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 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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January 19, 2021

The food service industry has been hit especially hard during the pandemic as restaurants and bars try to stay afloat with fewer customers. But while the struggles of the nation’s eateries have received a lot of attention, catering companies have suffered just as much behind the scenes. With restrictions in place that keep gatherings small, not many people need caterers to provide food for their weddings or office parties. As a result, catering companies across the country are laying off Continue reading

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January 14, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, auto companies anticipated a drop in car sales that indeed lasted throughout spring and summer of 2020. As a result, manufacturers cut back on orders of expensive items like microchips while demand remained low. By the end of the year, though, auto sales bounced back quicker than expected, which sent car companies scrambling for supplies. But try as they might, none of the major firms could seem to secure the microchips they needed for Continue reading

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January 12, 2021

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December 2020 as businesses across the country continue to struggle during the pandemic. While restaurants and bars have been hit especially hard since winter weather has shut down outdoor dining, states have also laid off thousands of teachers and other public workers. All told, 9.8 million fewer Americans are working now than at this time last year.

And as long as the pandemic persists, it will be difficult Continue reading

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December 16, 2020

This video looks at how pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna will distribute the Covid-19 vaccine in the coming months. 

Questions:

  1. Who will receive first priority for receiving the Covid-19 vaccine?
  2. What sort of logistical issues are pharmaceutical companies expected to face while distributing the vaccine?
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December 10, 2020

The e-commerce site Etsy was founded in 2005 as a place where crafty, independent creators could sell their wares online to consumers. In 2015 the company went public and greatly expanded its product offerings to include items from larger brands. The following years saw Etsy struggle with its brand identity as it cycled through different leadership and organizational structures. Then came 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused countless businesses to struggle or outright close in the last few Continue reading

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November 19, 2020

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched earlier this month and is expected to be one of the blockbuster products of the holiday season. This video looks at the evolution of the console throughout the years and how it became a central focus of Sony’s business.

Questions:

  1. How did the PlayStation help Sony transition from a consumer electronics manufacturer into a gaming company?
  2. Why did Sony decide to focus closely on the gamer market for future generations of the PlayStation, and how did they accomplish this task?
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October 27, 2020

The stock market plunged in March as the coronavirus emerged in the U.S. but eventually recovered as some businesses reopened and consumers received economic relief. With cases once again on the rise, however, the combination of potential closings and a lack of another stimulus package caused the Dow to plummet by 650 points on Monday. “Financial markets are getting a reality check, as investors come to terms with the failure of Congress to agree to a pre-election stimulus package and Continue reading

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