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According to the New York Times, to create a Super Bowl snack, their authors bought the same ingredients at a new Whole Foods 365 store and a Walmart. The prices were different and so were the outcomes.

Questions:
1. What did the authors want to cook?
2. What was the price difference?
3. Which cooked culinary delight won the contest?
4. What were the differences between the two cooked products?

Source:
Corkery, M. and S. Wichter. (2018). Amazon Effect, Meatball Edition. Then New York Times, Feb. 2 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/economy/amazon-effect-meatball-edition.html)

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According to the New York Times, laws prohibiting employers from asking job candidates about their past compensation before making a salary offer are gaining momentum, aimed at reducing pay disparities and other obstacles confronting women and minorities.

Questions:
1. What does the article say about the way some researchers see it?
2. What does some academic evidence suggest that the new laws and women?
3. What are employers trying to determine when they ask the question?

Source:
Scheiber, N. (2018). If a Law Bars Asking Your Past Salary, Does It Help or Hurt? The New York Times, Feb. 16 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/business/economy/salary-history-laws.html)

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In Sweden, “No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across the country as payments go digital and mobile.

Questions:
1. Why is going cashless bad for tax cheats?
2. Why are authorities in Sweden worried about the cashless society?
3. What percent of Swedes never use cash?
4. Do you think that could happen here in the U.S.? Discuss.

Source:
Bilner, A. (2018). ‘No Cash’ Signs Everywhere Has Sweden Worried It’s Gone Too Far. Bloomberg, Feb. 18 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-18/-no-cash-signs-everywhere-has-sweden-worried-it-s-gone-too-far)

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Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB, which once was the agency dedicated to preventing banks and credit-card companies from scamming ordinary Americans, now becomes an agency dedicated to protecting potential financial scammers from legal penalties.

Questions:
1. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for payday lenders?
2. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for installment lenders?
3. What is the World Acceptance Corp.?
4. What has happened to the World Acceptance Corp.’s stock since Mulvaney took over at the CFPB? Do you think this is linked to his appointment?

Source:

Levitz, E. (2018) The CFPB Is Now the Predatory Lender Protection Bureau. New York Magazine,Jan. 24 (Retrievable online at http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/the-cfpb-is-now-the-predatory-lender-protection-bureau.html)

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Panera petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to update its 40-year-old definition of the word “egg” to exclude most of the processed egg products that have become popular with fast-food chains and food-service.

Questions:
1. How long has the egg product rule been on the books of the FDA?
2. Do you agree with Panera?
3. Were you aware of this the last time you ate at a fast-food restaurant?
4. What does McDonalds use in its products?
5. What do Panera’s competitors argue?
6. What does the article say about the FDA and change?

Source:
Dewey, Caitlin (2018) Panera is calling for a federal crackdown on the eggs in its competitors’ breakfast sandwiches. Washington Post, Jan. 25 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/25/panera-is-calling-for-a-federal-crackdown-on-the-eggs-in-its-competitors-breakfast-sandwiches/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_wonkblog-panera-11am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e5a6a2cfff1a)

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According to Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of investment research, the tumble in cryptocurrencies that erased nearly $500 billion of market value over the past month could get a lot worse.

Questions:
1. What are some of the signs that Steve Strongin notes about cryptocurrencies that worry him?
2. What was Strongin more upbeat about?
3. What does Strongin compare crytocurrencies to?

Source:
Nishizawa, K. (2018) Get Ready for Most Cryptocurrencies to Hit Zero, Goldman Says. Bloomberg, Feb. 6 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-07/get-ready-for-most-cryptocurrencies-to-hit-zero-goldman-says)

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A team of scientists is hard at work behind the scenes to make meat by developing cell lines of various species of animals. Hampton Creek (now called JUST) is among a handful of startups with the goal of bringing “clean meat” and other cultured animal products into the mainstream.

Questions:
1. What is the value of Hampton Creek?
2. What is the main goal of these startups?
3. What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?
4. What role can you see the accountant take in these type of ventures?
5. Would you eat meat made in a laboratory?

Source:
Shapiro, P. (2018) Lab-made meat could be the next food revolution: here’s what it tastes like. The Guardian, Jan. 31 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jan/31/eat-it-without-the-guilt-the-story-of-the-worlds-first-clean-foie-gras)

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Amazon has patented designs for a wristband to be worn by warehouse employees that can precisely track where they are placing their hands and even use vibrations to nudge them in different directions.

Questions:
1. What type of tracking is used?
2. What type of security implications do these bracelets have?
3. What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?
4. What type of accounting implications do the bracelets have?

Source: Solon, O. (2018) Amazon patents wristband that tracks warehouse workers’ movements. The Guardian, Jan. 31 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/31/amazon-warehouse-wristband-tracking)

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As the third-largest bank continues to suffer under a sales scandal that happened in 2016, Wells Fargo & Co detailed new regulatory restrictions imposed by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This news sent its shares down sharply in after-hours trading.

Questions:
1. What are the growth restrictions on the bank imposed by the Feds?
2. Why was this restriction imposed?
3. How will this potentially affect its profits and balance sheet?
4. How much was the settlement it made regarding the 2016 scandal?
5. What was the most interesting thing that you read in this article?

Source:
Schroeder, P. and L. LaCapra. (2018). Fed orders Wells Fargo to halt growth over compliance issues. Reuters.com. Feb.2 (Retrievable online at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-wells-fargo-fed/fed-orders-wells-fargo-to-halt-growth-over-compliance-issues-idUSKBN1FM2V9?il=0)

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According to the New York Times, a partial stop with this shutdown costs the economy productive work time; historical evidence suggests, along with revenue that the federal government collects from daily fees at parks and museums that private-sector companies that contract with the government have their work temporarily disrupted, and travel spending is reduced, affecting local economies.

Questions:
1. What cost does the government incur when it is late in paying contractors?
2. What are some of the non-monetary costs of the shutdown?
3. After reading this article, what surprised you the most about the costs of a government shutdown?

Source:

Cohen, P. and J. Tankersley. (2018). The Longer It Lasts, the More a Shutdown Could Hurt the Economy.The New York Times, Jan. 20 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/us/politics/economy-government-shutdown.html)