Did you really get a good deal on Amazon Prime Day?

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Amazon’s extravaganza sale, Prime Day, is frequented by people who pay  annual or monthly fees to be specially treated with more ways to spend. But is this once a year event about really saving money or just being manipulated via behavioral finance? Questions: According to the article, what is behavioral finance? According to the article,… Read more »

Hedge Funds Feed off of the Troubles at Malls

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According to the New York Times, as the COVID pandemic accelerates the demise of some brick-and-mortar retailers, hedge fund investors profit handsomely. Questions: Who was Catie McKee, hedge fund analyst talking to last October about her investment strategy? How much did the investor(s) make for the trade within Ms. McKee’s firm that more than doubled… Read more »

Deceptive Practices

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Progressive Leasing, which offers rent-to-own programs at major retailers like Best Buy and Lowe’s, has agreed to pay $175 million to settle allegations it misled consumers, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. Questions: What trade violations did the complaint allege? Why did FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter say that the settlement did not go far… Read more »

The End is Near

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The fall of Sears has been well documented. But who else is feeling the grip of Amazon on their once thriving retail business and who will be next to declare bankruptcy? Questions: 1. According to the article, what is the toxic combination that will take the eight named retail companies out of the game? 2…. Read more »

Credit Card Chips

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Did you ever wonder why so many retailers have chip-readable machines for credit cards, but tell you to swipe your card anyway? This article explains this frustrating issue for retailers. Questions: 1. Merchants have spent incredible amounts of money to get new chip-reading machines, so what is the reason for not using them? 2. Since… Read more »

Security Chips and Bearing the Cost of Fraud

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New payment cards, issued over the last year, come with a small square security chip that can help make in-person transactions more secure. However, retailers complain that they have spent billions of dollars upgrading their payment terminals to accommodate a system that cuts down on the fraud shouldered by banks, but not merchants. Questions: 1…. Read more »

To PIN or not to PIN?

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Some big U.S. retailers are stepping up efforts to use personal identification numbers, or PINs, with new credit cards embedded with computer chips in a bid to prevent counterfeit card fraud. Questions: 1. Why is this being resisted by banks? 2. Which retailers are leading the movement? 3. Discuss the costs and benefits of the… Read more »

Circumventing the Courts with Nine Words

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Banning class action suits have essentially disabled consumer challenges to practices like predatory lending. Additionally, a Wall Street-led coalition of credit card companies and retailers, have also engineered blocks on class action suits. In this article, various companies’ efforts to protect arbitration are discussed. Questions: 1. Why has the “birth of a thousand clauses” taken… Read more »

Are you getting what is advertised?

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Four major retailers were accused by the New York State attorney general’s office of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements. The attorney general demanded that they remove the products from their shelves. Questions: 1. Who were the four national retailers? 2. What were the results of tests performed on the supplements? 3. In summary,… Read more »