November 2, 2022

The Mississippi River serves as one of the nation’s most vital supply routes, with slow-moving barges carrying everything from agricultural products to oil and building materials. Due to a drastically dry spring and summer, however, the river is running too low at some points to allow vessels to pass through. This video looks at how plummeting water levels on the Mississippi are disrupting the plans of farmers and manufacturers who rely on the river to get their goods to market. Continue reading

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October 28, 2022

After years of unease, this year Americans are approaching holidays like Halloween with a level of enthusiasm not seen since pre-pandemic times. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 69 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, an amount that is on par with the stats from 2019. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one,” said NRF Continue reading

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October 21, 2022

Earlier this week, we posted a video about a seemingly unremarkable highway corridor in Arizona that turned into a haven for enormous warehouses. Logistics hubs like these are becoming increasingly common around the U.S., from Southern California’s warehouse epicenter in the Inland Empire to multi-million square-foot facilities in Ohio and New York. Satellite images collected over the last 20 years show how warehouses have transformed acres of wide-open space into concentrated networks of huge buildings swarming with workers. In fact, Continue reading

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October 19, 2022

On a stretch of highway near Phoenix, property developers have constructed dozens of industrial warehouses with millions of square feet in storage. These enormous Arizona facilities are attracting big companies like Amazon, UPS, Walmart, and many more tenants that are looking to avoid California supply chain bottlenecks. This video looks at the reasons why some businesses are starting to center their logistical operations in the American Southwest.

Questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks for companies that use storage facilities Continue reading
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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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