Chiquita’s Big Deal

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Chiquita Brands International that it had agreed to acquire Fyffes, an Irish fruit and produce distributor, in an all-stock deal that valued Fyffes at about $526 million. The new firm will be called ChiquitaFyffes and will be the world’s largest producer and distributor of bananas. It is expected that the firm will have about $4.6… Read more »

Federal Financial Aid Fraud

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A federal lawsuit was filed by seven former employees against Harris School of Business and its for-profit parent education company, Premier Education Group, which owns more than two dozen trade schools and community colleges operating under several names in 10 states. The suit alleges that school officials routinely misled students about their career prospects and… Read more »

Nothing’s sacred!

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Over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically. According to the Washington Post, this is, in part, because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer. Questions: 1. How large… Read more »

An Epidemic or A Disorder Proliferated by Marketing?

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The sales of prescription stimulants for A.D.H.D. have more than quadrupled since 2002. Is it an epidemic? According to Dr. Keith Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, who has been fighting to legitimize A.D.H.D diagnoses for the past 50 years, the rise is probably due to successful marketing campaigns that feed on… Read more »

Amazon’s profit strategy?

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Almost daily, Amazon announces that it is entering another new venture. How do they do it, since they have yet to show profit that supports their share price? Questions: 1. After reading the article, do you think that Amazon with stay with a discounter form of commerce? 2. How do you think Amazon accounts for… Read more »

Biotechnology Firm, Amgen, Acquires Anti-cancer Drugs

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Although Amgen is the world’s largest biotechnology company, they have not been in the anti-cancer drug market until now. Amgen, like other drug makers, is trying to refresh aging product lines through the acquisition. Questions: 1. What is the ranking of this takeover of biotechnology firms, in terms of historic purchases? What are examples of… Read more »

Deutsche Bank Shrinks its Balance Sheet

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Deutsche Bank said it would significantly shrink its balance sheet to comply with stricter leverage rules as the lender missed analysts’ expectations in the second quarter. Questions: 1. What are some of the factors on why the bank is shrinking its balance sheet? Be specific. 2. Why have Deutsche Bank’s profits fallen recently? 3. Explain… Read more »

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Who is the Most Expensive of Them All?

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It is hard to fathom but the newest British royal boy who was born in fanciest hospital ward in Britain cost $15,000. However, that is nothing compared to the average U.S. birth, where new parents are billed $30,000 and eventually pay $18,000. Questions: 1. What drives the high pregnancy health costs in the U.S. as… Read more »

Welcome to the GMO free zone of the future

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As we head into the hot summer, what sounds great? Well, ice cream, of course! And who is in the news? Ben and Jerry’s. According to the Huffington Post, Ben and Jerry’s is removing a controversial ingredient from its ice cream: Genetically-modified organisms (or GMOs). The back story is that only 80% of Ben &… Read more »

Is it fair that some hospitals are charging 400% above their costs to deliver services?

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According to government data, hospitals charge Medicare wildly differing amounts — sometimes 10 to 20 times what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure. This raises questions about how hospitals determine prices and why they differ so widely. Questions: 1. Discuss the data set and what was included. 2. According to the article, who… Read more »