Business







Your world is being gamed, reports Nick Wingfield in the New York Times: Congratulations. Reading the first paragraph of this article has earned you a badge. If this made-up award makes you…





Will unregulated, debt-based financial products destroy the world? Bloomberg reports that the funneling of capital into instruments of so-called “shadow banking” continues to balloon to unimaginably large proportions: The shadow banking industry…






254668516_97856d3d0fThe New York Times reports on a new model of emergency care—debt collectors posing as medical staff:

Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

To patients, the debt collectors may look indistinguishable from hospital employees, may demand they pay outstanding bills and may discourage them from seeking emergency care at all. The attorney general, Lori Swanson, also said that Accretive employees may have broken the law by not clearly identifying themselves as debt collectors…






Politicians and pundits constantly call for the government to step out of the way and let entrepreneurs and “job creators” build the industries of the future. New Left Project argues that this…


Site editor’s note: if you have been following this political/internet/media explosion you may find this recent story posted to disinfo.com in December as an interesting footnote to the outcome.

These people will enjoy no more burritos until unborn babies are no longer terminated. Until Abortion Ends is a perplexing and to some extent inadvertently amusing trend in which people pledge to give up various things “until abortion ends”. (Although I assume they actually mean “until abortion becomes criminalized”.)


There’s plenty of hub-bub on the internets about Mitt Romney saying he “likes firing people.” He’s what Mr. “Corporations Are People” said in a longer clip below and an article from Suzanne Lucas on CBS News that likely explains his thinking:

The presidential election is just one big job interview, so it makes sense that as long as we’re talking about hiring, we should talk about firing. Mitt Romney recently said: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.” Horrifying, right? How on earth could any human being like firing anyone? Well, to be fair, he didn’t say he liked firing anyone. He said he liked being able to fire someone. And so do you. You do it all the time.


DwollaAlyson Shontell reports in Business Insider:

There’s a tiny 12-person startup churning out of Des Moines, Iowa. Dwolla was founded by 28-year-old Ben Milne; it’s an innovative online payment system that sidesteps credit cards completely.

Milne has no finance background, yet his little operation is moving between $30 and $50 million per month; it’s on track to move more than $350 million in the next year. Unlike PayPal, Dwolla doesn’t take a percentage of the transaction. It only asks for $0.25 whether it’s moving $1 or $1,000.

We interviewed Milne about how he is building a credit card killer and Square rival from the middle of the nation where VCs and press are scarce.


Ten U.S. Senators are now proposing a “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which creates a new system letting states collect sales taxes from purchases made online. “It’s about closing a tax loophole,” said Senator…