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Steve Wisdom

Grossman's Law

I ran across an instance of Grossman's Law of Parking Spots this morning. The Law (as fleshed out by Dan in a prior post) states that you can tell the real beneficiary of an organization by examining the layout of parking spaces. For instance, a supermarket reserves the best spots for the customers; a hospital, for the doctors and nurses; Congress, for the honorable Congresspersons.

Today I went to get a calcium-heartscan at a radiology clinic. This is generally a non-covered medical expense (bringing to mind another Law, perhaps unnamed, that any medical procedure truly useful for maintaining your health isn't covered by HMOs). On checking in, I not only had to pay cash on the barrelhead, I had to sign a form acknowledging that I needed to pay out of pocket (I asked the clerk why Starbucks doesn't adopt this policy and require me to sign a form agreeing to pay $2 for the cup of coffee). So anyone at the clinic was there by choice, on his own nickel.

Anyway, the parking spots adjacent to the front door of the facility were all labeled "FOR PATIENTS ONLY", and the doctors, nurses and staff parked farther away. I couldn't believe my eyes. I've never beheld such a wonder at any medical facility. Amazing.


Steve Wisdom, a Pennsylvania-born Harvard graduate, has been Victor Niederhoffer's chief for more than 15 years. He also has been associated with Trout Trading, Societ Generale and Deephaven Fund.

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