October 15, 2014

 

mickeydsRussia’s aggression against Ukraine has been widely condemned by the international community. Besides strongly denouncing the nation’s actions, recent U.N. resolutions hit Vladimir Putin’s government with economic sanctions as well. The Kremlin responded to this punishment by banning the importation of food from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway and the European Union. Shortly after news of the ban broke, Russia also announced that it was closing down four McDonald’s locations in Moscow for “sanitary violations.”

For outsiders, the link Continue reading

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October 11, 2014

During the recession that began in 2008, traditional banks became wary about awarding risky loans. Not only had bad deals come back to hurt many institutions, but also new regulations required many banks to increase their capital reserves. With less money to lend, banks largely stopped financing risky endeavors like commercial real estate and small business loans.

To fill this void in the market, non-traditional lenders like real estate investment trusts (REITs) and online outlets increased their presence. Fueled by Continue reading

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October 5, 2014

 

Since the onset of the financial crisis of 2008, millions of Americans have looked for ways to earn additional income. For some, multi-level marketing companies like Avon and Herbalife presented a good avenue for making extra cash. In these types of operations, individuals pay the company for a bulk amount of goods that they then sell to other people. According to multi-level marketing firms and their trade groups, the system allows consumers to purchase their favorite products at a Continue reading

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September 30, 2014

In 1988, just two states allowed casino gambling. Today, New Jersey and Nevada are joined by more than 35 other states that have legalized casinos. Over the years, local governments across the nation promoted gambling as a way to generate additional tax revenue. Plenty of municipalities bought into the idea, leading to a rush of casino construction throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Like so many other industries, business was good until the recession hit in 2008. Since then, not only Continue reading

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August 11, 2014

In 2014 a judge granted Northwestern University’s football players collective bargaining rights. Although it was later overturned, this landmark decision heightened the debate about compensation for college athletes to a whole new level, and it didn’t take long for another major legal ruling to follow it. In early August a U.S. district judged found in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and 19 others regarding the image rights of athletes. According to the ruling, the NCAA violates anti-trust Continue reading

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August 1, 2014

For decades big companies have done their best to avoid hefty corporate tax rates levied by Uncle Sam. The U.S. government collects 35 percent of a domestically based corporation’s income, a figure based on the entirety of the company’s worldwide revenue. This mighty bite from the bottom line leads many firms to reincorporate their companies in places like the Cayman Islands or Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is just 12.5 percent. While this process of “inversion” is entirely legal, Continue reading

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July 31, 2014

Led Zeppelin’s 1971 epic “Stairway to Heaven” is widely regarded by music critics as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. It’s also been one of the most profitable. Clocking in at nearly eight minutes long, the band refused to release the song as a single, which forced fans to shell out more cash to buy the album it appeared on. When coupled with the song’s substantial royalties from radio play, “Stairway to Heaven” has earned at least Continue reading

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July 28, 2014

As people become more skeptical of the ways science intrudes on the content of their food, controversial products like genetically modified crops face increasing opposition. That’s bad news for AquaBounty Technologies, a company that has been producing genetically modified salmon for more than 20 years. Called the AquAdvantage, the fish reach market size in two years rather than three. In order to engineer the salmon, scientists combine the gene of a large Chinook salmon with a gene from a fast-growing Continue reading

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July 20, 2014

 

In early June, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a bill into law that will raise the city’s minimum wage to $15-an-hour. At more than double the federal level, Seattle’s new wage floor will become the highest in the country once it is fully implemented. Large businesses have until 2017 to reach the $15 mark while small businesses can wait as late as 2021. In both cases, wages will be slowly raised in the intervening years to make the process Continue reading

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July 11, 2014

 

A few years ago, a rash of employee suicides at Foxconn Technology prompted investigations into the working conditions at the Chinese manufacturing giant. As the maker of such in-demand items as the iPad and Hewlett-Packard servers, Foxconn employs tens of thousands of people who work long shifts and live on-site. The monotonous work and the dorm-like living quarters can make for a grey life on the Foxconn campus, leading to depression and worse.

Foxconn responded to this bleak state Continue reading

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