August 31, 2022

Earlier this year, we looked at how the nationwide shortage of baby formula was poised to continue for months after Abbott Nutrition shut down a Michigan plant in February. An inspector from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) discovered a leaking roof in the facility, pools of water on the floor, and cracks in production equipment used to produce the brand Similac. FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf described the conditions as “egregiously unsanitary” while acknowledging that the federal agency should Continue reading

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July 19, 2022

Do you pick up the phone when you receive a call from an unknown number? Considering that Americans receive an average of 28 spam calls per month, it would be understandable if you just let the phone ring. On top of all those phony calls, smartphone owners also receive an estimated 42 spam texts each month. And once you start receiving these messages, they’re unlikely to stop anytime soon: numbers that end up in spam databases often get sold and Continue reading

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June 15, 2022

In recent years, fashion brands and retailers like H&M, Nike, Amazon and Target have responded to consumer calls for environmental sustainability by following an influential material rating system called the Higg Index. Introduced in 2011 by a group of companies led by Walmart and Patagonia, this metric is intended to help businesses shrink their environmental footprints by eliminating toxic chemicals and cutting down on water usage during production. According to critics, however, the Higg Index strongly recommends the use of Continue reading

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Over the last few years cryptocurrency has gone from the fringes of finance to the mainstream, complete with celebrity Super Bowl ads and widespread interest from Wall Street. But while more people know about crypto than ever before, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a safe investment. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans have lost more than $1 billion to cryptocurrency scams since the beginning of last year. In fact, crypto con jobs now account for a fourth Continue reading

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Since the beginning of the year, parents around the country have struggled to obtain baby formula due to a nationwide shortage. Although Covid-related supply chain snags have contributed to the problem, matters became considerably worse once the formula manufacturer Abbott Laboratories instituted a recall in May. The company produces brands like Similac at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which shut down following the recall. Consumers filed formal complaints with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) about infant illnesses, leading to Continue reading

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April 21, 2022

Before the pandemic, enormous shipping vessels bound for the West Coast of the U.S. from Asia usually took the same predictable and profitable voyages. After docking in either the port of Los Angeles or Long Beach, the ships would unload their cargo and then head up north to Oakland, where they stocked up on agricultural goods from California’s expansive farmland. This cargo would ultimately end up in markets around the world after journeying across the Pacific and disembarking in Southeast 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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February 25, 2022

In theory, overdraft fees charged by banks are meant to be a “convenience” for customers so that their purchases are not declined when they are unknowingly low on funds. In practice, however, these fees have become a major revenue generator for banks that charge an average of $33.58 for each overdraft. That means consumers can be hit with multiple fees if they accidentally make numerous purchases while past the limits of their account. Studies show that this practice particularly harms Continue reading

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February 1, 2022

In the early days of the pandemic, the federal government passed the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in order to provide money for payroll expenses that had been lost during the nationwide shutdowns. The initiative offered companies with 500 or fewer workers low-interest loans of up to $10 million to cover about two months of payroll. With unemployment soaring at the time, the idea was to bring relief to struggling employees while simultaneously giving businesses more breathing room on Continue reading

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January 11, 2022

For decades, Hollywood studios and movie exhibitors abided by the law of the “theatrical window,” the period of time where a film could only be seen in theaters. This window steadily shrank over the years as home video and streaming gained dominance until it was almost obliterated in 2020 as theaters shut down for the pandemic. The fascinating video below looks at the ways that coronavirus changed domestic movie distribution and how theaters could still have a profitable future ahead Continue reading

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