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10 Most-Read Stories of the Year: Apple, Bernanke, and Obamacare Among Top Obsessions


Tech stories dominate our list of most popular Minyanville stories of 2013, but the number-one most-read piece involves a brave man in Russia who successfully altered a credit card agreement.

As we move into 2014, here's a look back at the stories that caught our readers' attention over the past year. A few trends do emerge....

1. Russian Man Turns Tables on Bank, Changes Small Print in Credit Card Agreement, Then Sues
By Nick Shchetko, August 7, 2013

In Soviet Russia, banks pay customers' bills. Or, at least, one might.

An interesting case has surfaced in Voronezh, Russia, where a man is suing a bank for more than 24 million Russian rubles (about $727,000) in compensation over a handcrafted document that was signed and recognized by the bank.

Read the full story here.

2. How Does Obamacare Work? 11 Questions, 11 Unbiased Answers
By Diane Bullock, July 26, 2013

If you're still scratching your head about what the Affordable Care Act means or doesn't mean or does or doesn't do, you're far from alone. With so many cherry-picking pundits, politicians, and media sources perpetuating the spinsanity, it's hard to know how to get agenda-free information. Depending on where you get your news, opinions about Obamacare run the gamut from a step in the right direction to the savior of the American economy to the complete unraveling of democracy to the second coming of Karl Marx.

Read the full story here.

3. Move Over, McDonald's: The 5 Fastest-Growing, Publicly Traded Fast Food Restaurants
By Stephanie Taylor Christensen, August 21, 2013

When its second-quarter 2013 profit and earnings growth failed to meet Wall Street's expectations in July, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) said that it planned to open fewer new restaurants and carefully monitor its prices to account for weaker global demand. Does that mean that fast food as a whole is in trouble? Not at all.

Read the full story here.

4. The Smartest Man in Global Capital Markets on When the Music Will Stop
By Joe Digiammo, March 15, 2013

Back in July, my firm, Mischler Financial, featured "The Smartest Man in Global Capital Markets" for the first time. We were not able to identify him by name, nor can we now, but we can tell you that he is a respected international banker at one of the world's largest financial institutions. We can also tell you that he has been spot-on since the summer, both in time frame and levels.

Our access to the "The Smartest Man in Global Capital Markets" is through Ron Quigley, Mischler's Head of Fixed Income Syndicate and Primary Sales. Ron had a chance to speak to his source recently about where the markets are going now and over the next few months, looking into 2014. What follows is quoted directly from that conversation. Enjoy!

Read the full story here.

5. The Biggest iPhone 5S Feature Nobody's Talking About
By Mike Schuster, September 18, 2013

Last week, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled the two latest models in its iPhone line, the iPhone 5S and 5C, to a series of yawns and eyerolls. It being an interim "S" year for the mobile device, many analysts were correct in assuming that the new features would be evolutionary, not revolutionary, and far from earth-shattering. However, at a time when Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is stealing much of the thunder away from Apple with innovations like Google Glass and the hands-free contextual awareness of the Moto X device, many were looking toward Cupertino to deliver a feature that could completely upend the industry.

Well, it did. Apple just didn't say anything about it.

Read the full story here.

6. Why Apple Can't Be Forgiven for iOS 7
By Mike Schuster, June 12, 2013

"Can't innovate anymore, my ass!"

That was a remark made by senior vice president Phil Schiller during Apple's keynote presentation at this week's WWDC conference. It came immediately after a sneak peek at the future Mac Pro desktop computer, which boasts a volume one-eighth the size of the current design, one that has remained largely unchanged for seven years.

Read the full story here.

7. Bernanke's Misfired Shot Heard 'Round the World
By Vince Foster, June 24, 2013

When Chairman Bernanke took the podium on Wednesday [June 19] to deliver the FOMC's policy initiative, he probably didn't think he would blow up the most liquid and most important market in the world, but that's exactly what happened. I'm not talking about the Treasury market; I'm talking about the Eurodollar market. Eurodollars are USD 3-month LIBOR futures contracts and are used to price dollar-denominated credit across the global banking system.

Read the full story here.

8. Apple May Have Opened Pandora's Box With iOS 7
By Mike Schuster, June 26, 2013

Software developers who create apps for Apple's iOS platform have had a fairly easy go of things.

Thanks to Apple's highly regulated "walled garden," iOS apps have been built upon a very standard and very consistent set of design elements and guidelines that remained relatively unchanged since the platform's launch in 2007. Actionable items such as menu buttons and setting toggles maintained a uniformity that not only kept apps looking consistent but also familiarized users with a standard interface that spanned across Apple's entire mobile ecosystem. Unlike Android, Windows Phone (NASDAQ:MSFT), and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), which have each undergone at least one major overhaul of their respective operating systems in the years since their launch, iOS stayed the course and never instituted an interface change that forced developers to rethink and redesign their work.

That is, up until a few weeks ago.

Read the full story here.

9. Microsoft's Surface Pro 2: So Right, but So Wrong
By Michael Comeau, September 26, 2013

Microsoft's Surface tablets are so right.

And so wrong.

As an avowed member of the Apple army, I'm not supposed to say anything nice about the competition, but in some ways, I have to admit that Microsoft is way ahead of its time with its Surface line of tablets.

But will people care?

Read the full story here.

10. 12 Cognitive Biases That Endanger Investors
By Todd Harrison, January 17, 2013

I recently came across a terrific article that addressed 12 cognitive biases that prevent human beings from behaving rationally. As perception is reality in the financial markets, I thought it might be useful to address those issues through the lens of a trader.

Read the full story here.

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