Venezuela’s Continuing Currency Crisis is Pushing the Country to the Brink of Collapse

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As oil prices drop and hyperinflation encroaches, there have been wide-reaching consequences for the entire population of this country. Questions: 1. What are some of the limitations that citizens must live with? 2. In December, the Venezuelan president announced the withdrawal of the country’s largest banknote from circulation? Why did the government make this move?… Read more »

All I got was a Plaque!

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In April 1967, hamburger lovers in Uniontown, Pa., south of Pittsburgh, met a newer, bigger burger. Introduced by a local McDonald’s, it was called the Big Mac, and for 45 cents it delivered, as a 1970s jingle would have it, “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun.” Questions: 1…. Read more »

A new “capital” buffer

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According to Reuters, the Federal Reserve will seek significantly more capital from the largest U.S. banks and give some relief to smaller banks as it considers reforms to its annual ‘stress test. Questions: 1. What is a stress test? 2. How will the proposed reforms mean different things depending on the size of the bank?… Read more »

Solidarity Forever!

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Reversing a landmark ruling from the George W. Bush era, the National Labor Relations Board ruled today that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities have the right to form labor unions. Questions: 1. Where did the original case take place? 2. What universities are excluded from the ruling and… Read more »

Apple and Taxing Issues!

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This week, the European Union (E.U.) ordered Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple. According to Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, Apple’s illegal deals with the Irish government allowed the company to funnel profit from two Irish subsidiaries to a “head office” with “no employees, no premises, no real… Read more »

The changing world of streaming

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Netflix’s growth in the U.S. has slowed dramatically, and the company is adding new international users slower than expected. Statistically, the company added 1.7 million new subscribers in the last three months, which is less than the 2.5 million the company predicted. Just 160,000 of them were in the U.S. Questions: 1. Netflix is available… Read more »

Here we Go Again? Another Enron?

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Short-seller and hedge fund manager, Jim Chanos, contends that the Alibaba Group is as problematic in its accounting positions as the now-defunct, corrupt energy giant, Enron. Questions: 1. What part of the company’s operations are most problematic and why? 2. What does cash flow have to do with this story? 3. What does Chanos claim… Read more »

Moving on up from Counterfeiting

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This article explains the latest spate of attacks on banks in Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, which security researchers say is the first time that a nation has used malicious code to steal purely for financial profit. The country is North Korea. Questions: 1. Security researchers and American government officials have tied thousands of attacks to… Read more »

Cheap Rent in San Francisco

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According to the Washington Post, Peter Berkowitz and his roommates came up with an innovative way to find affordable housing in San Francisco. Questions: 1. Why is the cost of living so high in San Francisco? 2. What are some of the other housing alternatives mentioned in the article? 3. How does the median rent… Read more »

A New Concept

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Because of a scramble to locate baby food at night, Robert Ilijason decided to open Sweden’s first unstaffed convenience store. The 39-year old IT specialist now owns a 24-hour convenience store that has no cashier. Questions: 1. How do the customers pay for their purchases? 2. How is the store monitored? What types of controls… Read more »