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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

John Oliver’s weekly 20-minute rants have a knack for seeping into the mainstream. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced new, stronger regulations on the payday loan industry, nearly two years after Oliver called them out for their predatory business model. At Oliver’s urging, viewers sent 45,000 emails to the Federal Communications Commission urging them to protect net neutrality from corporate influence — they did.

And, notably, John Oliver had perhaps the most vicious takedown of corruption in FIFA on all of American television, six months before the Justice Department announced an investigation into the international soccer organization.

Yesterday, Oliver set his sights even higher, staging what he called “the largest one-time giveaway in television history” by repaying $15 million worth of medical debt on his show, to highlight the perverse incentives on which the debt collection industry operates.

Oliver and his shell company bought the debt, he said, for half a cent on the dollar, the result of the long and circuitous path of bundling and revaluing that debt undergoes as a traded commodity — the same process that makes aggressive collection of debt so profitable, and often, so disruptive in the lives of debtors.

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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy grew solidly in the second quarter, pulling the level of gross domestic product above its pre-pandemic peak, as massive government aid and vaccinations against COVID-19 fueled spending on goods and travel-related services. The pace of GDP growth reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday was, however, slower than economists had expected. That was because businesses had to again draw down on meager inventories to meet the robust demand. Supply constraints, which have resulted in shortages of motor vehicles and some household applian...

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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