September 26, 2014

 

Although summer is fading, ice cream season remains in full swing for millions of sweet-toothed Americans. Last year consumers in the U.S. bought $13.7 billion worth of the dessert, an enormous number that doesn’t even include restaurant sales. And according to a recent study, 40 percent of Americans will eat ice cream in any given two-week period. Nevertheless, on the whole people consume a lot less of the cold stuff than they did 25 years ago. Back in 1989 Continue reading

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September 23, 2014

In the 1950s, more than 150 television manufacturers called the U.S. home. Today, not even component parts for TVs are produced on American soil. Still, that hasn’t stopped Wal-Mart from slapping “Assembled in the USA” stickers onto many flat screen TVs stocked in its stores. That’s because the company buys the televisions from South Carolina’s Element Electronics Corporation, which imports all their items from China.

That doesn’t mean Element is simply a middleman operation though. TVs that arrive at the Continue reading

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September 20, 2014

Although many Americans make sure to recycle their plastic bottles and aluminum cans, they’re less careful to do so with their more functional possessions. Ninety percent of the nation’s mobile devices get thrown in the trash rather than the recycling bin. The gadgets are joined there by 40 percent of the food produced each year in the U.S., along with the 12 million tons of textiles that get tossed annually.

Over the last few years, a number of new companies Continue reading

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September 17, 2014

Although nothing in business is a sure thing, few industries are more volatile than apparel retail. In this unpredictable world, it can be almost impossible to guarantee success for a brand. For instance, Target and Kmart spent years dueling for dominance until the former won out with its more upscale marketing. However, long-term prosperity grants no safety net. Abercrombie & Fitch ruled the preppy clothing market for more than a decade, but now sales are falling as younger consumers view Continue reading

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September 15, 2014

In order to attract cash-strapped buyers, more auto dealers are offering sub-prime loans on vehicles for people with poor credit. This video and the one below document the potential dangers of this financing practice.

 

http://nyti.ms/1lgctaY 

Questions:

  1. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of sub-prime lending?
  1. Are investors in bundled sub-prime car loans taking on significant risk?

From The New York Times

 

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September 14, 2014

Last year the retail chain Staples signed a contract to become the State of New York’s official office-supplies vendor, which looked like quite a coup at the time. After all, the agreement put Staples in direct contact with city halls, schools, police departments and charities across the state. In fact, the company was so desperate to tap this lucrative market that it pledged to sell a number of products for just a penny apiece. While this bold promise helped Staples Continue reading

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September 10, 2014

Walmart became the largest retail chain in the U.S. by offering customers the same low prices every day. As it expanded globally, however, the company found out that not every culture responds to this pricing strategy. For instance, Walmart has had a hard time winning over Brazilian consumers despite opening 550 stores in nearly 200 cities. That’s because most people in the large South American nation are happy to hunt for the best deals at a variety of stores rather Continue reading

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September 6, 2014

Nobody likes to wait in line for the bathroom, but sometimes that’s just the way things are at big, busy venues like stadiums and airports. Entrepreneur Allen Klevens couldn’t accept this fact of life, however, and set out to fix it with his new product Tooshlights. These small beacons rest at the top of a bathroom stall door and glow red if the space is occupied or green if it’s free. Klevens hopes this clever stop-and-go system will drastically speed Continue reading

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September 2, 2014

In the mid-20th century, many struggling nations around the world relied heavily on outside governments for assistance. Foreign aid of this nature accounted for 71 percent of all worldwide capital flows as recently as 1960. As the years progressed, however, governments largely removed themselves from the global development game. Today, foreign aid accounts for less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget and only 9 percent of current capital flows.

To fill this void, non-governmental organizations and groups such Continue reading

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September 1, 2014

An entrepreneurial incubator in California’s Folsom Prison teaches inmates business skills that can help them adjust to life after release.

 

Questions:

  1. Why are programs like the Last Mile important good for society?
  1. What message did inmate Trevor Bird offer that’s important to remember?

From CNN Money

 

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