February 2, 2018

When we last looked at Bitcoin in December, the cryptocurrency’s price had skyrocketed to about $16,500 after starting the year at just $985. At its peak a couple of weeks later, a single Bitcoin became worth a whopping $19,511. The ever-increasing success of the cryptocurrency and others like it convinced some investors that the future of money was taking shape before their eyes. Many remained wary of Bitcoin’s boom, however, fearing that the bottom could fall out at any time. 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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December 19, 2017

In recent years, a number of startups have quickly grown into powerhouse operations by selling certain products directly to customers. From the eyewear seller Warby Parker to the razor maker Harry’s, these companies have disrupted traditional industries by cutting out unnecessary middlemen from their supply chains. They’ve also inspired startups like Hubble, a subscription-based service that sells contact lenses. For just $1 per day or $30 per month, customers receive a supply of Acuvue Moist daily disposable contacts, one of Continue reading

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December 15, 2017

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal its set of net neutrality rules. These regulations prevented internet service providers from blocking traffic or charging users for certain online services or types of content. With the FCC’s rules struck down, though, the Internet will no longer be regulated by the government like a utility. The video below looks at how this decision could have sweeping repercussions for both businesses and individual users.

Questions:

  1. In what ways could the end Continue reading
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November 30, 2017

Although many retailers enjoyed a sales boost during Thanksgiving Weekend, no other company can rival Amazon’s stellar start to the holiday season. The e-commerce outlet brought in 45 percent of all online purchases on Thanksgiving along with nearly 55 percent of Black Friday’s total Internet transactions. Plus, Amazon announced that Cyber Monday was the company’s biggest sales day ever, boasting that customers had purchased “hundreds of millions of products” throughout the weekend.

Along with putting Amazon’s huge influence with customers Continue reading

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November 17, 2017

Since Uber’s founding in 2009, the ride-hailing service has relied on tens of thousands of drivers that it considers to be independent contractors. Although this policy has been controversial from the start, executives claim it is a vital component of the company’s historic growth rate. After all, the money that Uber saves from paying employment benefits allows it to charge lower fares. That explanation simply isn’t good enough for many critics, however, who claim the company is depriving drivers of Continue reading

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November 10, 2017

Even before the release of the Paradise Papers this week, Apple has faced plenty of criticism over the years for exploiting foreign loopholes to avoid paying taxes. The most prominent example of this occurred in 2013 during a Congressional inquiry of CEO Tim Cook. A Senate committee brought in the executive for questioning after they discovered Apple had hidden billions in taxable income through a series of “ghost companies” in Ireland. Cook admitted nothing, however, telling legislators, “We don’t depend 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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October 31, 2017

In the past year we’ve featured a few stories about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how it aims to keep consumers safe from predatory business practices. From collecting consumer complaints to limiting the power of payday lenders, the CFPB was formed to put regular people on somewhat equal footing with big companies. Still, not everyone sees the relatively new government agency this way. Opponents claim the CFPB has too much power to regulate businesses, thus harming both companies Continue reading

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October 10, 2017

aliman-senaiEach year some 12 million Americans take out a payday loan in order to get cash fast. But just because these borrowers can receive a quick injection of capital doesn’t mean they can pay it back with comparable speed. Many people who take out a payday loan end up drowning in a flood of loan fees and high interest rates. Last year alone the industry collected more than $7 billion in fees from customers. Borrowers can become so overwhelmed by Continue reading

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