No News Really Is Good News

For newspapers, the day after Christmas is generally a very slow news day. The good news about this is that it means more room for feature articles. In today’s N.Y. Times, there are a bunch of good ones:

1. The slight uptick in homicides in New York City this year is partially due to “reclassified” homicides — deaths linked to events that occurred before this year. “For reasons that no one can quite explain,” writes Cara Buckley, “a record number of reclassified homicides were recorded in New York City this year. In all, 35 deaths in the city in 2006 have been linked to wounds incurred as long as 30 years ago. That is roughly three times the historical average, and 14 more than the year before.”

2. In an effort to curtail drunk driving, the Bennington (Vt.) Police Department has distributed 200 pint glasses to taverns and restaurants in town, each of them emblazoned with the Police Department’s logo. The idea is that if somebody is draining his third pint and notices the logo, he might be a tad less inclined to drive himself home. I am guessing this would work for a little while, until the novelty wears off (or until people steal all the glasses for souvenirs, which the article says is already happening). Kind of like the Scarecrow Effect, noted earlier here.

3. Nick Leeson, the onetime British rogue trader who brought down Barings Bank by losing $1.3 billion in bad trades, has found a new way to make a living: giving lectures to banks on the dangers of hiring a rogue trader. He reportedly earns ?5,000 per lecture. If he ever brings his act to America, he should probably be represented by The Pros and the Cons, Gary Zeune’s lecture agency that handles white-collar criminals just like Leeson.

4. With diabetes on the rise in the U.S., more and more diabetics are claiming harassment from employers who don’t understand their condition and/or won’t allow them to do the things necessary to control it. This could obviously to discrimination of various sorts, including the choice of employers to not hire diabetics in the first place. That’s what happened to disabled workers after the Americans with Disabilites Act.


therevmatty

Pretty sure the Leeson incident was 1.3 billion.

Stephen J. Dubner

@therevmatty:

Yes, thanks, now fixed.

prosa

I suspect that many of the "reclassified" homicides are judgment calls on the medical examiner's part. They could just as easily be attributed to unrelated causes.

lovernd

Actually, Mr Leeson has a full time day job for the last few years also.

He is General Manager of my home town soccer club, Galway United, based in the west of Ireland. He seems to be doing a good job: There was a recent controversy in Irish soccer when his team (Galway United) were promoted ahead of a more successful team because of a points system which included points for good financial management. Guess what? Galway United scored on good financial management!

therevmatty

Pretty sure the Leeson incident was 1.3 billion.

Stephen J. Dubner

@therevmatty:

Yes, thanks, now fixed.

prosa

I suspect that many of the "reclassified" homicides are judgment calls on the medical examiner's part. They could just as easily be attributed to unrelated causes.

lovernd

Actually, Mr Leeson has a full time day job for the last few years also.

He is General Manager of my home town soccer club, Galway United, based in the west of Ireland. He seems to be doing a good job: There was a recent controversy in Irish soccer when his team (Galway United) were promoted ahead of a more successful team because of a points system which included points for good financial management. Guess what? Galway United scored on good financial management!