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In a sense, financial education might be poor by design. It's already three decades that people are pushed quite shrewdly into stock or real estate markets with the norm of intuitive or herd knowledge. Lay people succeed or fail there more by dumb luck than by their earnest knowledge. Asking (tellingly too late) people to overcome the "uplifting" noise of financial analysts, media cheerleaders and political clowns is like asking all first-grade schoolchildren to learn to play piano or chess without any hints or coaching. Yeah, a few Rahmaninoffs or Kasparovs can do that - but this is not education.

Even at universities, the popular economy or business courses probably prepare (for the crises times) more suckers than really knowledgeable investors. It's not science, but fashionable brainwashing for business cycles. Did you try to take a course on financial derivatives? Goldman Sachs gladly needed you.

And one more thing. Comparing mortgage with borrowing a toy is very unsound. It's more like you borrow a shovel and you are asked to return an excavator.

 

by das monde on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:00:51 AM EST
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