Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB, which once was the agency dedicated to preventing banks and credit-card companies from scamming ordinary Americans, now becomes an agency dedicated to protecting potential financial scammers from legal penalties.
1. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for payday lenders?
2. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for installment lenders?
3. What is the World Acceptance Corp.?
4. What has happened to the World Acceptance Corp.’s stock since Mulvaney took over at the CFPB? Do you think this is linked to his appointment?
Levitz, E. (2018) The CFPB Is Now the Predatory Lender Protection Bureau. New York Magazine,Jan. 24 (Retrievable online at http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/the-cfpb-is-now-the-predatory-lender-protection-bureau.html)
Panera petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to update its 40-year-old definition of the word “egg” to exclude most of the processed egg products that have become popular with fast-food chains and food-service.
1. How long has the egg product rule been on the books of the FDA?
2. Do you agree with Panera?
3. Were you aware of this the last time you ate at a fast-food restaurant?
4. What does McDonalds use in its products?
5. What do Panera’s competitors argue?
6. What does the article say about the FDA and change?
Dewey, Caitlin (2018) Panera is calling for a federal crackdown on the eggs in its competitors’ breakfast sandwiches. Washington Post, Jan. 25 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/25/panera-is-calling-for-a-federal-crackdown-on-the-eggs-in-its-competitors-breakfast-sandwiches/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_wonkblog-panera-11am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e5a6a2cfff1a)
According to Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of investment research, the tumble in cryptocurrencies that erased nearly $500 billion of market value over the past month could get a lot worse.
1. What are some of the signs that Steve Strongin notes about cryptocurrencies that worry him?
2. What was Strongin more upbeat about?
3. What does Strongin compare crytocurrencies to?
Nishizawa, K. (2018) Get Ready for Most Cryptocurrencies to Hit Zero, Goldman Says. Bloomberg, Feb. 6 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-07/get-ready-for-most-cryptocurrencies-to-hit-zero-goldman-says)
A team of scientists is hard at work behind the scenes to make meat by developing cell lines of various species of animals. Hampton Creek (now called JUST) is among a handful of startups with the goal of bringing “clean meat” and other cultured animal products into the mainstream.
1. What is the value of Hampton Creek?
2. What is the main goal of these startups?
3. What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?
4. What role can you see the accountant take in these type of ventures?
5. Would you eat meat made in a laboratory?
Shapiro, P. (2018) Lab-made meat could be the next food revolution: here’s what it tastes like. The Guardian, Jan. 31 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jan/31/eat-it-without-the-guilt-the-story-of-the-worlds-first-clean-foie-gras)
Amazon has patented designs for a wristband to be worn by warehouse employees that can precisely track where they are placing their hands and even use vibrations to nudge them in different directions.
1. What type of tracking is used?
2. What type of security implications do these bracelets have?
3. What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?
4. What type of accounting implications do the bracelets have?
Source: Solon, O. (2018) Amazon patents wristband that tracks warehouse workers’ movements. The Guardian, Jan. 31 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/31/amazon-warehouse-wristband-tracking)
As the third-largest bank continues to suffer under a sales scandal that happened in 2016, Wells Fargo & Co detailed new regulatory restrictions imposed by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This news sent its shares down sharply in after-hours trading.
1. What are the growth restrictions on the bank imposed by the Feds?
2. Why was this restriction imposed?
3. How will this potentially affect its profits and balance sheet?
4. How much was the settlement it made regarding the 2016 scandal?
5. What was the most interesting thing that you read in this article?
Schroeder, P. and L. LaCapra. (2018). Fed orders Wells Fargo to halt growth over compliance issues. Reuters.com. Feb.2 (Retrievable online at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-wells-fargo-fed/fed-orders-wells-fargo-to-halt-growth-over-compliance-issues-idUSKBN1FM2V9?il=0)
According to the New York Times, a partial stop with this shutdown costs the economy productive work time; historical evidence suggests, along with revenue that the federal government collects from daily fees at parks and museums that private-sector companies that contract with the government have their work temporarily disrupted, and travel spending is reduced, affecting local economies.
1. What cost does the government incur when it is late in paying contractors?
2. What are some of the non-monetary costs of the shutdown?
3. After reading this article, what surprised you the most about the costs of a government shutdown?
Cohen, P. and J. Tankersley. (2018). The Longer It Lasts, the More a Shutdown Could Hurt the Economy.The New York Times, Jan. 20 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/us/politics/economy-government-shutdown.html)
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) raised the monthly fee for the U.S. version of its fast-shipping and video-streaming service Amazon Prime by $2.
1. What is the goal of this price increase?
2. When was the last time Amazon raised a Prime rate?
3. What did Amazon’s price increase coincide with?
4. Approximately how many Prime members does Amazon have?
Venugopal, A. Amazon boosts monthly fee for Prime by $2, maintains yearly rate. Reuters, Jan. 19 (Retrievable online at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-price/amazon-boosts-monthly-fee-for-prime-by-2-maintains-yearly-rate-idUSKBN1F81P3)
Under a major proposal prepared for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, driving a car into the most congested parts of Manhattan under the new pay-to-drive plan would cost about $11.52.
1. What are the two goals of the plan?
2. What will trucks and taxis pay?
3. Who originally promoted the plan?
4. How much would the plan collect annually?
Source: Dwyer, j. and M. Hu. (2017) Driving a Car in Manhattan Could Cost $11.52 Under Congestion Plan. The New York Times, Jan. 18 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/nyregion/driving-manhattan-congestion-traffic.html)
The rush to enact the tax bill was designed to mask — as a break for the middle class — what is, in fact, a $1.4 trillion package of benefits for key donors and lobbyists, the richest members of Congress, President Trump, his family and other families like his.
1. What was the speed from introduction to passage of the bill?
2. What did the document entitled “The Games They Will Play: An Update on the Conference Committee Tax Bill” discuss?
3.Who are Glogower, Kamin, Kysar, and Shanske and what do they say about the tax bill?
Edsall, T.B. (2017).You Cannot Be Too Cynical About the Republican Tax Bill.The New York Times, Dec. 21 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/opinion/republican-tax-bill-trump-corker.html?WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0&action=click&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&pgtype=Homepage®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region)