With so much focus on ailing credit markets, it’s easy to overlook another crisis in the making: subprime reasons.
“When times are uncertain, people want to know why,” says Jess Becuz, a spokesperson for the US Department of Justification (DOJ). “We’re concerned with reports that the reason industry has relaxed quality control standards to meet rising demand.”
Like subprime loans, there’s no hard and fast rule about what makes a reason less than perfect. Industry insiders say the definition depends in part on perception. They do agree that poor reasons tend to be more expensive than more rational ones.
In addition, because reasons are seldom backed by personal guarantees, the risk of default is high. Analysts say the fallout from massive production of shoddy reasons could lead to a precipitous decline in market values, which in turn could cause economic turmoil.
How much turmoil? It’s hard to predict. Since producers haven’t been required to track or report manufacturing details, no one knows the precise number of faulty reasons floating around in the US.
The consensus, however, is that the problem is huge. While bad reasons have always been available, the upcoming presidential election is highlighting just how prevalent they actually are. Experts say that’s because aggressive politicians rush to provide anxious voters with reasons that soothe but make little sense. Reason manufacturers, intent on capturing this lucrative market, respond by ramping up production.
Unfortunately, according to the DOJ, the industry has had little oversight, and faster production means a less reliable product.
“The products on the market today are not agency approved,” states Ms. Becuz. “People believe they’re buying reasons when in fact all they get is excuses.”