It’s too bad that political democracy so overshadows the “voting” that takes place all the time in the marketplace. By deciding who gets their business, consumers help the environment, scold celebrities, scorn France, stick it to big box retailers, and now E-Loan has allowed them to weigh in on offshore outsourcing: Since starting operations [in India] in February, the company has immunized itself against much of the criticism of outsourcing by offering borrowers a choice between having their loans processed in the United States or — if they want their money faster — in India. “We thought, let’s do it, let’s make it open, try to explain it, and also offer an opt-out for that group of people who under no circumstances would be comfortable with it for whatever reason, whether it be patriotism or racism,” said chief executive Larsen. So far, about 85 percent of E-Loan’s home equity customers have opted for India, at a cost savings to the company of about 60 percent, and the firm is considering an expansion of the Indian operation into auto loans and mortgages, Larsen said. No U.S. workers have been laid off, he said, because the home equity business has grown fast enough to accommodate both sets of employees. (Via Alex Tabarrok)
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.