Drone Attack and Oil Prices

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Iran denies a recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia, as the strikes halve Saudi oil facility output, and President Trump vows to tap U.S. oil reserves. Questions: What has happened to oil futures as a result of the attack? How is the Pentagon weighing in on the latest conflict? What was Secretary of State Mike… Read more »

Monte Carlo Simulation

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According to Business Insider, some CEO pay plans are so complicated that a powerful mathematical technique originally developed to understand the behavior of neutrons in an atom bomb explosion is now the most effective way to estimate what they are actually worth. Questions: Where did the inspiration for the Monte Carlo simulation come from (according… Read more »

The Fight Against Quicken Loans (but why now)?

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According to Business Insider, with debt sitting at $9.2 trillion for the U.S. lending market, the industry has been the slowest to digitize and have had little incentive to remove friction from the customer application process. Questions: What has Rocket Mortgage added to the industry to become the largest residential mortgage originator by volume? According… Read more »

Banking While Black

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According to a new study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Black and Hispanic men seeking small business loans face more scrutiny and worse treatment from bank officers than less qualified white men. Questions: What were the declines in government-backed lending to black business owners from 2008 to 2016? According to the study, what type… Read more »

How has Microsoft avoided the Big Tech Backlash

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According to the New York Times, while Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook faces regulator scrutiny, Microsoft, which is worth more than all of these four combined, watches from the side-line. Questions: According to this article, what has Microsoft learned from past antitrust investigations? How do market shifts and the evolution of Microsoft’s business over the… Read more »

Millionaires’ numbers are rising in both 401(k)’s and IRA’s

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According to the Washington Post, the number of employees able to reach millionaire status in their workplace retirement plans has hit record levels. Questions: By how much did the number of Fidelity Investment 401(k) plans increase having $1 million or more over the 1st quarter of the year? Vanguard Investments also saw a spike in… Read more »

Is this a good idea?

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According to the New York Times, one of the largest active construction projects in the United States will produce more than 1 million tons of plastic a year and is operated by Royal Dutch Shell near Pittsburgh. Questions: Where will pipelines for the plant be stretched and how many freight cars does it expect to… Read more »

Who can save Barnes and Noble?

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According to the New York Times, the man, James Daunt, who will soon try to revive Barnes & Noble once spent weeks arguing with a bookstore shelving designer that the correct angle of tilt for a shelf is three degrees, because books catch more light and attention on shelves below eye level. Questions: Which bookstore… Read more »

White House Blues

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According to the Washington Post, there is discussion among senior White House officials to advance a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to limit the economic slowdown forecast by economists. Questions: When and how much was the last payroll tax cut and why was it made? Payroll tax cuts add dramatically to the deficit… Read more »

We’ve Seen This Movie Before And It Does Not End Well

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According to Paul Whitfield, economists differ on how much blame the Smoot-Hawley tariffs deserve for the Great Depression. They also disagree on how much credit President Franklin Roosevelt deserves for the Reciprocal Tariff Act, which put the U.S. on a path to lower  tariffs. But the market knows. Questions: According to the article, what similarities… Read more »