Enormous Chinese Ponzi Scheme!

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A criminal investigation by Chinese officials has found that the online company, Ezubao, once a dynamo of the financial industry, offered mostly fake investment products to its nearly one million investors. This has highlighted the urgent need for tougher supervision of online financing system in the world’s second largest economy. Questions: 1. What interest rate… Read more »

Lack Luster Gold

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According to Ms. Pattanaik, GOLD is not the safe haven that it once was. In fact, she concludes that gold may only come back as a safe haven if the markets face even grimmer news than that of recent times. Questions: 1. According to the author, what are the reasons why investor panic is not… Read more »

The New Surge in Corporate Migrants: Is there an End?

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The federal government gave Johnson Controls a bailout in 2008 to avoid certain bankruptcy, along with its customers, the large automakers – General Motors and Chrysler. This week, Johnson Controls renounced its United States corporate citizenship by selling itself to Tyco International, based in Ireland. This deal was struck, in large part, to reduce an… Read more »

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs said it enforces tax rules impartially—regardless of a company’s size.

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Google has agreed to pay 130 million pounds (or about $185 million) in a tax settlement to U.K. authorities, where the British Labour Party criticizes the government’s handling of the case and the normal use of corporate tax strategy workarounds. Questions: 1. How far back in time does the settlement go to cover back taxes?… Read more »

Paranoia or Internal Control?

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Red Star Operating System is North Korea’s homegrown computer operating system that mirrors its political one. The latest version (circa 2013) is based on a version of Linux called Fedora and has the feel of Apple’s OSX. Questions: 1. What are the two major challenges the article said that Pyongyang faces? From an international business… Read more »

The Great Experiment

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Finland has become the latest country to propose a basic income for all. Under the plan, all Finnish citizens would receive an 800 euro stipend, per month, tax-free. Questions: 1. Based on the current exchange rate, what amount of U.S. dollars is this equal to? 2. What incentive does Finland have to implement this proposal?… Read more »

Will the Fed or won’t the Fed?

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Ms. Janet Yellen indicated in testimony before Congress on November 4, that an interest rate increase could come in December 2015. But she added that no decision had been made. Questions: 1. When was the last time that the Fed raised interest rates? 2. Where has the benchmark interest rate been since Dec. 16, 2008?… Read more »

Security Chips and Bearing the Cost of Fraud

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New payment cards, issued over the last year, come with a small square security chip that can help make in-person transactions more secure. However, retailers complain that they have spent billions of dollars upgrading their payment terminals to accommodate a system that cuts down on the fraud shouldered by banks, but not merchants. Questions: 1…. Read more »

Release Cards: Another High Interest Problem?

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As this article points out, unlike consumer debit cards, prison-issued cards are unregulated and subject to exorbitant fees. Questions: 1. What are the typical charges for these cards? 2. For the person that had $120 and was able to use only $70, calculate the percentage of fees. 3. Who is making the money on these… Read more »

Litigation Finance

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This article discusses the trend of litigation finance, where individuals and companies are turning to private companies to front the money for legal costs in expensive litigation. Despite having in-house counsel, even larger companies are selling off pieces of lawsuits to improve cash flow and reduce risk. Questions: 1. Between 2013 and 2014, how much… Read more »