Enormous Chinese Ponzi Scheme!

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A criminal investigation by Chinese officials has found that the online company, Ezubao, once a dynamo of the financial industry, offered mostly fake investment products to its nearly one million investors. This has highlighted the urgent need for tougher supervision of online financing system in the world’s second largest economy. Questions: 1. What interest rate… Read more »

Lack Luster Gold

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According to Ms. Pattanaik, GOLD is not the safe haven that it once was. In fact, she concludes that gold may only come back as a safe haven if the markets face even grimmer news than that of recent times. Questions: 1. According to the author, what are the reasons why investor panic is not… Read more »

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs said it enforces tax rules impartially—regardless of a company’s size.

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Google has agreed to pay 130 million pounds (or about $185 million) in a tax settlement to U.K. authorities, where the British Labour Party criticizes the government’s handling of the case and the normal use of corporate tax strategy workarounds. Questions: 1. How far back in time does the settlement go to cover back taxes?… Read more »

Secret Buyers of Real Estate Targeted

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In an unprecedented move, the Treasury Department will begin identifying and tracking cash sales of real estate in an effort to expose money laundering and secret buyers of high-end properties. Questions: 1.At which locations will the new initiative begin? 2. Is the use of shell companies legal in real estate? 3. How will the real… Read more »

Will it Work?

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Norovirus, salmonella, and E. Coli outbreaks during 2015 at fresh food restaurants run by Chipotle have cost a huge loss of business. However, in mid-February, the chain plans a strategic marketing campaign aimed at trying to bring these customers back. Questions: 1. By how much did comparable restaurant sales fall in the fourth quarter of… Read more »

Weird Thought Experiment

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As Powerball mania and the promise of $1.6 Billion swept the airways, Andy Kiersz came up with his own idea on how to win. Unfortunately, it would require 189,000 people filling out all the possible Powerball combinations on those annoying scantrons, working 10 hours a day at a rate of 50 tickets per hour. Questions:… Read more »

The Age of the Employee-less Company

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During most of the 20th century, companies bringing in the most money also employed the most people. This article looks at a new paper from the Brookings Institute about the new age of ghost companies. Questions: 1. The article mentions Walnart as one of the five largest companies in 2012 that had 100,000 people employed… Read more »

Be sure to remember your server!

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According to the Washington Post, after a change in tax rules last year, the auto-gratuity added to the bill of large parties at restaurants is on its way out. Questions: 1. What is the new rule that the Internal Revenue Service imposed on restaurants that led to this change? 2. How does this change lead… Read more »

Want to open a franchise?

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Because Papa John’s is trying to recruit franchisees for new restaurant growth, it is offering enormous discounts to potential U.S. operators. Based on the information in the article, Papa John’s says the incentive package is worth roughly $60,000. Questions: 1. What are the fees that Papa John’s is temporarily waiving? 2. Using the minimum investment… Read more »

Arbitration Lurks in the Fine Print

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In this article, the New York Times found that arbitration rules tend to favor businesses, and judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who commonly consider the companies to be their clients. According to the authors, this has created an alternative justice system with conflicts of interest. Questions: 1. What types of claims are… Read more »