According to the Washington Post, an effort that animal rescuers began more than a decade ago to buy dogs for $5 or $10 apiece from commercial breeders has become a nationwide shadow market that today sees some rescuers, fueled by Internet fundraising, paying breeders $5,000 or more for a single dog.
1. Why do they do it?
2. How much was spent since 2009 at government-regulated auctions?
3. Why did one golden retriever rescue group turn to the auctions?
4. What are the trends they quote?
Kavin, K. (2018). Dog rescuers, flush with donations, buy animals from the breeders they scorn. Washington Post, April 13 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/investigations/dog-auction-rescue-groups-donations/?utm_term=.43bc08cb6139)
This New York Times article exposes a growing industry that makes money by coaxing women into having surgery — sometimes unnecessarily — so that they are more lucrative plaintiffs in lawsuits against medical device manufacturers.
1. What is the role of lawyers in this industry?
2. What is the role of marketers in this industry?
3. What is the role of loans in this industry?
4. Are all plaintiffs are equal in this industry? Why or why not?
Goldstein, M. and J. Silver-Greenburg. 2018. How Profiteers Lure Women Into Often-Unneeded Surgery. The New York Times, April 14 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/14/business/vaginal-mesh-surgery-lawsuits-financing.html)
According to the New York Times, Trump administration officials are seeking ways to lower drug costs but target pharmaceutical companies that refuse to provide samples of their products to generic drug companies, making it impossible to create inexpensive generic copies of a brand-name medicine.
1. Argue both sides of this issue as a good thing or a bad thing.
2. Why is the Federal Trade Commission investigating this and what is the main thing that they are worried about?
3. What does the Bill by Leahy and Lee propose?
4. Would the Bill be a boon to trial lawyers? Explain.
5. Who would be the winner in this Bill situation?
Pear, R. (2018). Drug Company ‘Shenanigans’ to Block Generics Come Under Federal Scrutiny. The New York Times, April 14, 2018 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/14/us/politics/drug-companies-generic.html)
According to the Washington Post, researchers at Temple University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab found that 36 percent of students at 66 surveyed colleges and universities do not get enough to eat, and a similar number lack a secure place to live.
1. What do the researchers blame the problem on?
2. What does low food security mean?
3. How widespread is this and what are some colleges doing to alleviate or ease the problem?
Dewey, C. (2018). The hidden crisis on college campuses: Many students don’t have enough to eat. Washington Post, April 3 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/03/the-hidden-crisis-on-college-campuses-36-percent-of-students-dont-have-enough-to-eat/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.090b66d0e9de)
Raising a puppy can be hard work. It turns out that some companies sympathise with this transition and now offer what’s known as “pawternity leave.” In fact, research from Petplan found that 5% of owners have been offered paid leave from their job to adjust to their pet owning duties.
1. How much time off does the company MarsPetcare offer and what are other pet related benefits?
2. What are the criteria at Mparticle?
3. What was the most interesting issue in this article?
4. How would you account for this employee benefit in terms of the journal entry made?
Dodgson, M. (2018). Four companies that give staff paid time off when they get a puppy. Business Insider, March 23 (Retrievable online at http://www.businessinsider.com/companies-give-employees-pawternity-leave-2017-3).
Rapper DMX’s attorney played the rapper’s song “Slippin'” during his sentencing on Wednesday to help the musician express his struggles, but it was not enough to convince a judge to let the rapper off the hook. Instead DMX got 1 year in prison for tax fraud.
1. According to court records, how long did DMX engage in tax fraud?
2. What did the judge say about DMX?
3. How much did the rapper apparently underpay and how many children does he have and need to support?
Newmeister, L. (2018). DMX sentenced to a year in prison for tax fraud, plays song in court. CBS News, March 29 (Retrievable online at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dmx-sentenced-to-year-in-prison-for-tax-fraud-plays-song-in-court/)
Monica Vaca, the Associate Director of the Division of Consumer Response and Operations at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released the results from last year regarding the top frauds of 2017. Topping the list of reported frauds are the imposter scams, with nearly 350,000 reported.
1. How many people fell for someone pretending to be a loved one in trouble, a government official, tech support, or someone else who’s not who they say they are?
2. How much money was lost to imposter scams?
3. Which type of fraud composed 23% of the fraud reports to the FTC last year?
4. What were the top fraud report states per 100,000 population? Why do you think those states are targeted?
5. What was the most interesting statistic for you and why?
Vaca, M. (2018). The Top Frauds of 2017. The FTC, March 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/03/top-frauds-2017).
Sheriff Mike Williams of Jacksonville, Florida, announced Tuesday the results of a multi-agency, undercover investigation into the exchange of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for cash and, in at least one case, cocaine.
1. From 2012 to 2017, how many food stamp transactions were fraudulent in Jacksonville and what was the dollar amount?
2. In most cases, what percentage did food-stamp recipients receive for each dollar of SNAP used?
3. What was the name of the undercover operation in Jacksonville?
4. How were those individuals with SNAP/EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards complicit in the fraud?
5. What was the most interesting statistic in the article to you and why?
Parenteau, C. (2018). 198 ensnared in Jacksonville food stamp fraud totaling $3.7M. Jacksonville Channel 4 www.news4jax.com, March 16 (Retrievable online at https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/jacksonville/jacksonville-busts-organized-fraud-ring)
According to Bloomberg, U.S. central bankers seem to feel that when it comes to employment, they’ve done about as much as they can. As a result, the Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Report (released last week) concluded that the labor market was “at or a little beyond full employment.”
1. If you boil the whole article down to one word, what would it be?
2. What is happening with unemployment according to the article?
3. What has been a critical development in recent years regarding labor force participation and how does it typically trend?
4. What has a recent study from the Kansas City Fed argue?
Dutta, N. (2018) The Fed May Have Jumped the Gun on Full Employment. Bloomberg.com, March 26 (Retrievable online https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-26/fed-may-have-moved-too-quickly-to-proclaim-full-employment)