The “Look Policy” & a Class-Action Lawsuit

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Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy” requires workers on the floor to wear “clothes, accessories and footwear that are similar in style and fit to the brand, and that are consistent with the current fashion season and colors” but that aren’t “clearly that of a competitor.” Questions: 1. Economic historian Price V. Fishback wrote that, “The… Read more »

Corporate Culture Sinks the Firm

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The chief executive of Toshiba and two of his predecessors resigned, along with several lesser executives, over accusations that they drove the company to overstate its earnings by $1.2 billion over the last seven years. The figure is equal to about a third of the pretax profits that Toshiba reported during that period. Questions: 1…. Read more »

The New Age of Performance Evaluations

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Beginning in September, Accenture, one of the largest companies in the world, will get rid of the annual performance review. Questions: 1. By disband rankings and the once-a-year evaluation process, what does the company hope to accomplish? 2. According to the article, what percentage of Fortune 500 companies have gotten rid of rankings? 3. What… Read more »

Well-Oiled Machine? Well – Maybe Not!

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United and Continental closed their merger in 2010 and created what was then the world’s largest airline. After nearly 5 years, executives are still working to integrate United Continental Holdings into a single company—and struggling with some high-profile operational and customer service problems. Questions: 1. What types of customer service and employee problems have plagued… Read more »

The Reverse – Upside down Prosecution!

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Despite the fact that bank officials uncovered a fraud, fired its mastermind, investigated and reported it to regulators, and then provided New York State prosecutors with over 900,000 pages of documents, a tiny Chinatown bank, Abacus Federal Savings Bank, was under put under indictment by a grand jury in New York State Supreme Court and… Read more »

The Question of Undue Hardship

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The bankruptcy case of Janet Roth stirred a debate over the rigidity of the “undue hardship” standard in discharging student loans. This year, President Obama instructed several governmental agencies to review, by Oct. 1, whether the treatment of student loans in bankruptcy should be altered. Questions: 1. How did Ms. Roth prepare for her case?… Read more »

An Expose on Financial Mismanagement – Casino Money Monte?

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In this extended article, the Washington Post looks at “opportunity gamed away” in Tunica County, Mississippi. The article highlights the sad fact that “somebody born today in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia or South Carolina is far more likely than someone born elsewhere in the United States to attend a poorer school, drop out before high… Read more »

Bye-bye Loopholes! You will be missed!

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Keep an eye out for three retirement loopholes that the government may close shortly. They have become increasingly popular as financial advisers have learned how to exploit kinks in the law. Questions: 1. Who benefits from the Back-door Roth IRA conversions and how does this work? 2. What bothers lawmakers about “the stretch IRA?” 3…. Read more »

Innovation, Price Fixing, or Rotten Apples?

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Recently, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling whereby Apple was determined to be the leader of an industrywide conspiracy among book publishers. Their goal was to raise prices of digital books. Questions: 1. When was the original case brought? 2. What were the damaging words in the case and who are these attributed to?… Read more »

So the 20% charge is not a tip?

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The restaurant, Per Se, must distribute $500,000 in compensation to current and former employees as ordered by the settlement struck with the New York Attorney General. The Manhattan eatery is notable for its $300-plus prix-fixe menus. Questions: 1. How did the restaurant violate New York labor law and how did they remedy this situation for… Read more »