Apple and Taxing Issues!

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This week, the European Union (E.U.) ordered Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple. According to Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, Apple’s illegal deals with the Irish government allowed the company to funnel profit from two Irish subsidiaries to a “head office” with “no employees, no premises, no real… Read more »

CostCo Woes: Maybe or Maybe not?

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Costco started to transition from American Express to Visa as its exclusive credit card partner in June. As a result, delays and confusion have only gotten worse nearly two months later! Questions: 1. What were some of the biggest problems they faced? 2. Who is the issue of the new Costco Anywhere Visa and what… Read more »

Extortion or Business as Usual?

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Aetna announced this week that it pull a majority of its participation in the insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. Critics see this as payback to the Obama administration for blocking its proposed merger with Humana. This comes after Aetna CEO, Mark Bertoilini is on record as saying that selling insurance in… Read more »

Be Afraid, be very afraid!

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Unilever is paying $1 billion for Dollar Shave Club, a five-year-old start-up that sells razors and other personal products for men. Questions: 1. Why does the author of this article say that all companies should be very afraid of this deal? 2. After Michael Dubin’s YouTube ad premiered, what happened in terms of orders and… Read more »

Don’t Try this At Home!

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In a memorable episode of Seinfeld, two characters hatch a plot: instead of returning bottles in New York for a 5-cent refund, they round up a load of containers and run them to Michigan, where the return is double, at 10 cents each. Now Brian Everidge is accused of attempting to “return” more than 10,000… Read more »

Amazon goes into student loan business, sort of ……

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This week a partnership between Amazon and Wells Fargo was announced. Members of Amazon Prime Student will receive a 0.5 percent interest rate discount on student loans taken out through Wells Fargo’s Education Financial Services. Questions: 1. Why are financial advisors wary of the deal? 2. How much did the Washington Post calculate a student… Read more »

Is this really about Saving America’s Past Time?

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U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced a bill misleadingly called the “Save America’s Pastime Act,” with the sole purpose of excluding Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players from regulation under federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Questions: 1. What is Mr. Guthrie’s reasoning for exempting the pay of Minor Leaguers from Federal pay laws? 2. What… Read more »

Beat the Clock!

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Due to the slow transition to chip credit cards by U.S. retailers, counterfeit credit card fraud will likely rise to $4.5 billion this year. Questions: 1. What percentage rise will this year see as compared to last year’s credit card fraud? 2. Why are these thefts hurting retailers rather than issuing banks? 3. According to… Read more »

Walmart vs. Amazon: A Grocery War?

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Questions: 1. Do you see this as a competition between Walmart and Amazon? Why or why not and are there any other players in the grocery war? 2. According to the video, why didn’t Walmart just create their own logistical team rather than use Uber and Lyft? 3. Would you be willing to pay $7… Read more »

Here we Go Again? Another Enron?

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Short-seller and hedge fund manager, Jim Chanos, contends that the Alibaba Group is as problematic in its accounting positions as the now-defunct, corrupt energy giant, Enron. Questions: 1. What part of the company’s operations are most problematic and why? 2. What does cash flow have to do with this story? 3. What does Chanos claim… Read more »