Congress passed major tax legislation at the end of last year that could affect your refund if you are one of the people who usually look forward to a refund.
1. According to the article, based on the new 2018 withholding tables, what percent of people have too much in taxes withheld?
2. What percentage of people have too little in taxes withheld?
3. Who did the study and why?
4. What effect might the new standard deductions have on your withheld amounts?
Singletary, M. (2018). Counting on a tax refund next year? Double-check your withholdings now. Washington Post, Aug. 2 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/08/02/counting-tax-refund-next-year-double-check-your-withholdings-now/?utm_term=.67987d806cf0)
In a recent regulatory filing, Wells Fargo disclosed that between 2010 and 2015, they foreclosed on 400 homeowners after improperly denying them loan modifications that could have allowed them to stay in their homes.
1. According to the article, how did this happen?
2. How do they plan to compensate these people?
3. Do you think this is fair? Why or why not?
4. How was this problem found?
5. What customer problems has Wells Fargo had in the past?
Koren, J.R. (2018). Wells Fargo foreclosed on 400 people who may have had a chance to keep their homes. L.A. Times, Aug. 3 (Retrievable online at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wells-fargo-foreclosures-20180803-story.html)
Despite looming tax deadlines, the accountant that is ready in a minute’s notice can save a needy NHL team.
1. What team did Scott Foster sub for?
2. What was his performance that evening?
3. How did Scott become eligible to be the backup goalie?
4. What was your favorite part of this Cinderella story?
Greene, N. (2018). How a Full-Time Accountant Ended Up Playing in Goal for the Chicago Blackhawks. Slate, March 30 (Retrievable online at https://slate.com/culture/2018/03/how-a-full-time-accountant-played-14-minutes-in-goal-for-the-chicago-blackhawks.html)
Barbara Carroll’s quick trip to the bank turned into a nearly three-hour ordeal after a Wells Fargo branch accused the 78-year-old black woman of forgery.
1. How many forms of identification did Ms. Carroll have to show?
2. Why is Ms. Carroll suing the bank and why does she want a jury trial?
3. In your opinion, what was the worst part of Ms. Carroll’s encounter?
4. Would you have done anything different from what Ms. Carroll did in that situation?
5. What did the teller do after the incident?
6. What did the bank do after the incident?
Logan, E.B. (2018). A black woman says Wells Fargo didn’t want to cash her check. She’s suing for discrimination. Washington Post, July 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/07/27/a-black-woman-says-wells-fargo-didnt-want-to-cash-her-check-shes-suing-for-discrimination/)
Researchers used U.S. Census information paired with anonymous credit report data on more than four million Americans to study the age profile of people whose medical bills were sent to a US collections agency in 2016.
1. What did they find out about the average size of medical debt for patients 27 to 64?
2. Approximately what percentage of consumers have an unpaid medical bill that has been referred to a collection agency?
3. Why do individuals 65 years and older have costlier medical bills but little medical debt?
4. If you could make a difference, what would you suggest to Congress about the solution to the problems mentioned in this article?
Kuehner-Hebert, K. (2018). As if student loans weren’t enough, millennials also rack up the most medical debt. Benefits-Pro, July 30 (Retrievable online at https://www.benefitspro.com/2018/07/30/as-if-student-loans-werent-enough-millennials-also/?kw=As%20if%20student%20loans%20weren%27t%20enough%2C%20millennials%20also%20rack%20up%20the%20most%20medical%20debt&et=editorial&bu=BenefitsPRO&cn=20180730&src=EMC-Email&pt=NewsAlert&slreturn=20180630123922)
Fiat Chrysler on Saturday announced the sudden resignation of longtime CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is stepping down due to complications from surgery.
1. Who will be replacing Sergio?
2. When Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, what happened?
3. What’s the outlook for Dodge and Chrysler?
4. What’s going on with current Fiat sales?
Wattles, J., et al (2018). Sergio Marchionne, auto legend, steps down as CEO of Fiat Chrysler. CNN, July 21 (Retrievable online at https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/21/news/companies/sergio-marchionne-fiat-chrysler-stepping-down/index.html)
According to the Guardian, the New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success.
1. What has the company seen to support its claim of success?
2. What does New Zealand’s workplace relations minister say about the results?
3. How many employees participated in the study and from what company?
4. How is work-life balance defined?
Roy, E.A. (2018). Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success.’ The Guardian, July 18 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/19/work-less-get-more-new-zealand-firms-four-day-week-an-unmitigated-success)
Goolsbee (2018) addresses the convenience factor and why we are too often bumbled into allowing a company the power to monopolize us.
1. What did researchers Brent Neiman and Joseph Vavra find out about individual purchases grocery and big-box stores?
2. Based on the Neiman and Vavra study, the more specialized the demand, the _____ the prices people pay and the _________ the market power possessed by a company.
3. Goolsbee argues that behavioral traps need to be discussed in terms of their corporate market power. After reading the article, what do you think are some of the underlying causes of these phenomena from the consumer perspective?
4. In conclusion, what does Goolsbee suggest to keep company practices in check and keep companies guessing about consumer choices?
Goolsbee, A. (2018). How Consumers Can Resist Companies’ Market Power. The New York Times, July 20 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/20/business/how-consumers-can-resist-companies-market-power.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth®ion=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below)
In November 2017, manager, Fox Lui, wanted everyone to know that an employee was leaving the Meitu company because he had fired her, so he blasted her for poor execution and not embracing the company’s “user-first” values in a posting for all to see.
1. What is Meitu’s main business?
2. What does the company say its values are?
3. What were some of the problems with the company’s apps and the company itself?
4. Economically, how is the company doing? (From beginning of IPO launch to now.)
5. What happened to this executive?
Price, R. (2018). An exec at a $4.4 billion tech company fired a woman then put her on blast in a team-wide memo: Inside the nightmarish culture of a fast-growing Chinese beauty app. Business Insider, July 16 (Retrievable online at http://www.businessinsider.com/inside-meitu-chinese-selfie-app-chaotic-global-expansion-2018-5)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages fell over the last year for ordinary, non-management workers. This is further evidence that companies are managing to avoid paying amid one of the tightest labor markets in decades.
1. What was the fall in wages from June 2017 to June 2018?
2. In two sentences, explain why this might be happening.
3. According to the article, the U.S. has a monopsony problem. What does this mean? Research this term.
LeVine, S. (2018). 1 big thing: America’s wage crisis.