Well-Oiled Machine? Well – Maybe Not!

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United and Continental closed their merger in 2010 and created what was then the world’s largest airline. After nearly 5 years, executives are still working to integrate United Continental Holdings into a single company—and struggling with some high-profile operational and customer service problems. Questions: 1. What types of customer service and employee problems have plagued… Read more »

The Reverse – Upside down Prosecution!

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Despite the fact that bank officials uncovered a fraud, fired its mastermind, investigated and reported it to regulators, and then provided New York State prosecutors with over 900,000 pages of documents, a tiny Chinatown bank, Abacus Federal Savings Bank, was under put under indictment by a grand jury in New York State Supreme Court and… Read more »

Shaking up Pricing

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Because the costs of health-care are rising, along with higher insurance deductibles and co-pays, the way medical services are being delivered is changing. unlike hospital ERs and urgent care centers, retailers, such as grocery and drugstore chains, who operate in-store clinics are displaying pricing information upfront for consumers paying cash. Questions: 1. What are the… Read more »

New Study on Hospital Costs

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Twenty of the 50 U.S. hospitals that charge the most for their services are located in Florida — and all but one of them are for-profit, according to a study released Monday. Questions: 1. Which facility is at the top of the list for charging the most and how many times more do uninsured patients… Read more »

College a Commodity?

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Unfortunately, most everyone now evaluates college in purely economic terms, thus reducing it to a commodity like a car or a house. There is now a cottage industry built around such data. Questions: 1. According to the author, what does the value of a degree depend upon and why should it be set apart from… Read more »

Beware of Convenience Checks!

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he price of tapping credit through a cash advance, which lets people borrow from their credit cards by writing a check or withdrawing money from an ATM, is much steeper than it would be for a traditional credit purchase. It’s also much harder to avoid fees when a cash advance is involved. Questions: 1. What… Read more »

Loss-Prevention Profiling at CVS

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Four former loss-prevention employees from the CVS chain in New York filed a class-action lawsuit on June 3rd against the drugstore chain, accusing their bosses of ordering them to target black and Hispanic shoppers. According to the detectives, they were fired after complaining about racial discrimination, against both customers and themselves. Questions: 1. Why is… Read more »

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

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Walmart’s board elected a new chairman at its annual stockholders’ meeting last week. As only the third chairman in the retail giant’s history, the post was passed on to a member of the founding Walton family. Questions: 1. What type of background does Mr. Penner have that will be beneficial in this post? 2. Why… Read more »

Severe Cuts for Higher Education in Louisiana….Who’s Next?

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Governor Bobby Jindal’s new budget in Louisiana proposes off-setting declines in oil revenue by cutting $1.6 million from the budget of state higher education institutions. At the same time as it is predicted that 60% of adults in 2025 will have to have postsecondary credentials in order for the U.S. to maintain its economic edge,… Read more »