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According to BusinessInsider.com, married millennials and Gen Xers are keeping their finances separate from their partner much more often than married baby boomers, and it shows that younger generations are thinking about marriage and finances differently.

Questions:

  1. What do you think are some of the biggest reasons that millennials and Gen Xers are keeping their finances separate, as compared to baby boomers?
  2. Do you agree or disagree with financial therapist Amanda Clayman? Why?
  3. Do you agree or disagree with financial planner Christine Centeno? Why?

Source:

Knueven, L. (2019). More married baby boomers combine finances than any generation after them, and it speaks to one of the ways money and marriage are changing. Business Insider.com, Nov. 17 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/more-married-millennials-gen-xers-keep-finances-separate)

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According to the New York Times, FedEx, like much of corporate America, has not made good on its promised investment surge from President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.

Questions:

  1. How much did FedEx owe in taxes the year before the Trump 2017 tax cuts?
  2. What does the trend show about companies with the biggest tax cuts and the average size of their capital investments?
  3. Where did most of FedEx’s tax savings go? (include amounts, if possible)
  4. Explain how FedEx’s use of its tax savings is representative of corporate America.
  5. How do you answer the question “myth or fact” after reading this article?

Source: Tankersley, J., P. Eavis, and B. Casselman. (2019). How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $0. The New York Times, Nov. 17 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/17/business/how-fedex-cut-its-tax-bill-to-0.html)

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According to the Washington Post, Amazon put $1.5 million toward Seattle City Council races this cycle, via a business-interest group to support an opponent of that spent nearly half a million dollars in support of Kshama Sawant, who has pledged to raise taxes on the retail giant. In the end, Amazon lost the race.

Questions:

  1. What party is Kshama affiliated with?
  2. How much of the vote did she receive?
  3. Explain her “head tax ” and why big business is against her.

Source:

Knowles, H. (2019). Amazon spent $1.5 million on Seattle City Council races. The socialist it opposed has won. The Washington Post, Nov. 10 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/10/amazon-spent-million-seattle-city-council-races-socialist-it-opposed-has-won/)

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This week, Aventura Technologies in Long Island, allegedly tried to conceal the fact that Chinese-made surveillance and security equipment were made in America.

Questions:

  1. Agents from which bureaus raided the company?
  2. How long has the scheme been going on and how does that compare to the ACFE’s average time for this type of fraud?
  3. Who were the company’s largest customers?
  4. How much has the company averaged in revenues?

Source:

Sprouse, W. (2019). New York Tech Company Charged with Selling Chinese Equipment to U.S. Military. CFO, Nov. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.cfo.com/fraud/2019/11/new-york-tech-company-charged-with-selling-chinese-equipment-to-u-s-military/)

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According to Business Insider, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google has teamed up with the hospital system Ascension to collect personal health information on millions of Americans, as part of Project Nightingale.

Questions:

  1. For you, what is the most troubling issue related to this story?
  2. Can you explain how it would be possible for Ascension to allow Google use of the consumer data without their consent and still comply with HIPAA?
  3. How large is Ascension in terms of operating revenue?
  4. What did Google say that it would use the data for?

Source:

Feinstein, C. (2019). Google and a massive hospital system are reportedly collecting private health data on millions of Americans in secret. BusinessInsider.com, Nov. 11 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/google-ascension-collecting-private-health-data-wall-street-journal-2019-11)

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Rogue Creamery, which took the top prize at the World Cheese Awards with its Rogue River Blue produced in Oregon, has seen sales and interest jump.

Questions:

  1. Which countries won this honor for the two years prior to this year?
  2. Where are the World Cheese Awards judged?
  3. How much are Rogue Creamery’s sales up since the award was announced?
  4. How should Rogue account for the award in its accounting records?
  5. How many other cheeses and countries entered the contest?
  6. How old is the Rogue Creamery?

Source:

Holson, L.M. The World’s Best Cheese? It’s Blue and Comes From Oregon. The New York Times, Nov. 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/01/dining/best-cheese-rogue-river-blue.html)

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According to the New York Times, the end of Barney’s, the famed department store, involved executives crisscrossing the globe, all-night strategy sessions, last-minute alliances, and attempts to sway public opinion. However, all these attempts led to bankruptcy.

Questions:

  1. What happened to Barney’s in bankruptcy court?
  2. How many full-time employees will be affected?
  3. Gene Pressman, a member of Barney’s founding family, thought about buying the store, but what issue prevented him from buying it?
  4. What firm is known for buying the intellectual property of flailing retailers and was the major buyer of Barney’s?
  5. What does the company in Question 4 do with the intellectual property? How do you think the buyer should record this in the accounting records?

Source:

Friedman, V. and S. Maheshwari. (2019). Barney’s New York is Sold for Scrap, Ending an Era. The New York Times, Nov. 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/01/business/media/barneys-bankruptcy-authentic-brands.html)

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According to the New York Times, Google said on Nov. 1 that it is acquiring Fitbit, the maker of fitness-tracking devices, for $2.1 billion to close the gap with Apple in the growing market for wearable electronics and to add muscle to its expanding hardware business.

Questions:

  1. Why is the deal is likely to face regulatory scrutiny? On what basis?
  2. How old is the Fitbit company?
  3. What product is a direct competitor to FitBit?
  4. What is the market share of FitBit versus its direct competitor identified in question 3?
  5. If Google fails to secure permission from the SEC to buy FitBit, how much will it have to pay FitBit?
  6. If you were Google’s CFO, how would you account for the amount of money pledged in Question No. 5 above?  

Source:

Wakabayashi, D. and Adam Satariano. (2019). Google to Buy Fitbit for $2.1 Billion. The New York Times, Nov. 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/01/technology/google-fitbit.html)

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According to the Washington Post, many small companies tied to the housing market are seeing a slowdown in business, one that’s forecast to continue well into 2020.

Questions:

  1. How much did the sales of existing homes fall during September?
  2. How has the median sales price for a home changed since a year ago?
  3. How long is this decline expected to last?

Source:

Rosenberg, J. (2019). Rising home prices, falling sales hurting small businesses. The Washington Post, Oct. 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/rising-home-prices-falling-sales-hurting-small-businesses/2019/10/28/5cf96d50-f993-11e9-9e02-1d45cb3dfa8f_story.html)

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According to the Washington Post, two Southwest Airlines pilots allegedly hid a camera in a plane’s lavatory and live-streamed the video to an iPad mounted on the windshield of the cockpit aboard a flight, according to a lawsuit filed by a flight attendant.

Questions:

  1. What type of suit is this?
  2. When did this incident happen?
  3. Despite the question about employment status of the pilots, who is ultimately hurt by these actions?
  4. Could there potentially be additional lawsuits related to this incident?

Source:

Lazo, L. (2019). Two Southwest pilots hid a camera in a plane’s lavatory and live-streamed video to the cockpit, according to lawsuit. The Washington Post, Oct. 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/10/27/two-southwest-pilots-hid-camera-planes-lavatory-live-streamed-video-cockpit-according-lawsuit/ )