Cheap Drinks?

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McDonalds is trying to mix it up. No all-day breakfast but cheap drinks. Will it work? Questions: 1. What are the profit margins on drinks? 2. Who is McDonalds’ CEO? How long has he been there? 3. When does the drink promotion begin? 4. What is happening in the fast-food restaurant industry overall in terms… Read more »

What will be the distributional consequences of this tax overhaul?

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According to Neil Irwin, our current tax system is infinitely complicated and it gives companies incentives to borrow too much money and move operations to countries with lower tax rates. With the House, Senate and presidency all soon to be in Republican hands and with all agreeing that a major tax bill is a top… Read more »

International students save the day at U.S. state universities

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Amid funding shortages, American colleges are turning to international students, who offer a lifeline to cash-strapped U.S. state schools. Questions: 1. How many international students were enrolled in U.S. Universities last year? 2. What percent increase have universities seen in the enrollment of international students since the 2005/2006 school year? 3. Discuss what is happening… Read more »

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 »