Friday's pick of the litter:
"You can be up to your eyeballs in debt and still look filthy filthy rich… so what value is it in paying out all that money for the symbols if they no longer indicate you have the status?:
A Freakonomics reader uncovers the reason for the constant "free upgrades" at hertz:
"Ford has a ton of Explorers that people will not buy because the mileage is so poor. Their response is to offer huge discounts to sell them.
Hertz rents the cars so they have no consequence of buying a car with poor mileage, since they do not have any gas costs. The gas costs are all picked up by the renter. Hertz reaps a great price advantage in purchasing discounted explorers without suffering the consequences of having to pay high gas usage expenses.
Most renters are probably business renters who are reimbursed for their car costs by their employer. They accept the luxury of a big rental car without having to worry about the gas prices being paid by them.
The only loser appears to be the employer who's reimbursement is based on high gas costs or an individual renter who pays his own car rental expenses."
Shaun on Prosper.com's new Community Payment program which allows group members to bail out a borrower who's not making payments:
"The point of Prosper, I think, is for people to help other people get back on their feet by lending them money. But part of getting back on your feet means learning and accepting fiscal responsibility. The community payment option gives borrowers less of a reason to accept that responsibility. I think it is also a huge source for potential abuse. If you find a group whose members tend to make community payments for others, why not join that group, borrow money, and default on the loan?"
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