November 1, 2016

MarkOhIn April 2013, more than one thousand Bangladeshi garment workers died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history, the tragic event led to worldwide condemnation of many Western clothing companies. After all, brands like H&M, Walmart and Zara had long pushed producers in Bangladesh’s growing garment industry to make clothes faster and cheaper. While this allowed retailers to set low prices at their stores, the focus on efficiency forced Bangladesh’s factories Continue reading

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October 25, 2016

MicheleM.FIsraeli entrepreneur Yekutiel Sherman had a great idea for a product: a selfie stick that folded seamlessly into the back of a smartphone’s case. He spent a year carefully designing his idea, producing prototypes and securing small investments from family and friends. By December 2015 Sherman launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to finish funding the item, now called Stikbox. But while the project immediately attracted investors, his popular crowdfunding campaign also caught the attention of Chinese bootleg manufacturers. Within Continue reading

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October 14, 2016

WilliamGrootonkIf you’re in need of cash in a pinch, you’d better hope that your bank has an ATM located nearby. For the 10th consecutive year, the fees charged by banks for usage of ATMs by non-customers has risen to a record average of $4.57. That number is actually the combination of two separate fees: one charged by ATM owners for non-customers and another by the account holder’s bank for withdrawing out-of-network. In 1998 the combination of these charges amounted to Continue reading

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September 29, 2016

BobnjayFor the past few weeks the business world has been buzzing with outrage over the Wells Fargo banking scandal. Executives at the company likely hoped the worst was over after getting hit with a $185 million fine for allowing such widespread fraud to occur. But as Senator Elizabeth Warren showed last week, regulators and commentators are far from finished with the company. During a hearing with Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf in front of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Continue reading

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September 14, 2016

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ranks among the most important laws passed in recent history. It’s also extremely complicated, amounting to some 14,000 pages of various regulations and restrictions. The video below takes a look at one of the key provisions of this landmark bill: The Volcker Rule, or the stipulation that banks cannot act like hedge funds and gamble with their own cash reserves. Although reviled by many on Wall Street, supporters say the rule Continue reading

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September 12, 2016

MikeMozartLast week regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) dropped a bombshell that surely shocked anyone with a bank account at Wells Fargo. According to the CFPB, employees at the bank created more than 1.5 million phony accounts over the years in order to fraudulently reach sales targets and earn fees. This “widespread” practice resulted in the recent firing of approximately 5,300 Wells Fargo employees. Regulators also hit the bank with a fine of $185 million along with $5 Continue reading

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September 6, 2016

YunHoLeeLast week we shared a video about how food companies label some items as “natural” even though they’re no healthier than their non-natural counterparts. While that term may soon come under regulation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently banned another marketing buzzword from use on commercial products. As of last Friday, “antibacterial” soaps are no longer allowed on U.S. store shelves after manufacturers failed to prove they were safer or cleaner than regular products.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes Continue reading

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August 31, 2016

RichardUntenDroneA few years ago Amazon announced a plan to start their own drone-based delivery service, allowing customers to receive goods just hours after ordering. At the time the idea seemed almost too futuristic to be true. After all, the image of dozens of robots circulating the sky and dropping off packages sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. According to the company, however, the plan for Amazon Prime Air remains on track and may even become a reality Continue reading

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August 26, 2016

IgorMaynaudCigaretteFrance is home to more than 13 million smokers, which includes one-third of teenagers and a quarter of adults. For years the nation’s health ministry has attempted to reduce this enormous number by spearheading initiatives that target the consumer appeal of cigarettes. For instance, the French government has long followed European Union laws requiring tobacco companies to cover 65 percent of their packaging with health warnings. In May, however, lawmakers took this concept a step further by passing “neutral packaging” Continue reading

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August 10, 2016

For the last few months Americans have been confronted with a peculiar dilemma at the cash register: to swipe or not to swipe? That is the question as shoppers and businesses across the country struggle to adapt to the credit card industry’s transition to chip technology. While 75 percent of cards are currently chip-enabled, only one-quarter of American merchants have the equipment to read them. The frustration continues even after upgrading as customers endure long waits for payments to Continue reading

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