Fools were out and about all week, learning more about how the world and its markets work. These three articles put their authors well on the way to straight A's. Hopefully, you're in a Winston Churchill frame of mind: "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught," as the great man said.

Why the U.S. Is Worse Off Than Greece
National pride isn't the issue here. If Greece is tackling its financial problems more aptly than the U.S. is, we should welcome the chance to look and learn.

Greece "has admitted its problems and, though it will be difficult, is attempting to solve them within a realistic framework," wrote Motley Fool Global Gains co-advisor Tim Hanson. "Such a radical approach has yet to dawn on our own U.S. government, and we can only hope that it does so sooner rather than later."

Click to the article for Tim's in-depth look at how the U.S. is setting itself up for failure by using too-rosy predictions, and why this is not the case in Greece.

Storm Clouds Brewing for Payday Lenders
If a payday lender fell into the abyss, would the cheering drown out the wailing? It's an interesting question, but investors in this frowned-upon industry might prefer a more useful discussion.

"Friends, Americans, countrymen, I come here not to debate the relative merits of short-term cash advances and the companies that offer them, but to bury the hopes of their investors," wrote Fool contributor Rick Steier.

Rick highlights two proposed amendments to the bill to create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would bring a hammer down on payday lenders Advance America (NYSE: AEA), Cash America (NYSE: CSH), and QC Holdings.

Limits on the number of payday loans and their interest rates loom large, said Rick. Click to the story for Rick's thoughts on why investors must consider the geographic and services diversity of their companies.

What You Can Learn From Buffett's Mentor
If Warren Buffett is such an amazing investor -- and the consensus around The Motley Fool is that he is -- then the man who mentored him is a man worth studying. His name was Benjamin Graham, and Motley Fool Inside Value team member Chuck Saletta dished out a bite-sized portion of Graham's wisdom this week.

"[Benjamin] Graham's value strategy is one that advocates knowing exactly what you get for your money and protecting yourself from failures. With that in mind, three factors matter more than anything else to value investors: dividends, valuation, and diversification," wrote Chuck.

Click to the story to read Chuck's "modern-day version of Graham's timeless lessons" and to find out why shares of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) and Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) have a place in a Graham-inspired portfolio.

Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo, which is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Medtronic.

Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy picks strawberries barefoot.