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The Barclays/Libor scandal "The rates in question - the London interbank offered rate, or Libor - are used to determine the borrowing rates for consumers and companies, including some $10 trillion in mortgages, student loans and credit cards. The rates are also linked to an estimated $700 trillion market in derivatives. If these rates are rigged, markets are rigged." (Also: The golden age of finance is dead)
Will civil war hit Afghanistan when the US leaves? "'Everyone is preparing,' he said. 'It will be bloodier and longer than before, street to street. This time, everyone has more guns, more to lose. It will be the same groups, the same commanders.'"
The fortunes of Xi Jinping's relatives "Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China’s next president, warned officials on a 2004 anti-graft conference call: 'Rein in your spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use power for personal gain.' As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment."
Angola's Chinese-built ghost town "Perched in an isolated spot some 30km outside Luanda is a brand-new development of 750 eight-storey apartment buildings, a dozen schools and more than 100 retail units... There are hardly any cars and even fewer people, just dozens of repetitive rows of multi-coloured apartment buildings."
The 'busy' trap "Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."