Seattle’s Creative Accounting

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According to The Week, a nine-person panel unanimously approved a new $275-per-employee tax on big companies (like Amazon) in Seattle, in order to raise about $48 million annually for homeless services. Questions: 1. In Seattle, how much has the number of people sleeping on the street grown by over the period from 2015to 2017? 2…. Read more »

Sweet Betsy from Pike

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In a break with Obama administration policy, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in December that some students cheated by the now-defunct schools would only get a part of their federal student loan forgiven. In order to determine how much to forgive, the agency analyzes average earnings of graduates from similar programs. Questions: 1. What did… Read more »

Flight of the Bumble Bee

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According to the Associated Press, U.S. prosecutors filed a criminal charge against the CEO of Bumble Bee Foods as part of an ongoing investigation into price fixing in the packaged seafood industry. Questions: 1. During what period did the firm allegedly conspire with others in the industry to eliminate competition by setting prices for canned… Read more »

Would you rather make a Type 1 or Type 2 Error Regarding the Emergency Room Visit?

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Jim Burton thought he was dying after lifting a box in his garage last and feeling a large jolt in his back. When his health insurer, Anthem, refused to pay for his E.R. visit of $1,722, citing that care was not needed right away, Jim learned that Anthem denied thousands of claims last year under… Read more »

Sports Betting in All States!

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According to the New York Times, The Supreme Court struck down a federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states, boosting the prospect of such gambling across the nation. Questions: 1. Who are the winners in this decision? 2. Who are the losers in this decision? 3. According to the article, what… Read more »

The Amazon of Health Care?

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According to Slate.com, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a sprawling health system that dominates much of western Pennsylvania’s health care market, announced that it would spend $2 billion to build a trio of new hospitals within its home city. Questions: 1. What was the purpose of each of the three hospitals? 2. What was… Read more »

For the “Can’t Believe it Happened” File

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Alleged postal thief mastermind Dushaun Henderson-Spruce orchestrated the theft of thousands of pieces of mail from a global corporation, including corporate American Express cards, business checks and invoices, and rerouted them halfway across the country. Questions: 1. How did he do it? 2. How long did the scheme last? 3. What internal control could have… Read more »

Now you see it, now you don’t…Presto!

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According to Axios, there was a 17% drop in international students in the U.S. last year, mostly due to the 28% decline in Indian students and a 24% decline in Chinese students receiving visas. Questions: 1. Is the trend in international students attributable to President Trump’s immigration policy changes and rhetoric? Explain. 2. What are… Read more »

Did you know that Amazon Prime was going to rise to $119 a year?

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According to the Washington Post, Amazon is justifying Prime’s 20 percent price hike, to $119 a year, by saying it is more a valuable service than when the fee last rose four years ago. Questions: 1. How many Amazon customers are Prime members? 2. What did the article (April 27) offer as alternatives or ways… Read more »

Shake, Shake, Shake that Ketchup Bottle!

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According to Bloomberg, the market value of Kraft Heinz is down $50 billion. Its major players, Warren Buffett and 3G Capital (who orchestrated the 2015 merger) for the packaged food giant, need to turbocharge sales or strike a big deal to satisfy Wall Street. Questions: 1. Where is the company trying to find sales growth?… Read more »