted.”

    Barney Frank

    Chair, House Financial Services Committee (D-Mass.)

  • Mark Gertler

    “I kept thinking, the one way we’re going to have a Great Depression is if the political process gets in the way.”

    Mark Gertler

    Economist, New York University

  • Alan “Ace” Greenberg

    “I wasn’t as vociferous as I should have been, maybe. It’s very hard to stop a locomotive going 60 miles per hour.”

    Alan “Ace” Greenberg

    Former CEO, chair, Bear Stearns

  • Paul Krugman

    “I think it’s possible to greatly exaggerate the extent to which the players involved knew what they were doing.”

    Paul Krugman

    Economist, Princeton University; columnist The New York Times

  • Ten Trillion and Counting
  • Newt Gingrich

    “Reagan would’ve told you every time you try raising taxes in Washington, Washington spends more. Washington's a city which will spend as much as it can get away with, without regard to tax rates.”

    Newt Gingrich

    Speaker of the House, (1995-99) (R-Ga.)

  • Allan Hubbard

    “The only way to control spending is that you've got to minimize taxes, because if you minimize taxes, [Congress knows] the deficit can't be too big.”

    Allan Hubbard

    Director, National Economic Council (2005-07)

  • Paul O'Neill

    “Here's the fundamental problem: How much money can a society borrow before it begins to have negative effects on our ability to borrow any more?”

    Paul O'Neill

    Secretary of the Treasury (2001-02)

  • Peter Orszag

    “The single most important thing we can do on our long-term entitlement problem is to reduce the rate of growth of health care costs. Everything else is almost a footnote.”

    Peter Orszag

    Director, Office of Management and Budget

  • Gene Sperling

    “No budget goal, no balanced budget, no surplus, no deficit number is a goal in and of itself. They are all means to having a country that has shared prosperity, where you have a growing middle class that makes room for everyone.”

    Gene Sperling

    Director, National Economic Council (1997-2001)

  • David Walker

    “What we're going through right now is a recession. We'll get through it. It's not the big one. The big one would be a meltdown in the federal government's finances.”

    David Walker

    Comptroller General of the United States (1998-2008)

  • The Madoff Affair
  • Michael Bienes

    “Bernie was forever. Bernie was the Rock of Gibraltar. ... We were talking about the future as if we were talking about God.”

    Michael Bienes

    Accountant; ran Madoff feeder fund

  • Frank Casey

    “Harry started engineering, looking at it and dissecting the returns. And after four hours of work or so, came up and said, ‘Frank, this is a Ponzi scheme.’”

    Frank Casey

    Rampart Investment Management (1998-2001)

  • Sherry Shameer Cohen

    “Don’t ask, don’t tell: That seems to be their unofficial policy. As long as the money comes rolling in, why ask?”

    Sherry Shameer Cohen

    Fairfield Greenwich Group (1987-1998)

  • Diana Henriques

    “A world full of Warren Buffetts, geniuses, who could make money for you had become so embedded in the financial psychology of this country, it made Madoff increasingly plausible.”

    Diana Henriques

    The New York Times

  • Nader Ibrahim

    “Everybody in the firm was really trying to figure out: What was going on? What was he doing? Where were these trades being made?”

    Nader Ibrahim

    Tech support, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities

  • Harvey Pitt

    “The world to which the securities laws apply -- laws now 70 and 75 years old -- is light years away from the world we have today.”

    Harvey Pitt

    Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission (2001-03)

  • Breaking the Bank
  • Michele Davis

    “Confidence is only going to come from the government showing action, and we've used every tool we have, and ... we need more.”

    Michele Davis

    Asst. secretary for public affairs, director of policy planning, Treasury Department (2006-2009)

  • Jeb Hensarling

    “I can assure you, you don't want Congress to be in the business of allocating credit in the United States of America.”

    Jeb Hensarling

    Representative (R-Texas), member of TARP Congressional Oversight Panel

  • Simon Johnson

    “We’ll wake up one day, there’ll be a story in the paper: ... ‘The Fed now provides 70, 80, 90 percent of the credit in the U.S. economy.’”

    Simon Johnson

    Chief economist, International Monetary Fund (2007-08)

  • Ken Lewis

    “It just seemed to me that the conservative, right thing to do was take the [TARP] money. Little did I know the pain that would invoke…”

    Ken Lewis

    CEO, Bank of America

  • John Thain

    “"[Lewis’] shareholders were angry. ... He said, ‘You’re gonna take the blame for the fourth quarter.’ I guess in his view, someone had to take the fall.”

    John Thain

    CEO Merrill Lynch (2007-08)

  • Elizabeth Warren

    “The big mistake is to say, ‘North 90 miles an hour,’ and then go south 140 miles an hour. Confidence that these guys have a clue drops to zero.”

    Elizabeth Warren

    Law professor, Harvard University; chair, TARP Congressional Oversight Panel

  • The Card Game
  • Chris Dodd

    “Someone once said that the Mafia would blush at some of the rates that are being charged today.”

    Chris Dodd

    Chair, Senate Banking Committee (D-Conn.)

  • Martin Eakes

    “It’s almost as if 15 years ago, the industry discovered that you could make money off of the most vulnerable people in America over and over, and that would be the business model.”

    Martin Eakes

    CEO, Center for Responsible Lending

  • Nessa Feddis

    “History has shown that government controls, interest rate caps, don’t work. It means that a lot of people who need loans don’t get them.”

    Nessa Feddis

    Senior counsel and vice president, American Bankers Association

  • Timothy Geithner

    “I don't think there's a credible argument you can make that we can fix this system by leaving it largely intact.”

    Timothy Geithner

    Secretary of the Treasury

  • Rick Lake

    “If the government starts taking rights away from consumers by saying this product can be offered and that product cannot be, where does it stop?”

    Rick Lake

    CEO, California Check Cashing

  • Shailesh Mehta

    “Lending money to people is never a difficult, OK? People will take money if you're willing to give [it to] them.”

    Shailesh Mehta

    Former CEO, Providian

  • Bill Strunk

    “Most people know that they’re overdrawn. They'll just do it anyway.”

    Bill Strunk

    Banking consultant

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