The Volcker Rule

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Regulators released a proposal on Oct. 11 known as the Volcker Rule, which is aimed at overhauling how the banking industry carries out its trading activity. The proposal, spanning about 300 pages, includes provisions that scrutinize how banks collect revenue, award compensation and track their compliance with the Volcker Rule. According to financial industry lawyers and lobbyists these will challenge… Read more »

Groupon in the News

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Groupon disclosed a major accounting change on Friday, essentially halving its once-jaw-dropping revenue after it encountered resistance from regulators with its filing to go public. Groupon, the online coupon titan, announced separately that its chief operating officer of about five months, Margo Georgiadis, resigned and will return to her former employer, Google, as president of… Read more »

Tax Breaks Galore in Video Games

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The United States government offers tax incentives to companies pursuing medical breakthroughs, urban redevelopment and alternatives to fossil fuels, but also to video game producers. They are able to combine tax breaks across software development, the entertainment industry, and online retailing for a bonanza effect. Electronic Arts, founded in 1982, has since become one of… Read more »

More evidence of the wealth divide

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Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are… Read more »

Just Say No to Debt During the Holidays

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According to this year’s National Retail Federation holiday survey, the average American will spend close to $700 this season on gifts, cards, decorations, and the like. This is one time when you want to be below average — way below. In fact, if you are in debt, just say no to gift buying this holiday…. Read more »

Google’s Questionable Algorithm

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Any publicity, even negative publicity, means a win with Google’s ranking algorithms. This New York Times story details a retailer known as DecorMyEyes.com who first hired a search optimization company to burnish the site’s reputation by writing positive things about the company, but then stumbled on a better “free” success strategy of providing poor customer… Read more »

New rules for Debt-Relief Services

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Starting this week, for-profit companies marketing debt-relief services over the telephone are prohibited from charging a fee before they settle or reduce a customer’s debt to the Internal Revenue Service, credit card company, or other unsecured debt. The new rule by the Federal Trade Commission covers telemarketers of for-profit debt-relief services, including credit counseling, debt… Read more »

Bollywood on a Budget

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The world’s movie capital is not Hollywood but Bollywood. Bollywood is the nickname for the Indian film industry located in Bombay. Fourteen million Indians go to the movies on a daily basis (about 1.4% of the population of 1 billion) and pay the equivalent to the average Indian’s day’s wages (US $1-3) to see any… Read more »

A Fee to Visit the U.S.

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Starting Wednesday, September 8, 2010, travelers from 36 nations will be required to pay a new two-year entry or travel fee when they visit the United States — part of which will be used to promote tourism. The travelers will pay $14 to register through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), required for those… Read more »

What’s up with Hulu?

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According to the New York Times, Hulu is approaching investment banks to underwrite an IPO this fall valuing the company at $2 billion. What is Hulu? Hulu is an online video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, movies, and more at Hulu.com and numerous destination sites online and across four screens —… Read more »