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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/ )

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For $250, you can now buy Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones, which are a smaller set of headphones with water resistance, active noise cancellation, and new touch functionality for phone users.

Questions:

  1. According to the article, how much did the price increase over the previous model?
  2. What other competitors does the article mention?
  3. Which function mentioned appeals to you the most and why?
  4. Is the premium over other competitors worth it to you? Why or why not?

Source:

Gilbert, B. Apple just unveiled ‘Pro’ AirPods that cost almost $100 more and have a brand-new design. Businessinsider.com, Oct. 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-airpods-pro-details-price-release-date-2019-10)

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Last week, Italy approved a new tax on giant digital companies, which President Donald Trump has threatened to retaliate against.

Questions:

  1. According to draft legislation, what are some of the U.S. companies that will be obliged to pay a 3% levy on internet transactions?
  2. How much is the Italian government expected to recoup from the tax?
  3. What was the deal that France and the United States reached in August regarding internet companies?
  4. What is the OECD’s position on taxing internet companies?

Source:

Fonte, G. (2019). Italy to introduce web tax on digital giants from 2020. Reuters, Oct. 16 (Retrievable online at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-budget-web-tax/italy-to-introduce-web-tax-on-digital-giants-from-2020-idUSKBN1WV138#targetText=ROME%20(Reuters)%20%2D%20Italy%20approved,threats%20of%20retaliation%20from%20Washington.&targetText=O)%2C%20to%20pay%20a%203,text%20of%20the%20draft%20budget.)

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Today, according to VOX, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a lawsuit challenging the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Questions:

  1. According to the article, who championed the establishment of the CFPB?
  2. In general, who leads most federal agencies and who leads most independent agencies by contrast?
  3. How is the leadership of the CFPB different?
  4. How far do you think the Supreme Court will go in potentially eliminating the CFPB?
  5. Explain the protection provided for the PCAOB in 2010 that resulted from the case:  Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Source:

Millhiser, I. (2019). The Supreme Court will decide if Trump can fire the CFPB director. The implications are enormous. VOX, Oct. 18 (Retrievable online at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/18/20872236/trump-justice-department-supreme-court-cfpb-unitary-executive)

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According to The Earth Island Journal, New York prosecutors working for then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued their first subpoenas in 2015 to Exxon, claiming that the oil giant used two sets of books and misled investors by downplaying the potential costs of carbon emissions. Next week, the case is actually coming to trial.

Questions:

  1. Is this a criminal or civil case and what is the difference?
  2. According to the article, what did the two sets of books hide in terms of dollars?
  3. Why does a lawyer from the Center for International Environmental Law expect to see more of these type lawsuits?
  4. In order to prevail, what will prosecutors have to prove?

Source:

Kusnetz, N. (2019). Exxon Climate Fraud Case Set to Start in New York Next Week. Earth Island Journal, Oct. 18 (Retrievable online at http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/articles/entry/exxon-climate-fraud-case-oil-sands-new-york)

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According to the WSJ, General Electric Co. said it was freezing its pension plan for about 20,000 U.S. workers and offering pension buyouts to 100,000 former employees, as the conglomerate joins the ranks of U.S. companies phasing out a guaranteed retirement.

Questions:

  1. Who is the CEO?
  2. The video said the CEO has been aggressive. What has he done to help cash flow?
  3. How does this Pension cut help?
  4. Briefly explain the transparency problem that GE has.
  5. Explain how lump-sum payments to about 100,000 former employees, who haven’t started collecting monthly pension payments, will help the business.

Source:

Gyrta, T. (2019). GE to Freeze Pensions for 20,000 Workers. The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/ge-unveils-pension-plan-changes-aimed-at-paring-deficit-debt-load-11570447318)