February 13, 2020

In 2017, the home goods company Brandless launched with a novel way to take on Amazon as well as other big-box retailers. The direct-to-consumer startup sold high-quality, organic versions of everything from toilet paper to beauty products in simple, no-frills packaging. Brandless claimed that this eliminated the so-called “BrandTax” levied by many companies, which could account for as much as 40 percent of the product’s actual cost. With little money spent on traditional marketing, Brandless initially charged just $3 for Continue reading

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January 28, 2020

In 2013 the fitness startup ClassPass launched as a way to help gyms and workout studios fill open spaces in exercise classes. Through the ClassPass app, users can browse a list of available classes in their area and book times that fit within their schedule. They also don’t need to sign up for a variety of different gym memberships since ClassPass now partners with more than 30,000 fitness centers in 28 countries. The company’s growing global reach has attracted interest Continue reading

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November 15, 2019

This week, Google announced that it’s launching a banking service next year that will offer “smart checking” accounts to mobile-focused customers. Known as Cache, the program is the result of a collaboration between the search giant and two banks: Citigroup and Stanford Credit Union. Although details of the partnership remain limited at this time, Google eventually wants Cache to become an extension of its Google Pay app. The company also claims that customers will “benefit from useful insights and budgeting Continue reading

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January 22, 2019

When Netflix launched its video streaming platform in the late 2000s, all of the titles featured on the service came from other movie studios and production companies. If you boot up your account these days, though, most of the TV shows and films listed on the homepage are owned and produced by Netflix itself. Over the last few years the streaming giant has invested heavily to create its own content. By one estimate, Netflix spends more than $8 billion annually Continue reading

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September 14, 2018

For more than a century, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tracked the stock market performance of the country’s largest publicly owned companies. And from the very beginning General Electric was an essential component of this distinguished group. As the years went by and the company expanded into all sorts of industries, its continued dominance of the business world appeared all but guaranteed.

Then came the 2008 financial crisis. The collapse of the housing market dealt an enormous blow to Continue reading

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April 17, 2018

Earlier this month, the music streaming service Spotify went public on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation worth approximately $30 billion. And while that is certainly an enormous amount of money, it pales in comparison to the $93 billion that the Japanese telecom giant Softbank privately raised last year to create a technology investment fund. In the past, major IPOs such as Spotify’s tended to be the most dependable way for up-and-coming companies to receive a major infusion Continue reading

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November 10, 2017

Even before the release of the Paradise Papers this week, Apple has faced plenty of criticism over the years for exploiting foreign loopholes to avoid paying taxes. The most prominent example of this occurred in 2013 during a Congressional inquiry of CEO Tim Cook. A Senate committee brought in the executive for questioning after they discovered Apple had hidden billions in taxable income through a series of “ghost companies” in Ireland. Cook admitted nothing, however, telling legislators, “We don’t depend Continue reading

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November 9, 2017

This week a group of investigative journalists released an enormous cache of leaked documents called the Paradise Papers. Like last year’s Panama Papers incident, these records detail the offshore financial activities of some of the world’s richest people and companies. But while 2016’s leak focused mainly on the tax avoidance strategies of foreign entities, the Paradise Papers are full of names that will be familiar to Americans. The video below provides a quick overview of this complex story. Tomorrow, we’ll Continue reading

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October 10, 2017

aliman-senaiEach year some 12 million Americans take out a payday loan in order to get cash fast. But just because these borrowers can receive a quick injection of capital doesn’t mean they can pay it back with comparable speed. Many people who take out a payday loan end up drowning in a flood of loan fees and high interest rates. Last year alone the industry collected more than $7 billion in fees from customers. Borrowers can become so overwhelmed by Continue reading

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