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September 04, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-04

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4A - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com

4A - Tuesday, September 4, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A cheat sheet for the news you need to know
C lasses begin Tuesday amidst a flurry of frantic text-
book purchases and last minute Meijer runs. It's
understandable if you're a bit overwhelmed. For those'
who joined the annual Ann Arbor exodus in May, it's easy to
become removed from the University and local Ann Arbor
happenings. However, The Michigan Daily is here to help
with a recap of what transpired in the past four months and a
guide of what to watch for this fall.

An introduction to the Daily

Where did the summer go? It seems like last semes-
ter's exams just ended, but here we are, starting anoth-
er school year. Whether you're new to the University
or have been here for decades, I want to use these col-
umn inches to introduce you to The Michigan Daily.
As media evolves, news organizations are often crit-
icized for being out of touch. At the Daily, we believe
in transparenc'y. This is your newspaper - the Daily is
produced by students with the University community
in mind: Hopefully, I'll answer any questions you have
about the Daily here, but please don't hesitate to get
in touch if you have any further questions. If you send
me an e-mail at Lichterman@michigandaily.com or
Tweet me at @ylichterman, I'll be happy to help you
Who we are
The Michigan Daily is the largest student-runnews-
paper at the University. We've been publishing since
1890, and for all 122 years of production, the Daily has
been completely student run. There are some profes-
sionals who help our business staff (the group of stu-
dents who are responsible for generating revenue and
managing finances) but we are completely editorially
independent. A group of hardworking editors and I
are ultimately the ones responsible for what we pub-
lish every day, and that freedom is a responsibility we
take very seriously. Our mission is to be as fair and
accurate as possible and to only publish stories that
are pertinenttotthe University community.
When we stray from that mission
The design of our production process aims to get
every story right, but that doesn't always happen.
When we mess up, we wantto know about it. Please let
us know if you notice an error in the Daily. If there's
a mistake, we'll correct it online immediately and run
a correction on page 2 of the next day's print edition.
I can't reiterate it enough: We want to know when we
make mistakes - please e-mail corrections@michi-
gandaily.com or me directly to let us know about any
Connect with the Daily
We love the Internet. It's changing and challeng-
ing traditional journalism and the way we do our jobs.
Disseminating news is faster and easier than ever, and
there's a more robust dialogue between sources, read-
ers and us. Follow us on Twitter (@michigandaily) or
like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/MichiganDaily).
Both are great ways to connectto the Daily or as away
to start a conversation about anything you see on our
website or in the paper.

There are also more traditional ways to let us
know what you're thinking. Letters to the editor can
be sent to tothedaily@michigandaily.com, and news
tips - which are always appreciated - can be sent to
Several weeks ago, we launched TheBlockM.com,
the Daily's new sports-only website. TheBlockM.
com is meant to fuel your interest in Michigan sports
with up-to-the-minute coverage of every varsity sport
- from baseball to water polo. Follow TheBlockM
on Twitter at @TheBlockM and like it on Facebook
at Facebook.com/TheBlockM.com. The site is still a
work in progress, and we look forward to your input
as it evolves.
Join the Daily
Interested in joining the staff of the Daily? Excel-
lent. We'd love to have you. There are several ways
you can go about becoming a staff member. Check out
www.michigandaily.com/join-uscto contact any of our
editors.' We also encourage you to attend one of our
mass meetings this month. They'll start at 7:30 p.m.
and will be held in the Daily newsroom in the Student
Publications Building at 420 Maynard St. - near the
corner of Williams and Maynard. Here are the meet-
ing dates:
" Sunday, Sept.9
" Wednesday, Sept.12
Thursday, Sept. 13
Wednesday Sept. 19
" Sunday, Sept. 23
I'm serious: We want to hear from the community
we serve. Whether you have questions, news tips or
feedback, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We
can't do our jobs of keeping you informed without
some help.
Thanks, and have a fantastic semester.
Joseph Lichterman
Editor in Chief

