8 Fascinating Reads

Happy Friday! There are more good articles on the web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating pieces I read this week.

You've been fooled
Millions will line up today in anticipation of Black Friday megasaving deals. They're fooling themselves, writes BusinessWeek

Among the 15 largest U.S. retailers, operating margins in the holiday quarter last year were 11 percent, compared with 9 percent in the preceding nine months. Amid the year-end shopping frenzy, these companies padded their bottom lines, on average, by roughly one-quarter.

We've been here before
Bitcoin, the digital currency, has a predecessor. It didn't end well, writesThe Financial Times

The founder of e-gold, an oncologist and economic history buff in Florida called Douglas Jackson, had hoped his gold-backed electronic currency would become a new base money to rival flawed fiat currencies.

Instead, it became a tool for hackers and drug dealers. The FBI and Secret Service raided his offices in December 2005, and he wound up spending three years on probation, including six months under house arrest, after pleading guilty to running an unlicensed money transmitter business and aiding money laundering.

Hard times
The unemployed have a much higher rate of substance abuse than the employed, writes CNNMoney: 

About 1 in 6 unemployed workers are addicted to alcohol or drugs -- almost twice the rate for full-time workers, according to the government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The survey shows that 17% of unemployed workers had a substance abuse disorder last year, whereas 9% of full-time workers did so. 

The only real get-rich quick scheme
As analyst Eddy Elfenbein tweets: 

The article 8 Fascinating Reads originally appeared on Fool.com.

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