August 26, 2022

Global supply chains have been all out of sorts since the start of the pandemic, but for the most part traffic and delays have been isolated to ports on the Pacific. As the video below explains, though, bottlenecks have now moved to East and Gulf Coast ports that are unprepared for this influx of ships and container boxes. 

Questions:

  1. What are some reasons why shipping traffic and delays have moved from Pacific ports to East and Gulf Coast ports? Continue reading
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June 24, 2022

Last week, we looked at how declining stock prices are signaling to analysts that an economic recession could be on the horizon. This video looks at how the recent downturn has been especially grim for tech companies, whose shares are down significantly due to rising interest rates and global instability. 

Questions:

  1. What are some factors that have caused tech stocks to fall sharply in recent months?
  2. How have hiring decisions by companies like Facebook contributed to the tech stock downturn
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June 17, 2022

Yesterday, the S&P 500 dropped more than 3 percent, continuing a long decline for stocks despite investors’ hopes for a rally. This places the index down 24 percent from its previous highs in January, further pushing stocks into bear market territory. Stock markets turn from bulls to bears once they drop more than 20 percent from recent peaks, potentially indicating that the economy is headed towards a recession. In fact, if losses continue at this rate, the S&P could experience Continue reading

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June 10, 2022

Over the last year, Americans have seen prices skyrocket for everything from food to fuel, leading to higher bills and strained budgets. This video looks at how inflation has played out across the economy, from increased costs for consumer staples like meat and eggs to rising rents that are a result of low housing supplies.

Questions:

  1. What long term economic factors have led to increased meat prices in recent months?
  2. How has a lack of housing construction since the 2008 Continue reading
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Although electricity prices usually tend to increase alongside the temperature, this summer Americans could see their utility bills rise to record levels. The video below explains how climbing natural gas costs have made air conditioning more expensive than ever, a situation made worse by tangled supply chains and the war in Ukraine. 

Questions:

  1. How do rising natural gas prices impact utility costs for consumers?
  2. Do you think utility providers should invest more in renewable energy sources to reduce their 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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April 12, 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March 2022 consumer prices rose by 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year, amounting to the largest increase since 1981. Not only must businesses contend with pandemic-related supply chain issues that have persisted for well over a year, but also Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to spiking fuel and food costs. As a result, inflation continues to rise alongside prices for essential goods like housing, groceries, and gasoline. Continue reading

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March 11, 2022

Earlier this week, we looked at how some companies faced increasing pressure from consumers to halt their operations in Russia during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. While chains like McDonald’s eventually listened to the outcry and shut down their Russian locations, other companies could not join the “corporate exodus” as easily. Burger King, for instance, has about 800 locations in Russia that are owned by independent franchisees, meaning the company cannot shut them down directly.

But with the eyes of Continue reading

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March 8, 2022

Last week, we looked at how retailers like H&M and Nike as well as major corporations like Apple and ExxonMobil suspended their operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. And while this list of companies is long and full of prominent names, it does not include major American brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, KFC, and many others that continue to operate in Russia. As a result, users on social media have recently piled criticism onto these companies to pressure Continue reading

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March 4, 2022

The appalling invasion of Ukraine has convinced many companies to halt their operations in Russia during this catastrophic event. Last week, for instance, the clothing company H&M announced that it would close its 170 Russian stores while Nike shuttered its 116 retailers in the country. Other big brands like Apple, T.J. Maxx, and Ikea followed with announcements that laid out similar plans to close stores during this frightening time.

“The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our Continue reading

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