Insider Trading

Andrew Ross Sorkin has a startling and rather depressing article in this morning’s New York Times, discussing the disturbing prevalence of insider trading. This prevalence was revealed in a study by three professors, Menachem Brenner and Marti G. Subrahmanyam at N.Y.U. and Patrick Augustin at McGill. The comments on the article make interesting reading: Almost to a person (actually to a man), they say: “What’s new? Everyone knows the stock market is crooked.” And that’s even more depressing.

Painkillers

I am an avid reader of New Scientist and was caught by their recent article on the problems with paracetamol known to us Americans as acetaminophen or more commonly by its brand name Tylenol. The article is entitled What’s wrong with the world’s favorite painkiller?. The answer it turns out is a lot! Apparently in the United States some 80,000 people each year visit emergency rooms because of poisoning from “Tylenol” and some 16,500 people with arthritis die each year from this supposed painkiller and its related forms. Taken over a period of time it can apparently cause internal bleeding and severe liver problems. To make matters worse research studies show that it is only marginally better than a placebo. Who knew?!