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The code that controls your money.

Calling all Apexians! Calling all Apexians! Come in, Apexians! It’s time for another day of interesting money stories from around the web. Here’s what I have for you…

The code that controls your money. [Wealthsimple Magazine] — “When your boss hands you your paycheck, odds are it was calculated using COBOL. If you invest, your stock trades run on it too. So does health care: Insurance companies in the U.S. use ‘adjudication engines’ — software that figures out what a doctor or drug company will get paid for a service — which were written in COBOL. Wonder why, when you’re shopping at a retailer you will see a clerk typing into an old-style terminal, with green text on a black background? It’s because the inventory system is using COBOL.” [See also: This conversation about the article on MetaFilter.]

If you don’t ask, you don’t get — so keep asking! [Filled with Monday] — “If you don’t ask, you don’t get means that even if there’s a chance that the other party could be annoyed, it’s the only way to get what you want. If you never ask for things, why would people ever give them to you? People are not mind readers. The easy way to get things you want is to just simply ask for them.”

Dave Ramsey, corporate media, and how we talk about financial distress. [Columbia Journalism Review] — “In this economic moment, and for much of Ramsey’s career, being relatable to a wide audience means invoking financial pain, and vice versa. Individual debt saturates the country, and has for decades—over the same amount of time that media consolidation has been in full swing, with companies leveraging vast amounts of debt to become larger and larger, The Ramsey Show has created an archive of individual financial distress akin to Studs Terkel’s in Hard Times.” [This article long article doesn’t seem to have a clear thesis — not a strong one, anyhow — but it’s interesting nonetheless.]

The same stories again and again. [Collaborative Fund] — “In hindsight we view bubbles as periods when people lose their minds, tempted with dumb decisions and overconfidence. That’s partly true. But there’s another cause: People who spend their whole careers working hard amid uncertainty view the new era of prosperity as their deserved reward, the entire point of putting in years of long hours to begin with. So rather than a warning sign, the bubble is seen as crossing the finish line and being patted on the back after a long journey.”

My cousin Duane came to visit a couple of weeks ago. His throat cancer is getting worse, but he’s still fighting! After an afternoon toodling around our town, we came home and watched comedy on YouTube. It was at that time that Duane introduced me to the glory of British quiz shows.

These “quiz shows” — Would I Lie to You?, QI, Countdown, etc. — are only loosely games. There’s a game going on, sure, but it’s really just an excuse for the panel of comedians to have a good time as they entertain the audience. They feel like the shows I used to love on American TV in the late 70s and early 80s.

Anyhow, as an example of how much fun they are, here’s a twelve-minute clip from Would I Lie to You? during which one team is trying to guess which member of the opposing team is actually telling the truth.

I think it’s funny, funny stuff and I wish there were more shows like this on television nowadays. Perhaps you will like it too.

Okay, that’s all I have for today. Come back tomorrow for more!