December 7, 2017

A few summers ago, inventor Josh Malone found himself spending hours every week filling up water balloons for his eight children to throw at one another. Convinced that there had to be a more efficient way to build up a water balloon arsenal, he used his mechanical engineering expertise to develop a product called Bunch O Balloons. This device allowed him to fill dozens of balloons at one time and became an immediate hit with his family. After filing for Continue reading

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November 30, 2017

Although many retailers enjoyed a sales boost during Thanksgiving Weekend, no other company can rival Amazon’s stellar start to the holiday season. The e-commerce outlet brought in 45 percent of all online purchases on Thanksgiving along with nearly 55 percent of Black Friday’s total Internet transactions. Plus, Amazon announced that Cyber Monday was the company’s biggest sales day ever, boasting that customers had purchased “hundreds of millions of products” throughout the weekend.

Along with putting Amazon’s huge influence with customers Continue reading

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November 17, 2017

Since Uber’s founding in 2009, the ride-hailing service has relied on tens of thousands of drivers that it considers to be independent contractors. Although this policy has been controversial from the start, executives claim it is a vital component of the company’s historic growth rate. After all, the money that Uber saves from paying employment benefits allows it to charge lower fares. That explanation simply isn’t good enough for many critics, however, who claim the company is depriving drivers of 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 31, 2017

In the past year we’ve featured a few stories about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how it aims to keep consumers safe from predatory business practices. From collecting consumer complaints to limiting the power of payday lenders, the CFPB was formed to put regular people on somewhat equal footing with big companies. Still, not everyone sees the relatively new government agency this way. Opponents claim the CFPB has too much power to regulate businesses, thus harming both companies Continue reading

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October 27, 2017

Since its founding in 2012, the women’s apparel seller LuLaRoe has grown into a powerful brand despite never stocking its clothes in stores. Instead, the company directly sells items to a team of independent consultants who find customers on their own. These representatives can eventually receive bonuses if they find new consultants to recruit, thus expanding the number of LuLaRoe sellers as well as customers. If you ask executives at the company, this direct selling strategy fits the mold 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 7, 2017

iidar-sagdejevLast year we took a close look at how Wells Fargo fostered a culture of fraud that encouraged employees to open unauthorized credit and debit card accounts for customers. Investigators at the time estimated the bank had created more than 1.5 million fraudulent accounts, leading Wells Fargo to fire thousands of employees. Further inquiries from Congress also caused the company to replace managers and roll back executive pay as part of an overhaul of its retail division. The scandal Continue reading

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September 1, 2017

Along with being one of the most groundbreaking trade pacts in history, the North American Free Trade Agreement is also considerably controversial. NAFTA has especially faced criticism recently, leading representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to meet and discuss the future of the deal. This video looks at how NAFTA currently impacts supply chains in North America and how changes to the agreement could affect commerce.

Questions:

  1. What do American opponents of NAFTA want to change about the deal? Continue reading
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