Is it fair that some hospitals are charging 400% above their costs to deliver services?

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According to government data, hospitals charge Medicare wildly differing amounts — sometimes 10 to 20 times what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure. This raises questions about how hospitals determine prices and why they differ so widely. Questions: 1. Discuss the data set and what was included. 2. According to the article, who… Read more »

IPO Fever

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U.S. companies are on track to raise the most money through initial public offerings since before the financial crisis. It appears that this trend is driven by the same thirst for risk among investors that has pushed the stock market to new highs. Questions 1. Based on the information given in this article, what is… Read more »

The Tragedy of “Fast Fashion”

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A garment factory, manufacturing products for international clothing companies, collapsed outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, last month. The collapse killed more than 400 workers and injured many others. This tragedy came on the heels of a factory fire in November 2012, which killed 112 workers. Questions: 1. Who are some of the chains that supply “cheap… Read more »

Pension Advances to be Scrutinized by Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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This New York Times article discusses the allure of borrowing against pensions, which underscores an abrupt reversal in the financial fortunes of many retirees in recent years. The offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, both threatening their retirement savings and exacerbating mounting debt within… Read more »

Did you know that cash absorbs the smell of marijuana?

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John Davis, CEO of Northwest Patient Resource Center, runs two medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle. In Washington state, Davis runs a legal enterprise that generates thousands of dollars each quarter in state tax revenues. However, since selling pot is still a federal crime and banks are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, banks are… Read more »

Shareholders – 1; Corporations – 0; SEC – Tie Breaker

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This year’s proxy season is showing signs of greater activism by shareholders. The proxy advisory service Institutional Shareholder Services is projecting that there could be as many as 17 contests for the election of directors, which is slightly up from last year. The difference is that the contests are much bigger and include six at… Read more »

Just helping a friend

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On Thursday, April 4, federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission filed criminal and civil charges against fired KPMG accounting partner Scott London for conspiracy to commit securities fraud through insider trading. The accountant provided confidential information about KPMG audit clients Herbalife Ltd., Skechers USA Inc., Uggs maker Deckers Outdoor Corp., RSC Holdings and… Read more »

Trolling for Patent Infringement Cases

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One of the most striking results of a new academic study is that in 2012, litigation by patent monetization entities now represents a majority of the patent litigation filed in the United States. Specifically, patent monetization entities filed 58% of the patent lawsuits in 2012. This is a sharp rise from 2007, when patent monetization… Read more »

Do Stockholders Really Have Rights?

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In a recent article by James Stewart, it was noted that 41 directors of public companies lost their elections last year, but remained at their posts. How can this be, if this is a right of the stockholders? Stewart even found that directors who resign after losing votes don’t necessarily leave the board. Questions: 1…. Read more »

Got App?

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Yahoo is looking to the future by targeting young entrepreneurs with enterprising apps. Yahoo announced Monday, March 22, that it planned to acquire mobile news reader Summly, which was the brainchild of 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio. Yahoo plans to pay D’Aloisio a reported $30 million and he will become Yahoo’s youngest employee. Questions: 1. When Swartz’s… Read more »