November 15, 2019

This week, Google announced that it’s launching a banking service next year that will offer “smart checking” accounts to mobile-focused customers. Known as Cache, the program is the result of a collaboration between the search giant and two banks: Citigroup and Stanford Credit Union. Although details of the partnership remain limited at this time, Google eventually wants Cache to become an extension of its Google Pay app. The company also claims that customers will “benefit from useful insights and budgeting Continue reading

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January 30, 2018

Yesterday, the filing period officially opened for the 2018 tax season, an annual event that many Americans dread. Along with the standard pain that comes with writing checks to Uncle Sam, people also get stressed by worrying whether or not they calculated their tax bill correctly. Matters can become even worse for these anxious earners if they receive a phone call from the Internal Revenue Service regarding back taxes they never knew about.

But while these calls are certainly intimidating, 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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September 8, 2017

codeYesterday the credit reporting company Equifax announced that hackers had breached their security systems and stolen personal information from 143 million customers. Along with names and birthdates, the hackers also obtained social security and driver’s license numbers. These pieces of data are basically gold to identity thieves, allowing them to make purchases, borrow money and more all under the victim’s name. “This is about as bad as it gets,” said World Privacy Forum executive director Pamela Dixon. “If you have Continue reading

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February 3, 2017

Yahoo launched in the early days of the Internet and quickly became one of the most popular sites in the world. At its height, the news and search site was valued at more than $100 billion. Last month, though, Verizon bought Yahoo for $4 billion, completing the final stage of the company’s long decline. This video tells the story of Yahoo’s fall from the pinnacles of Silicon Valley success.

Questions:

 

  1. What lessons can other tech companies learn from Yahoo’s Continue reading
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November 15, 2016

TimParkinsonFrom a young age Americans are taught to keep a close eye on their Social Security number. After all, this unique code acts as an identifier for everything from bank accounts to medical records. If it falls into the wrong hands, all of your personal information could become compromised. To prevent this from happening, the government requires companies to keep Social Security numbers private while advising individuals to reveal it only to trusted parties.

But in today’s digital age there’s Continue reading

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For the millions of Americans who struggle with debt, paying back the money they owe can become a life-consuming ordeal. These overstretched individuals either take years to settle with creditors or end up defaulting entirely. Since most lenders want to avoid the latter option, they sometimes opt to sell off delinquent debt to a third party for pennies on the dollar. For instance, a bank might sell off $100,000 of debt to another institution for just $1,000. While the lender Continue reading

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Each year, millions of Americans use payday lenders to obtain what seem like quick and easy loans. Many borrowers simply need an advance on an upcoming paycheck, allowing them to settle their loan as soon as payday arrives. For those who don’t manage to repay on time, however, the situation can rapidly turn desperate. Along with a variety of fees, payday lenders often charge interest rates than can eventually top out in the triple digits. As a result, one small Continue reading

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April 12, 2016

For decades some wealthy people and businesses have avoided paying taxes in their home countries by setting up “shell companies” in tropical locales like the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas. The lax tax rates of these nations allow individuals and organizations to quietly keep their money out of government coffers. In today’s digital age, however, it’s a lot harder to keep a secret than it used to be. Just ask the clients of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, the Continue reading

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Thanks to advancements in technology and medicine, Americans today have longer life expectancies than ever before. A study conducted by the Society of Actuaries estimates that the average 65-year-old man will live to 86.6 years while women can expect to stay around until they’re nearly 89. Both of these numbers have increased by more than two years since data was last collected more than a decade and a half ago. And while this is certainly good news for humanity as Continue reading

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