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Deutsche Bank’s shares hit a record low, but Germany’s largest lender said there is no reason to get the German government’s help in settling claims of $14 billion with the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ).
Questions:
1. What is the record low price of shares of Deutsche Bank?
2. What is a summary of the lender’s legal problems with the U.S. DoJ?
3. What is the “rights issue” that the article refers to?
Source:
Jones, K. and J. Nasr. (2016). Deutsche Bank says no need for Berlin’s help in $14 billion U.S. dispute. Reuters.com, September 26 (Retrievable online at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-deutsche-bank-mortgages-idUSKCN11W10U)

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According to Reuters, the Federal Reserve will seek significantly more capital from the largest U.S. banks and give some relief to smaller banks as it considers reforms to its annual ‘stress test.
Questions:
1. What is a stress test?
2. How will the proposed reforms mean different things depending on the size of the bank?
3. Why is this a change (i.e., what will be included in this package of modifications)?
4. Who is Daniel Tarullo?
Source:
Rucker, P. (2016). Fed will seek more capital from largest U.S. banks: Tarullo. Reuters.com, Sep. 26 (Retrievable online at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-tarullo-idUSKCN11W1UH).

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is generating product hysteria at its finest.

Questions:
1. How does this Chase card compare to the American Express’s Platinum charge card?
2. What are the options that provide the secret to its popularity?
3. Perform a cost benefit analysis on this card. What would make you get one?

Source: Cowley, S. (2016) Value-Seekers Warm to a $450 Annual Credit Card Fee. The New York Times, Sep. 12 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/business/dealbook/credit-card-rewards-chase-sapphire-reserve-annual-fees.html)

Cellphones_Planes-08d0f

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In the wake of the fatality, Tesla has said that Autopilot is not meant to take over completely for a human driver.

Questions:
1. What was the failure for Tesla, if any? What new measures is Tesla implementing?
2. What future plans do other automobile makers have for this technology?
3. Based on the science, would you invest in some of the machine learning algorithms mentioned and what new applications do you see as possibilities?

Source:
Lohr, S. (2016). A Lesson of Tesla Crashes? Computer Vision Can’t Do It All Yet. Sep. 19 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/science/computer-vision-tesla-driverless-cars.html)

digital brain

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When prepaid cards started out, they were basically simple gift cards from retail stores. Since that time they have become popular financial-management tools, rivaling bank checking accounts. Because of this, regulators have plans this fall to bring the sector under greater scrutiny.

Questions:
1. How much is expected to be loaded on prepaid cards this year?
2. What would the new rule by the CFPB require?
3. Who are the “unbanked” and why are they currently treated differently according to this article?

Source:

Hayashi, Y (2016). Prepaid Cards’ Growing Popularity Catches Regulator’s Eye. The Wall Street Journal, Sep. 17 (Retrievable online at http://www.wsj.com/articles/prepaid-cards-growing-popularity-catches-regulators-eye-1474104603)

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Reversing a landmark ruling from the George W. Bush era, the National Labor Relations Board ruled today that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities have the right to form labor unions.

Questions:
1. Where did the original case take place?
2. What universities are excluded from the ruling and why?
3. What types of issues were at stake?
4. What types of payroll issues will this affect?
5. What types of HR issues will this affect?
Source: Harkinson, J. (2016). In a Major Reversal, Labor Board Says Graduate Student Workers at Private Colleges Can Unionize. Mother Jones, Aug. 23 (Retrievable online at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/nlrb-grad-students-right-organize-union)

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According to this article, Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s billions. Instead, the Irish government is appealing Europe’s tax ruling, a move that is exposing a rift in a country still feeling the aftershocks from years of harsh cutbacks.

Questions:
1. What is your opinion of the politically motivated defense?
2. Would you consider Ireland to be a tax haven? Why or why not?
3. What is the unemployment rate in Ireland and what could the money be used for?

Source: Scott, M. (2016) Ireland Doesn’t Want Apple’s Back Taxes, but the Irish Aren’t So Sure. The New York Times, Sep. 11 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/business/international/ireland-doesnt-want-apples-back-taxes-but-the-irish-arent-so-sure.html)

Kim Jong

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According to The Guardian, Wells Fargo will pay $185m in a settlement over illegal sales practices that included the opening of unauthorized duplicate accounts and credit cards by employees in order to meet sales quotas.

Questions:
1. What does the settlement include?
2. Over what period did this take place?
3. Which agency took action against Wells Fargo?
4. According to the article, sanctions are not enough. What did they recommend and what is your opinion of the situation?

Source: KasperKevic, Jana. (2016). Wells Fargo to pay $185m for aggressive, illegal sales tactics. The Guardian, Sep. 8 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/08/wells-fargo-settlement-illegal-sales-accounts)

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At some state prisons, budget cuts have led to a reduction in the caliber and total number of meals that prisoners receive, which means that the practical value of ramen noodles have skyrocketed in their value as contra ban.

Questions:
1. According to the article, why don’t prisoners stock up on Ramen, since it commands far greater value than its actual worth when exchanged for different items?
2. What is Nutraloaf? What was its purpose and history?
3. One of the most striking sentences in the article was: What’s striking is that the most sought-after item in American prisons has shifted from cigarettes, coffee, envelopes, or stamps—none of which are essential—to food, a necessity. Discuss this statement in terms of equity, economics, markets, and costs.
4. According to the example of thermal clothing, what is the exchange rate for a package of Ramen noodles? Why is this rate different in prison than on the outside?
5. In your opinion, what was the most interesting thing that you learned in the article?

Source:

Chandler, A. (2016). In Prison, Ramen Is the New Cigarettes. The Atlantic, August 24 (Retrievable online at http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/ramen-prison-economy/497228/)

Ramen

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This week, the European Union (E.U.) ordered Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple. According to Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, Apple’s illegal deals with the Irish government allowed the company to funnel profit from two Irish subsidiaries to a “head office” with “no employees, no premises, no real activities,” according to Ms. Vestager.

Questions:
1. How many years of back taxes is the E.U. requesting and what amount is this?
2. What percentage of Apple’s total cash pile is this back tax request?
3. Why is this seen as jeopardizing the economic partnership between the U.S. and the E.U.?
4. What other companies has Ms. Vestager gone after for tax avoidance? Discuss the details.
5. What are some of the reasons that Apple gravitated toward Ireland for its tax issues?

Source:
Kanter, J. and M. Scott. (2016). Apple Owes $14.5 Billion in Back Taxes to Ireland, E.U. Says. The New York Times, August 30 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/31/technology/apple-tax-eu-ireland.html)