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Financial Literacy Or Financial Castigation?, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2011

Financial Literacy Or Financial Castigation?, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

This year, the Canadians- through their government-convened Task Force on Financial Literacy - have proudly produced, "Canadians and their Money: Building a Brighter Financial Future." Armed with 30 recommendations, its most dramatic innovation is to recommend the creation of a Financial Literacy Leader. I have been asked to provide an American perspective on this report specifically and the broader agenda of "financial literacy" more generally as a consumer welfare intervention. Let me start by acknowledging the critiques of the Canadian Task Force. For example, my Canadian colleague, Saul Schwartz, has already drafted a compelling analysis of the political economy behind the ...


"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

On a recent day, I used my credit cards in connection with a number of minor transactions. I made eight purchases, and I paid two credit card bills. I also discarded (without opening) three solicitations for new cards, balance transfer programs, or other similar offers to extend credit via a credit card. Statistics suggest that I am not atypical. U.S. consumers last year used credit cards in about 100 purchasing transactions per capita, with an average value of about $70. At the end of the year, Americans owed nearly $500 billion dollars, in the range of $1,800 for ...


Price, Path & Pride: Third-Party Closing Opinion Practice Among U.S. Lawyers (A Preliminary Investigation), Jonathan C. Lipson Mar 2005

Price, Path & Pride: Third-Party Closing Opinion Practice Among U.S. Lawyers (A Preliminary Investigation), Jonathan C. Lipson

ExpressO

This article presents the first in-depth exploration of third-party closing opinions, a common but curious – and potentially troubling -- feature of U.S. business law practice. Third-party closing opinions are letters delivered at the closing of most large transactions by the attorney for one party (e.g., the borrower) to the other party (e.g., the lender) offering limited assurance that the transaction will have legal force and effect.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of legal opinions are delivered every week. Yet, lawyers often complain that they create needless risk and cost, and produce little benefit. Closing opinions thus pose a basic ...