Three Mile Island Memories

tmi2This past weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.  If you are old enough you may remember where you were at that time and what it was like.  I remember VERY well because I was on my way to the crippled plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Our President at the time, Jimmy Carter, was also a micro-manager and a former nuclear engineer: he wanted his own eyes and ears on the scene.  Our little group eventually coalesced into the Presidental Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, led by Dartmouth College president John Kemeny, who was also the co-author of BASIC.

The lessons of Three Mile Island have been, for […]

Rise of the Machines


tumbril“Where are the tumbrils?” asks my friend Adam Smith.If, like me, you have no idea what is a tumbril, it is a type of horse cart used during the French Revolution to transport condemned prisoners to the guillotine for beheading.What Adam wonders is how we can get so deep into such a hellacious financial crisis without finding at least a few bad guys to behead?

It’s a good question.

In one sense there simply have to be bankers or money managers of some sort who have benefitted greatly from the financial discomfort of the rest of us.On the other hand it is difficult to find many such people.Maybe they are hiding.I know I would.

Bowling for Dollars


I obviously hit a nerve (probably several) with my column on Parrot Secrets. Some of this was expected. The idea of making so much money from an inexpensive web site would appeal to a lot of people, I knew. And I felt good about sharing the story after sitting on it for five years for just that reason. But I wasn’t at all expecting the outrage that some readers felt over the owner of Parrot Secrets not being the nice blonde lady in the picture but a young Indian man who doesn’t even own a parrot. People were pissed and yes, it probably says something about me that I still can’t really understand why […]

Parrot Secrets


Let’s face it, the economy is in trouble and so are the rest of us.  Based on the dregs I find in my spam filter that makes this a hot season for folks selling plans for how to make big money on the Internet – plans that mostly aren’t worth what people pay for them.  Either these advertised sites are simply scams or they are promoting the obvious — often free government web sites that diligent folks could find on their own.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t legitimate Internet businesses that can be started on a shoestring.  So to do my part for the economy I’m going to offer-up what I have always […]

The Not So Bad Bank


piggy-bomb-bank02We’re seven weeks into the Obama Administration and still looking for a way out of both the banking and housing crises.  TARP didn’t seem to work, at least not as its designers intended.  The new housing plan hasn’t been well received and now that more details are out you’d think there would be an even more negative reaction, but the press doesn’t seem to have even noticed the details were released last week.

Had anyone actually read the press release they would have noticed the Obama plan is no longer limited to refinancing 105 percent of a home’s purchase price, but offers instead what’s essentially a 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage for homeowners and […]