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TEN years and a lifetime ago, Howard W. Lutnick was a prince of Wall Street. Forty years old, and already the head of a powerful financial house, he could peer down on rivals from his office on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center.

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How much time should Raj Rajaratnam spend in prison? Rajaratnam is the hedge fund founder who was convicted in May of trading on illegal stock tips — tips that produced fantastic results for his Galleon Group

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On the northern edge of Benton Harbor, just beyond the grim grid of housing projects, shuttered storefronts, boarded-up homes and junk-laden yards that dominate much of the town, sits an emerald oasis known as Harbor Shores. 

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When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president.

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When looking backward, you must always be prepared to make allowances: it is unfair to blame late-20th-century observers for their failure to foresee everything about the century to come. Long-term social forecasting is an inexact science even now, and in 1996 the founders of modern nonlinear socioeconomics were obscure graduate students. 

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Earlier this summer, I went for a swim at Barton Springs, a freshwater pool that lies at the geographical and spiritual center of Austin

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Ever since the financial crisis started, we’ve heard plenty from the 1 percent. We’ve heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants.

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One afternoon last August, at a hospital on the outskirts of Los Angeles, a former beauty queen named Emma Coronel gave birth to a pair of heiresses. The twins, who were delivered at 3:50 and 3:51, respectively, stand to inherit some share of a fortune that Forbes estimates is worth a billion dollars. 

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Last year, during his best three-month stretch, Jordan Golson sold about $750,000 worth of computers and gadgets at the Apple Store in Salem, N.H. It was a performance that might have called for a bottle of Champagne — if that were a luxury Mr. Golson could have afforded.

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Patsy Prater’s office looks like something between an executive’s and a teacher’s, her large desk crowded with neat piles of grant applications and daily logs but also with dishes of candy and other freebies for the young and old who pass through.

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