Megan McArdle

An Interview With the Repo Man

Writer Jake Halpern, whose work has appeared in most of my favorite magazines, has written a terrific new book called “Bad Paper,” in which he dives into the seamy, gray-market world of the people who collect old debt. I sat down with him for an instant-messaging interview yesterday. Below is a lightly edited transcript. Megan… Read more »

The Coming Real Estate Glut

If you’re a reader of the New York Times, or any real-estate site that focuses on the Big Apple, you have probably spent some time over the last few years marveling about the city’s seemingly infinite demand for eight-figure apartments. Well, apparently even developers are starting to wonder if this can last. They’re downsizing their… Read more »

Is Wall Street More Corrupt Than Anywhere Else?

How corrupt is Wall Street compared to other industries? Well, Kevin Drum points out the obvious: The newspapers are constantly filled with investigations into banker malfeasance. But does that really mean that Wall Street is especially awful and corrupt? Most other industries do not have six or seven different regulatory bodies overseeing their operations. Nor… Read more »

We Are Spending Way Too Much to Raise Our Kids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its annual report on the cost of raising children, and the upshot is what you probably already know: It’s expensive. This does not — as every article on the report has emphasized — include the cost of college, just the cost of raising them from birth through age… Read more »

Welcome to Wal-Mart, the Doctor Will See You Now

As its retail business matures into slower growth, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to disrupt another mass market: health care. The company is piloting what it hopes will be a broad network of primary-care clinics. The company already has urgent-care clinics in about 100 stores, but the new facilities will provide much broader services such as… Read more »