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Features of the week

Record M&A activity, lessons on investing, thoughts on the commodity "super cycle", $80 oil, and more. That's what we have for you today in our "Features of the week". Read on!

1. Brent crude within sight of record. London's benchmark crude oil contract nears $78, "less than a dollar shy of its record $78.65" of last August.

2. Thoughts on the "commodity super cycle" and inflation. Steve Saville, via Safehaven.

3. How to Leave Iraq. Time Magazine calls for an "orderly withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq.

4. Mergers, mergers everywhere. With $2.7 trillion in deals done in the first half of 2007, worldwide M&A activity is set to hit a new record this year.

5. Jim Grant speaks with Bloomberg about the credit markets, subprime, and his investment outlook. An excellent interview. Hat tip to John at Controlled Greed for this one.

6. Miami's condo glut is pushing Florida to the brink of recession.

7. "There has never been a tougher time to be wealthy", says Bloomberg's Matthew Lynn.

8. The New York Times on our, "New Gilded Age".

9. Is your city/town in recession? Michael A. Nystrom documents local business conditions in, "Boston's Crumbling Economy".

10. As the U.S. national debt piles up, Mike Hewitt asks, "Who do we owe and how much?".

11. "Lesson 1 on the Stock Market", courtesy of Zapata George Blake.

12. Investors should stay away from covered calls, warns Motley Fool.

13. "Pitting Buffett versus Lampert". James Altucher wonders who is the better investor, Warren Buffett or Ed Lampert?

14. "The importance of having ideas". Another hit from James Altucher's FT column.

15. Warning signs for hazardous stocks, courtesy of Best Way To Invest.

16. An introduction to Income Statements and Balance Sheets, from Best Way To Invest.

17. "No wonder Boris Berezovsky has so many enemies", concludes Edward Lucas. Hat tip to Gideon Rachman's blog.

18. Robert Blumen discusses, "The Myth of the Platform Company".

That's it, gang. Have a nice weekend.

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