Weekend Long Reads, August 23, 2014

Every weekend, I'll post longer form, interesting articles from the week. Kick up your feet and enjoy.

Inside The Dark Lucrative World of Consumer Debt Collection

It turned out to be a good one. Siegel quickly discovered that when he bought the right kind of paper, the profits were astronomical. He obtained one portfolio for $28,527, collected more than $90,000 on it in just six weeks and then sold the remaining uncollected accounts for $31,000. Siegel bought another portfolio of debt for $33,388, collected more than $147,000 on it in four months and sold the remaining accounts for $33,124. Even to a seasoned Wall Street man, the margins were jaw-dropping.

19 Things I Learned In Nigeria

14) Men holding hands with their male friends is not taboo. A product of the American system of taboos, I was jarred when I was walking alongside Femi and he started holding my hand. And I’m not talking about the milder mitten-hand grasping position—this was the full interlocking fingers position. In my experience, the mitten-hand position is mainly for dating couples and parents/kids with maybe a few other applications, but the full finger interlock is only for seriously dating couples. I finally gathered the guts to ask Femi about this, and he told me it was a very normal thing to do with your friends. Later, his brother would do the same thing to me. This time I was prepared and just got into it because fuck it, I’m in Nigeria and we’re holding hands and this is what’s happening.

The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit

Knight stated that over all those years he slept only in a tent. He never lit a fire, for fear that smoke would give his camp away. He moved strictly at night. He said he didn’t know if his parents were alive or dead. He’d not made one phone call or driven in a car or spent any money. He had never in his life sent an e-mail or even seen the Internet.