Humans are Bad at Understanding Compound Interest

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Maybe you haven’t even thought about your retirement, but according to Matthew O’Brien, you should. This is particularly true if you are contributing to a 401 (k). Questions: 1. What should you look at rather than the returns when picking your 401(k) funds? 2. According to O’Brien, what do 1.25 % annual fees for retirement… Read more »

Easy Come, Easy Go… It’s only Money (and Stock)

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Facebook’s largest acquisition ever was announced this week. The company said it would pay at least $16 billion for WhatsApp, a text messaging application with 450 million users around the world who pay little or no money for it. The purchase price dwarfs the $1 billion Facebook paid for Instagram, the photo-sharing service. Questions: 1…. 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 »

What is a Super Bowl Ad Worth?

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Derek Thompson presents evidence on both sides of the debate about whether Super Bowl ads are a waste of money or worthwhile advertising venues. Questions: 1. Rather than the price you pay for the advertisement, what does Mr. Thompson say that Super Bowl advertising is all about? 2. What is this year’s Super Bowl ads… Read more »

Starbuck’s App: Are You At Risk?

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The Starbuck’s app, used by more than 10 million customers that purchase drinks and food directly from their smartphones, was exposed as risky by security researcher, Daniel Wood. According to Wood on January 13, “There are multiple instances of the storage of clear-text credentials that can be recovered and leveraged for unauthorized usage of a… Read more »

The Airline Industry in Africa is Expected to Boom in the Coming Year(s)

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Africa is a continent with the 2nd largest population but only 3% of the global air traffic. The region’s economies are growing robustly and by all indications will continue to do so in the coming years. With a rise in GDP, a corresponding rise in demand for aviation services is to be expected. Questions: 1…. Read more »

Is it better to look good than have money?

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Here’s a quirky little story. American money has been consolidated into a single system of currency since the late 1800s. As part of this, U.S. dollars have been printed on a unique cotton blend paper, supplied by only one company (Crane) for more than a century. The chief cotton ingredient has been denim. However, since… Read more »

Target hit by credit-card breach

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On December 19, 2013, Target admitted that it was hit by an extensive theft of its customers’ credit-card and debit-card data over the Black Friday weekend. The theft was national in scope and happened in stores, not online. Questions: 1. When and what happened with respect to a card breach at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls… Read more »

Do you really have a 2nd job?

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This is an interesting fraud that took place at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). John Beale, a retired, former EPA employee, collected paychecks from approximately the year 2000 through 2013 even though he had absence totaling about 2 1/2 years. What was his alibi? He claimed falsely that he was simultaneously working undercover in special… Read more »

Fraud is quicker than the law?

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Without regulation of Bitcoin, consumers have no protection in a Bitcoin economy. The virtual currency continues to result in swindles, with little prospect of a crackdown. Questions: 1. What is a pump-and-dump scheme? 2. What event(s) sent Bitcoin’s price tumbling? 3. In the U.S., the SEC has not ruled that Bitcoin is a security. However,… Read more »