How does Cohan know this? He just assumes it. Meanwhile, here’s a stat that belies that: 61 percent of subprime borrowers in 2006 actually qualified for prime loans but were shunted into the high-interest-rate ghetto. Think they “knew exactly what they were doing”?

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.