August 16, 2019

Last year, we looked at how General Electric lost its spot on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after more than a century on the index. At the time, experts blamed the legendary company’s decline on the collapse of its financial services division along with a number of failed investments. According to a recent report from a well-known whistleblower, however, the recent troubles at GE are far worse than the company previously claimed. In a report released yesterday, forensic accountant Harry Continue reading

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August 13, 2019

Over the past five years, consumers have sent more than 1.3 million complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about scammers posing as government representatives. Whether they’re pretending to be from the IRS or a local police department, fraudsters like these have cost Americans more than $450 million since 2014. In fact, this year alone the FTC has received more than 200,000 complaints about calls from people claiming to be from agencies like the Social Security Administration. 

In one Continue reading

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August 2, 2019

About two years ago, hackers breached the credit reporting agency Equifax and stole personal information from nearly 150 million people. Along with names and birthdates, the hackers also obtained social security and driver’s license numbers. As consumers responded in anger and disbelief that Equifax could be so negligent, government regulators immediately started investigating the agency. Last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the results of that inquiry: Equifax agreed to pay a minimum settlement of $575 million that could Continue reading

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July 25, 2019

Since 2009 the website Genius has provided music lovers with a reliable source for lyrics to countless songs. A few years ago, though, the company noticed that someone else was exploring the site along with its usual batch of curious fans. The situation started when Genius published the lyrics to the hit song “Panda” by Desiigner with help from the artist himself. Since the company received assistance directly from the source, their lyrics served as the only accurate transcription of Continue reading

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July 23, 2019

In March 2018, the New York Times revealed that Facebook had allowed Cambridge Analytica to gather personal information from more than 50 million users without their knowledge. Soon after the newspaper published its findings, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began its own investigation of the social media giant. After about a year of inquiry, last week the government agency imposed a $5 billion fine on Facebook, the largest penalty ever issued by the FTC.

It is also the same amount Continue reading

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June 27, 2019

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department intervened in a class-action lawsuit against some of the nation’s largest poultry producers. The plaintiffs in the case claim that companies like Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride conspired together to fix the price of chicken. Given that these allegations involve some of the top firms in a huge industry, the federal government decided to take over legal proceedings for the rest of the year. “The Justice Department wants to make sure they Continue reading

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Today, Uber will start to trade shares on the New York Stock Exchange in one of the mostly highly anticipated IPOs ever. Although the ride-hailing service had been pushing for a $100 billion valuation, it began the day trading at $45 per share, amounting to a valuation of about $82.4 billion. This enormous windfall will create instant fortunes for those who invested early in Uber. For the company’s millions of drivers, however, it’s unlikely they will benefit that much from Continue reading

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On Tuesday we looked at how Marvel fans recently packed movie theaters across the country for Avengers: Endgame. Many of these viewers likely enjoyed the movie alongside an overflowing bag of popcorn and boxes of candy, snacks that can leave quite a mess in the aisles. Most people probably assume that movie theater ushers are responsible for cleaning up the stray kernels and soda spills leftover by the day’s customers. But while these employees sweep up between screenings, the Continue reading

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April 26, 2019

In 2018 Americans received as many as 48 billion unwanted robocalls from telemarketers and scammers. Although legislators have tried to put a stop to these irritating interruptions, completely stamping out unwanted or fraudulent robocalls appears to be a nearly impossible task. This video shows how the power of the Internet as well as regulatory loopholes allow robocallers to operate without much interference.

Questions:

  1. Why is it often difficult for regulators to collect penalties issued against robocall companies?
  2. Why can’t regulators Continue reading
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April 9, 2019

Last week Microsoft announced that its eBook platform would soon close down. This news didn’t really come as a shock to many in the business world since the company struggled from the start to attract a dedicated audience of readers. First of all, Microsoft tied the platform exclusively to its Edge web browser, which accounts for only 4.4 percent of the total browser market. The company’s e-reader app also launched without key features such as highlighting, sticky notes, and titled Continue reading

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