September 1, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, problems with global supply chains have affected companies both large and small, leading some to reconsider their relationships with international manufacturers. Many other businesses are waiting for their products to arrive after weeks or even months of delays. For instance, the toy maker MGA Entertainment said its stock of Rainbow High dolls has been held up overseas due to a shortage of shipping containers. As a result, the company will likely not Continue reading

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August 27, 2021

Across the country housing prices are skyrocketing to record highs, effectively pricing millions of people out of buying their first homes. This video looks at how this lack of supply in the face of soaring demand can be attributed partly to American zoning laws, which can have the cumulative effect of raising housing costs for everybody. 

Questions:

  1. How have American zoning laws contributed to the current lack of affordable starter homes?
  2. Do you think zoning laws against multi-family housing Continue reading
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August 26, 2021

For years now, many consumers have made an effort to cut down on their use of plastic bags by relying on cotton totes instead. Along with being better for the environment than non-biodegradable, single-use plastic, cotton bags can also serve as walking billboards for any organization that places their logo upon them. As a result, these totes can be spotted in stores the world over, emblazoned with branding from supermarkets, magazines, charities, and radio stations. 

But while cotton bags Continue reading

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August 24, 2021

At the beginning of summer, major airlines had plenty of optimism that rising vaccination rates would entice Americans into traveling again. Initially this hope seemed to be well-placed as demand for flights increased and prices surged accordingly, with the Consumer Price Index finding that airfares rose by 7 percent from April to May 2021. While prices stayed around that level through July, sales started to sag by August as carriers saw the impact of the Delta variant on their bottom Continue reading

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August 20, 2021

This week, T-Mobile announced that hackers obtained the personal information of millions of customers in a ransomware attack. While the telecommunications giant said that 40 million users had their data compromised, the thieves themselves claimed they made off with information from more than 100 million people. This includes customers’ names, phone numbers, and addresses as well as other sensitive data such as social security numbers, drivers license information, and PIN numbers.

T-Mobile added that no passwords or account numbers were Continue reading

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August 17, 2021

The economic disruptions of the past year and a half caused small businesses to lose an average of 11 percent of their revenues. This was not the case for the globe’s big corporations, though. According to a McKinsey study of 5,500 “big, highly productive” U.S. and European companies, all surveyed firms reported that they experienced no declines in sales during the pandemic.

Although large companies had already been overtaking their smaller rivals before 2020, economists say that the pandemic widened Continue reading

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August 13, 2021

Last week, we looked at how Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging that Black Widow’s premiere on the company’s streaming platform deprived the movie star of income. The video below dives into further detail about how this upcoming legal battle could set the stage for big changes in Hollywood as on-screen talent looks to grab a piece of the increasingly important streaming market. 

Questions:

  1. How could Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney potentially transform actor compensation in Continue reading
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August 10, 2021

For decades, many American companies have relied on facilities in Southeast Asia to manufacture products that are then shipped over for dometic sale. Along with reducing production costs, firms also saved on inventory space through “just-in-time” ordering that allowed them to quickly bring in materials from overseas when necessary. But while relying on long-distance industrial suppliers has always been risky, the worst case scenario for this approach became a reality during the pandemic.

The global economy nearly shut down for Continue reading

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August 6, 2021

Our complex, world-spanning system of global trade relies enormously on shipping containers, metal boxes that range from 20 to 40 feet long that transport nearly every product imaginable. But just like so many of the items that are usually packed into these receptacles, the pandemic has caused a shortage of shipping containers that is reverberating across global supply chains. Despite an upsurge in production of containers and rebounding consumer demand, many manufacturers are unable to prepare products for transportation due Continue reading

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August 3, 2021

For decades, Hollywood’s top movie stars have brokered contracts that grant them a percentage of a film’s box office earnings in addition to their multi-million dollar salaries. Then the pandemic hit last year and completely upended the industry’s long-established practice of premiering movies in theaters. Instead, studios like Disney and Warner Bros. released new titles through the streaming platforms Disney+ and HBO Max as $30 single-viewing rentals. 

Once theaters began to reopen in 2021, studios combined both of these Continue reading

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