Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from BuzzFeed, TheTruthAboutCars, and Slate.
I'm glad I don't have a serious fear of flying, although I do have a serious fear of Alison Brie. So maybe someone can get on that.
That process is called habituation, which is a nicer, homier, more professional-sounding way to say that the goal here is to increasingly scare the shit out of you, until your body and brain get so tired of being so scared that you calm down. If it sounds overly simplistic and slightly cruel to you then, well, join the club. “Are you sure about this?” I’d ask my therapists, Steve Puliafico and Mike Lent — both third-year students in Hofstra’s clinical psychology Ph.D. program, and, at 24 and 25 respectively, much too young for me to trust — and they’d try explaining it to me all over again. Then I’d say, “It doesn’t sound right, though, does it?” They agreed that it’s a somewhat counterintuitive theory, but promised me that it really does (or at least really can) work. I hoped they were right, so eventually I stopped arguing. For the most part.
“All Is Fine In Sub-Prime Land,” Says Some With A Vested Interest In Its Success – The Truth About Cars
I had a sense DK would pick this up today.
What the Freep doesn’t tell you is that banks are packaging auto loans into securities, just like they did with mortgages, and selling them to investors. The same quantitative easing that makes auto loans so cheap has also wiped out yields on safer investments like bonds. Auto-backed securities, especially risky ones like sub-prime car loans, are the only thing providing decent yields, and investors can’t get enough of them. That means cheap money and car loans for peope who wouldn’t normally qualify for them.
You probably saw this viral clip this week. If you missed it, go watch it. I enjoyed this follow up because of this line from Killer Mike, which is a reminder to all of us (journos especially) that we don't know the world as well as we think we do.