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme
Court declared key provisions of President
Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act
constitutional (that'sright, CNN). Young adults
are now covered under their parents' health
insurance until the age of 26, giving students
one less thing to worry about as graduation
looms. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's adminis-
tration continues workingwith the federal gov-
ernment to set up a health exchange, and must
continue despite expected opposition.
At the final hour, Congress finally renewed
the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.
The student loan interest rate will remain at
3.4 percent, instead of doubling to 6.8 per-
cent. Hopefully, Obama will be able to work
with Congress to ensure this rate for more
than just a year, preventing unnecessary
gridlock and worry for students.
Back in the state of Michigan, the word
"vagina" made an appearance in almost
every casual conversation during the middle
of June. Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloom-
field) was barred from speaking in the House
after a debate on an abortion bill in which she
said, "Finally Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that
you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no'
means 'no."' The state legislature also spent
significant time attempting to pass voter ID
laws that would counter intuitively make it
more difficult to vote. Look for the Michigan

legislature to try and pass more extrgme and
exclusionary laws - though hopefully with-
out avail.
Here in Ann Arbor, all City Council wards
had open seats, making the competition
fierce - between Democrats, of course - in
the primaries. Voter turnout was minimal.
Sumi Kailasapathy won in Ward 1, Sally Hart
Peterson defeated the incumbent Tony Der-
ezinski, Margie Teall won in Ward 4 and
Chuck Warpehoski won in Ward 5.
At the University, the Board of Regents
voted to increase tuition rates by 2.8 percent
for in-state students and 3.5 percent for out-
of-state students for this school year.
The University Health System is no longer
accepting walk-ins. The new policy was con-
veniently put into place this summer when
many students left, so it remains to be seen
how students will react.
Look to The Michigan Daily for continued
news and opinion coverage of these issues.
The Michigan Daily represents you. Our staff
and editorial board are always advocating for
students. But, we can only do so much. Make
your voice heard and send Letters to the
Editor or Viewpoints to tothedaily@michi-
gandaily.com. With your input, the, Daily's
opinion page can become a forum for discus-
sion and every student can have the opportu-
nity to contribute to the conversation.

Lying about LIBOR

Kaan Avdan, Eli Cahan, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Caroline Syms
Pav it forward
My father was a laborer. He worked in the pened if we let affordable college education
fields, on the railroads and in the factories become the victim of our economy's swings.
doing grueling and dangerous manual labor America has always made a commitment
so I could be the first member of my family to put a good education within the reach of
to go to college. those willing to work for it.
You're reading this column in a college Frankly, it's baffling to me to see partisan
newspaper, so maybe you, too, owe your calls for cuts in higher education. Some poli-
chance to get this education to someone in ticians are backing a plan to reduce invest-
your family who sacrificed for you. Or per- ments by almost 20 percent. That would deny
haps you're the one who's making the sacri- a college education to one million students
fice - working nights and weekends to put across the country and slash financial aid
yourself through school, or taking out loans for 10 million more. These cuts would not go
that could take decades to pay back. to reducing our deficit, they would pay for a
As we celebrate Labor Day, I'll be think- new $5 trillion tax cut weighted toward the
ing about my father - and the sacrifices so wealthiest Americans.
many of our families make to help us realize Earlier this year, Obama fought to make
our full potential. My dad never dreamed he sure the interest rate on federal student loans
would raise a future U.S. Secretary of Labor. didn't go up - his opponents wanted to dou-
But since he did, I want to use this holiday ble them. We won that fight.
to talk about the urgent need to invest in the We also set up a new college tax credit
next generation of American workers. to help more middle. class families save up
Higher education is no longer a luxury - to $10,000 on their tuition over four years,
it's a necessity. The unemployment rate for and we won that fight, too. The other party's
Americans with a college degree is half the leaders want to repeal it.
national average. College has never been The Obama administration has helped
more important, and it has never been more more than 3.6 million additional students
expensive. obtain Pell Grants, and he's fighting to double
Tuition and fees at our colleges and uni- work-study jobs. We know the return on this
versities have more than doubled over the investment will be worth it and then some.
last two decades. For the first time, Ameri- This Labor Day, we should all join the
cans now owe more on their student loans debate on college affordability happening in
than they do on their credit cards. The aver- Washington D.C. No single issue has a more
age college student who borrows today will direct impact on the financial burden you'll
graduate with $26,000 in school debt. carry after graduation or the dynamism of
We all understand that this country is still the economy you will enter.
fighting back from the worst economic crisis My father, and many of yours, worked
of our lifetimes. But President Barack Obama hard to give us a chance to achieve whatever
rejects the argument that we can afford to our talents would allow. Let's pay it forward,
cut higher education and shortchange our so more members of our American family get
future as the result of a recession or red ink. their shot, too.
Think about all the discoveries, businesses
and breakthroughs that never would've hap- Hilda Sois is the U.S Secretary of Labor.
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints. Letters
should be fewer than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850 words. Send
the writer's full name and University affiliation. to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

