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Financial News from The Atlantic

  • When Is a Piano Not a Piano? The Atlantic - 2 hours 47 minutes ago

    Over the years, the piano's basic hammer-on-string function remained the same but just about everything else about the instrument changed.

  • America's Boring Economy The Atlantic - 5 hours ago

    If, in December 2010, you had said, "you know, we created about 190,000 jobs per month in the last two months, and should probably create about that many jobs per month for the next four years, with slow, jagged improvement every few seasons," that sort of hot take might not have booked you any cable news gigs, but it would …

  • Earlier this week, Amazon announced that it would begin to sell and ship out customizable, 3-D-printed products—some of which are in truth just slightly customizable, and most of which are fairly costly. The appeal of what seems to be the initiative’s flagship product—a $30, made-to-order bobblehead that can take 10 days …

  • Who Wins in the Name Game? The Atlantic - 8 hours ago

    A 2004 study showed that all else being equal, employers selected candidates with names like Emily Walsh and Greg Baker for callbacks almost 50 percent more often than candidates with names like Lakisha Washington and Jamal Jones. Work experience was controlled and the candidates never met face-to-face with the employer …

  • Is Silicon Valley the New Wall Street? The Atlantic - 10 hours ago

    A few years ago, key leaders in the technology industry, led by Apple's Steve Jobs, colluded to hold down their employees' wages. The case unveiled a Silicon Valley that most Americans didn’t recognize—an ugly side to America's most innovative and, increasingly one of its most essential, industries.  It's certainly become …

  • Kapitalism, With Kim Kardashian The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 4:16 PM EDT

    What is it like to be Kim Kardashian? You probably have not asked such questions, partly because it would be extremely uncomfortable to walk any more than a few feet in Kim Kardashian's shoes, but also because Kim herself does not seem to be terribly interested in engendering empathy. There are generally two types of …

  • Could Silicon Valley Become the Next Camden? The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 1:23 PM EDT

    When I moved to Camden, New Jersey, I expected to find a city struggling with poverty, unemployment, and crime. Hand-cranked phonographs worked, but they sounded terrible.

  • What the Family Dollar Merger Says About American Capitalism The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 11:07 AM EDT

    Let’s start with the backdrop: Essentially, the lower-income Americans that are the target customers of dollar stores have gotten too poor to buy anything other than food (a vivid illustration of Piketty’s point about income inequality). Funds associated with the activist investors Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn have snapped …

  • The New York Times Is a Great Company in a Terrible Business The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 10:55 AM EDT

    This morning, the New York Times announced higher circulation revenue, huge gains in digital subscribers, and the continued erosion of its print advertising business. Meanwhile, advertising has ... well, just look. The components of the New York Times Company have changed over the last decade, so to keep the comparison …

  • How Fonts Reveal the Many New Users of the Internet The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 10:26 AM EDT

    If you mostly read English or other Romance or Germanic languages, you’ve been spoiled for choice with digital fonts. The Latin alphabet has long been the subject of intense typographical exploration, with thousands of fonts available in more styles and weights than most non-designers would ever think necessary. Readers …

  • The Only Job With an Industry Devoted to Helping People Quit The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 7:55 AM EDT

    I went to law school because I didn’t know what to do after college and I'm bad at math. Law school seemed like a safe, respectable path and gave me an easy answer to what I was going to do with my life.

  • Another Challenge of Parenting While Poor: Wealthy Judges The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    Josh Michtom is a Connecticut public defender who represents indigent parents and children. Following recent coverage in The Atlantic of parental rights and responsibilities as they related to Child Protective Services, he sent the following letter with his expert insights. I have read with interest your recent articles …

  • The President of the United States Does Not Control the Economy The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 3:57 PM EDT

    In a new update to a fantastically interesting paper, Princeton professors Alan Blinder and Mark Watson offer an answer that says, essentially, they have much less power than you think. Here's a quick look at GDP growth by president going back to the second Truman administration ...

