The “Tiger Mom” Roars Back with Another Provocative Read

In 2011, Yale Law School professor Amy Chua ignited a firestorm with Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Excerpted in The Wall Street Journal, it described how Chua demanded that her two daughters get straight As in school (they did-then later got into Harvard and Yale). In her new The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, also a Yale Law School professor, describe the …

Second-Guessing a Blogger’s Life-and-Death Battle

[View the story "Second-Guessing a Blogger's Life-and-Death Battle" on Storify] Story summary: Controversy erupted Monday when a column in the New York Times by Bill Keller repeated criticism voiced last week by his wife, writer Emma Keller, in The Guardian concerning Lisa Bonchek Adams, a New England woman who blogs and tweets about her treatment for cancer in New York City. The Kellers wrote about Adams and her social media activities, including 165,000 tweets about her treatment. Responding to the …

Older Patients Steered Into High-Interest Credit Plans

Consider this: An older patient visits the dentist. The treatment she needs is expensive and not covered by Medicare. So the dentist offers her financing, on the spot, through a credit card plan. She accepts and gets the work done right away. When she gets the first month’s bill, she’s stunned to learn that the financing plan carries an interest rate of 30 percent. That scenario, you might be surprised to learn, appears to be a growing trend in doctor’s …

This Year’s “Gone Girl”?

Have you heard? This year’s Gone Girl is The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison. Or at least that’s how Julie Bosman of The New York Times recently anointed Harrison’s dark and engaging thriller. For my money, The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes deserves the comparison instead, but there’s no denying the allure of The Silent Wife. Take, for example, the twisted dynamic between long-time companions Jodi and Todd, a successful 40-something couple in Chicago whose life starts to …

Would Your Bank Help Scammers Rip You Off?

Do you think your bank has your best interests at heart? A new report may have you thinking twice about that. Two banks, Zions Bank of Salt Lake City and First Bank of Delaware, were not only accused of allowing dubious merchants to illegally debit their customers’ accounts with unauthorized charges, according to the New York Times, but they actually profited handsomely from the transactions. Consequently, tens of thousands of bank customers, many of them elderly, lost more than $100 …

Retirees Borrow Against Pensions at Loan Rates Up To 106%

UPDATE: Last week, we cited a report by The New York Times that a growing number of older adults are using their pensions as the basis to borrow cash — and paying interest rates as high as 106 percent. That report caught the attention of New York banking regulators. They’re now probing 10 companies that do pension advances, the Times reported Tuesday. Benjamin M. Lawsky, who heads the Department of Financial Services (DFS), calls pension advances ”nothing more than payday …