The Amazon Effect

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According to the New York Times, to create a Super Bowl snack, their authors bought the same ingredients at a new Whole Foods 365 store and a Walmart. The prices were different and so were the outcomes. Questions: 1. What did the authors want to cook? 2. What was the price difference? 3. Which cooked… Read more »

No cash allowed

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In Sweden, “No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across the country as payments go digital and mobile. Questions: 1. Why is going cashless bad for tax cheats? 2. Why are authorities in Sweden worried about the cashless society? 3. What percent of Swedes never use cash? 4…. Read more »

Protect what?

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Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB, which once was the agency dedicated to preventing banks and credit-card companies from scamming ordinary Americans, now becomes an agency dedicated to protecting potential financial scammers from legal penalties. Questions: 1. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for payday lenders? 2. Since Mulvaney took over, what has… Read more »

We want REAL eggs!

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Panera petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to update its 40-year-old definition of the word “egg” to exclude most of the processed egg products that have become popular with fast-food chains and food-service. Questions: 1. How long has the egg product rule been on the books of the FDA? 2. Do you agree with Panera?… Read more »

Dead or Alive?

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According to Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of investment research, the tumble in cryptocurrencies that erased nearly $500 billion of market value over the past month could get a lot worse. Questions: 1. What are some of the signs that Steve Strongin notes about cryptocurrencies that worry him? 2. What was Strongin… Read more »

Yummy!

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A team of scientists is hard at work behind the scenes to make meat by developing cell lines of various species of animals. Hampton Creek (now called JUST) is among a handful of startups with the goal of bringing “clean meat” and other cultured animal products into the mainstream. Questions: 1. What is the value… Read more »

Amazon can find you

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Amazon has patented designs for a wristband to be worn by warehouse employees that can precisely track where they are placing their hands and even use vibrations to nudge them in different directions. Questions: 1. What type of tracking is used? 2. What type of security implications do these bracelets have? 3. What was the… Read more »

More worries at Wells Fargo

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As the third-largest bank continues to suffer under a sales scandal that happened in 2016, Wells Fargo & Co detailed new regulatory restrictions imposed by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This news sent its shares down sharply in after-hours trading. Questions: 1. What are the growth restrictions on the bank imposed by the Feds? 2. Why… Read more »

How Can An Extended Shutdown Hurt the Economy?

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According to the New York Times, a partial stop with this shutdown costs the economy productive work time; historical evidence suggests, along with revenue that the federal government collects from daily fees at parks and museums that private-sector companies that contract with the government have their work temporarily disrupted, and travel spending is reduced, affecting… Read more »

Driving a Car in Manhattan may get pricey!

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Under a major proposal prepared for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, driving a car into the most congested parts of Manhattan under the new pay-to-drive plan would cost about $11.52. Questions: 1. What are the two goals of the plan? 2. What will trucks and taxis pay? 3. Who originally promoted the plan? 4. How much… Read more »