What will be the distributional consequences of this tax overhaul?

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According to Neil Irwin, our current tax system is infinitely complicated and it gives companies incentives to borrow too much money and move operations to countries with lower tax rates. With the House, Senate and presidency all soon to be in Republican hands and with all agreeing that a major tax bill is a top… Read more »

Japan Wants Its Overworked Citizens to Start Having Fun by Getting off of Work on the Weekends at an Earlier Time

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Japan is the country that coined the word “karoshi,” or death by overwork. Now it wants companies to let workers finish early on the last Friday of every month, go out and have some fun. Questions: 1. What will this government campaign be called and when does it start? 2. How is this move expected… Read more »

Venezuela’s Continuing Currency Crisis is Pushing the Country to the Brink of Collapse

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As oil prices drop and hyperinflation encroaches, there have been wide-reaching consequences for the entire population of this country. Questions: 1. What are some of the limitations that citizens must live with? 2. In December, the Venezuelan president announced the withdrawal of the country’s largest banknote from circulation? Why did the government make this move?… Read more »

China Crash?

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In China, outstanding loans have risen sharply to 40% of GDP but analysts fear the end of the credit binge could trigger a crisis for the wider world. Questions: 1. How fast has the debt per household risen over the last 5 years? 2. What is the Chinese household debt ratio compared to other countries?… Read more »

A Mysterious Amount of Net worth!

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In 2012, Forbes dropped J.K. Rowling after eight years on its authoritative billionaires list, saying high British taxes and large charitable contributions had eroded her fortune. Questions: 1. Why should Forbes rethink that? 2. If Rowling gets equivalent of Universal Studios Park ticket sales equal to Spielberg, how much of that would a $100 ticket… Read more »

Less than desirable health insurance

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Terrible abdominal pain, while at a Florida conference, landed Doug Moore in an out of town emergency room (ER). While the emergency room charges were paid by his insurance as in-network charges, the doctors’ charges were billed at a much higher out-of-network rate. Questions: 1. On average, what percentage of patients that go to ERs… Read more »

A Growing Force in Real Estate

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According to the Washington Post, for the fourth year in a row, buyers from China ranked first among foreign nationals purchasing property in the United States, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). U.S. home sales to Chinese nationals totaled $27.3 billion — exceeding the total dollar sales figure of the… Read more »

Changes Coming!

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According to the Associated Press, Federal regulators recently announced new rules governing the prepaid debit card industry. It’s a big change more than two years in the making that’s expected to bring some basic account protections to its customers, who are often financially disadvantaged. Questions: 1. How much money was loaded on prepaid cards in… Read more »

Deutsche Bank Shares Drop

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Deutsche Bank’s shares hit a record low, but Germany’s largest lender said there is no reason to get the German government’s help in settling claims of $14 billion with the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ). Questions: 1. What is the record low price of shares of Deutsche Bank? 2. What is a summary of the lender’s… Read more »

Here’s the money. Do you want it?

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According to this article, Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s billions. Instead, the Irish government is appealing Europe’s tax ruling, a move that is exposing a rift in a country still feeling the aftershocks from years of harsh cutbacks. Questions: 1. What is your opinion of the politically motivated defense? 2. Would you consider Ireland to be… Read more »