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85 richest people own 46% of world's wealth

wealthResearch conducted by the British charity Oxfam has concluded that the combined wealth of the world's 85 richest people is equivalent to that owned by the bottom half of the world's population.

Separately, the report, titled "Working for the Few," claims that the richest 1% on the planet — more than the 85 people whose bounty is comparable to the collective wealth of the poorest half — are rich to the tune of $110 trillion. "The top 1% have 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population," the study says.

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Mystery in lower jobless rate: Why are adults dropping out of work force?

nemployedThe US unemployment rate fell significantly in December, but the big reason for the shift isn’t necessarily a comforting one for the economy.

The jobless rate dropped to 6.7 percent of the work force, the lowest level since October 2008. But the shift came only partly because unemployed people were finding work. Rather, the main driver of the change was people who exited the labor force by ceasing to look for work.

And this wasn’t a one-month anomaly. Rather, the trend of people opting out of the labor force has become a post-recession norm.

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Why SAC Capital's Steven Cohen Isn't in Jail

Steven CohenManhattan on the morning of Nov. 8. The legal team represented Steven Cohen’s hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, which had agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle criminal charges that it had engaged in securities fraud. The hearing was the culmination of a long legal struggle between SAC and the government that has dramatically altered what was once one of Wall Street’s most powerful firms.

Eight former or current SAC employees have been charged with insider trading. Six of them have pleaded guilty; one, Mathew Martoma, is due to go on trial on Jan. 6, and another, Michael Steinberg, was convicted on Dec. 18 of insider trading in two technology stocks. Separately, Cohen was charged in a civil case with failing to supervise his employees by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is seeking to bar him from the securities industry.

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Regulators seek to curb Wall Street trades with Volcker rule

Volcker ruleU.S. regulators toughened key sections of the Volcker rule's crackdown on Wall Street's risky trades on Tuesday as they finalized one of the harshest reforms after the credit meltdown.

The rule - named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who championed the reform - generally bans banks from proprietary trading, or speculative trading for their own profits.

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Nobel Prize economist warns of U.S. stock market bubble

Nobel Prizewinner warns of new bubbleAn American who won this year's Nobel Prize for economics believes sharp rises in equity and property prices could lead to a dangerous financial bubble and may end badly, he told a German magazine.

Robert Shiller, who won the esteemed award with two other Americans for research into market prices and asset bubbles, pinpointed the U.S. stock market and Brazilian property market as areas of concern.

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Billionaire wealth doubles since financial crisis

Billionaires doubleThe financial crisis didn't put a strain on everyone. The number of billionaires in the world has grown to more than 2,000 since 2009, and their aggregate net worth has more than doubled, reaching a record high.

The Wealth X and UBS Billionaire census report revealed a combined wealth of the world's billionaires to be $6.5 trillion, up from $3.1 trillion in 2009.

Eighty-eight percent of so-called "Ultra High Net Worth" individuals -- worth a minimum of $30 million each -- are men, and the average net worth is $139 million, up $1.8 million up from last year, according to the report.

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Apple creates 2,000 jobs shifting production back to US

Apple jobsNearly a decade after the closure of its last US factory, Apple is to create 2,000 manufacturing, engineering and construction jobs at a new plant in Arizona.

The California technology titan is beginning to shift production back to its home market, with the creation of its second US plant in under a year. It is understood the renewable energy powered facility in Mesa, Arizona, will produce laboratory grown sapphire crystals of the kind used in the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner.

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