October 22, 2020

Last week, another 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. This represents a drop from the stretch of months where more than 1 million people filed for unemployment week after week, but it nevertheless reflects a deeply strained economy. “The ranks of people applying for extended unemployment are starting to make it look like a traditional recession,” said economist Diane Swonk. “This leaves scars in the labor force, is demoralizing, and increases health risks for workers…We’re not calling people back Continue reading

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October 20, 2020

Since its founding in 1998, Google has grown into one of the largest companies in history. Last year it earned more than $34 billion from search revenue, an enormous amount that analysts predict will grow to $42.5 billion by 2022. Google’s parent company Alphabet is valued at more than $1 trillion and holds $120 billion in cash reserves. The company’s name has even become synonymous with search as millions of people around the world “google” all sorts of information every Continue reading

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October 16, 2020

On the surface, food advertisements don’t seem to be overly complicated. As this detailed video shows, though, filming the average food commercial often requires scientific precision as well as robotic assistance. 

Questions:

  1. Why is it important for ad makers to stick closely to what their clients want to see in a commercial? 
  2. Do you think it is worth the expense for companies to use robots and other complicated and expensive filming techniques in their ads? Why or why not?
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October 15, 2020

Despite being one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, McDonald’s experienced a drastic drop in sales at the beginning of the pandemic just like many other businesses. Once the chain recovered from the shock of closing tens of thousands of dining rooms, though, it refocused on streamlining its drive-thru business and menu. McDonald’s also struck a marketing partnership with the rapper Travis Scott for a branded meal that became a bestseller for the month that it was available Continue reading

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October 13, 2020

As brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic, e-commerce outlets like Amazon are thriving as consumers purchase more products from home than ever before. Experts expect that this trend will continue into the holiday shopping season, which can drive as much as 30 percent of retailers’ overall sales. So while companies would normally be hiring extra cashiers to prepare for Christmas, this year they’re bringing in warehouse workers to handle the high volume of online orders.  Continue reading

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October 8, 2020

According to the Brookings Institution, more than 400,000 small businesses have closed during the pandemic while hundreds of thousands more remain at high risk of ceasing operations. But while many small companies have struggled, large corporations in the tech and telecommunications industries have never been better. In fact, experts fear that big companies like Amazon and AT&T could consolidate on an enormous scale over the next six months as they buy bankrupt businesses at fire sale prices.

Although corporations have Continue reading

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October 6, 2020

October is usually the month that Halloween store owners look forward to all year round. Adult customers often spend well over $100 on costumes and accessories as they prepare for parties or haunted pub crawls. But with many of these social events now canceled due to the pandemic, Halloween stores are struggling to make up this essential source of revenue. At Lorenzo Caltagirone’s Virginia costume shop, for instance, sales are down 80 percent. “I’ve never been this worried before,” said Continue reading

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October 2, 2020

In the last few months, companies like the space tourism agency Virgin Galactic and the data-mining firm Palantir have debuted on the stock exchange without launching IPOs. This video looks at the pros and cons of the SPAC process that allows businesses to go public through so-called “blank check” companies.

Questions:

  1. What are the advantages of taking a company public through a SPAC rather than a traditional IPO?
  2. What are the potential drawbacks of SPACs compared to IPOs?
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October 1, 2020

Back in March, airlines received $25 billion in relief so that workers could stay on the payroll as the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive disruption in world travel. But with that money now spent, major carriers had been hoping for another round of economic stimulus from the federal government as demand for travel remains low. Legislators have been unable to come to an agreement so far, however, leading American Airlines and United Airlines to announce that more than 32,000 employees Continue reading

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September 29, 2020

According to the National Restaurant Association, during the pandemic more than 100,000 restaurants have closed either indefinitely or permanently and millions of jobs have been lost. Experts expect that the nation’s eateries will lose more than $240 million this year and warn that the worst could be yet to come. Along with takeout and curbside business, many restaurants have relied on outdoor dining to drive sales as many customers remain wary about eating inside. With winter on the horizon, however, Continue reading

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