Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Feb 19, 2010

Happy Friday. This morning, check out the tax rate for the top 400 US taxpayers. Plus, people are ashamed of their portraits of Alan Greenspan. And who can solve the rubik’s cube faster? Man or machine?

A look at the tax returns of the top 400 taxpayers (WSJ)

The 400 best-off taxpayers paid an average tax rate of 16.6%, lower than in any year since the IRS began making the reports in 1992.

To make the top 400, a taxpayer had to have income of more than $138.8 million. As a group, the top 400 reported $137.9 billion in income, and paid $22.9 billion in federal income taxes.

Obama creates commission on national debt reduction (PBS NewsHour) An interview with the heads of the commission:

Missing HSA money raises oversight questions (NPR)

Thousands of people are learning that money they squirreled away in health savings accounts is gone. Many thought the money was sitting safely in banks. But now it appears it was stolen.

Federal investigators have released few details, but all the cases have one thing in common: a Chicago company called Canopy Financial.

Portraits of Alan Greenspan are being hidden under beds and in closets (Wall Street Journal)

In the offices of the Hennessee Group hang two oil paintings and two prints, each portraying the bespectacled visage of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

“What I should do is make them into a dart board,” says Charles Gradante, who with his wife, Lee Hennessee, runs the Fifth Avenue firm that advises investors in hedge funds. “All I see when I look at these paintings are two market crashes, a bear market, and the current economic crisis.”

Adventures in Airport Security Theater (Infectious Greed) If you don’t think airport security has gotten ridiculous, read this.

Robots vs humans in solving the rubik’s cube (Singularity Hub) This robot is made entirely out of Legos(!) and can solve the rubik’s cube in about 10 seconds:

But watch how fast this human solves the puzzle:

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