- On Monday morning (2:10pm GMT Sunday) there was a bombing at a re-election rally for Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian President, in Gombe, Nigeria. “Mr Jonathan is standing for re-election on 14 February against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in the run-up to the contest. At least one person was killed and 18 others were wounded in the blast, police and hospital sources said.” – BBC
- On Wednesday, “Anthem Inc., the country’s second-biggest health insurer, said hackers broke into a database containing personal information for about 80 million of its customers and employees in what is likely to be the largest data breach disclosed by a health-care company.” – WSJ
- This past Wednesday was national signing day for high school football players across the country. Sport’s Illustrated’s Martin Rickman had an interesting piece on Tuesday regarding the role of the fax machine in the whole process – SI
- Standard and Poor’s Rating Service has settled a 2009 and 2013 lawsuit to resolve litigation related to the deceptive ratings of mortgage bond leading up to the 2008 financial meltdown. The ratings firm will collectively pay $1.5 B to the Department of Justice, 19 states, the District of Columbia and CALPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), the nation’s largest pension fund. “While S&P didn’t admit to breaking laws, it did acknowledge that its ratings were tainted by concerns that downgrades would hurt its relationship with issuers” –WSJ
- Based on a new McKinsey Report, “Debt and (not much) deleveraging” total debt worldwide has risen to $57 trillion. “The ratio of total debt to economic output has declined in only a handful of smaller countries, like Romania, Saudi Arabia and Israel. In all of the world’s economic powerhouses, total debt has risen.” – The Upshot
BY THE NUMBERS:
On average, this is the number of times in an hour a tip-over incident occurs in the US. That translates into 38,000 emergency room trips annually according to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and detailed in Philly.com article published Feb. 1. Tip-overs recently hit the national media with Nationwide’s “Make Safe Happen” campaign and commercial that aired in last Sunday’s Super Bowl.
That’s the amount one would need to earn to be in the top 1% in Connecticut. In comparison, New Mexico barely beats out West Virginia to have the lowest 1% of statewide earners at $241K. –Real Time Economics, WSJ
2015 has already been a year of big news, so it was no surprised that the last week in January was chock-full of stuff to talk about. But you’re busy, I know. So here’s a round-up of the stuff you should have been reading when you were too busy to be reading. Enjoy the rest of your weekend:
- As anti-Semitic feelings make headlines more and more across Europe, the world paused this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.”We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future,” Roman Kent, born in 1929, told a memorial gathering at the death camp’s site in Poland.
- The WSJ reported Wednesday that 2014 was a record year for donations to colleges and universities. Led by Harvard’s $1.16B in gifts, campuses across the country “received a record $37.5B in donations last year”.
WSJ Graphic, source: Council for Aid to Education
- After US markets closed on Tuesday, Apple reported the largest quarterly profit for a corporation ever at $18B. Their 74.5 million iPhone units sold in FY Q1 equates to 30,000 iphones sold every hour between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of last year.
- On Monday, we saw the first licensed U.S bitcoin exchange open for operation in 24 states including New York and California. “Coinbase counts about 2.2 million consumer wallets and nearly 40,000 merchants that use its services.” Backers include the NYSE, Vikram Pandit, former Citigroup CEO and Thomson Reuters former CEO Tom Glocer.
- “Treatise on Tolerance.” a 250 year old Voltaire book has been surging to the top of the bestseller list in France weeks after the attacks by extremists. “The “Treatise on Tolerance” is a cry against religious fanaticism and stemmed from Voltaire’s conviction that religious differences were at the heart of world strife,” writes the New York Times.
Barnes and Noble’s Voltaire Classics copy
- According to a Friday report by Box Office Mojo, “Through 15 days in wide release, American Sniper has earned $227.1 million. That ranks ninth among 2014 releases; by the end of the weekend, it will move up to sixth place ahead of Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
- It’s the biggest sporting event of the year this weekend, as you undoubtedly know, unless you live under a very large rock. The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will face off today in the 49th SuperBowl. But how close did the other 30 teams in the NFL come to making it to the big game? This past week Pro Football Focus determined how many above-average players stood between your team and contending for this year’s Super Bowl.
- Meanwhile, most of the weeks sports coverage was focused on “Deflate-gate” which former Rams defensive end Chris Long lent his perspective on in this Player’s Tribune article.
- After a series of posts, a New York City photo-blogger has crowd-funded more than a million dollars for programming at an under-served school in Brooklyn. “Despite the immense challenge of running a school in such a tough neighborhood, Nadia Lopez works incredibly hard to make sure that her students not only stay in school and succeed academically, but also believe in themselves.”
Clickbait Article of the Week
- The USA Today posted an article on a new study that says men who take lots of selfies aren’t just annoying, but they might also be psycopaths. The article was posted with the headline, “Men who take selfies may be psychopaths.” According to the new study led by Ohio State University Professor Jesse Fox, men who post a lot of selfies to the web tend to exhibit higher levels of narcissism and psychopathy but the subjects “were still all within the range of normal”. Swipe left, anyone?