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 »

Be Afraid, be very afraid!

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Unilever is paying $1 billion for Dollar Shave Club, a five-year-old start-up that sells razors and other personal products for men. Questions: 1. Why does the author of this article say that all companies should be very afraid of this deal? 2. After Michael Dubin’s YouTube ad premiered, what happened in terms of orders and… Read more »

The changing world of streaming

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Netflix’s growth in the U.S. has slowed dramatically, and the company is adding new international users slower than expected. Statistically, the company added 1.7 million new subscribers in the last three months, which is less than the 2.5 million the company predicted. Just 160,000 of them were in the U.S. Questions: 1. Netflix is available… Read more »

Trapped by Debt?

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Belkin Antonio Hernandez-Vargas was desperate to see his wife and get out of U.S. custody, so he turned to one of the biggest names in the business of helping immigrant detainees secure bail bonds. As a result, the company Libre by Nexus helped Belkin, an El Salvadorian secure an $8,000 bond after he was able… Read more »

Big Deal!

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For years, Yahoo was the front door to the web and its services still attract a billion visitors a month. But…times are changing and as a result, Yahoo’s core internet operations and land holdings are being sold to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion. Questions: 1. Why was the Yahoo model changing and how? 2. What… Read more »

Amazon goes into student loan business, sort of ……

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This week a partnership between Amazon and Wells Fargo was announced. Members of Amazon Prime Student will receive a 0.5 percent interest rate discount on student loans taken out through Wells Fargo’s Education Financial Services. Questions: 1. Why are financial advisors wary of the deal? 2. How much did the Washington Post calculate a student… Read more »

Submarine Patents: What is their Role?

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Humira and Enbrel are biologic drugs, composed of complex proteins made in living cells. Humira was the No. 1 selling biologic with $14 billion in global sales and Enbrel was the No. 3 biologic at $8.7 billion. Questions: 1. Approximately how much is the yearly price tag for these drugs per patient? 2. During the… Read more »

Is this really about Saving America’s Past Time?

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U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced a bill misleadingly called the “Save America’s Pastime Act,” with the sole purpose of excluding Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players from regulation under federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Questions: 1. What is Mr. Guthrie’s reasoning for exempting the pay of Minor Leaguers from Federal pay laws? 2. What… Read more »

Walmart vs. Amazon: A Grocery War?

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Questions: 1. Do you see this as a competition between Walmart and Amazon? Why or why not and are there any other players in the grocery war? 2. According to the video, why didn’t Walmart just create their own logistical team rather than use Uber and Lyft? 3. Would you be willing to pay $7… Read more »

Here we Go Again? Another Enron?

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Short-seller and hedge fund manager, Jim Chanos, contends that the Alibaba Group is as problematic in its accounting positions as the now-defunct, corrupt energy giant, Enron. Questions: 1. What part of the company’s operations are most problematic and why? 2. What does cash flow have to do with this story? 3. What does Chanos claim… Read more »