So, I’d like to see a story exploring the pros and cons of high-speed, computerized trading. I don’t know enough to be against it, but I am wondering what purpose it serves other than allowing lots of people to make and lose money at a high-tech casino. Doesn’t it create all kinds of undesirable market volatility? Do the inevitable tech glitches mean risks to the markets and investors that would otherwise be avoided?

Should high-speed computerized trading be banned? What would be the downside?

Would a ban or limit even be possible?

What form would a ban take? How would high-speed trading be defined? Suppose we required that no stock or other market position could be bought and sold within, say, a half hour? Has something like that ever been considered?

Maybe it’s a terrible idea. But I wish someone would tell us why.

3. How rich is Ringo?

I’m a sucker for stories about how rich celebrities handle their money. So watching Ringo Starr perform with Paul McCartney for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show made me wonder if he’s still as rich as he obviously was when the band’s songs dominated the charts.

McCartney clearly has continued to have a prosperous career through the five decades since the Sullivan show. But Starr, while probably the world’s richest drummer, has not seemed to have thrived nearly as much. It’s never been clear to me if the Beatles’ drummer owned the same share of the rights to their music.

So, it would be fun to see a story on how Starr’s fortune has held up.


Steven Brill , the author of Class Warfare: Inside the Fight To Fix America’s Schools, has written for magazines including New York, The New Yorker, Time, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine. He founded and ran Court TV, The American Lawyer magazine, ten regional legal newspapers, and Brill's Content magazine. He also teaches journalism at Yale, where he founded the Yale Journalism Initiative.