No cash allowed

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In Sweden, “No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across the country as payments go digital and mobile. Questions: 1. Why is going cashless bad for tax cheats? 2. Why are authorities in Sweden worried about the cashless society? 3. What percent of Swedes never use cash? 4…. Read more »

Protect what?

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Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB, which once was the agency dedicated to preventing banks and credit-card companies from scamming ordinary Americans, now becomes an agency dedicated to protecting potential financial scammers from legal penalties. Questions: 1. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for payday lenders? 2. Since Mulvaney took over, what has… Read more »

Dead or Alive?

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According to Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of investment research, the tumble in cryptocurrencies that erased nearly $500 billion of market value over the past month could get a lot worse. Questions: 1. What are some of the signs that Steve Strongin notes about cryptocurrencies that worry him? 2. What was Strongin… Read more »

Yummy!

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A team of scientists is hard at work behind the scenes to make meat by developing cell lines of various species of animals. Hampton Creek (now called JUST) is among a handful of startups with the goal of bringing “clean meat” and other cultured animal products into the mainstream. Questions: 1. What is the value… Read more »

Amazon can find you

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Amazon has patented designs for a wristband to be worn by warehouse employees that can precisely track where they are placing their hands and even use vibrations to nudge them in different directions. Questions: 1. What type of tracking is used? 2. What type of security implications do these bracelets have? 3. What was the… Read more »

How Can An Extended Shutdown Hurt the Economy?

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According to the New York Times, a partial stop with this shutdown costs the economy productive work time; historical evidence suggests, along with revenue that the federal government collects from daily fees at parks and museums that private-sector companies that contract with the government have their work temporarily disrupted, and travel spending is reduced, affecting… Read more »

Amazon Prime Price Increase

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Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) raised the monthly fee for the U.S. version of its fast-shipping and video-streaming service Amazon Prime by $2. Questions: 1. What is the goal of this price increase? 2. When was the last time Amazon raised a Prime rate? 3. What did Amazon’s price increase coincide with? 4. Approximately how many Prime… Read more »

Driving a Car in Manhattan may get pricey!

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Under a major proposal prepared for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, driving a car into the most congested parts of Manhattan under the new pay-to-drive plan would cost about $11.52. Questions: 1. What are the two goals of the plan? 2. What will trucks and taxis pay? 3. Who originally promoted the plan? 4. How much… Read more »

Better Late than Never

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Defense Department Comptroller David Norquist announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) would undergo its first-ever, financial audit beginning this month. Questions: 1. How many auditors will be tasked with spreading out across the department to examine the records? 2. How much in assets is it estimated that the Pentagon has? 3. According to Norquist,… Read more »

A Big Move

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Investors sent shares in Dollar General higher Thursday after the company announced better-than-expected sales growth and plans to open 900 stores in 2018. Questions: 1. What was the overall strategy of Dollar General in the competitive retail business? 2. What is the future that Dollar General hopes for in opening these new stores? 3. What… Read more »