White House Blues

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According to the Washington Post, there is discussion among senior White House officials to advance a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to limit the economic slowdown forecast by economists. Questions: When and how much was the last payroll tax cut and why was it made? Payroll tax cuts add dramatically to the deficit… Read more »

Is less better?

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According to Axios, listed companies, who previously provided detailed breakouts of information on earnings reports, are now paring down these disclosures. Questions: 1. What is(are) the reason(s) for this minimalist reporting? 2. What changes did Ford Motors make and what may be a reason for this? 3. Companies say the old metrics are less appropriate… Read more »

Good News for the Class of 2015!

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According to the Washington Post, the New York Federal Reserve found that the demand for college-educated workers has picked up over the past year after flatlining in 2013. Additionally, it has risen more than 10 percent in the first few months of this year. Questions: 1. How many people were unemployed at the peak of… Read more »

It’s Not Over Yet!

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Looking at GDP reporting GDP on a quarter-on-quarter basis, it turns out that Greece’s six-year recession is over, but recovery is far from near. The country’s economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual pace in the first quarter, 1.2 percent in the second, and 2.8 percent in the most recent one. However, unemployment is 25.9%…. Read more »

Ouch! This may sting a little.

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According to the New York Times, officials are saying that short-term pain is necessary to put the European economy back on track. Regulators in the United States forced a similar catharsis on American banks in 2009, helping set the stage for the current recovery. Questions: 1. What was the result of the timid approach taken… Read more »

Austerity Brings about Desperate Times and Desperate Acts

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Two penniless Spanish men chopped off their own hands and tried to claim the insurance payout as accidents. Unfortunately for them, both have been exposed as fraudsters because they performed the amputations too well to be accidents. Both cases come amid a steep rise in the number of false insurance claims that have been revealed… Read more »

Pension Advances to be Scrutinized by Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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This New York Times article discusses the allure of borrowing against pensions, which underscores an abrupt reversal in the financial fortunes of many retirees in recent years. The offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, both threatening their retirement savings and exacerbating mounting debt within… Read more »

Slowing Wealth – New Study Reports

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According to a new study by the Urban Institute, the American dream of working hard, saving more and becoming wealthier than one’s parents holds true for many, unless you’re under 40. Questions: 1. What are some of the factors that have negatively affected the wealth of younger Americans? 2. According to the article, if a… Read more »

Kraft Cuts Jobs

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Kraft Foods Inc. will cut 1,600 positions in North America as it prepares to split its business in two. The company announced in August that it would split into two independent companies: a global snacks business and North American grocery business. Kraft said the moves are needed to help the businesses run more effectively. Questions:… Read more »

Made in America

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More than 60 billion sets of chopsticks are produced every year in China, so you’d have thought they would be making enough. But a chopstick shortage is growing in the Far East, prompting a U.S. company in Georgia to start exporting millions to the country. Georgia Chopsticks is producing an incredible two million sets of… Read more »