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 »

Want to Buy a State? OMG!

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When Colin Fultz, the grandson of a bootlegger, opened a gourmet distillery in Kentucky last fall, he ran afoul of University of Kentucky basketball. He trademarked his moonshine with the name Kentucky Mist Moonshine and that is when the trouble began. Questions: 1. Do you think anybody should own the rights to the name of… Read more »

Collateral from a future job

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Some undergraduates will have a new option to help finance their degrees: pledging to pay a percentage of their future incomes in return for funds today. Questions: 1. How does the income-sharing program work? 2. What school is piloting this idea? 3. What are some aspects of the legal gray zone associated with these human… Read more »

Oh, The Times They are A…Changin’

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While the authorities in southwestern China apparently thought their Cultural Revolution-style “shaming” was still effective, they found out how it backfired in the current economy and environment. As officials paraded eight workers through the streets, who had demanded back wages, the public turned the tables on officials and instead called for deadbeat bosses to be… Read more »