A World without Stores? Where will we hangout?

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According to CNN, America’s long-standing love affair with shopping at malls and department stores may be nearing an end. Questions: 1. Compare the drop in jobs at shopping mall retail stores Between 2001 and 2016 and those jobs at coal mines. What does this say? 2. What are the demographics of workers at shopping mall… Read more »

Puerto Rico is Bankrupt!

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Puerto Rico has been facing huge debts and population loss for some time. However, in a historic move that will likely trigger a fierce legal battle, the island territory declared bankruptcy. Questions: 1. According to the article, what were the main debts it listed in its filing? 2. How many jobs and what amount of… Read more »

Is this Really a Good Thing?

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According to the New York Times, private equity firms have increasingly been taking over public services, like emergency care and firefighting, often with dire effects. Questions: 1. What are the factors that private equity firms apply to public services that put these arrangements into jeopardy? 2. About how many Americans work for companies owned by… Read more »

Cher sues to recover from financial firm over “rosy projections!”

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Cher claims Sail Venture Partners and several of its principals defrauded investors to rake in millions in management fees, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in L.A. County Superior Court. Questions: 1. When did this happen? 2. What did the managers do with the money? 3. Based on the information in the article, what do… Read more »

A Fraud Caught by a Channel-Surfing Judge!

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Dance Moms, a show on Lifetime TV is in its 6th season. The host is Abby Lee Miller, who is facing 20 counts of fraud due to allegations that she fudged specifics when it came to a bankruptcy filing. If found guilty on all counts, Ms. Miller is facing $5 million in fines and five… Read more »

The Bottom Line

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More than 250,000 of Corinthian Colleges’ victims will be able to get out from under massive and fraudulent student loan debts, Education Secretary John King will announce Friday in Boston. Questions: 1. What is the big asterisk that the article refers to? 2. How many schools and how many states are involved in this scam?… Read more »

American Apparel Bankruptcy

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American Apparel has been in the middle of a turnaround effort that includes store closings and some layoffs. The company also faces several lawsuits from ousted CEO Dov Charney. Now they face the bankruptcy court. Questions: 1. What were the allegations against previous CEO Charney and what types of financial strains has this put on… Read more »

The Question of Undue Hardship

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The bankruptcy case of Janet Roth stirred a debate over the rigidity of the “undue hardship” standard in discharging student loans. This year, President Obama instructed several governmental agencies to review, by Oct. 1, whether the treatment of student loans in bankruptcy should be altered. Questions: 1. How did Ms. Roth prepare for her case?… Read more »

No More SkyMall?

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The parent company for SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection on January 23, 2015. SkyMall was the entertaining catalogue of everything you never thought about buying, but was in the seat pockets of every plane. As Farhi said, “the value added to this grotesque shlock was SkyMall’s enthusiastic descriptive copy. SkyMall’s writers never let on that… Read more »

Living without Water

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Thousands of people in bankrupt Detroit haven’t paid their water bills. Even some businesses have skipped payment. How is the bankrupt city dealing with the most basic of problems — getting people to pay their bills? Questions: 1. Detroit is the poster child for shutting off water to customers delinquent on their bills. Even though… Read more »