March 2, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic caused millions of people to lose their jobs last year and file for unemployment benefits, which were expanded several times through federal legislation. Now, many Americans are discovering that they owe taxes on these payments that were vital for them to make ends meet. For example, Erika Rose of Los Angeles has been on unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic and has spent the winter stretching every penny to pay rent and utilities. When she Continue reading

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February 25, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, Texas’ power grid failed after a historic snowstorm and cold snap overwhelmed the state. As millions struggled without electricity or heat, those who had power potentially faced exorbitant electric bills because of changes Texas made to its utility system more than 20 years ago. Back then, much of the state switched from using regulated utilities to a deregulated market where customers could choose from a variety of power providers. As a result, nearly 60 percent Continue reading

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February 23, 2021

In February 2020 during a regular season NBA game, Lebron James performed a two-handed windmill slam dunk that he afterwards said was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. A clip of James’ dunk placed side-by-side with a nearly identical one of Bryant’s from 2001 quickly went viral and can be easily found from multiple sources on YouTube. Then again, you could also do what social media entrepreneur Jack Settleman did in January: pay $47,500 for a clip of the Continue reading

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February 19, 2021

The recent frenzy surrounding GameStop stock caught even the most careful market observers by surprise as shares in the struggling retailer skyrocketed to unbelievable levels only to fall again soon after. This video looks at how regulators at the SEC are looking into the matter and the possible consequences that could fall on companies like Reddit and Robinhood. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the SEC investigating the recent stock market volatility surrounding GameStop and other companies?
  2. Do you think federal regulators Continue reading
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February 16, 2021

After millions of Americans either lost work or saw their incomes drop during the pandemic, many started side businesses as a way to make up for lost revenue. In fact, last year new business applications increased by 24 percent compared to 2019, reaching their highest level on record. The retail sector comprised 54 percent of new businesses as many people used platforms like Shopify to sell products online. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides entrepreneurs with e-commerce tools that can handle Continue reading

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February 11, 2021

As last year came to a close and news about Covid-19 vaccinations became more optimistic, companies across the country hoped that a quick vaccine rollout would allow them to reopen offices as early as spring 2021. That rapid rollout still has not come to pass, though, causing many businesses to push back their office-reopening plans until September at the earliest. In the meantime, millions of employees will continue to work remotely until the pandemic is finally under control.

For example, Continue reading

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February 9, 2021

Despite the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, this year’s Super Bowl managed to hit some familiar notes as Tom Brady lifted the trophy for a seventh time and companies once again spent big on high-profile ads. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, the night’s big winner was Rocket Mortgage, whose two commercials featuring comedian Tracy Morgan took the top spots in the annual poll. Amazon and M&M’s humorous ads took third and fourth while Toyota’s uplifting spot featuring Paralympian Jessica Long Continue reading

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February 4, 2021

With vaccines from major pharmaceutical companies becoming more widely available every day, it is imperative that as many people as possible get vaccinated in order to finally contain the pandemic. Grocery store employees have been especially vulnerable to the virus over the last year, with at least 28,000 workers being exposed to a positive case of Covid-19. That’s why grocery chains like Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and Dollar General are paying their employees to get vaccinated when they are able to. Continue reading

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February 2, 2021

Last week, GameStop stock shot through the roof as users on forums like Reddit bought up shares in droves after some hedge funds shorted the stock by as much as 240 percent. This video takes a look at how both professional and at-home options traders upended expectations for many market observers. 

Questions:

  1. Why did GameStop’s stock price skyrocket last week?
  2. Do you think stock trading apps like RobinHood should have restricted users from buying shares in GameStop? Why or why not?
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January 28, 2021

Last year, the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 percent as Americans had their lives turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. This made 2020 the worst year for growth since 1946 when the economy contracted by more than 11 percent in the immediate aftermath of World War II. It’s also the first time since 2009 that GDP has contracted over the course of an entire year, although the economy did begin to recover in the latter half of 2020.

“There Continue reading

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