  • An Important Reminder: Presidents Don't Control the Economy The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 3:57 PM EDT

    In a new update to a fantastically interesting paper, Princeton professors Alan Blinder and Mark Watson offer an answer that says, essentially, they have much less power than you think. Here's a quick look at GDP growth by president going back to the second Truman administration ...

  • This Is Awkward, but I Know How Much Your House Cost The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 3:39 PM EDT

    You could say, of course, that it should be Zillow doing the apologizing. Zillow and its sister sites use publicly available information. You could see what they do as some kind of violation of privacy, but you could also see it as Zillow doing what Mark Zuckerberg has claimed he wants to do with Facebook on a broad cultural …

  • In 1858, People Said the Telegraph Was 'Too Fast for the Truth' The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 12:48 PM EDT

    Perusing The New York Times archives a few days ago, I stumbled upon a delightful news nugget  from 1858 about the "benefits and evils" of the transatlantic telegraph—delightful, because it  reads ...

  • Why Are There So Few Ramadan Marketing Campaigns? The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 11:11 AM EDT

    With a drought of federal holidays until Labor Day and many workers on vacation, retail sales tend to slow down during this stretch of the summer, when seasonal promotions are rare. In July, retailers might halfheartedly put up too-early back-to-school sales or uninventive mid-summer specials. Ramadan, a month-long holiday …

  • Happy Workers, Richer Companies? The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 10:53 AM EDT

    You can hear it in the game rooms of Google's Chelsea office, smell it from the ice cream shops on Facebook's Menlo Park campus, and see it with yoga mats aligned on the rooftop of OpenDNS: We are living in an Age of Peak Perk. (Some of us, anyway). In a 2012 paper, Wharton's Alex Edmans showed that, controlling for factors …

  • The Cats of the World, Mapped The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 10:40 AM EDT

    There are a lot of cats in the world, and there are a lot of cats on the Internet. Did you ever think, for example, that someone would take the time to locate the many cats of the world on a digital map? Owen Mundy, an artist, designer, and programmer who teaches at Florida State University, recently published "I Know …

  • 35,000 Lawsuits Against Soldiers Struggling to Pay Their Bills The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 7:45 AM EDT

    These are the conclusions of a new report jointly published by ProPublica and The Washington Post that looks at the financial "innovation" of USA Discounters and two other companies, Freedom Furniture and Electronics and Military Credit Services, that sell goods to service members on credit and then, if they fall behind, …

  • How to Swindle Soldiers The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 7:45 AM EDT

    These are the conclusions of a new report jointly published by ProPublica and The Washington Post that looks at the financial "innovation" of USA Discounters and two other companies, Freedom Furniture and Electronics and Military Credit Services, that sell goods to service members on credit and then, if they fall behind, …

  • California High-Speed Rail: Some Views From the Valley The Atlantic - Mon, Jul 28, 2014 6:05 AM EDT

    For those joining us late: California's controversial High-Speed Rail project is worth paying attention to, no matter where you live. While everyone moans about America's decaying infrastructure, this is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project anywhere in the country. Its outcome has a bearing on Jerry …

  • How Secret Societies Stay Hidden On the Internet The Atlantic - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 7:01 AM EDT

    It all started with a Facebook message from a dead guy. His name was Ernest Howard Crosby and his profile picture showed an old-time portrait of a man in a dapper vest sporting a bushy Civil War beard. The message came on behalf of New York University’s Eucleian Society, a literary club formed in 1832 around the same …

  • The Growing Market for Getting Paid to Wait in Line The Atlantic - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 2:50 PM EDT

    SOLD Inc., whose name is an acronym for “Same Ole Line Dudes,” will, at a cost of $25 for the first hour and $10 for each subsequent 30-minute period, wait in line for you. Business Insider profiled the company’s founder, Robert Samuel, earlier this week. Samuel, who can bring in up to $1,000 per week, started the firm …

  • The Cold World The Atlantic - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 1:21 PM EDT

