The human ear can only simultaneously comprehend two, or at most three, distinct melodies. Even renowned classical composers generally don’t aspire to create pieces that exceed this number of tunes played concurrently – the sheer volume of melodic combinations renders it unthinkable to write coherent music. The single glorious exception in history is the final movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final symphony, popularly called the Jupiter symphony. In this stunning tour de force of musical composition, Mozart introduces five separate musical themes, then closes with a fugato counterpoint in which all five play simultaneously. The result is not discordant but stirring and sonorous, even as themes frolic about from strings to horns to woodwinds at a pace the human mind cannot possibly focus on or comprehend. Harvard musicologist Robert Levin told NPR about the symphony’s finale: “At the very end,…

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Today is the day. Even the apolitical among us know that if the two parties don’t agree today to something, anything – then the government will shut down at midnight. At least parts of it will. What comes next depends on whether you fall into the “essential” or “non-essential” category of government work. Services such as defense, homeland security, mail delivery, and even Congress will stay open for business, while national parks, and passport processing, among others, will grind to a halt as the funding tap runs dry. Without a spending resolution passed by Congress and signed into law, nearly 25% of the 3.3 million government workforce will be furloughed. As it turns out, when it comes to government spending, disagreement and indecision are all that is needed to shut it down. Whether you are for it or against it,…

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Go ahead, buy it. That little black dress is calling your name. You know you don’t have anything to wear to the upcoming gala event. You can totally justify this purchase! You already have the perfect matching shoes and handbag. All you need is that one last item, that stunning dress, which has singled you out amongst the shopping masses, and wants nothing more than to be owned by you! Besides, you just need it for this one night. Maybe you can buy it, wear it, and return it for a full refund, all within the same credit card billing cycle. If you do, you’ll probably make that sensational appearance that you imagined – but you’ll also certainly be committing a form of retail theft called “wardrobing.” Believe it or not, wardrobing and other forms of return fraud cost retailers…

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Key Swap Dealer/MSP Rule Delayed…Again Today the CFTC and SEC delayed the vote on the final rule for the entity definitions that had been scheduled for this Thursday, February 23rd. It’s possible that the rule could be voted on and approved on March 7th or 9th. We’ll update you all as soon as we hear more. Stay tuned. This is probably the most important rule to be released yet. [And if you can’t stay tuned, give us a call and we’ll give you give you a summary.] PRESS RELEASE The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. EST, on the following topics: Final Rule: Further Definition of “Swap Dealer,” “Security-Based Swap Dealer,” “Major Swap Participant” “Major Security-Based Swap Participant” and “Eligible Contract Participant;” Final Rule: Swap Dealer and Major…

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