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THE TERM caveat emptor derives from the Latin, meaning “let the buyer beware.” It is employed as a warning to consumers that, if they are not vigilant, they are likely to be bilked by any one of thousands of ravenous marketplace predators; be they homerepair salesman, stock market shills, those who offer CDs at bargain rates, or others of the hordes of fraudulent vendors. The issue is whether governmental groups ought to provide protection for unwary consumers or whether they ought to be left to look out for themselves and suffer the consequences.

The popularity of the term caveat emptor is seen in the 28,000 entries that can be retrieved from Yahoo! on the internet. Virtually all of the internet links contain warnings about the perils ...

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