Hanlon’s Razor Doesn’t Help

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Hanlon’s Razor instructs us to “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. Sometimes, however, neither option is palatable. To wit:

Having just completed law school, friend of the site Sash Lewis recently applied for a bar exam loan, a small loan to tide him over during bar study. Knowing that those applying are no longer students, and thus are not eligible for inexpensive student loans, banks charge usurious rates on bar exam loans. When Citi emailed Sash to let him know he could get his loan at 10.5%, they also included a rather pointed message of “appreciation”:

Thanks for your interest
“Thanks for Your Interest”

Is this pun unintentionally tone deaf, or deliberately and nefariously gleeful? Either way, it seems a perfect microcosm for the banking industry at large. Are they evil to the point of taking pleasure in taunting their customers, or simply monumentally stupid? Sadly, neither possibility is of much comfort.


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