September 12, 2017

avocadosOne hundred years ago hardly any Americans outside of California had ever seen an avocado, let alone ate one. Then during the 1920s a Los Angeles postal worker named Rudolph Hass planted an avocado seed in his backyard that eventually grew into a highly productive tree. His children raved about how their father’s flavorful fruit beat out any competitors at the local market, eventually convincing him to patent the Hass Avocado in 1935. Soon growers across the region began to Continue reading

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September 5, 2017

marshall-astorSince Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas a couple of weeks ago, the region has been hit with devastating floods that have upended the lives of millions. And although the waters are finally starting to recede in cities like Houston, that just means the serious cleanup work is about to begin. The financial forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics now estimates that Harvey inflicted as much as $108 billion in damage to the region. Thankfully, dedicated volunteers have been working around the Continue reading

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August 22, 2017

max-pixelWhen Bitcoin launched in 2008, a single unit of the mysterious cryptocurrency was worth just a little more than half a cent. Bitcoin’s value remained under a dollar for years afterward, leading many to wonder why anyone would invest in a strange new currency that couldn’t be controlled by any government or company. Besides being seemingly worthless, Bitcoin also operated through a decentralized network of computers whose owner was impossible to verify. This anonymity extended to Bitcoin’s users as well, Continue reading

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August 10, 2017

restaurantThe U.S. economy has managed to add thousands of jobs so far this year thanks to big gains in industries like construction and health care. But even these substantial sectors can’t compare to the robust growth of the restaurant industry, which has gained nearly 200,000 new jobs in 2017 alone. And unlike manufacturing or construction work, these jobs aren’t localized to a few lucky cities scattered across the nation. Instead, nearly every American metropolis has seen a boom in restaurant Continue reading

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August 4, 2017

Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, banks have been required to keep a certain amount of cash on hand relative to their assets. Legislators put the rule in place so that institutions would have enough money in their vaults to bail themselves out in the event of another credit crisis. This video explains the concept of bank capital and why these regulations have caused some frustration in the finance industry.

Questions:

  1. Why are banks required to keep Continue reading
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August 1, 2017

netflixSince launching 20 years ago, Netflix has transformed from a DVD-by-mail service into the undisputed king of streaming video. The company now has more than 104 million subscribers across the world, a 25 percent increase since last year and quadruple the number of customers from 2012. On any given evening in North America, Netflix streaming accounts for more than a third of all download Internet traffic. The company’s lineup of original shows and movies are also a hit with critics Continue reading

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July 21, 2017

When starting a new business, many entrepreneurs opt to enter an established industry so they can know what to expect. At the same time, however, these markets are packed with fierce competitors who must vie with one another for their piece of the pie. The most fortunate entrepreneurs avoid cutthroat industries and create new markets based on previously unknown consumer demands. The video below looks at how this “blue ocean strategy” can ensure long-term dominance for innovative companies.

Questions:

  1. Can Continue reading
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July 20, 2017

rego-korosiAs sales from CDs and digital downloads continue to decline, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have become vital to the $7.7 billion music industry. Still, there’s one major streaming service that both executives and musicians alike have long despised. While it’s mostly known for video, YouTube accounts for 25 percent of all music streamed across the globe. This makes it by far the most popular streaming site among fans, a fact that industry insiders find increasingly troubling.

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July 14, 2017

edwin-leeThis week we’ve taken a look at the effect mobile technology has had on Chinese businesses, both for better and worse. Of course, China is far from the only Asian nation to undergo drastic changes thanks to the rise of smartphones. From India to Indonesia, mobile technology has altered the ways that both consumers and businesspeople go about their lives. Still, perhaps no other place on the continent has been as fundamentally changed by smartphones as the country of Continue reading

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June 23, 2017

When the economy was on the verge of collapse due to the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to zero in an effort to get money moving around again. The economy is not in such dire straits now, of course, so the Fed has once again returned to raising rates gradually. This video quickly reviews how the Fed works and demonstrates the ways that the central bank affects the nation’s money supply.  

Questions:

  1. What are the Continue reading
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