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According to the New York Times, this coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status — a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control.

Questions:
1. Where can this sudden deluge of available works be traced back to?
2. Why is the law referred to as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act?
3. Do you agree with the intellectual property expert at Harvard, who said, “The copyright term is way too long now.” Why or why not?
4. What did you find to be the most interesting issue in the article?
5. Ultimately, do you think this will make books much cheaper?
6. How would you record a transaction for a copyright that loses protected status?

Source:
Alter, A. (2018). New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out. The New York Times, Dec. 29 (retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/books/copyright-extension-literature-public-domain.html)

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According to the New York Times, these are the less-than-elegant last days of what, in the days when department stores were destinations, was one of New York City’s most elegant: Lord & Taylor, a fortress on Fifth Avenue.

Questions:
1. What was the guilt about?
2. Was the article really about the store?
3. What was the most interesting thing you read in the article?
4. How is this article similar to the previous Sears article? Identify at least two things that the articles have in common.

Source:
Barron, J. (2018). At Lord & Taylor, Everything Must Go. A Daughter’s Guilt Will Remain. The New York Times, Dec. 30 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/nyregion/lord-taylor-closing.html)

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According to the New York Times, Sears may be struggling to survive after filing for bankruptcy in October, since its rundown and empty stores symbolize a has-been company that failed to adapt. But across the country, legions of former Sears workers like Mr. Atwood, a retired truck driver, gather regularly to reminisce about their long careers in retailing. With brands like Kenmore and DieHard that lasted for decades, there were years of limitless creativity of shoplifters and the impossible task of selecting the women’s shoe inventory.

Questions:
1. How many employees did Sears have at its peak?
2. Who was the Sears Chairman that sold off many of its most valuable stores and laid off thousands of workers?
3. At the end of the article, one of the retirees is quoted as saying,”No one makes time for these types of things anymore….This way of life is almost gone.” How would you explain this in a different way, when telling a friend about Sears?
4. What did you find to be the most interesting issue in this article?

Corkery, M. (2018) Sears Is Dying, but Workers’ Loyalty Lives On. The New York Times, Dec. 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/business/sears-retirees-alumni-meetings.html)

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CBS’s board of directors on Monday said they will not give former CEO Les Moonves any of the $150 million severance package he was due under to his employment contract, a decision that follows a months-long sexual misconduct probe.

Questions:
1. What was Les Moonves role at CBS?
2. What were the grounds for his termination?
3. How many accusers did he have?

Source:
Birnbaum, E. (2018). CBS board declines $120M severance for Les Moonves following sexual misconduct probe. The Hill, Dec.17 (Retrievable online at https://thehill.com/media/421783-cbs-board-declines-120-million-severance-for-les-moonves-following-sexual-misconduct)

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Sentinel Capital Partners’ new acquisition is Pet Supplies Plus (PSP), as of December 2018.

Questions:
1. What are the benefits for PSP of being acquired?
2. How old are the franchise and company-operated stores and where was the company established?
3. How widespread is the chain, geographically?
4. What are the benefits of the acquisition for Sentinel?

Source:
Pet Product News Staff. (2018).Pet Supplies Plus Acquired by Private Equity Firm. PPN, Dec. 13 (Retrievable online at http://www.petproductnews.com/News/Pet-Supplies-Plus-Acquired-by-Private-Equity-Firm/)

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According to Boing-Boing.net, sleep apnea, which is a fast-growing health complaint among Americans, has triggered a set of deceptive and unethical measures by US health insurers to shift the cost of CPAP machines through price gouging to the people who must use them to remain healthy.

Questions:
1. Calculate the percentage of the transaction that Cigna gets for filters and masks.
2. What service did Cigna provide to receive this percentage and how would you as the accountant record the transaction?
3. What was the most interesting thing you learned in this article?

Source:
Staff writer. (2018) Insurance companies gouge on CPAP machines and consumables, use wireless modems to spy on your usage. Boing – Boing.net., Nov. 23 (Retrievable online at https://boingboing.net/2018/11/23/costs-vs-care.html)

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Millennials have preferences for consumption that differ significantly from those of earlier generations because:
(a) they are anti-materialists and want less stuff.
(b) they are less well-off than members of earlier generations were when they were young.
(c) they have lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth.
(d) answer choices (b) and (c) are correct.

According to this article, economists with the Federal Reserve agree with answer (d).

Questions:
1. What did the Fed report say about “car-lessness?”
2. What do the Fed findings say about housing?
3. What do the Fed findings say about political views?
4. What was the most interesting thing you learned in this article?

Source:
Levitz, E. (2018). Millennials Aren’t Post-Consumerist, They’re Just Poor, Fed Finds. New York Magazine, Dec. 6 (Retrievable online at http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/federal-reserve-millennials-study-arent-post-consumerist-theyre-just-poor.html)

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According to the Washington Post, what started as an antitrust lawsuit brought by states over just two drugs in 2016 has exploded into an investigation of alleged price-fixing involving at least 16 companies and 300 drugs.

Questions:
1. What was the “shorthand” between executives used for? Give an example.
2. According to the article, who are the victims of these price-fixing schemes?
3. Who are some of the companies that banded together for price-fixing and what are some of the extraordinary percentage markups charged?
4. What did you find the most interesting about this article?

Source:
Rowland, C. (2018). Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs. Washington Post, Dec. 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/investigation-of-generic-cartel-expands-to-300-drugs/2018/12/09/fb900e80-f708-11e8-863c-9e2f864d47e7_story.html)

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According to the Guardian, even hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour and requiring health benefits, as San Francisco has done, hasn’t been enough to maintain a healthy heartbeat in the restaurant industry labor market, because the median price for a San Francisco rental is $4,550.

Questions:
1. In the article, Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said the same trends have been taking a toll in other cities around the country. What are some of these cities? Do some research and find statistics on the costs of living of at least 3 of these cities and compare.
2. What are some of the new restaurant concepts that have been launched because of this labor shortage?
3. If this labor market problem limits the number and kinds of restaurant offerings in the Bay area, what are some of the other problems that you anticipate?

Source:
McCormick, E. (2018). San Francisco’s foodie scene suffers as its workers flee high cost of living. The Guardian, Dec. 10 (Retrievable online https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/09/san-franciscos-foodie-scene-suffers-as-its-workers-flee-high-cost-of-living)

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Cyber Monday proves to be the biggest shopping day ever! Because of this, according to Bloomberg, Cyber Monday may provide a big revenue boom for state and local governments.

Questions:
1. What is the reason for the big revenue boom for state and local governments?
2. According to Kroll Bond Rating Agency, how much revenue is Texas, New York and California expected to see?
3. Which states will benefit the most on a per-capita basis?

Source:
Moran, D. (2018). Cyber Monday Promises Big State Tax Boon Thanks to Supreme Court. Bloomberg, Nov. 26 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-26/cyber-monday-promises-big-state-tax-boon-thanks-to-supreme-court)