What Nick is Reading
By Arnold Kling
Nick Schulz sends me three interesting links.
1. A shining example of what I call a bogus mortgage lender.
In 2004, Bohan Group, a due diligence underwriting company, was hired by a bank to double-check the suitability of mortgages written by Quick Loan Funding that the bank was looking at buying and turning into securities. Bohan sent Nicole Singleton, 39, to the Irvine office. She reviewed 40 loans and rejected every one, she says.
Read the whole thing. It’s a great yarn.
In view of the increasing sophistication of the scientific contributions of other nations, the United States has become a high-cost place in which to do science. One needs look no further than the recent rush of U.S. companies to establish research laboratories in China and India for confirmation that the costs of research are lower there.
…The positive side of the transition to a post-scientific society story is that the United States has increasingly turned its attention to matters that are more complex than fundamental science. It is moving up the scale of intellectual and societal complexity by specializing in activities that require the integration of all knowledge and capabilities…
In the next few years, it may be desirable to reinstate the foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. in science and engineering, not to put up additional barriers to success but to emphasize the multicultural basis of good practice. Programs for study abroad should expand their reach to include students in science and engineering as well as the humanities and social sciences.
Read the whole thing.
Finally, a clinker, from Wired.
the proportion of US household budgets spent on tech products and services — computers, game consoles, cell phone service, cable, TVs — has held steady at about 5 percent for most of the past decade. We’re just spending that money — more than we pay for health insurance — on different stuff.
The data that they use on consumer spending shows personal spending on health insurance of $1361 a year. But that is a low number–I’m guessing that it does not include employer-provided health insurance or government-provided health coverage. So any suggestion that we could afford health insurance if only we threw away all our gadgets is baloney.