October 1, 2014

As people inevitably default on their subprime auto loans, dealers turn to a variety of ways to retain their merchandise, sometimes with hazardous consequences.

 

http://nyti.ms/1qwkB8x

 Questions:

  1. Do regulatory agencies need to clearly define when a borrower is in default?
  1. Should lenders be able to turn off a moving car?

From The New York Times

 

Continue reading...

September 15, 2014

In order to attract cash-strapped buyers, more auto dealers are offering sub-prime loans on vehicles for people with poor credit. This video and the one below document the potential dangers of this financing practice.

 

http://nyti.ms/1lgctaY 

Questions:

  1. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of sub-prime lending?
  1. Are investors in bundled sub-prime car loans taking on significant risk?

From The New York Times

 

Continue reading...

September 2, 2014

In the mid-20th century, many struggling nations around the world relied heavily on outside governments for assistance. Foreign aid of this nature accounted for 71 percent of all worldwide capital flows as recently as 1960. As the years progressed, however, governments largely removed themselves from the global development game. Today, foreign aid accounts for less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget and only 9 percent of current capital flows.

To fill this void, non-governmental organizations and groups such Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 5, 2014

Even though the U.S. has a gross domestic product (GDP) valued at nearly $17 trillion, that huge figure still doesn’t come close to providing a complete picture of the American economy. Each year billions upon billions of transactions go undocumented, untaxed, and ultimately unrecorded by official GDP statisticians. Whether it’s earning a few bucks by mowing a neighbor’s lawn or by selling drugs, these concealed deals all form what’s known as the underground economy.

Many economists have said that it’s Continue reading

Continue reading...

June 12, 2014

Recent federal banking regulations have placed limits on the fees that financial institutions can charge for things like overdrafts and credit card transactions. Although this has been good news for consumers and merchants, the new rules have reduced revenue streams for banks across the country. As a result, many institutions are looking to make up the difference through additional sources of income, such as Western Union branches.

The more than 160-year-old money-wiring firm sells its services to 52,000 locations throughout Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 3, 2014

 

Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have allowed thousands to receive the capital they need to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. However, these sites tend to work out best for people whose ideas play to an Internet audience, such as artists or video game designers. That’s why U.S. lawmakers passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012. The legislation is meant to make crowdfunding more accessible to small businesses that may not have much of a web presence. Continue reading

Continue reading...

February 16, 2014

In the highly competitive world of Silicon Valley startups, entrepreneurs need more than just a great idea if they want to become the next Google. Since new tech companies require huge amounts of cash to get off the ground, many startups spend as much time fundraising as they do developing products. Fortunately for today’s tech entrepreneurs, attracting a first round of investment may becoming easier for some. Increasingly eager angel investors as well as crowdfunding services have allowed the number Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 1, 2013

The Dow Jones Industrial average is often considered a bellwether for the economy. This stock index of 30 large publicly traded American companies offers a snapshot of the nation’s fiscal wellbeing for analysts and day traders alike. Regardless of its popularity, however, the Dow is hardly perfect. Deciding which companies comprise the index is a delicate process that sometimes omits major players. For instance, a couple years ago we shared a story in the newsletter about Apple’s absence from the Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 19, 2013

For many budding tech entrepreneurs, getting accepted into a prestigious business incubator is almost as important as receiving a diploma from Stanford. The jolt of capital and resources provided by accelerator programs like Y Combinator or Techstars often act as springboards into multimillion-dollar successes. But not all startups want to become the next Google. Some would rather operate more like the Bill Gates Foundation by applying their innovative skills to addressing major world problems. While these aims are certainly noble, Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 14, 2013

 

For emerging economies, investment from foreign powers has long been a contentious topic. In fact, as recently as last year protestors lined the streets of India’s major cities against a series of reforms designed to open the country’s retail sector to foreign direct investment (FDI). The laws would allow companies like Wal-Mart and Tesco to buy up to 51% stakes in local businesses. The proposed reforms inflamed the fears of many Indians who felt that the economy would become Continue reading

Continue reading...