The Week’s Best Business Longreads: Business Beast’s Picks for Dec. 9, 2012

When tax breaks backfire, a reclusive cobalt-owning billionaire and more great business stories. By Matthew Zeitlin.

As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price Louise Story, The New York Times The epic, three-part series looking at how governments try to create jobs and end up holding the bill.

Gertler Earns Billions as Mine Deals Fail to Enrich Congo Franz Wild, Michael J. Kavanagh, and Jonathan Ferziger, Bloomberg Markets Magazine The story of the reclusive, Israeli billionaire who owns a big chunk of the world’s cobalt supply–in the war-torn and corrupt Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Trail to a Hedge Fund, From a Cluster of Cases Petter Lattman, The New York Times “As the authorities painstakingly pieced together dozens of cases across multiple, overlapping conspiracies, again and again one name kept popping up: Mr. Cohen’s SAC.” The inside story of the government’s pursuit of one of the most successful–and infamous--hedge funders.

Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks Josh Tyrangiel, Bloomberg BusinessweekThe big news from Cook’s chat with Bloomberg Businessweek’s Josh Tyrangiel was that some Mac manufacturing will return to the U.S., but Cook’s lengthiest interview since taking over for Steve Jobs has so much more.

Thomson Reuters Tie-Up Pressures Canadian Scion Alistair MacDonald, Anupreeta Das, and Russell Adams, Wall Street Journal The management struggle at the heart of Canada’s wealthiest family and the company they run.

The Crazy Keyboards of YesteryearSara Goldsmith, SlateAn illustrated tour of a land before QWERTY.