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McClendon was smart, shrewd, visionary, and dogged—and he had trouble following rules. On occasion, when a gamble on a new gas field worked out, that helped him. But just as often, it hurt. His contrarian push into shale drilling revolutionized the global energy business and made him a billionaire. His disdain for convention attracted regulatory scrutiny, angered shareholders, and cost him his job running the company he built.

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Charlie Hales, the mayor of Portland, Ore., was running a zoning hearing last December when he missed a call on his cell from David Plouffe, the campaign mastermind behind Barack Obama’s ascent. Although Hales had never met him, Plouffe left a voice mail that had an air of charming familiarity, reminiscing about the 2008 rally when 75,000 Obama supporters thronged Portland’s waterfront. “Sure love your city,” Plouffe gushed. “I’m now working for Uber and would love to talk.”

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In the summer of 2007, Timothy S. Durham decided to throw himself a party for his 45th birthday. The CEO of a leveraged buyout shop in Indianapolis, Durham claimed to have made millions. He had also developed a penchant for the young, fun, and nubile, partying in Los Angeles and Miami and on his yacht in the Caribbean.

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Devin Leonard and Peter Coy talk to the former Fed chairman about Fed-speak, Ayn Rand, and why he quit playing the sax. And then there’s his legacy …

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Bill Clinton has a favorite Robert Rubin story. It’s 1999, and the Cabinet has gathered to discuss the business of the American people. Except no one can focus because the impeachment crisis is raging, and even the most veteran Washington power players are, for lack of a better term, freaking out.

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In the farming village of Jódar in southern Spain, 2,000 demonstrators march down the heat-buckled tarmac toward a police checkpoint at the edge of town where, they’ve just heard via megaphone, their hero has been detained.

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Jack Whittaker, a 55-year-old contractor from Scott Depot, W. Va., had worked his way up from backcountry poverty to build a water-and-sewer-pipe business that employed over 100 people.

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For 2012, the website 24/7 Wall St. determined that the worst company to work for in America was the Dish Network (DISH), the Englewood (Colo.)-based company that provides satellite TV to more than 14 million subscribers.

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Six men in their 30s and 40s have gathered in a trendy Reykjavík hotel bar. They’re trying to stave off the brutal mid-December cold while they wait for Death. He’s their friend and the leader of the 30,000 strong Legion of Death alliance. 

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Edir Macedo is 5-foot-6, slight, and 68 years old. He has deformed fingers, a sparse crown of graying hair, and more than 5 million followers, whose donations over the last 36 years have made him a billionaire.

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