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According to The Atlantic, a new report finds that big companies could have given their workers thousands of dollars’ worth of raises with the money they spent on their own shares.

Questions:
1. Where is money pulled away from when companies use it to buy back stock?
2. Which industries were part of the study?
3. What does Federal Reserve data show about buy backs?
4. According to the article, how much could Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot could have provided each of their workers, if they didn’t use the money to buy back stock?
5. Some analysts argue that buybacks hurt corporate America, American workers, and American growth in a few ways. What are these ways?

Source:

Lowrey, A. (2018). Are Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy? Atlantic, July 31, (Retrievable online at https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/07/are-stock-buybacks-starving-the-economy/566387/)

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According to Axios, Uber is planning a shift in emphasis from cars to electric bicycles and scooters for shorter journeys.

Questions:
1. What was the company that Uber acquired?
2. What were Uber’s losses last year?
3. How much did Uber pay for the electric bike-sharing company?
4. What types of risks do you anticipate for the new venture?

Source:
Staff (2018). Uber begins shift to e-bikes, scooters. Axios, August 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.axios.com/uber-electric-bikes-scooters-shift-98c5f842-9142-41bb-87bc-4ab386bcb82a.html)

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the typical student borrower will take out $6,600 in a single year, averaging $22,000 in debt by graduation.

Questions:
1. Of borrowers who started repaying in 2012, how many had defaulted by 3 years later?
2. By year 5, how many students default?
3. Collectively, how much do students owe and what amount in dollars is in default?
4. What is the AVERAGE DEFAULT RATE BY SCHOOL TYPE?
5. What type of repayment options are schools aggressively promoting?
6. What does this writer think that the federal government should do about the collection process?

Source:
Miller, B. (2018). The Student Debt Problem is Worse Than We Imagined. The New York Times, Aug. 25 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/25/opinion/sunday/student-debt-loan-default-college.html)

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Questions:
1. What did you think was the most interesting thing that Keltner and Piff found out as part of their experiments?
2. Why should we care about the ethics of wealthy people?
3. According to the article, what does power lead to?
4. In your opinion, what was the most remarkable point made in the article?

Source:
Wan, W. (2018). Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates. The Washington Post, Aug. 13 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/08/13/are-rich-people-more-likely-to-lie-cheat-steal-science-explains-the-world-of-manafort-and-gates/)

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According to the New York Times, attorneys general in 10 states are moving to investigate whether a clause in fast-food franchise agreements is preventing workers from switching jobs and, therefore, locking them into low-paying positions and, some economists say, contributing to widespread wage stagnation in the United States.

Questions:
1. Briefly explain how these clauses contribute to wage stagnation.
2. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about how many people work at fast-food restaurants?
3. What is McDonald’s position on these clauses?
4. What restaurants are targeted by the AG inquiry?
5. In your opinion, what was the most interesting point in this article?

Source:
Abrams, R. (2018). ‘No Poach’ Deals for Fast-Food Workers Face Scrutiny by States. July 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/09/business/no-poach-fast-food-wages.html)

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This article discusses how many companies are employing aggressive legal tactics and taking advantage of loosely written state laws, to push for restitution even when people have not been convicted of wrongdoing.

Questions:
1. How much does shoplifting cost stores each year?
2. What happens in many states to payments made to retailers before court proceedings if shoplifting cases are ultimately dismissed or the people are cleared?
3. In your opinion, what was the most remarkable point made in this article?
4. How do you think retailers account for these payments (prior to court) in the ledger? Present an example journal entry.

Source:
Corkery, M. (2018). They’re Falsely Accused of Shoplifting, but Retailers Demand Penalties. The New York Times, August 17 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/business/falsely-accused-of-shoplifting-but-retailers-demand-they-pay.html)

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According to this article, Dollar General, the fastest-growing retailer in America, is blasting across Middle America opening stores at the rate of three a day in failing towns that Wal-Mart won’t go to.

Questions:
1. What is the claim that Dollar General makes about its stores and the population that surround them?
2. What are the costs associated with Dollar General coming to the small towns in the Heartland?
3. What are the benefits associated with Dollar General coming to small towns in the Heartland?
4. Based on the article, do you think Dollar General’s strategic model is sustainable? Discuss.

Source:
McGreal, C. (2018). Where even Walmart won’t go: how Dollar General took over rural America. The Guardian, August 12 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/13/dollar-general-walmart-buhler-haven-kansas)

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Emergent BioSolutions, a Maryland-based pharmaceutical company that provides infectious-disease vaccines for the U.S. government, is about to add cholera and typhoid vaccines to its arsenal of preventives.

Questions:
1. What is Emergent’s link to the defense contracting market?
2. According to the article, briefly describe Emergent’s corporate history.
3. What health issues does the PaxVax acquisition serve?
4. What is Emergent’s revenue target for 2020?
5. Based on Emergent’s most current quarterly revenue and its projections for PaxVax, does this seem doable? Discuss and show calculations to make your case.

Source:

Gregg, A. (2018) Emergent BioSolutions to acquire cholera and typhoid vaccines in $270 million deal. Washington Post, Aug. 12 (retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/emergent-biosolutions-to-acquire-cholera-and-typhoid-vaccines-in-270-million-deal/2018/08/12/6f7165b6-9be1-11e8-8d5e-c6c594024954_story.html?utm_term=.a9b702af64eb)

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In a new study from the University of Toledo, researchers found that an increase in exposure to blue light can accelerate blindness.

Questions:
1. How does this mechanism work?
2. Does your cell phone have blue light? How many devices do you have or use, which have blue lights?
3. What suggestions does the article offer to avoid exposure?
4. How do you think this study will influence the development of products?

Source:
Karangu, J. (2018) Blue light from your smartphone could speed up blindness, study shows. Komonews.com (Retrievable online at https://komonews.com/news/offbeat/blue-light-from-your-smartphone-could-speed-up-blindness-study-shows)

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Apple made history this week by becoming the first $1 trillion publicly traded U.S. corporation on Thursday.

Questions:

1. How many years has it been since the 1st company became a $1 billion U.S. corporation?
2. What company was the first $1 billion U.S. corporation?
3. What companies are close behind Apple’s $1 trillion?
4. If you invested $10,000 in Apple when it first sold publicly traded stock at its initial public offering price of $22 in December 1980, how much would it be worth now, with reinvested dividends?

Source:
Heath, T. (2018). Apple makes history by hitting the $1 trillion cap. How high could it go? Washington Post, Aug. 3 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/apple-has-made-history-by-hitting-the-1-trillion-cap–but-what-does-that-mean/2018/08/03/74525746-9670-11e8-810c-5fa705927d54_story.html)