Labor Department Violations

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On Tuesday, the Labor Department announced that it had levied a $34,000 fine on C. J.’s Seafood for safety violations. This is the company that supplies crawfish to WalMart. In addition, the agency also ordered C. J.’s to pay $214,000 for wage and hour violations. Questions: 1. Where is the company based? 2. Specifically, how… Read more »

Reported to be the largest antitrust settlement in history

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Visa, MasterCard and major banks agreed Friday, July 13, to pay at least $6 billion to settle a lawsuit brought by retailers. A banking industry trade group said the settlement would allow stores to charge customers more to pay with a credit card. Questions: 1. According to the article, what is the average credit card… Read more »

Jail is not for Big Pharma

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In the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, A federal judge on approved an agreement to fine British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline for criminal and civil violations involving 10 drugs. Questions: 1. Do you think fines can deter unlawful behavior at Big Pharma? In your opinion, why didn’t anyone go to jail for these violations?… Read more »

The Price of Transparency in Hospitals

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One of the biggest problems today is that consumers have no way of figuring out how much a particular health care service costs. Unfortunately, a recent Arizona bill to encourage hospitals and doctors to become more transparent about the prices they charge for services was just killed by the state legislature. The bill would have… Read more »

Brazil’s Technology Expansion

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The depreciation of the Brazilian real, which is the worst-performing major currency this year, may be helping reignite economic growth in Brazil after a “weak” first quarter of 2012. Economic growth in Brazil, the world’s sixth biggest economy, has been recovering more slowly than anticipated even as the government steps up interest rate cuts and… Read more »

The Economic Downturn Hits J.C. Penney’s Hard

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About 600 employees were laid off at the corporate headquarters of J.C. Penney this week. Under the leadership of the new CEO, Ron Johnson, one of its three call centers in Pittsburgh, PA, will also be closed later this year, which eliminates 300 more jobs. Questions: 1. What type of business is J.C. Penney? Research… Read more »

Here comes Scoot!

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Singapore Airlines’ wholly-owned budget carrier Scoot will begin flights into China, with flights between Singapore and Tianjin during August. Two more Chinese destinations are also being considered, but the capital of Beijing is not one of them. Questions: 1. How much is S$88 in U.S. dollars? How does this compare to the fares offered by… Read more »

Coinstar and Self-Service Retailing

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Coinstar is a company that was founded just over two decades ago by Jens Molbak, who as a Stanford University graduate student, realized there wasn’t an easy way to spend the spare change piled up in a jar on top of his dresser. Since that time the company has become known for its Redbox kiosks,… Read more »

What are you doing in the Summer of 2014?

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Country singer Dolly Parton is set to expand her entertainment empire and open a water-snow theme park in Nashville, Tennessee. The 66-year-old launched Dollywood in the Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee in 1986 and added a water park next door in 2001. Now Parton is working on a new addition to her popular attractions and… Read more »

First-Class Travel Has Never Been So Good, For Those Who Can Afford It!

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Though first class represents less than 5 percent of all seats flown on long-haul routes, and business class accounts for 15 percent, those seats combined to generate 40 to 50 percent of airlines’ revenue, according to Peter Morris, the chief economist at Ascend, an aviation consulting firm. After its merger with Continental last year, United… Read more »