Even though Wall Street and the financial press have been harping for decades on the retirement savings crisis, this article provides some additional perspectives.
1. According to the Manpower Group, what percentage of millennials plan to work until they die (as their solution to retirement)?
2. Why do so many millennials have such a negative view of retirement?
3. According to Transamerica, what percentage of retirees quit work sooner than expected and what are the reasons for this?
4. What would you advise a friend of yours to do at your age in order to plan for retirement?
Kadlec, D. (2017). Retirement Planning: Working ‘Til You Die Is a Lousy Financial Plan. CNN.com, Jan. 12 (Retrievable online at http://time.com/money/4631542/working-forever-is-lousy-retirement-plan/)
Xiaomi, once hailed as an Apple iPhone slayer in China, now admits that they moved too fast to outpace their competitor. The company’s founder, Lei Jun, wrote his employees this week, indicating that the company needs to focus on the future and long-term sustainability.
1. Who are the domestic rivals to Xiaomi in the smartphone Chinese market?
2. What were Xiaomi’s unforgettable challenges?
3. What secured Xiaomi’s spot in the Guinness World Record book in 2015?
4. Lei admitted that selling cheap phones online isn’t enough. So what is his focus now, besides sustainability?
Pham, S. (2017). The ‘Apple of China’ admits it grew too quickly. CNN.com, Jan. 13 (Retrievable online at http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/13/technology/xiaomi-apple-china-smartphone/index.html)
Wells Fargo used to brag about its immense “cross-selling” skills, boasting of the many checking accounts, ATM cards and other “products” it pushed on Americans.
1. What disclosure did Wells Fargo recently include in its most recent quarterly earnings report?
2. What was the fine that was levied against Wells Fargo in September?
3. What has happened to Wells Fargo’s customers as a result of this fraud? Give specifics.
4. At the peak of the fraud, how many products did the bank boast that it had sold on average to each customer?
5. What was Warren Buffett’s association with Wells Fargo and what did he have to say about Wells Fargo?
Egan, M. (2017) Wells Fargo dumps toxic ‘cross-selling’ metric. CNN.com, Jan. 13 (Retrievable online at http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/13/investing/wells-fargo-cross-selling-fake-accounts/index.html?iid=SF_LN)
According to Neil Irwin, our current tax system is infinitely complicated and it gives companies incentives to borrow too much money and move operations to countries with lower tax rates. With the House, Senate and presidency all soon to be in Republican hands and with all agreeing that a major tax bill is a top priority, some kind of change appears likely to happen.
1. What type of change does Irwin suggest will happen?
2. What does D.B.C.F.T. stand for?
3. What were the two prime examples that Irwin gave regarding overseas transfers?
4. What are the risks of this model?
Irwin, N. (2017).The Major Potential Impact of a Corporate Tax Overhaul. The New York Times,Jan. 7 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/upshot/the-major-potential-impact-of-a-corporate-tax-overhaul.html)
Japan is the country that coined the word “karoshi,” or death by overwork. Now it wants companies to let workers finish early on the last Friday of every month, go out and have some fun.
1. What will this government campaign be called and when does it start?
2. How is this move expected to improve private consumption in Japan?
3. How much of annual leave consumption do Japanese workers typically use?
Ujikane, K. (2016). Japan Wants Its Overworked Citizens to Start Weekends Early. Bloomberg News, Dec. 29 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-29/japan-wants-its-overworked-citizens-to-start-weekends-early)
Amid funding shortages, American colleges are turning to international students, who offer a lifeline to cash-strapped U.S. state schools.
1. How many international students were enrolled in U.S. Universities last year?
2. What percent increase have universities seen in the enrollment of international students since the 2005/2006 school year?
3. Discuss what is happening to the financial reliance on tuition for state schools from the 1990s to the present day.
Yadoo, J. (2016). Foreign Students Offer Lifeline to Cash-Strapped U.S. State Schools. Bloomberg News, Dec. 29 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-29/foreign-students-offer-lifeline-to-cash-strapped-u-s-state-schools)
As oil prices drop and hyperinflation encroaches, there have been wide-reaching consequences for the entire population of this country.
1. What are some of the limitations that citizens must live with?
2. In December, the Venezuelan president announced the withdrawal of the country’s largest banknote from circulation? Why did the government make this move?
3. What is causing this hyperinflation and the country’s economic problems?
Gilbert, D. (2016). Hunger and Panic. The Associated Press, Dec. 30 (Retrievable online at https://news.vice.com/story/venezuelas-continuing-currency-crisis-pushes-country-to-brink-of-collapse).
According to the Washington Post, who sources Senate staffers, the Treasury Department refuses to stop forcing permanently disabled people to pay taxes on student loans that have been canceled, leaving a vulnerable population susceptible to thousands of dollars in charges.
1. What is the financial problem associated with each dollar forgiven?
2. What is the compliance burden that Treasury has avoided?
3. Explain garnishment of Social security. Then, discuss this concept within the context of this “loan bomb” issue.
4. Why doesn’t Congress act to fix this problem? Explain.
5. What percentage of these disabled individuals with student debt are insolvent to begin with?
Douglas-Gabriel, D. (2016).Feds refuse to stop taxing the canceled student debt of severely disabled people. The Washington Post, Dec. 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/12/23/feds-refuse-to-stop-taxing-the-canceled-student-debt-of-severely-disabled-people/?utm_term=.9e1a72920ca1&wpisrc=nl_highered&wpmm=1)
In China, outstanding loans have risen sharply to 40% of GDP but analysts fear the end of the credit binge could trigger a crisis for the wider world.
1. How fast has the debt per household risen over the last 5 years?
2. What is the Chinese household debt ratio compared to other countries?
3. What is the Chinese government trying to use as the chief driver for growth and by doing so, what is it trying to avoid?
Staff (2016) China’s property frenzy and surging debt raises red flag for economy. The Guardian, Nov. 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/27/chinas-property-frenzy-and-surging-debt-raises-red-flag-for-economy).
In 2012, Forbes dropped J.K. Rowling after eight years on its authoritative billionaires list, saying high British taxes and large charitable contributions had eroded her fortune.
1. Why should Forbes rethink that?
2. If Rowling gets equivalent of Universal Studios Park ticket sales equal to Spielberg, how much of that would a $100 ticket yield her in just ticket sales?
3. Since Last year, NBCUniversal’s parent, Comcast, said overall theme park revenue jumped more than 60 percent to $1.4 billion. She also received a one-time licensing fee estimated at $60 million to $80 million and annual development fees. Like Mr. Spielberg, Ms. Rowling also gets a percentage of gross sales of merchandise, food and beverages. Present a rough estimate of what the Universal deal may have yielded for Ms. Rowling in one year.
Source: Steward, J.B. (2016) In the Chamber of Secrets: J.K. Rowling’s Net Worth. The New York Times, Nov. 24 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/business/in-the-chamber-of-secrets-jk-rowlings-net-worth.html)
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