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.
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 members does Amazon have?
Venugopal, A. Amazon boosts monthly fee for Prime by $2, maintains yearly rate. Reuters, Jan. 19 (Retrievable online at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-price/amazon-boosts-monthly-fee-for-prime-by-2-maintains-yearly-rate-idUSKBN1F81P3)
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.
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 would the plan collect annually?
Source: Dwyer, j. and M. Hu. (2017) Driving a Car in Manhattan Could Cost $11.52 Under Congestion Plan. The New York Times, Jan. 18 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/nyregion/driving-manhattan-congestion-traffic.html)
The rush to enact the tax bill was designed to mask — as a break for the middle class — what is, in fact, a $1.4 trillion package of benefits for key donors and lobbyists, the richest members of Congress, President Trump, his family and other families like his.
1. What was the speed from introduction to passage of the bill?
2. What did the document entitled “The Games They Will Play: An Update on the Conference Committee Tax Bill” discuss?
3.Who are Glogower, Kamin, Kysar, and Shanske and what do they say about the tax bill?
Edsall, T.B. (2017).You Cannot Be Too Cynical About the Republican Tax Bill.The New York Times, Dec. 21 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/opinion/republican-tax-bill-trump-corker.html?WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0&action=click&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&pgtype=Homepage®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region)
Interestingly, in most places, a dollar is a dollar. However, under the new tax plans, that may change.
Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the same hours and the same money. The only difference is that one is an employee, the other an independent contractor.
For the first time since the United States adopted an income tax, a higher rate would be applied to employee wages and salaries than to income earned by proprietors, partnerships and closely held corporations.
Supporters argue that the revised tax regime is an attempt to update the code to reflect changes in the economy.
1. What do the economists and tax experts across the political spectrum warn about with this system?
2. (Fill in the blank.) The more the tax code distinguishes among types of earnings, personal characteristics or economic activities, the _________ the incentive to label income artificially, restructure or switch categories in a hunt for lower rates.
3.What are pass-throughs?
4. What issue bothered you the most in this article?
Cohen, P. (2017). Tax Plans May Give Your Co-Worker a Better Deal Than You., The New York Times, Dec. 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/business/economy/tax-plans-may-give-your-co-worker-a-better-deal-than-you.html)
According to the Guardian, more firms are looking into a rested workforce because sleep has an image problem in the business world.
1. What is the definition of sufficient sleep and how do the U.S., U.K, and Japan stack up to this definition>
2. What are some of the reasons for the global sleep-loss epidemic?
3. What are some of the companies and their solutions or investments for more sleep in the workforce?
4. From an accounting standpoint, how should these solutions be recorded in the financial records?
Cassidy, A. (2017).Clocking off: the companies introducing nap time to the workplace. The Guardian, Dec. 4 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/business-to-business/2017/dec/04/clocking-off-the-companies-introducing-nap-time-to-the-workplace)
Defense Department Comptroller David Norquist announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) would undergo its first-ever, financial audit beginning this month.
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, what are the goals of the audit?
4. According to Norquist, what effects would a govenment shutdown have on the DoD?
Bowden, J. (2017). Pentagon starting first-ever financial audit. The Hill, Dec. 8 (Retrievable online at http://thehill.com/policy/defense/364001-pentagon-starting-first-ever-financial-audit)
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.
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 did Dollar General credit for its strong same-store growth?
Matthews, C. (2017). Dollar General to open 900 new stores in 2018. Axios, Dec. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.axios.com/dollar-general-to-open-900-new-stores-in-2018-2515659359.html)
According to Huffington Post, even though Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure in September, forcing TJ Maxx to shutter some stores there, the company has nevertheless been dutifully paying its employees ever since.
1. How much of the power had been restored to Puerto Rico when this article was written?
2. How many stores share the same corporate owner – TJX? How many locations does TJX have in Puerto Rico?
3. Did TJX have to pay its employees? Discuss.
Grenoble, R. (2017). Owner Of TJ Maxx Is Still Paying Its Employees In Puerto Rico, Even Those Who Can’t Work.Huffington Post, November 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tj-maxx-puerto-rico-employees-paid-tjx_us_5a01dd9fe4b066c2c03a72a3?section=us_business)
According to Reuters, Aetna Inc’s board of directors approved the U.S. health insurer’s sale to drugstore chain operator CVS Health Corp for approximately $207 per share in cash and stock. As such, this $69 billion deal will be the largest corporate acquisition.
1. What will Aetna shareholders receive?
2. What will happen to Aetna’s CEO?
3. What are CVS’s plans for the Aetna network?
O’Donnell, C. and Greg Roumeliotis. (2017) CVS Agrees To Buy Aetna In A $69 Billion Deal. Reuters, Dec. 3 (Retrievable online at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cvs-buys-aetna-insurance_us_5a244f3be4b03c44072e4dc4?section=us_business)
Personal assistants are the cash handlers for many celebrities, a job that rarely comes with any sort of Hollywood glamour.
1. According to the article: “…the longer someone has been famous, the less ________________________. Complete the sentence and discuss the implications.
2. What was the most interesting thing you learned from this article?
3. Would you like to be an assistant to a “star”? Discuss why or why not.
4. Why would being a financial assistant come with financial risks?
Schrodt, P. (2017) Inside the Strange and Fascinating World of Celebrity Money Handlers. Time.com, Nov. 29 (Retrieved online at http://time.com/money/5039650/inside-celebrity-money-handlers/)