April 10, 2018

Paying with a credit card is an almost entirely electronic process except for one notable step: the signature. Although this final part of the transaction is meant to provide another layer of security, many consumers quickly squiggle something down on the line just to get the procedure over with. Then there are people like Doug Taylor, who goes the extra mile by signing his receipts with a doodle of a little dog wagging its tail. “It gets a laugh, most Continue reading

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September 28, 2017

hurricane-mariaOver the last month hurricanes have torn through America’s southern coast, inflicting massive amounts of damage to Texas, Florida, and other states in the region. Of course, the U.S. mainland is far from the only place that’s been harmed by these major weather emergencies. Along with devastating Caribbean islands like Barbados and Barbuda, recent tropical storms have also hammered the American territory of Puerto Rico. First it had to endure Hurricane Irma, which only clipped the island’s northern portion Continue reading

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August 29, 2017
noaa-satelllites

Over the weekend Hurricane Harvey landed in South Texas and began a cycle of major flooding that overwhelmed residents and emergency services. With thousands of people remaining in Houston and its surrounding communities during the storm, first responders spent a lot of time bravely searching for victims and pulling them out of the water. Media outlets then broadcast some of these stories to a shocked American public, leading to an outpouring of support and donations. (Click here for information on Continue reading

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August 11, 2017

annagoldbergwwWhile you may not recognize the name Stephanie Courtney, chances are you know Flo, the cheery saleswoman for Progressive Insurance. Over the last decade Courtney has portrayed the character in more than 140 commercials, becoming “the personification of the company,” according to chief marketing officer Jeff Charney. “She represents our core values of integrity and honesty and transparency and customer service. She’s a character who has character.”

Of course, Flo is far from the only fictional spokesperson to be associated Continue reading

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April 27, 2017


bankers-regulatorsThe 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act stands as one of the most complicated pieces of legislation ever devised. The law includes more than 22,000 pages of rules, which is equivalent to about 15 copies of Tolstoy’s epic novel
War and Peace. These guidelines tell banks how much money they must set aside, how they can advertise, what sort of investments they can make, and many other stipulations and requirements.

As you can imagine, keeping track of all those regulations Continue reading

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March 3, 2017

NOAA-PhotoLibraryFrom tsunamis to earthquakes to hurricanes, each year natural disasters strike all across the world and leave devastation in their wake. In the immediate aftermath of these catastrophes, ensuring people’s safety is the number one priority. As a community starts to recover from a disaster, however, their thoughts turn towards rebuilding and returning to normalcy. Still, this isn’t such an easy task to accomplish. Natural disasters can destroy infrastructure and buildings that take millions of dollars and months of time Continue reading

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January 20, 2016

Last year we featured a post about the unfortunate case of Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer. In need of a better truck for his business, he took his old Ford F-250 to a local dealership and traded it in for a newer model. The plumber didn’t give the transaction a second thought until about a year later when the complaints started rolling in. Due to the extraordinarily complicated nature of the global auto resale market, Oberholtzer’s truck somehow ended up in Continue reading

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February 26, 2015

The recent hacks of Sony and Home Depot show just how much damage data breaches can do to big businesses. But a company doesn’t have to be multinational in order to attract the eyes of hackers. In fact, experts estimate that 44 percent of small businesses have been the victims of cyber attacks. According to the National Small Business Administration, each breach costs companies an average of $8,700 in damages.

“Cybercrime is in the news all the time, but there’s 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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