Demand for gold has been rising across the globe, defying economists’ expectations and sending prices soaring to new heights. The video below looks at how the gold trade has changed in recent years as everyday consumers enter the market alongside major investors. Costco, for example, sells $200 million worth of gold bars every month to members on the lookout for what they consider to be stable investments.

Questions:

  1. Why have gold prices been rising across the globe recently?
  2. Do you Continue reading
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The fashion company Zara became a multi-billion dollar force in the industry thanks to its unique ability to churn out stylish clothing at low prices. Of course, critics of the Spanish firm would not likely call its business model “unique”: Zara has long been accused of ripping off its designs from luxury fashion houses. Those days might be in the past, however, as the company looks to reinvent itself as a high-end brand working with some of the world’s top Continue reading

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A few weeks ago, we examined TikTok’s uncanny ability to provide entrepreneurs with major marketing opportunities at the expense of brand control. The potential downsides of the latter became clear last week when President Biden signed a bill into law that could ban the social network in the U.S. Under the provisions of the bill, which passed both the House and Senate with considerable support, TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance has 270 days to sell the app to an American Continue reading

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April 12, 2024

On the morning of March 26th, the Dali, an enormous container ship, crashed into one of the supporting structures of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed soon after. This tragic incident killed six workers on site and caused at least one major injury, along with an economic impact that spans the globe. The Port of Baltimore must remain closed for a few more weeks while the wreckage is cleared, which will require at least seven container ships and hundreds Continue reading

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March 27, 2024

If you enjoy pouring maple syrup over your pancakes on a Saturday morning, then you have Canada to thank for it. The North American nation accounts for 75 percent of the world’s maple syrup production, with the vast majority coming from the province of Quebec. Along with serving as home for 90 percent of Canada’s maple syrup industry, Quebec is also the location of the country’s syrup reserve. This facility is designed to hold as much as 133 million pounds Continue reading

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March 19, 2024

With more than 51 million monthly active users in the United States, the Chinese e-commerce outlet Temu has expanded significantly in recent years thanks to its huge selection of cheap goods. This video looks at the platform’s low-price strategy and how it’s winning customers the world over in spite of reports of poor quality products and possible ethical issues.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Temu’s business model is appealing to customers?
  2. Which e-commerce strategy do you think is most effective Continue reading
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March 8, 2024

On February 1st, Universal Music Group (UMG) allowed its licensing deal with TikTok to expire after accusing the platform of providing insufficient payments to artists. In an angry letter, the music giant said that the video-sharing app was “flooded with A.I.-generated recordings,” which diluted the pool of potential revenue for legitimate artists. As a result, TikTok removed all music affiliated with UMG from its platform, a drastic move that escalated in severity last week. After failing to make any progress Continue reading

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March 1, 2024

While high-profile AI platforms like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Image Creator may grab lots of headlines, millions of people already interact with AI on a regular basis in ways they may not expect. This video looks at how machine-learning techniques are built into everything from email to Spotify and why it’s important for consumers to stay aware of the growing ubiquity of AI in their everyday lives.

Questions:

1. Why do you think many consumers are unaware of the prominence of Continue reading

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February 7, 2024

American consumers first encountered rising prices shortly after the pandemic, when supply chain problems and labor shortages sent costs soaring for all sorts of goods. Fortunately, prices have finally started to fall again for products like appliances, used cars, and gasoline as well as services like health insurance. Still, inflation has not decreased evenly across the board, and the prices for some goods remain stubbornly high. Perhaps the clearest example of increasing costs occurs at the grocery store, where food Continue reading

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February 2, 2024

Large hot air balloons can cost as much as $160,000, requiring huge amounts of high quality materials and lots of time. This video focuses on the Spanish company Ultramagic Balloons, which employs large sewing teams as well as engineers to produce flawless balloon-based aircraft. 

Questions:

  1. Why does Ultramagic Balloons prioritize quality control throughout its production process? 
  2. What are some factors that contribute to the high costs of hot air balloons?
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