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 »

High-end Cards

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is generating product hysteria at its finest. Questions: 1. How does this Chase card compare to the American Express’s Platinum charge card? 2. What are the options that provide the secret to its popularity? 3. Perform a cost benefit analysis on this card. What would make you get one? Source:… Read more »

Prepaid Card Scrutiny – No more “under the radar”?

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When prepaid cards started out, they were basically simple gift cards from retail stores. Since that time they have become popular financial-management tools, rivaling bank checking accounts. Because of this, regulators have plans this fall to bring the sector under greater scrutiny. Questions: 1. How much is expected to be loaded on prepaid cards this… 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 »

Here’s the money. Do you want it?

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According to this article, Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s billions. Instead, the Irish government is appealing Europe’s tax ruling, a move that is exposing a rift in a country still feeling the aftershocks from years of harsh cutbacks. Questions: 1. What is your opinion of the politically motivated defense? 2. Would you consider Ireland to be… Read more »

You Got Caught! Unauthorized!

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According to The Guardian, Wells Fargo will pay $185m in a settlement over illegal sales practices that included the opening of unauthorized duplicate accounts and credit cards by employees in order to meet sales quotas. Questions: 1. What does the settlement include? 2. Over what period did this take place? 3. Which agency took action… 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 »

End of an Era

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A slice of Americana is about to “leave the stage.” For those of you who are too young to remember, Howard Johnson is not an old movie star. It was a bustling restaurant chain across the U.S. Sadly, the last of two remaining Howard Johnson restaurants will close on Sep. 6, making it the end… Read more »

CostCo Woes: Maybe or Maybe not?

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Costco started to transition from American Express to Visa as its exclusive credit card partner in June. As a result, delays and confusion have only gotten worse nearly two months later! Questions: 1. What were some of the biggest problems they faced? 2. Who is the issue of the new Costco Anywhere Visa and what… Read more »

Amazon and the 30 hour work week

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According to the Washington Post, the U.S. online retailer, Amazon, will try out teams that log 30-hour work weeks. But here is the catch: employees will receive the same benefits as those putting in 40-hour weeks, but get three-quarters of the pay. Questions: 1. Will this change be company-wide? 2. Last year the New York… Read more »