White House Blues

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According to the Washington Post, there is discussion among senior White House officials to advance a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to limit the economic slowdown forecast by economists. Questions: When and how much was the last payroll tax cut and why was it made? Payroll tax cuts add dramatically to the deficit… Read more »

We’ve Seen This Movie Before And It Does Not End Well

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According to Paul Whitfield, economists differ on how much blame the Smoot-Hawley tariffs deserve for the Great Depression. They also disagree on how much credit President Franklin Roosevelt deserves for the Reciprocal Tariff Act, which put the U.S. on a path to lower  tariffs. But the market knows. Questions: According to the article, what similarities… Read more »

Strategic Differences

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HSBC announced that CEO, John Flint, was leaving the bank after only 18 months in the role.  Questions: What issues is Europe’s biggest bank grappling with currently? What specific strategic reason does the Board give for his departure?  What is the revenue risk that HSBC faces? Source: Reuters Staff. (2019). HSBC CEO John Flint leaves… Read more »

Equifax Hack Settlement

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According to the Washington Post, nearly half of all Americans were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, where hackers stole personal data for more than 147 million people: credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other identifying information. Now, as part of a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, the people whose data… Read more »

Goldman Sachs has a plan – but is it a good one?

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Goldman Sachs has a plan to combine five investing teams into a single alternatives unit. This plan has been doubted internally and has led to interesting drama within the firm. Questions: Who is Goldman’s CEO who announced this plan? Why is this move important to outside investors? Why is the debate centering around Goldman’s two… Read more »

Restructuring at Deutsche Bank

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Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, has begun a string of layoffs that will result in 20 percent fewer employees or 18,000 jobs. Questions: This slashing in jobs happened on the first day takeover of the new CEO. Who is the CEO? What happened to shares of Deutsche Bank after word of this sweeping overhaul? How… Read more »

Facebook terror attack?

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According to Business Insider, sarin, a deadly poison, has been detected in a mail facility at the Silicon Valley Facebook headquarters. Evacuation and FBI investigations were reported. Questions: Is it possible that the detection was a false positive and according to whom? What is the business park where Facebook is located? Based on the article,… Read more »

Amazon now tackles Beauty Industry

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Amazon.com Inc has just unveiled its online professional beauty store to sell supplies to licensed professional stylists, barbers and estheticians, and this move is causing the value of shares of other beauty retailers to drop. Questions: Which beauty retailers does the article mention? What will Amazon require for purchase? Do you think this will be a… Read more »

An interesting investing strategy

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As Business Insider notes, Goldman Sachs is saying that the wide valuation gap between cheap and expensive stocks could close shortly in favor of bargain hunters.  Questions: Why are investors reassessing the dynamics of value investing (or the strategy of buying stocks that are trading cheaply relative to the broader market)? According to Goldman equity analysts, how… Read more »

Ad-Tech Companies to chase big OTT dollars

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According to Business Insider, a cottage industry of companies has sprung up to grab a piece of the revenue flowing to over the top (or OTT) advertising. OTT refers to film and television content provided via a high-speed Internet connection rather than a cable or satellite provider. OTT does not mean free, as the term encompasses services… Read more »