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 »

Orphan Drug Act

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Three decades ago, Congress listened to the plight of Americans sick with diseases so rare many people had never heard of them. They were victims of a pharmaceutical market failure — “orphans” ignored by drug companies because, the thinking went, tiny groups of patients would lead to trifling sales. Questions: 1. What is the Orphan… Read more »

The End of Yahoo’s core business

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Yahoo announced, finally, that its core internet business would be sold to Verizon for $4.83 billion in cash. Questions: 1. What was Yahoo valued at in 2000? 2. Explain some of the forces that led to the end of Yahoo as we know it. 3. Who is the chief executive of Yahoo and how long… Read more »

Big Brother and Hedge Fund Land

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Ray Dalio, billionaire founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, claims that one of his firm’s core operating principles is “radical transparency, regarding employee grievances and concerns. However, according to Stevenson and Goldstein in this New York Times article, at least one Bridgewater employee sees the firm as a “cauldron of fear and… Read more »

$35 here, $35 there and it all adds up!

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While strict rules require account holders to affirmatively opt into banking overdraft protection plans, a U.S. subsidiary of the Spanish banking giant, Santander Bank, which acquired Boston-based Sovereign Bank in 2009, crossed the line. Questions: 1. Briefly summarize what the bank did? 2. Who is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and what was their role… Read more »

Auction misconduct, silly mix-up, or something else…………?

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The Keno brothers, stars of the PBS series Antique Roadshow, have recently exhibited strange behavior that is oddly out of sync with their stature as antique world luminaries. Leslie and Leigh Keno, twins and celebrity appraisers, say they accidentally bid against each other this spring. Questions: 1. A New Orleans auction house is suing the… Read more »

Cher sues to recover from financial firm over “rosy projections!”

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Cher claims Sail Venture Partners and several of its principals defrauded investors to rake in millions in management fees, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in L.A. County Superior Court. Questions: 1. When did this happen? 2. What did the managers do with the money? 3. Based on the information in the article, what do… Read more »

Here we Go Again! Contracts for Deed!

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In the 1930s through the 1960s, most African-Americans could not get mortgages. This was because the U.S. government deemed neighborhoods where they lived ineligible for federal mortgage insurance, which was the Depression-era innovation that made mortgages widely affordable. As a result, hucksters moved in and peddled homeownership through contracts for deed, where the home seller… Read more »

Plan Ahead

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According to the Washington Post, five of the country’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, still do not have credible plans for winding down their operations without taxpayer help if they start to fail. Questions: 1.How long do these banks have to submit their detailed bankruptcy plans to requlators? 2. What are… Read more »