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Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): 8 Fascinating Reads

Happy Friday! There are more good news articles, commentaries, and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating ones I read this week.

Business Insider pulled a list of quotes from Back Swan author Nassim Taleb’s Facebook page. Here are a few:

Journalists cannot grasp that what is interesting is not necessarily important; most cannot even grasp that what is sensational is not necessarily interesting.

We often benefit from harm done to us by others; almost never from self-inflicted injuries.

The artificial gives us hangovers, the natural inverse-hangovers.

The only problem with the last laugh is that the winner has to laugh alone.

Intelligence without imagination: a deadly combination.

When someone writes “I dislike you but I agree with you,” I read “I dislike you because I agree with you.”

Leg up
Matt Bruening cites data from the Pew Economic Mobility study:

So, you are 2.5 times more likely to be a rich adult if you were born rich and never bothered to go to college than if you were born poor and, against all odds, went to college and graduated. The disparity in the outcomes of rich and poor kids persists, not only when you control for college attainment but even when you compare non-degreed rich kids to degreed poor kids!

Losing interest
CNBC viewers are fleeing, writes ValueWalk:

Many of CNBC’s leading programs have seen a downward spiral in terms of ratings. The quarterly data show that Mad Money, Squawk on the Street, and the Kudlow Report have posted their worst rated quarter ever

CNBC continues to lose ratings. The latest Nielsen Media Research statistics show that the business network’s total number of quarterly viewers fell to their lowest level since the second quarter of 2005. In the all-important age group of 25-54, CNBC witnessed its lowest level quarter since 1994. That’s not an impressive track record for a network that’s “First in Business Worldwide.”

Alfred Feld has worked at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) for 80 years, writes The Wall Street Journal:

One day into his job at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), Alfred Feld found his name on a list of employees the firm had targeted for layoffs.

Then fate, and a supportive boss, intervened.

Eighty years later, Mr. Feld is still at it at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS).

“I came so close to being fired after one day,” Mr. Feld, 98 years old, said Wednesday. “I’m glad that didn’t happen.

Patent trolls
The New York Times writes a profile of a patent troll:

[The] number of patent infringement suits has more than doubled in recent years, to 4,731 cases in 2012 from 2,304 in 2009, according to that RPX report. The cost to businesses, which pass along the expense to consumers, is immense.One study found that United States companies — most of them small or medium-sized — spent $29 billion in 2011 on patent assertion cases.

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