Interesting Educational Strategy

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At U.S. colleges, like NYU and Northeastern, some freshmen are beginning their studies abroad during their first and even second semesters. According to Bloomberg, the strategy is one used by universities to enroll larger classes and get more tuition dollars. How? The universities use the students and their tuitions to fill the beds of midyear… Read more »

Way to go Detroit!

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Chrysler has turned its first profit since leaving bankruptcy two years ago. The company reported first-quarter net income of $116 million and revenues of $13.1 billion on Monday. The profit is a milestone in Chrysler’s long road back to health after its 2009 bankruptcy. It last reported a profit in 2007. Questions: 1. What percentage… Read more »

Risky Bonds? Where do you put your money?

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With bond yields so low and the potential downgrading of bonds, is it a good idea to substitute dividend-paying stocks for bonds? Some would say yes, since dividend-paying stocks yield more than some bonds, and have more upside potential. But there’s no getting around the fact that stocks, including dividend-paying stocks, are generally more volatile… Read more »

Healthcare Turf

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Walgreens (WAG), the country’s largest drugstore chain, is poised to expand even further into healthcare. At Walgreens’ annual shareholder conference, company officials talked about a new educational program for patients with chronic and complex diseases, and even mentioned the possibility of a Walgreens role in the emerging accountable care organizations. Until recently, most retail clinics… Read more »

Mickey D’s in the News: Which story is right?

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According to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.  However, less than an hour after that release, ABC News  and Reuters reported that McDonald’s and the Obama administration… Read more »

What a Tale!

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During the boom, Wachovia banker Robert Verrone made money by slicing and dicing billions of dollars in commercial real estate loans. After the crash, he made money by restructuring those loans before they blew up. As Wachovia’s No. 1 underwriter of securitized commercial real estate debt between 2002 and 2007, Verrone resigned just months before… Read more »

What’s up with Hulu?

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According to the New York Times, Hulu is approaching investment banks to underwrite an IPO this fall valuing the company at $2 billion. What is Hulu? Hulu is an online video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, movies, and more at Hulu.com and numerous destination sites online and across four screens —… Read more »

Saving Money through Social Media

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The recession has bred a new type of coupon: the group coupon. In recent months, several Web sites have launched nationwide giving customers discounts on restaurant meals, sporting events, spa treatments, golf outings — pretty much any expenditure that many people give up during economic downturns. The catch is that the coupon only applies if… Read more »

New Revenue Recognition Standards on the Way for Contractors

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Contractors should be educating themselves on the impact of the new proposed revenue recognition standards and the recently published (June 24, 2010) exposure draft pertaining to revenue from contracts with customers. Public comments are due October 22, 2010, and it is expected the standards will be finalized in 2011. Questions: 1. What are some of… Read more »

Small Discrepancies Grow Into a Giant Fraud

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Satyam Computer Services, a leading Indian outsourcing company that served more than a third of the Fortune 500 companies, was at the heart of a huge 2009 fraud perpetrated through the significant inflation of earnings and falsification of accounts and assets for a number of years.  Chairman, Ramalinga Raju, resigned  in January 2009 after revealing that… Read more »