Mike

That "Subprime Primer" is the best explanation I've seen - thanks for the link!

Todd Finch

DirectTv gets the nod from me. Similar to those who were charged a $5.99 protection plan fee when they changed their service, I was slapped with a $20 shipping and handling fee when I ordered my new HD service. Not only did they NOT ship the receiver to me (the service technician had about 30 of them in his van, and simply took one from there and brought it into my house), but after I complained that the company did not notify me that this would be part of the price yet billed it anyway, the pithy response I got from their customer service department was "I would like to inform you that in order to keep the cost of equipment and installation as low as possible we charge a small delivery and handling charge on equipment orders.

The litany of abuses these companies get away with continues to grow. I posted to consumerist.com

Someone please stop the insanity!

Baldeagle

I would recommend the following posts from Good Math, Bad Math to explain the subprime F__k up.
1) The subprime meltdown:
http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2007/12/the_total_stupidity_of_crowds.php
2) Tranching:
http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2007/12/responding_to_a_faq_what_is_tr.php