Here we go again!

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In a release on July 30, 2013, JP Morgan has agreed to pay a $410 penalty over allegations it manipulated U.S. electricity markets. According to the official release, JP Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation is alleged to have manipulated the electricity market through the company’s bidding activities in California and the Midwest during the period from… Read more »

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Who is the Most Expensive of Them All?

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It is hard to fathom but the newest British royal boy who was born in fanciest hospital ward in Britain cost $15,000. However, that is nothing compared to the average U.S. birth, where new parents are billed $30,000 and eventually pay $18,000. Questions: 1. What drives the high pregnancy health costs in the U.S. as… Read more »

Where are the Controls?: Corporate Ethical Breaches Identified by Auditors

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According to a 2011 internal audit, executives at the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline were warned about critical problems with the way the company conducted research at its drug development center in China. Potential financial risk and regulatory action are likely due to the sales practices that are currently at the center of a bribery and… Read more »

Cooking Empire Crumbles

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Questions: 1. Do you think that the businesses were right in dropping Ms. Deen’s licensing and merchandise endorsements? 2. Discuss the millions of dollars Ms. Deen will lose in terms of what financial statements and accounts affected. Be as specific as possible. 3. How did the whole Paula Deen incident start and what is the… Read more »

Would you prefer a payroll card to direct deposit?

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More and more American workers are facing fees before they are able to access their wages on payday. Why? Prepaid cards have been issued by their employers to replace direct deposit or paper paychecks. Questions: 1. Who are some of the well-known companies using these prepaid cards? Why is the New York attorney general getting… Read more »

Would you invest in a Bitcoin Fund?

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Bitcoin has been promoted as an alternative crypto-currency that exists outside the realms of governments and central banks. Now Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins best known for their part in the history of Facebook, filed a proposal with securities regulators that would allow any investor to trade bitcoins, just as if they were stocks…. Read more »

Could you live on $8M a month?

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Equilar Inc., the executive compensation analysis firm, found that the median 2012 pay package came in at $15.1 million — a leap of 16 percent from 2011. However, at 19 percent in 2012, that median stock market returns for these companies was only three percentage points higher than the pay raise. Lawrence J. Ellison, founder… Read more »

Double-Dipping Pain

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Many homeowners are being taken to court by their lenders long after their houses were taken in foreclosure. How? Lenders are filing new motions in old foreclosure lawsuits and hiring debt collectors to pursue leftover debt, plus court fees, attorneys’ fees and tens of thousands in interest that had been accruing for years. Questions: 1…. Read more »

Deloitte Fined and Banned: Accounting Firm Botches Consulting Engagement Dealing with Bank Regulatory Problems

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Deloitte was hired by Standard Chartered, a British bank, to independently spot suspicious money transfers routed through its New York branches. However, as the consultants, a final report submitted to state regulators was watered down, indicating misconduct by Deloitte and a lack of autonomy for Standard Chartered’s illicit transfers of billions of dollars on behalf… Read more »

The Goldilocks Number

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Why does Wall Street like a “Goldilocks number” when it comes to job growth? Job growth in May kept up with the year’s monthly average, with 175,000 new jobs added. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.6 percent. Questions: 1. What is the role of the Federal Reserve regarding the risk Wall Street sees?… Read more »