Bad Banks

Eliot Spitzer wonders whether investment banks do anything that helps America anymore—and, as such, whether these banks deserved the government bailouts they received.

Eliot Spitzer wonders whether investment banks do anything that helps America anymore—and, as such, whether they deserved the government bailouts they received. He gives a list of questions that the Senate and the SEC should consider, writing that "we need to get a real measure of the social value of investment banking activity and to determine whether they are fulfilling the essential capital formation and liquidity needs of the markets. We taxpayers have given them billions upon billions upon billions based on the theory that they perform economically useful activities. They need to prove that they do."

Develop mindfulness to boost your creative intelligence

Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

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Big Think Edge
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  • Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
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A new theory explains Jupiter’s perplexing origin

A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
  • Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
  • Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
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Vikings unwittingly made their swords stronger by trying to imbue them with spirits

They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.

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Culture & Religion
  • Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
  • To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
  • They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
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The secondary ticketing market is worth $15 billion. How long will fans have to pay?

Artists and fans are the big losers as bot-powered scalpers make a killing.

Bruce Springsteen performs on stage at The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation present the 12th Annual Stand Up For Heroes event at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Bob Woodruff Foundation)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The secondary ticketing market is predicted to grow to $15.19 billion next year.
  • Artists, athletes, management, and venues see none of this revenue—it all goes to scalpers and ticketing agencies.
  • Some companies are likely in breach of anti-trust laws, but no one seems to be regulating the industry.
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