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According to the Guardian, Trump-imposed tariff of 25% on $200bn of goods could add about $160 to the cost of a $999 Chinese-made iPhone XS.

Questions:

  1. How is Apple trying to shield customers slightly from the tariff?
  2. What other bad news has Apple received from the U.S. Supreme court lately?
  3. By how much have Apple shipments of the iPhone fallen to the U.S. in the first 3 months of this year?
  4. What are your thoughts about the tariffs and how do you see them affecting you personally? Discuss.

Source:

Helmore, E. (2019). Apple’s iPhone cost faces sharp increase as US-China trade dispute worsens (Retrievable online at
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/13/iphone-price-cost-apple-latest-us-china-trump-trade-war-news).

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According to the Guardian,  if Trump Tower and other Trump sites do not cut emissions, the Trump Organization will owe $2.1m a year from 2030.

Questions:

  1. How many Trump properties in New York City do not comply with new regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions?
  2. Which body passed these fines?
  3. What will be required by the Trump properties to comply with the regulations?

Source:

Milman, O. (2019). Trump buildings face millions in climate fines under new New York rules. The Guardian, May 6 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/06/trump-labor-department-gig-economy)

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According to the New York Times, the rich are not being audited by the IRS because the I.R.S. is not being provided with the resources it needs to chase offshore accounts and tax cheats.

Questions:

  1. Why do the authors of this article submit that taxing ultramillionaires is not the problem?
  2. Over what period of time do the authors say that the IRS has been eviscerated and what has this entailed?
  3. What percentage of the highest-earning Americans account for about a fifth of the income that’s hidden from the I.R.S.?
  4. Where are the counties with the highest rates of tax audits found and why?

Source:

Eisinger, J. and P. Kiel. (2019). Why the Rich Don’t Get Audited. The New York Times, May 3 (Retrievable online at
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/03/sunday-review/tax-rich-irs.html)

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Teenagers from Gen Z keep confounding Corporate America. And as Bloomberg points out, they may hold the key to saving U.S. shopping malls.

Questions:

  1. As opposed to a three-month period in 2018 when 75 percent of millennials and 58 percent of Gen X’ers went to shopping malls, what percentage of Gen Z frequented these physical locations?
  2. Who are Gen Z’ers?
  3. What percentage of Gen Z’ers said they preferred brick and mortar shopping to online shopping experiences?
  4. What are some of the ways that U.S. retailers are keeping up with trends?

Source

Holman, J. (2019). Millennials Tried to Kill the American Mall, But Gen Z Might Save It. Bloomberg, April 29 (Retrievable online at
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-25/are-u-s-malls-dead-not-if-gen-z-keeps-shopping-the-way-they-do?srnd=businessweek-v2)

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Typically, fines need to be high enough to change the behavior of a company. According to Buzz Feed News, $3 billion is too low to change the behavior of Facebook.

Questions:

  1. During the first three months of 2019 after the $3 billion fine, how much did the revenues of the company grow?
  2. How much did Facebook think the expenses could go as high as?
  3. After announcing the anticipated settlement, by how much did Facebook’s market capitalization climb in just over an hour of after-hours trading?
  4. What are the fines for and which regulatory body is imposing them?

Source:

Kantrowitz, A. and R. Mac. (2019). Facebook Set Aside $3 Billion For A Penalty. Then It Grew By $40 Billion. Buzz Feed News, April 24 (Retrievable online at
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/alexkantrowitz/facebook-3-billion-ftc-fine-little-impact )

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A penniless young woman, who left Russia in 2014 and faked her way to Manhattan as an “heiress,” is now facing up to 15 years in prison.

  1. How did Ms. Sorokin bilk a bank out of $100,000?
  2. What charges does Ms. Sorokin face?
  3. Why did Ms. Sorokin’s lawyer, Todd Spodek, argue that she had not committed a crime?
  4. Which part of this story was the most interesting or remarkable in your opinion?
  5. Were there any red flags that people around her should have noted?

Source:

Ransom, J. and E. Palmer (2019). Fake Heiress Who Swindled N.Y.’s Elite Is Found Guilty. The New York Times, April 25 (Retrievable online at
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/nyregion/anna-delvey-sorokin-verdict.html)

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According to the Associated Press, a powerful New Mexico regulatory authority is requiring the state’s largest utility to bill Facebook $39 million for a new transmission line construction for its data center — a move the social media giant says it was not expecting.

Questions:

  1. What is the total cost for the transmission project for Facebook?
  2. What was Facebook’s response to this move by the New Mexico regulatory authority?
  3. Is this Facebook’s only data center?
  4. The contract in New Mexico was part of what type of initiative?

Source:

AP Staff. (2019). New Mexico panel surprises Facebook with $39M utility bill. Associated Press, April 18 (Retrievable online at https://apnews.com/d9396a5f9b9d4b5fa6383fbdd68f37cf )

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According to CNN, the remains of defunct Sears Holdings is suing Eddie Lampert, the man who was its previous CEO and primary shareholder, alleging he improperly stripped the company of assets as it hurdled toward bankruptcy.

Questions:

  1. In addition to Eddie Lampert, who else is named in the suit for the theft of Sears’ assets?
  2. What Sears assets were spun off and ultimately had Lampert as a major shareholder?
  3. What is the potential success for this type of lawsuit?

Source:

Isidore, C. 2019. Sears sues former CEO Eddie Lampert for ‘thefts’ of company assets. CNN, April 18 (Retrievable online at
https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-sues-ex-ceo-eddie-lampert-claiming-he-stripped-assets-and-left-it-broke-11555597288 )

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According to Buzz Feed News, police are questioning more than a dozen people over the theft of 100 expensive automobiles in Chicago after a car sharing company reported that some of its fleet was stolen using its mobile app, forcing it to temporarily shut down the service in the city.

Questions:

  1. What are most of the stolen cars being used for?
  2. What is the size of the Car2Go fleet?
  3. What car company has Car2Go recently joined forces with?

Source:

Baer, S.K. (2019). More Than 100 High-End Cars Were Stolen Using An App In A Possible Chicago Crime Spree. Buzz Feed News, April 18 (Retrievable online at
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/skbaer/chicago-rental-car-company-fraud )

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Yale University has rescinded the admission of a student that officials at the school say was involved in a nationwide college entrance fraud that ensnared 50 people, including Hollywood actresses and CEOs, some of whom have already appeared in court.

Questions:

  1. To make this scam work, who was “on the take” inside Yale?
  2. Who was the ring leader in the scam and what was his role?
  3. Bribes were paid to a 503 (c) (3) tax exempt organization at the core of this scandal. As a result, the bribes were deducted by the parents who were trying to get their kids into prestigious schools. What will ultimately happen to the deductions made by the ensnared individuals?

Source:

Hutchinson, B. and B. Hartman. (2019) Yale rescinds student’s admission as defendants charged in alleged $25 million college entrance scam plead not guilty in Boston federal court. ABC.com, March 25 (Retrievable online at
https://abcnews.go.com/US/defendants-charged-25-million-college-entrance-scam-set/story?id=61910331)