Secret Buyers of Real Estate Targeted

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In an unprecedented move, the Treasury Department will begin identifying and tracking cash sales of real estate in an effort to expose money laundering and secret buyers of high-end properties. Questions: 1.At which locations will the new initiative begin? 2. Is the use of shell companies legal in real estate? 3. How will the real… Read more »

The Age of the Employee-less Company

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During most of the 20th century, companies bringing in the most money also employed the most people. This article looks at a new paper from the Brookings Institute about the new age of ghost companies. Questions: 1. The article mentions Walnart as one of the five largest companies in 2012 that had 100,000 people employed… Read more »

Arbitration Lurks in the Fine Print

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In this article, the New York Times found that arbitration rules tend to favor businesses, and judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who commonly consider the companies to be their clients. According to the authors, this has created an alternative justice system with conflicts of interest. Questions: 1. What types of claims are… Read more »

Sam’s Club CEO, Rosalind Brewer, Talks about Changes and Lessons Learned

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The rivalry between Sam’s Club and Costco comes close to what you find in college sports. Questions: Source: 1. What things did the Sam’s Club CEO say were learned about Black Friday? 2. What happened to CostCo stock versus Sam’s Club Stock in 2015? 3. What are the differentiation strategies that Sam’s Club is implementing?… Read more »

Avoid the crowds with Black Friday Apps

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Questions: 1. What are the benefits of Nifti? 2. What are the benefits of ShopSavvy? 3. Based on the information in this article and video, if you were a brick-and-mortar retailer, what would you do to counteract the convenience of these apps and get more traffic (that translate into higher sales)? 4. From an accounting… Read more »

Less Chemicals and New Recipes

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This article discusses moves by Campbell soup to make its soups with more natural ingredients rather than chemical flavoring. Questions: 1. What is the most recent trend in soup sales? 2. What type of acquisitions has Campbell made recently to obtain toeholds in new markets? 3. What type of retooling changes have been made to… Read more »

Corporate Challenges to Workman’s Comp

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For quite a while, the state of Texas has allowed companies to opt out of workman’s comp and write their own benefit plans. As a result, benefits for the same body part can differ dramatically depending upon which company you work for. Questions 1. Who is Bill Minick and what corporate movement is his firm… Read more »

Amazon goes “brick and mortar”

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In an unusual move, Amazon opened a storefront bookstore in Seattle’s University Village mall. Questions: 1. What are the characteristics of the books sold in the “brick and mortar store”? 2. In addition to books, what other products does the store carry? 3. What do you see as the costs and benefits of this new… 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 »

All Day Breakfast

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In an email to franchisees, McDonald’s US President Mike Andres called the all-day breakfast launch a success. However, this article points to a survey of U.S. franchisees that disagree. Questions: 1. Why are McDonald’s franchisees saying that the all-day breakfast launch has been a nightmare? List the reasons and rank them according to your opinion… Read more »