    The same energy-intensive, fossil-fuel burning industrial technologies that contribute to climate change also allow humans to refrigerate an ever-greater volume of the Earth. Writer Nicola Twilley calls this "network of artificially chilled warehouses, cabinets, and reefer fleets" the artificial cryosphere, and her work …

  • The City That's the Center of China's Massive Frozen-Food Industry The Atlantic - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 1:21 PM EDT

    The same energy-intensive, fossil-fuel burning industrial technologies that contribute to climate change also allow humans to refrigerate an ever-greater volume of the Earth. Writer Nicola Twilley calls this "network of artificially chilled warehouses, cabinets, and reefer fleets" the artificial cryosphere, and her work …

  • Interesting News on the Finger-Shoe Front The Atlantic - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 11:09 AM EDT

    I am a fan of Vibram Five Fingers running shoes, as I have made clear every so often. I was wearing my trusty Vibrams when I passed the "Haynesworth Test" four years ago. I've worn them as I ...

  • How to Get a Job in the '60s: Have Your Husband Incorporate You The Atlantic - Fri, Jul 25, 2014 7:55 AM EDT

    Susan Elliott grew up in St. Louis in the middle of the 20th century. In the '50s she headed off to Smith College, and she graduated in 1958.

  • The Secret to That Potato-Salad Kickstarter Campaign's Success The Atlantic - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 2:47 PM EDT

    The most common account is that the guy who just wanted to make potato salad—"Basically I'm just making potato salad. I was unable to scrape the endless data on social media, so I looked at a small sample of comments that appeared on a Facebook share of when the campaign had hit $23,000.

  • Why the NSA Keeps Tracking People Even After They're Dead The Atlantic - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 9:57 AM EDT

    So broad are their criteria that an individual is able to be placed onto a watch list—and kept there—even if he or she is acquitted of a terrorism-related crime. The rationale for adding someone to a watch list has gone from broad and opaque under the Bush administration to even more expansive under the Obama administration, …

  • Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face The Atlantic - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 9:35 AM EDT

    The patterns in which I applied the paint were important: To the pixel-calculating machinations of facial recognition algorithms, they transformed my face into a mess of unremarkable pixels. CV dazzle was developed by the artist, designer, and entrepreneur, Adam Harvey, who created the patterns as a student at NYU’s Interactive …

  • Being Powerful Distorts People's Perception of Time The Atlantic - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 7:53 AM EDT

    She quoted Sendhil Mullainathan, an economist and the author the book Scarcity: “The biggest mistake we make about scarcity is we view it as a physical phenomenon. A new study out of the University of California at Berkeley examined how the perception of time can be distorted by being in a position of power. With the help …

  • Facebook Is Eating Mobile The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 5:35 PM EDT

    On May 7, 2012, 11 days before Facebook suffered the biggest tech IPO flop in modern history, the company filed an amendment to its prospectus, on pages 14, 17, and 57, that amounted to a blaring red light for investors.   We believe this trend is driven in part by increased usage of Facebook on mobile devices where we …

  • Where Restaurant Reservations Come From The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 3:01 PM EDT

    Here's a crucial piece of social infrastructure that almost no one considers: the restaurant reservation. "Make reservation by phone for the greatest dinner of your life" (California Digital Newspaper Collection)

  • Why Are Wages for Young College Grads So Terrible? The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 1:40 PM EDT

    In fact, the incomes of recent college grads are growing so glacially that they make the rest of the country look like we're discovering $100 bills in our coat jackets every morning. The share of recent college grads who are under-employed is higher than normal, but it's not that much higher than the long-term average. …

  • Stop Calling Everything 'Breaking News,' Please (Part 5,264) The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 11:30 AM EDT

    This morning, the Associated Press's Twitter account—an account followed by more than 3.5 million people, and a de facto source for news on the Internet—sent out the following tweet:  BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven. — The Associated Press (@AP) July …

  • Smart Things in a Not-Smart World The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 11:15 AM EDT

