I noted that there will be a repeat of the story about the for-profit schools.
Digging around on the website, I found a section documenting the response to the subject. I stumbled across a letter in which directors of homeless shelters railed about how the schools were deliberately recruiting students from the homeless ranks and sticking them with a worthless degree. That in itself is not news.
However, Frontline then revealed something a tiny bit odd about the origin of the letter through a link:
Down the rabbit hole we go...
To simplify, what they are saying is that there is a certain group of people who buy stocks in these companies with the expectation that the shares will drop in price so that they will short sell the stocks. What's more, they have gone as far as to engage the services of others to publicly trash these companies so that they can help increase the drop in price.
Now, I'm not saying that these schools that promise you a degree in basket weaving are noble heroes. What I want to know is why is this phenomenon not more widely known or taken into account in media coverage?
Sure, I can legitimately see this happening, so I'm not questioning the validity of the article. It's just that I can't see publicly traded universities being the only investment out there that is the target of special interest groups such as this.
It's a bit like the dot.com bubble all over again. Many of those companies raised capital fairly quickly and spent it down to nothing in the span of a year or more by wasting it on everything from salaries that were out of step with the market, high dollar advertisements, and fancy amenities. In the end, certain people cleanly walked away with some of that money. Yet, even though it was staring everyone in the face, it wasn't until these companies gasped their last breath and had their bones danced upon by the Feds that anybody really bothered to assess what was really going on during that time.
I personally find this sort of thing to be interesting because it adds another depth to the discussion. In essence, the very owners of these schools (stockholders are owners of corporations, n'est-ce pas?) are praying for their product's destruction. They are glad for every single one of those homeless people who come out saddled with $80,000 in debt and nothing to show for it beyond an associate's degree in polishing turds because those people only function as an argument for the stock price to be driven down.