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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March 15, 2018

Last year, we looked at how Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy after struggling for more than a decade with increasing competition and crushing debt. And while its future didn’t seem particularly bright at the time, the retailer at least had a plan in place to stay afloat in the short term. Along with taking out a massive loan to buy stock for the Christmas season, the company also claimed it had no plans to close any stores.

This relatively Continue reading

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February 2, 2018

When we last looked at Bitcoin in December, the cryptocurrency’s price had skyrocketed to about $16,500 after starting the year at just $985. At its peak a couple of weeks later, a single Bitcoin became worth a whopping $19,511. The ever-increasing success of the cryptocurrency and others like it convinced some investors that the future of money was taking shape before their eyes. Many remained wary of Bitcoin’s boom, however, fearing that the bottom could fall out at any time. Continue reading

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December 8, 2017

Over the last few months, we’ve posted a couple of stories about Bitcoin’s enormous gains in 2017. First we marveled at how the cryptocurrency’s value had risen to $4,000 in August after starting the year at just $985. By November, a single Bitcoin became worth more than $7,200. Since then the cryptocurrency has climbed even higher while also experiencing some major fluctuations. Last night, for instance, Bitcoin’s value reached a record high of $17,153 before eventually falling to around Continue reading

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November 21, 2017

From flooding in Texas to Puerto Rico’s struggle to recover after Hurricane Maria, we’ve taken a look at the economic impacts of several natural disasters over the last few months. Whenever we write posts like these, we always include a link to a list of organizations you can donate to if you feel so inclined. Along with spreading awareness, we also want to make sure our readers have access to a reliable selection of charitable options vetted by journalists. 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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September 19, 2017

tiia-montoThe decline of brick and mortar retail has been one of the biggest business stories of the year, with formerly successful chains like HH Gregg, Payless and others filing for bankruptcy. And this week Toys ‘R’ Us became the latest company to join this unfortunate group. Like so many other traditional retailers, Toys ‘R’ Us couldn’t keep up with the growing dominance of Amazon. The company’s CEO said it would need to slash prices in order to stay afloat, Continue reading

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September 15, 2017

In the 17th century citizens of the Netherlands enjoyed an historic era of art and prosperity known as the Dutch Golden Age. Wealthy merchants spent lavishly on all sorts of luxuries, including a new flower imported from Turkey called the tulip. Demand for tulips reached incredible heights until the bottom suddenly fell out of the market. This short video looks at what many economists consider to be the first market bubble to burst.

Questions:

  1. How does the Dutch tulip craze 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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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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