arlier this summer, I pre-
pared myself for the next
Bernie Madoff-like .scandal
to unfold in
the financial
industry. I'm
not a guru that
can predict big
events like this,
but it seems
that every sum-
mer some new ASHLEY
scandalor crisis GRIESSHAMMER
rocks the finan-
cial industry.
This was of particular interest
of me because I was going to be
working on investment banking at
a large international bank in New
York City. Essentially, the more
trouble the financial industry was
having, the more difficult my job
and the more hours I would work.
So what was this summer's head-
line story? London Interbank Offer
Rate, or as it's commonly called,
LIBOR. Oddly enough, many peo-
ple haven't heard of LIBOR before
this. The LIBOR scandal has been
considered one of the biggest in
history, but it hardly affected my
internship at all, and I rarely even
heard talk of it.
Maybe LIBOR didn't make every
news outlets' headlines since it's
not as close to home as Madoff's
Ponzi scheme or the U.S. debt ceil-
ing that rocked the markets last
summer. But though LIBOR hap-
pened mostly overseas, it should be
of concern to all Americans.
LIBOR should be on everyone's
radar. At its most basic level, it can
be explained as the rate at which
banks would lend money to one
another. This rate is an indicator of
banks' stability, and it can impact
profits. The lower a bank's rate is,

the more stable they're considered.
After the 40 included banks
report their rates, the highest and
lowest are discarded and the rest
are averaged. This sets the LIBOR
rate for the day.
The bank most commonly asso-
ciated with this scandal was Bar-
clays, but they weren't the only
ones involved. During the finan-
cial crisis, Barclays was report-
ing much higher rates than other
banks, making them appear less
stable. So instead of continuing to
report correct rates, they started
underreporting to make them-
selves look better. And, unfortu-
nately, other banks followed suit,
J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and
Bank of America.
These interest rates affected tril-
lions of dollars of financial prod-
ucts, making this a much bigger
deal than Madoff was. Some people
benefitted from the scandal, while
some were hurt. If you took out a
mortgage or a student loan when
rates were artificially low, then
congratulations, you're paying less
interest than you should be. But if
you did the same when rates were
artificially high, then you're prob-
ably paying more than what's fair.
As expected, those people who
believe they received an unfairly
higher rate are filing lawsuits,
including the city of Baltimore.
At its heart, the LIBOR system
relies on honesty - honesty from
banks, which evidently hasn't been
existent of late. The New York Fed-
eral Reserve was aware of the scan-
dal as it was brewing and offered a
variety of suggestions to change
the way LIBOR was set.
This could have happened some-
where other than London, too. In
addition to LIBOR, there is HIBOR

(Hong Kong Interbank Offered
Rate) and SIBOR (Singapore Inter-
bank Offergd Rate). With an entire
system based on honestly, there are
bound to be lies and Mistakes, not
just in London.
A system based
on honesty is
bound to fail.
The LIBOR scandal makes it
clear that the system needs to be
altered. After the financial cri-
sis, a system based on honesty
shouldn't have existed. And more
importantly, it should have been
widely publicized. While the
LIBOR scandal happened in Lon-
don, the rates affected financial
products in the United States, and
the scandal involved U.S. banks.
Our media sources didn't seem to
cover the issue like they have in the
past, even though LIBOR affected
a much larger amount of money.
While major financial news outlets
like CNBC covered the story, every
local station wasn't reporting on
the topic. Even if the event takes
place overseas, it can still affect
Americans, and should be given the
same magnitude of coverage had it
happened in the U.S.
If it can happen once, it can hap-
pen again - and for a system that
relies on honesty, it may not be the
best policy.
- Ashley Griesshammer is the
editorial page editor and can be
reached at ashleymg@umich.edu.

I've got a bumper sticker for you: Osama Bin
Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."
- Vice President Joe Biden said in a campaign stop in Detroit on Monday.



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