“Gettysburg” Debt

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Ron Maxwell, the director of two acclaimed Civil War movies, has not repaid a $300,000 loan from 2002 to Washington County Maryland and county officials aren’t happy with the pace of his repayments. The loan, which came with a 4.5 percent annual interest rate, was supposed to be paid off in 2010. However, the Herald-Mail… Read more »

The Volcker Rule

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Regulators released a proposal on Oct. 11 known as the Volcker Rule, which is aimed at overhauling how the banking industry carries out its trading activity. The proposal, spanning about 300 pages, includes provisions that scrutinize how banks collect revenue, award compensation and track their compliance with the Volcker Rule. According to financial industry lawyers and lobbyists these will challenge… Read more »

New Banking Fees

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Customers are frustrated by new controversial fees from banks. However, they are finding out that it is not so easy to disentangle your life from your bank. Questions: 1. What does the article list as the main reason(s) that customers will stay with a bank, even though they are unhappy about new fees? 2. Which… Read more »

The Delmonte Deal in the News

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Del Monte and Barclays Capital said on Oct. 6 they had agreed to pay $89.4 million to Del Monte shareholders to settle a lawsuit that alleged conflicts of interest in last year’s $5.3 billion buyout of the company by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Vestar Capital and Centerview Partners. The case centered on Barclays advising Del Monte… Read more »

The Cost of Financial Ignorance

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In Hernando de Soto’s very interesting commentary, he expands Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s thoughts that the U.S. needed to “re-learn some of the lessons” that have led to success among emerging market economies. The bulk of his commentary focuses on the reliability of accounting records that guarantee or make credit trustworthy, including the deeds,… Read more »

Food – Beautiful – Food!

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Have you ever wondered how restaurant chains get the food to look so good on TV?  This is the work of a micro-niche of advertising.  While you may not know the names of the directors, like your favorite movie, there are five or six major players in this industry that fill the $4 billion in… Read more »

Groupon in the News

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Groupon disclosed a major accounting change on Friday, essentially halving its once-jaw-dropping revenue after it encountered resistance from regulators with its filing to go public. Groupon, the online coupon titan, announced separately that its chief operating officer of about five months, Margo Georgiadis, resigned and will return to her former employer, Google, as president of… Read more »

Financial Crisis in Greece

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While banks and European leaders hold abstract talks in foreign capitals about the impact of a potential Greek default on the euro and the world economy, something frighteningly concrete is under way in Greece: the dismantling of a middle-class welfare state in real time — with nothing to replace it. Since 2010, the government has… Read more »

Expensive Snacks?

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By now you have probably heard that an audit of the Department of Justice by the Inspector General says that taxpayer money was wasted on overpriced food and drinks. At one conference, the DOJ spent $4200 on 250 muffins–that’s about $16 a muffin. But what did the report actually say? Considering the EOIR reported that… Read more »

Fraudulent Billing Caught by Whistleblower

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Maxim Healthcare Services, a privately held company with 360 offices nationwide offering home health care services, has agreed to pay about $150 million to settle civil and criminal charges over claims of false billings to Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Justice announced Monday. Questions: 1. Since 2009, how many current… Read more »