December 15, 2016

KenTeegardinIn 2010 the median salary for the 200 highest-earning executives in the U.S. topped out at nearly $10 million. Just five years later, though, that number doubled to almost $20 million. Meanwhile, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute found that CEOs in 2013 earned more than 300 times the salary of average workers. For comparison, in 1965 chief executives brought in just 20 times more pay than their average employees.

To combat this increasing inequality, last week government administrators in Continue reading

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December 13, 2016

LauraNorthrupIn December 2008, John Palmer ordered some items from the online retailer KlearGear and never received them. His wife Jen responded to this poor service by writing a critical review about the company on a website called Ripoff Report. The incident eventually faded from Palmer’s memory until three years later when she received a demand from KlearGear to take the review down. If she didn’t comply, the company said, they would fine her $3,500 for violating a non-disparagement clause that Continue reading

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December 8, 2016

JaminGrayIn 2014 a New York appeals court nearly changed the way that lawmakers deal with cases of insider trading. The dispute centered around two hedge fund managers who passed along confidential information between tipsters like a game of telephone. While the pair had been convicted in their first trial, the decision was eventually overturned upon appeal. This set a precedent for insider trading cases in which the prosecution had to prove that the tipster directly received some sort of compensation Continue reading

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December 2, 2016

Heinrich-Boll-StiftungFor years crowdfunding sites have provided cash and marketing boosts to entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to reach out to the public. In exchange, donors receive prizes for their support, ranging from simple displays of gratitude to enormous giveaways for the most generous individuals. One reward they haven’t been able to receive, however, is a stake in the company. For instance, the makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset brought in millions from their 2012 Kickstarter campaign. Facebook eventually purchased Continue reading

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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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