November 30, 2014

The stock market crash of 2008 sent shockwaves across the world’s economies, leading many to speculate about the future of American financial policy on the global stage. In the eyes of many experts at the time, the U.S. dollar was especially at risk of losing its decades-long dominance. After all, the inferno of the financial crisis spread so fast because many nations measure their own currency against the dollar. When its value plummeted, so did countless other currencies.

The debacle Continue reading

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November 15, 2014

This video reveals some of the unpleasant origins behind the world’s most common products and highlights the importance of understanding supply chains.

 

Questions:

  1. Have big companies improved work standards in their supply chains?
  1. Should consumers be involved in making sure supply chains are managed humanely?

From We the Economy

 

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October 15, 2014

 

mickeydsRussia’s aggression against Ukraine has been widely condemned by the international community. Besides strongly denouncing the nation’s actions, recent U.N. resolutions hit Vladimir Putin’s government with economic sanctions as well. The Kremlin responded to this punishment by banning the importation of food from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway and the European Union. Shortly after news of the ban broke, Russia also announced that it was closing down four McDonald’s locations in Moscow for “sanitary violations.”

For outsiders, the link Continue reading

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September 23, 2014

In the 1950s, more than 150 television manufacturers called the U.S. home. Today, not even component parts for TVs are produced on American soil. Still, that hasn’t stopped Wal-Mart from slapping “Assembled in the USA” stickers onto many flat screen TVs stocked in its stores. That’s because the company buys the televisions from South Carolina’s Element Electronics Corporation, which imports all their items from China.

That doesn’t mean Element is simply a middleman operation though. TVs that arrive at the Continue reading

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September 10, 2014

Walmart became the largest retail chain in the U.S. by offering customers the same low prices every day. As it expanded globally, however, the company found out that not every culture responds to this pricing strategy. For instance, Walmart has had a hard time winning over Brazilian consumers despite opening 550 stores in nearly 200 cities. That’s because most people in the large South American nation are happy to hunt for the best deals at a variety of stores rather Continue reading

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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

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August 1, 2014

For decades big companies have done their best to avoid hefty corporate tax rates levied by Uncle Sam. The U.S. government collects 35 percent of a domestically based corporation’s income, a figure based on the entirety of the company’s worldwide revenue. This mighty bite from the bottom line leads many firms to reincorporate their companies in places like the Cayman Islands or Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is just 12.5 percent. While this process of “inversion” is entirely legal, Continue reading

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July 11, 2014

 

A few years ago, a rash of employee suicides at Foxconn Technology prompted investigations into the working conditions at the Chinese manufacturing giant. As the maker of such in-demand items as the iPad and Hewlett-Packard servers, Foxconn employs tens of thousands of people who work long shifts and live on-site. The monotonous work and the dorm-like living quarters can make for a grey life on the Foxconn campus, leading to depression and worse.

Foxconn responded to this bleak state Continue reading

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