What Do Rodney Dangerfield and Some U.S. Companies Have in Common?

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CoreBrand, a consultancy firm investigating brand reputation, recently released a report on 1,000 U.S. Companies. The results are presented in this article. Interestingly the most respected brands are in the same industry and they are Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, Inc. While Coke has enjoyed this status for six years straight, Pepsi moved up from being the… Read more »

Conflict of Interest?

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The commercials may sound wonderful, but unfortunately, patients are being victimized by medical credit cards. The cards, issued by specialty finance companies and commercial banks, carry huge interest rates after an initial zero interest period expires. There are also heavy penalties for late payments. Questions: 1. What types of services can be paid for with… Read more »

Amazon’s profit strategy?

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Almost daily, Amazon announces that it is entering another new venture. How do they do it, since they have yet to show profit that supports their share price? Questions: 1. After reading the article, do you think that Amazon with stay with a discounter form of commerce? 2. How do you think Amazon accounts for… Read more »

Based on Projections, The Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) will Likely Benefit Hospitals

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According to Fitch Ratings, the benefit for hospitals via enrollment in plans offered on the state health insurance exchanges starting Oct. 1 is uncertain, since participant numbers have yet to be disclosed. However, it is anticipated that as enrollment increases, hospitals’ ability to reduce bad debt will also increase and that would clearly be a… Read more »

A Dragnet for Astroturfing

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As a result of a year-long investigation, New York regulators will announced on September 23, 2013 that they would crackdown on deceptive and fake Internet reviews on products and services. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties. Questions: 1. Where were some… Read more »

Biotechnology Firm, Amgen, Acquires Anti-cancer Drugs

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Although Amgen is the world’s largest biotechnology company, they have not been in the anti-cancer drug market until now. Amgen, like other drug makers, is trying to refresh aging product lines through the acquisition. Questions: 1. What is the ranking of this takeover of biotechnology firms, in terms of historic purchases? What are examples of… Read more »

The Reinvention of Pawn Shops

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The pawnshop industry is growing. In 2007, there were approximately 6,400 pawn shops nation-wide. Now there are over 10,000. The expansion in pawnshops is fed, in part, by the increased number of Americans with tarnished credit which often bars them from the mainstream financial system. This article explains some of the niche services now offered… Read more »

Donald Trump is in the News Again!

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New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has sued Donald Trump for $40 million as a result of what he terms a fraudulent educational program through “Trump University.” The program promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and useless seminars. They also failed to deliver promised apprenticeships. Questions: 1. Instead of meeting… Read more »

Beware of rising rates

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This video offers advice for you on when to lock in low interest rates and pay off credit card debt. Questions: 1. Why does the bond market have so much affect on your life? 2. Why would you want to be as aggressive as you can to pay down credit card debt? 3. Why are… Read more »

Deutsche Bank Shrinks its Balance Sheet

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Deutsche Bank said it would significantly shrink its balance sheet to comply with stricter leverage rules as the lender missed analysts’ expectations in the second quarter. Questions: 1. What are some of the factors on why the bank is shrinking its balance sheet? Be specific. 2. Why have Deutsche Bank’s profits fallen recently? 3. Explain… Read more »