Defending regulators' deliberately light hand on electronic commerce, Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers pointed to hilariously mistaken predictions about today's common technologies.

The inventors of the computer thought worldwide demand would be 10 machines, Mr. Summers noted recently. The originators of the photocopier envisioned libraries as their principal customers, assuming offices would never give up carbon paper.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.