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According to the WSJ, General Electric Co. said it was freezing its pension plan for about 20,000 U.S. workers and offering pension buyouts to 100,000 former employees, as the conglomerate joins the ranks of U.S. companies phasing out a guaranteed retirement.

Questions:

  1. Who is the CEO?
  2. The video said the CEO has been aggressive. What has he done to help cash flow?
  3. How does this Pension cut help?
  4. Briefly explain the transparency problem that GE has.
  5. Explain how lump-sum payments to about 100,000 former employees, who haven’t started collecting monthly pension payments, will help the business.

Source:

Gyrta, T. (2019). GE to Freeze Pensions for 20,000 Workers. The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/ge-unveils-pension-plan-changes-aimed-at-paring-deficit-debt-load-11570447318)

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According to Business Insider, Tesla owners will soon be able to customize their next generation of Tesla cars to emit the sound of a goat bleating, or a fart noise in place of a horn. 

Questions:

  1. How did Elon Musk announce this new customization?
  2. What other sounds did he mention?
  3. Do you think he was serious?
  4. How have his off-handed remarks gotten him in trouble in the past and with whom?
  5. What’s the current stock price for Tesla?

Source:

Holmes, A. (2019) Elon Musk says Tesla owners will soon be able to replace their horn with fart and goat noises. Business Insider, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-tesla-horn-sounds-to-include-fart-goat-noises-2019-10 )

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According to Business Insider, Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank Group, told Nikkei Business in an interview that he embarrassed and impatient with where some of the company’s investments are at in 2019.

Questions:

  1. What were two of SoftBank’s flagship investments and what happened to them?
  2. Who was the founder of WeWork and approximately how long did he pitch the concept to SoftBank before receiving $11 billion?\
  3. What is Vision Fund 2?

Source:

Meisenzahl, M. (2019). SoftBank’s founder is ’embarrassed and impatient’ with his investments after troubles with WeWork and Uber, and now he’s telling founders to ‘know your limit.’ Business Insider, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/softbank-masayoshi-son-embarrassed-with-investments-after-wework-uber-troubles-2019-10)

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Last week, according to CNET, Amazon showed off a new batch of Alexa-powered products.

Questions:

  1. There were two themes to these products according to CNET. What were these themes?
  2. What company has Amazon acquired that was scrutinized for its work with police departments across the country? Research why.
  3. Which device sounds the most interesting to you?

Source:

Grunin, L. and M. Woolerton. (2019) Amazon event 2019: Echo Buds, Echo Frames, Alexa privacy updates, Amazon Smart Oven and everything announced. CNET, Sep. 26 (Retrievable online at https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-event-2019-echo-buds-echo-frames-alexa-privacy-updates-echo-studio-and-everything-announced/ )

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Hamann will become the new CFO for the Union Pacific Corporation.

Questions:

  1. Where is the Union Pacific Corporation headquartered?
  2. What areas does the article indicate that she will heavily scrutinize?
  3. What financial metrics is Ms. Hamann looking at?
  4. What changes were made to Union Pacific’s capital structure prior to May 2018?

Source:

Trentmann, N. (2019). Incoming Union Pacific CFO in Search of Additional Efficiencies at U.S. Railroad. The Wall Street Journal, Sep. 27 (Retrievable online at wsj.com/articles/incoming-union-pacific-cfo-in-search-of-additional-efficiencies-at-u-s-railroad-11569623942?mod=cx_picks&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=collabctx&cx_artPos=6#cxrecs_s)

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Representative Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Missouri, introduced a bill on September 27 in Congress requiring the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to formally study the impact of new accounting standards before finalizing them. 

Questions:

  1. What Act does the bill seek to apply?
  2. What are the three major effects that the bill seeks to have investigated?
  3. What subcommittee does Mr. Luetkemeyer sit on?
  4. What will Mr. Luetkemeyer’s bill be called?
  5. What is the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and the FASB’s position on this bill?

Source:

Maurer, M. (2019) Congressman Introduces Bill Requiring FASB to Study New Standards. The Wall Street Journal, Sep. 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/congressman-introduces-bill-requiring-fasb-to-study-new-standards-11569624940)

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According to Drugs.com, vape device maker Juul Labs said Wednesday it is stopping all print, digital and television advertising, and its CEO, Kevin Burns, is stepping down.

Questions:

  1. Who is the new CEO?
  2. Who owns a 35% share of Juul?
  3. Who is investigating e-cigarettes and why?

Source:

Staff. E-Cigarette Maker Juul Stops All Advertising, Replaces CEO. Drugs.com, Sep. 25 (Retrievable online at https://www.drugs.com/news/e-cigarette-maker-juul-stops-all-advertising-replaces-ceo-85374.html?utm_source=ddc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+News+Summary+-+September+26%2C+2019&utm_content=E-Cigarette+Maker+Juul+Stops+All+Advertising%2C+Replaces+CEO)

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According to the Washington Post, Nissan will pay $15 million, and former chairman Carlos Ghosn will pay $1 million to settle allegations by U.S. regulators that they hid more than $140 million of Ghosn’s retirement benefits from investors.

Questions:

  1. How long was Ghosn CEO of Nissan?
  2. What punishment did the SEC impose on Ghosn? Was it for hiding retirement or something else?
  3. When will Ghosn stand trial and will it be civil, criminal, or both?

Source:

Court Staff. (2019). Business Digest: Nissan, Ghosn to pay fines in fraud case. The Washington Post, Sep. 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/business-digest-nissan-ghosn-to-pay-fines-in-fraud-case/2019/09/23/f196347a-de27-11e9-be96-6adb81821e90_story.html)

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According to the Washington Post, minority women are starting firms at a pace more than double that of woman business owners overall, and nearly five times the pace of all company owners.

Questions:

  1. Who sponsored the new report?
  2. What was the growth rate for minority women between 2014 and 2019?
  3. What were the main industries where this growth took place?

Source:

Rosenberg, M. (2019). Minority women business creation jumps, report says. Washington Post, Sep. 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/minority-women-business-creation-jumps-report-says/2019/09/23/ba4b82c6-de37-11e9-be7f-4cc85017c36f_story.html)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Ethical Dilemma, Financial Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Video Updates.

According to Business Insider, hundreds of thousands of tourists have been left stranded after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to grant the collapsed travel firm Thomas Cook a bailout of £150 million, or about $186 million.

Questions:

  1. Explain Johnson’s idea of a moral hazard.
  2. How large is the Thomas Cook fleet of planes and jets?
  3. How long are some travelers expected to be stranded?
  4. How many U.K. and global employees does Thomas Cook have?
  5. What factors have contributed to the Thomas Cook bankruptcy?

Source:

Bienkov, A. Boris Johnson says he refused £150 million bailout for Thomas Cook because it risked ‘moral hazard’ for other firms. Business Insider, Sep. 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/boris-johnson-refused-grant-150-million-bailout-for-thomas-cook-2019-9/

Slotnick, D. Roughly 600,000 travelers are stranded around the world after the British travel provider Thomas Cook declares bankruptcy. Business Insider, September 22 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-cook-bankrupt-airline-stranded-rescue-2019-9?r=US&IR=T)