    Add modern technology to extend the human empire to the ends of the Earth, and noise goes everywhere. Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist, has traveled the world recording soundscapes, and he can say, pretty definitively, that there are only 12 places in the United States where you can go more than 15 minutes without …

  • Why Do Other Rich Nations Spend So Much Less on Healthcare? The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 9:57 AM EDT

    Despite the news last week that America's healthcare spending will not be rising at the sky-high rate that was once predicted, the fact remains that the U.S. far outspends its peer nations when it comes to healthcare costs per capita. Why does the United States spend so much more? For example, a much larger proportion …

  • What a $120,000 TV Looks Like The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 8:13 AM EDT

    Inches:  105. Pixels: 11 million. Aspect ratio: 29 to 1. U.S. dollars: $119,999. Meet the Samsung 05U9500 , a television that costs roughly the same  as a BMW . Or a two-bedroom house (in many places). ...

  • It's that morning people are more ethical in the morning, but evening people are more ethical in the evening,” says Sunita Sah, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor of business ethics at Georgetown University. For example, when Daylight Savings Time goes into effect and people lose an hour of sleep, their …

  • How to Invent a Person Online The Atlantic - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 6:31 AM EDT

    The ID belonged to a 28-year-old man called Aaron Brown—6 feet tall and 160 pounds with a round face, scruffy brown hair, a thin beard, and green eyes.

  • Adventures With Technology: Hide and Track The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 6:09 PM EDT

    We learned about the lost levels of Sonic the Hedgehog. The new theme is Hide and Track, stories about slipping away from data, or taking control of it.

  • California High-Speed Rail: 10 Readers With 10 Views The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 6:07 PM EDT

    As a reminder: California's plan to build a north-south High-Speed Rail (HSR) system is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project now being contemplated anywhere in the United States. Jerry Brown, now running for an unprecedented fourth term as governor, has stuck with HSR as his signature/legacy project. …

  • The Particular Trauma of Working for an Airline During a Disaster The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 2:11 PM EDT

    For flight attendants, whose job it is to take to the skies several times a week or even multiple times a day, the aftermath of a tragedy like last week's crash in Ukraine can be excruciating. Lating says that the lifetime prevalence rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is around 10 percent, though that can vary …

  • The Trauma of Working for an Airline During a Disaster The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 2:11 PM EDT

    For flight attendants, whose job it is to take to the skies several times a week or even multiple times a day, the aftermath of a tragedy like last week's crash in Ukraine can be excruciating. Lating says that the lifetime prevalence rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is around 10 percent, though that can vary …

  • The point of my book China Airborne was that just about everything involving China's potential, and its challenges, could be seen in its ambition to become an all-fronts aerospace power. They want Air China and China Eastern and China Southern to be prominent international carriers. Across the country you can find the …

  • The point of my book China Airborne was that just about everything involving China's potential, and its challenges, could be seen in its ambition to become an all-fronts aerospace power. They want Air China and China Eastern and China Southern to be prominent international carriers. Across the country you can find the …

  • A three-judge panel on a federal appeals court ruled today that the government cannot give Obamacare subsidies to people who live in states that did not set up their own, state-based health insurance exchanges.  The ruling, from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is a major blow to the Affordable Care Act, which sought …

  • Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing of the Middle-Class Clergy The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM EDT

    For someone seeking a full-time job as a church pastor, Justin Barringer would seem to have the perfect résumé. So he splits his time among three jobs, working as a freelance editor, an employee at a nonprofit for the homeless, and a part-time assistant pastor at a United Methodist Church. “I am not mad at the church,” …

  • Computer Engineering: A Fine Day Job for a Poet The Atlantic - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 7:01 AM EDT

    In approximately three months, her second poetry collection, Zion (winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition in 2013), will be published by Southern Illinois University Press. She’s managed to accomplish all of this while also serving as a senior poetry editor of Tupelo Quarterly—and while working as a Senior Integration …

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