November 1, 2013

In the fall of 2013 the U.S. came perilously close to defaulting on its debt. Already reeling from a two-week government shutdown, lawmakers were able to come together at the eleventh hour to raise the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014. If it had failed to do so, then for the first time in history the U.S. would have been unable to pay the interest on Treasury bonds. This would have sent global markets into disarray while almost certainly setting Continue reading

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October 17, 2013

For many of today’s conscientious consumers, it’s not enough for a product to be simply affordable and effective. Environmentally minded diners, for instance, prefer to know as much about the origins of their food as possible. That’s why so many modern restaurants make sure the names of their organic and artisanal suppliers appear as prominently on menus as the dishes. Now the trend is expanding out of the culinary world and into retail as more and more clothing companies use Continue reading

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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

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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

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July 17, 2013

China’s surging economy has provided its citizens with a constellation of benefits that would have been scarcely imaginable even a decade ago. But of all China’s consumer-enabled freedoms, the opportunity for worldwide travel perhaps represents the nation’s biggest leap into modernity. After all, Chinese tour groups were forbidden from traveling to the U.S. until 2007. The following year, 493,000 Chinese tourists flooded America. That number has since grown to more than a million visitors annually. But that’s nothing compared to Continue reading

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July 15, 2013

Throughout Pepsico’s history, one thing has remained constant: the company’s flagship soft drink has always played second fiddle to chief competitor Coca-Cola. Known by name by billions throughout the world, Coke is not only the gold standard of soft drinks, but of branding in general. Although Pepsi and its umbrella of products certainly command a fair market share, Coca-Cola’s continued worldwide dominance is all but assured at this point.

Except in Russia, that is. Pepsi was one of the first Continue reading

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July 10, 2013

In the business world, companies aren’t the only ones who are concerned with attracting top tier talent. Governments, too, have a vested interest in either retaining their most skilled individuals or attracting the best from elsewhere. After all, an innovative and educated workforce can only sustain itself by remaining desirable to other capable candidates. For countries like India, this means keeping doctors and engineers local so they can help a homeland in need rather than travel abroad for greater fortunes. Continue reading

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In today’s modern economy, statistics are supreme. GDP, unemployment and interest rates all play dominant roles in the allocation of the government’s budget. No spending bill can hope to pass into law without a battery of statistics and figures charting how such legislation will benefit the country. But just how accurately do those numbers reflect the world we live in?

Take GDP, for instance. The famous figure has only been reliably collected in the U.S. since the 1930s and didn’t Continue reading

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treviThe beauty of Italy’s ancient structures and sculptures has been renowned for more than two thousand years. Over the course of those centuries, maintenance responsibilities for the nation’s antiquities have transferred from their Roman builders to the Catholic Church and finally to the present-day Italian government. But there’s one major matter that separates the latter from its two mighty predecessors: money. As a result of the Italian economy’s recent collapse, the government has been forced to slash the maintenance budget Continue reading

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April 15, 2013

zaraThe years following the start of the recession have not been kind for much of the retail industry. For the clothing company Zara, however, the downturn has been something of a blessing. The Spanish brand came to global prominence in the 1990s as its affordable but fashionable looks started to arrive at stores on foreign shores. Today the company brings in more than $9 billion annually from 1,600 locations as shoppers the world over turn to Zara’s lower price tags Continue reading

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