Depends on how you define "profitable". But either way it's not the top one.
I couldn't find more recent data, but in 2008 pharmaceutical industry wasn't the most profitable, although it was high in various rankings, not so high in others (source CNN):
Profit as percentage of revenue
Network and Other Communications Equipment 28.8%
Mining, Crude-Oil ...
The question doesn't seem quite right: Farmers do better yes, but it's farmworkers that the quote is about.
Here is the relevant Fair Trade, Employment and Poverty Reduction (FTEPR) project reports:
Fairtrade, Employment and
Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia
In a straight comparison between workers at Fairtrade Certified ...
The story is well-cited by Wikipedia, and it appears to be true.
Wikipedia cites The Huffington Post, which in turn cites Robert Frock's book:
“I asked Fred [Smith] where the funds had come from, and he responded, ‘The meeting with the General Dynamics board was a bust and I knew we needed money for Monday, so I took a plane to Las Vegas and won $27,000.’...
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that the regulatory environment is very different across (otherwise) similar countries. For example, USA has thousands of registered banks, some of which go bust every year. Meanhile, Canada has a very limiated number of 'Schedule I' banks . So, the bankruptcy rates in Canada are much lower. Given that, ...
There's three parts to this question, which I'll address individually:
Can the administrator of a Bitcoin exchange arbitrarily change the exchange rate?
Certainly. The exchange software is just software, with all the potential for bugs, easter eggs, back doors, and so on that software is prone to. It would be trivial to add a "Set exchange rate" function ...
In "The Black Swan" Nassim Taleb writes on page 314 his evidence for the claim:
Banks losing all their past profits: Money center banks (around eight banks) had a capital base of around $22bm in 1982. They carried on their books around $54bn of loans to emerging markets, the bulk of which just four countries: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. The ...