John Malmo

David Gilder /

Who ever thought he’d live to say, “Pity the poor bank.”

But, goodness, everybody’s after banks today. The president. Congress. Wall Street. Even the Wall Street Journal. Banks are today’s whipping boy.

Well I know a lot of bankers who are good guys, but, lordy, it’s hard to like a bank. It’s stuff like this. One day recently comes this letter from Chase Bank. I guess because one of my credit cards is a Chase Bank card. Right off the bat, the letter asks me to respond to update my preference for receiving offers by mail from Chase.

John Malmo / ArcherMalmo

When did we let the media hijack our language?

It must have been television newscasters - second only to sports radio in mangling the language - that one day decided that people no longer disappear.  They “go missing.”  Go missing?  How can that be?  To disappear is to cease to appear.  To vanish.  Isn’t that the case when somebody, uh . . . disappears?

Missing does indeed, mean absent, lost, not present.  So, to say that Charlie is missing is fine.  But to say Charlie has GONE missing or went missing?  How does that make sense?  

Mr. Lightman /

Most American school kids can read, at least to some degree.  But they’re lousy at math.

That’s no puzzle.  Math is a lot harder.  There’s no “about” or “roughly” in math.  There’s only one answer to every problem.

Nicolas Larento /

The world has been celebrating the life of Steve Jobs.  At the same time, a story popped up in Harvard Business Review that’s worth thinking about in the context of Mr. Jobs.  It’s about the myth of innovation.  

The point of the article is that we celebrate great innovators such as Jobs and Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton; all great discoverers, inventors and innovators.  And, generally, we believe in that ah-hah moment of the innovator.  

Marty Haas /

If you Google duct tape, you’ll discover that there are eleven million, seven-hundred-thousand results.  For duct tape.  An industrial product.

Duct Tape was made first by Johnson and Johnson in nineteen-forty-two.  First use was to tape ammunition boxes during World War II because it was moisture-proof.   GIs also used it to repair guns, Jeeps, airplanes, almost everything.