HUUUUGGGGGEEEEE Shift!

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In an apparent rejection of the basic principles of the U.S. economy, a Harvard University poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism. Questions: 1. What percentage supported socialism? 2. Why are the results of the survey difficult to interpret? 3. What did the survey say about health insurance? 4. What did you… Read more »

Here we Go Again! Contracts for Deed!

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In the 1930s through the 1960s, most African-Americans could not get mortgages. This was because the U.S. government deemed neighborhoods where they lived ineligible for federal mortgage insurance, which was the Depression-era innovation that made mortgages widely affordable. As a result, hucksters moved in and peddled homeownership through contracts for deed, where the home seller… Read more »

What a Heist!

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Swift — the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication — is billed as a supersecure system that banks use to authorize payments from one account to another. However, last week, Swift announced that hackers had captured $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank in February and that other similar heists have been attempted. Questions: 1. According… Read more »

Can you Alter what the Internet says about you? Ask UC – Davis.

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To improve the reputation of the University of California, Davis, and its Chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi, after the November 2011 pepper spraying of students, the university contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub negative online Internet postings about the incident. Questions: 1. Explain what percentage the strategic communications budget increased by from 2009… Read more »

Security? Maybe not.

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Under legislation passed by Congress in 2014, potential cuts are possible for the first time for financially distressed multi-employer pension plans who want to reduce benefits for retirees in order to improve the solvency of the fund. Questions: 1. Which fund is among the first to apply to take advantage of the legislation and who… Read more »

Fantasy Accounting?

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According to the New York Times, a recent study shows that 90 percent of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index reported non-GAAP results last year, which is up from 72 percent in 2009. Questions: 1. Do you think investors truly understand the consequences of this? 2. Which one of the tactics used do… Read more »

Beware: Don’t Push that Button

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While some thought this was an April Fool’s joke, Amazon assured them that the new Dash Button is a serious device to buy that one item that you always need! Questions: 1. Approximately how many brands and how many devices does Amazon have on dash buttons? 2. What are the charges associated with a Dash… Read more »

Pet Valuation: A slippery slope or not?

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The Monyak family decided to board their 2 dogs when they took a vacation in France. The Monyaks gave special instructions to the caretakers to give an anti-inflammatory prescription to one of the dogs. Unfortunately, the kennel gave it to the wrong dog who died from an overdose shortly after the family returned. The Monyak’s… Read more »

Plan Ahead

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According to the Washington Post, five of the country’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, still do not have credible plans for winding down their operations without taxpayer help if they start to fail. Questions: 1.How long do these banks have to submit their detailed bankruptcy plans to requlators? 2. What are… Read more »

The benefits of offshore without leaving the country

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For wealthy Americans looking to veil their assets and shield some of their income from taxation, there is no need to go to Panama or any other offshore tax haven. According to the New York Times, it’s easy to establish a shell corporation right here at home and virtually no questions are asked. Questions: 1…. Read more »