April 5, 2022

After the invasion of Ukraine last month, thousands of companies around the world either ceased operations in Russia or started divesting from the aggressor nation. This corporate response to the invasion followed a string of sanctions by governments around the world who intended to deal an economic blow to Russia. But cutting financial ties with the country has also led to some unexpected ripple effects on small businesses as well as multinational companies who must adjust to this complicated situation. Continue reading

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March 31, 2022

Sales of houseplants skyrocketed during the onset of the pandemic, and ever since growers around the world have struggled to keep up with ever-increasing demand. Not only are they reaching production capacity, but growers are also in a race against time to get their plants to market before they die on store shelves. This video takes a detailed look at the advanced growing techniques used on modern houseplant farms as well as the flood of TikTok-driven demand that growers must Continue reading

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March 25, 2022

Anyone who’s had to fill up their car lately knows how the cost of gas has shot through the roof in recent weeks. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average price per gallon increased to $4.24 on Monday, the highest rate in more than four decades. Although the inflation-adjusted price does not quite reach the heights of the 1970s energy crisis, consumers must nevertheless deal with the largest month-to-month gas price increases on record. 

Some parts Continue reading

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March 17, 2022

With inflation rising to its highest levels in 40 years, the Federal Reserve plans to take action by raising interest rates in an effort to get the money supply under control. This video looks at the ways the Fed guides the economy by influencing the federal funds rate, which then affects everything from banking policies to the housing market. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the Fed planning to raise the federal funds rate?
  2. How does the federal funds rate eventually affect Continue reading
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March 15, 2022

The Swedish company Oatly began making oat milk in the early 1990s and steadily grew a dedicated following among health conscious European consumers. But the beverage really took off in the late 2010s when Americans got in on the craze, sending Oatly’s sales soaring and attracting interest from high-level investors. To enable the brand to grab market share while it was available, Oatly received major investments from companies like Blackstone Group as well as celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z. Continue reading

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February 23, 2022

Last year, we looked at how rising inflation and supply chain delays caused by the pandemic were taking a big toll on small businesses, a situation that has not improved in 2022. In fact, small-scale entrepreneurs have struggled for years at this point while their corporate counterparts have thrived thanks to the advantages brought on by huge reserves of capital. “Larger firms have been able to weather rising costs and labor shortages better than smaller firms, which is likely Continue reading

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February 18, 2022

Chowing down on a big bowl of crickets probably doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? According to a range of experts interviewed in the video below, though, our disgust at the thought of eating insects might just be a matter of perception. This extensive report from the New York Times shows how lobsters went from disgusting to delicious in the eyes of American eaters, a branding journey that bugs might also take in the near future.

Questions:

  1. What are some Continue reading
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February 8, 2022

With Super Bowl LVI less than a week away, football fans around the country are stocking up on snacks and drinks for Sunday’s big game. In fact, each year Americans eat more than 112 million pounds of snacks during the Super Bowl, with the most popular items being potato chips, pretzels, and tortilla chips. Although these items will be available and affordable as ever this year, economists at Wells Fargo estimate that the cost of fresh items like salsa and Continue reading

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January 20, 2022

Although heavy traffic in U.S. ports did not end up canceling Christmas last year, the supply chain crisis still led to some empty shelves and expensive items as companies struggled to obtain needed inventory. Now that the holiday shopping season is long over, however, some officials are optimistic that the worst has passed as ports in Southern California work through their backlogs and shipping costs drop from their September 2021 highs. But like so many other aspects of American Continue reading

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January 18, 2022

With so many different products and services on offer these days, it can be difficult for companies to convince customers to purchase a product more than once. And since repeat business is the lifeblood of any enterprise, many firms have turned to subscription models to ensure that they receive steady sources of revenue. Streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ stand out as some of the most recognizable subscription services, while brands like Peloton adopted this model for the home fitness Continue reading

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