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 »

Strategic Differences

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HSBC announced that CEO, John Flint, was leaving the bank after only 18 months in the role.  Questions: What issues is Europe’s biggest bank grappling with currently? What specific strategic reason does the Board give for his departure?  What is the revenue risk that HSBC faces? Source: Reuters Staff. (2019). HSBC CEO John Flint leaves… Read more »

Woes for Lowe’s?

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Lowe’s announced that it will be laying off thousands of workers, including maintenance workers, service workers, and furniture and grill assemblers. Questions: How does Lowe’s plan to fill this void? What will it offer the laid-off workers? What is the health of Lowe’s stores overall? Source: Dockery, W. (2019). Lowe’s Layoffs 2019: Why The Hardware… Read more »

CVS wants to be the Ultimate Healthcare Provider

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According to Business Insider, when in 2018, CVS Health acquired Aetna, combining a chain of nearly 10,000 pharmacies dispensing prescriptions and selling snacks and soda with one of the biggest US health insurers, the company also took greater steps to promote healthier options. Questions: What was CVS’s stand regarding the sale of cigarettes? Where does… Read more »

SEC helps the mom and pop investors

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According to Business Insider, the Securities and Exchange Commission is stepping up scrutiny of mutual fund investments in private companies, according to people with knowledge of the agency’s interest. Questions: What has been the problem with mutual funds investing in companies like Airbnb or WeWork? Which case is notorious for spiking the SEC’s interest in… Read more »

Equifax Hack Settlement

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According to the Washington Post, nearly half of all Americans were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, where hackers stole personal data for more than 147 million people: credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other identifying information. Now, as part of a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, the people whose data… Read more »

Good News if you Plan to Fly

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According to the Washington Post, now is a good time to book fall getaways because rates are dropping. Questions: By month, what drops are expected in airline rates? What is the peak travel month? When are the most expensive times for travel? Do sales that airlines advertise the best rates? Discuss. Source: Sampson, H. (2019)…. Read more »

Goldman Sachs has a plan – but is it a good one?

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Goldman Sachs has a plan to combine five investing teams into a single alternatives unit. This plan has been doubted internally and has led to interesting drama within the firm. Questions: Who is Goldman’s CEO who announced this plan? Why is this move important to outside investors? Why is the debate centering around Goldman’s two… Read more »

Trucking company bankruptcies

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According to Business Insider, six trucking companies have already folded during 2019. As a result, more than 2500 truckers are unemployed. Questions: Explain the spot market for trucking companies and what has happened to it. What are the trucking companies that have gone bankrupt in 2019 and how many truckers were left unemployed by each… Read more »