Figuring Out Financial Regulation

Words cannot describe the 2300 pages of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a way, because it says so much, it tells us very little. Still though, after looking at the bill and several news summaries,…

A Free Ride For Electric Cars?

Imagine a world filled with electric cars. In private homes, people could install their own charging devices. Others could be built in apartment building garages and on city streets. Some envision restaurants, department stores, and movie theaters offering a charge…

Will the US Postal Service Think Outside the Box?

Do you care about Saturday mail delivery? Amazon does. Hallmark does. Catalog companies and and mail service pharmacies do. By contrast, Netflix has said it could accept the elimination of Saturday mail. Trying to decide what to do about the…

Nantucket’s Traffic Lights

Located 30 miles from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the island of Nantucket has no traffic lights. Instead, drivers respond to stop signs, rotaries, and courtesy. More often than not, if a pedestrian, a walker, or a biker needs to cross the…

The Marshmallow Test and Financial Reform

Is it possible that the marshmallow test relates to financial reform? As described in a 2009 New Yorker article by Jonah Lehrer and a WNYC Radio Lab podcast, a marshmallow test given to 4 year olds might predict adult behavior.…

Can the Post Office Deliver?

Having just read a Washington Post article about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), I started thinking about its future. But first, its past: While we have had postal services since the 1600s, Ben Franklin transformed the system. Appointed Deputy Postmaster…

Environmental Emissions

A letter in “The Mail” section of a recent New Yorker tells us about a funny error on the cover of the May 17, 2010 issue. Mainly portraying emissions from vehicles, factories, and cows, the cover focuses on our environmental…

Fashion Rules

If Miuccia Prada sees a vintage designer jacket that she likes, she can copy it. She can even replicate it exactly and call it a Prada. Illegal? No. And yet, if Michael Lewis included a page from another writer’s book,…

Health Care Reform and Sausages

Now that we have a health care reform bill, I wondered about the next step. After a law is passed, how are the provisions implemented? A recent Washington Post article provided the answers. The next step unfolds in government offices…

Michael Lewis and the U.S. Congress

The Big Short by Michael Lewis (who also wrote The Blind Side) is a “hot read” on Capital Hill. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill) recommended it. Chris Dodd (D-CT) referred to it during a speech on Fannie and Freddie. And, Senators Harry…