October 21, 2021

For months, supply chain problems have led to increased prices and long delays that show no sign of ending anytime soon. As a result, industry analysts are recommending that consumers start their holiday shopping as soon as possible if they want their items to arrive by December. While supplies remain low because of factors like jammed ports and truck shortages, demand is expected to ramp up this holiday season as experts predict a 7 to 9 percent increase in retail Continue reading

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October 19, 2021

With more than 1 billion users worldwide, TikTok has become a commercial powerhouse as companies fight for the attention of this enormous user base. Products that go viral on the short video platform are almost guaranteed to see sales skyrocket, leading some stores to create “As Seen On TikTok” sections to corral all these in-demand items together. For example, the New York-based candy store It’Sugar started stocking a brand of fruit-shaped gummies after they appeared in untold thousands of videos Continue reading

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October 15, 2021

With supply chains snarled across the globe, food prices are on the rise as businesses contend with interminable shipping delays. Unlike many other items at the supermarket, though, cheese prices have remained relatively stable thanks to a number of factors discussed in the video below. 

Questions:

  1. Why does cheese maintain a relatively stable price compared to other staple foods like ground beef and apples?
  2. What is “price smoothing” and how does it keep prices stable at supermarkets for consumers?
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October 13, 2021

Last month, we looked at how air travel has become so complicated during the pandemic that people are turning to travel agents to make sense of the mess. But not even the most experienced agents could have prepared Southwest passengers for the problems that many encountered this past weekend. On Saturday the carrier cancelled more than 1,000 flights and then another 800 on Sunday, followed by 360 more cancellations and close to 1,000 delayed flights on Monday. Southwest apologized for Continue reading

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October 8, 2021

For weeks, stock markets across the globe have become increasingly volatile as investors await the fate of Evergrande, an enormous Chinese real estate company with more than $300 billion in debt. Analysts predict that the property developer will not be able to pay back what it owes, which would likely have damaging ripple effects across the global economy. The video below looks at Evergrande’s current debt debacle and the possible ways that this situation could be resolved.

Questions:

  1. Why are Continue reading
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October 7, 2021

When summer came to a close last year, restaurants across the country scrambled to keep diners eating outdoors even as the weather turned cold. This led to improvised setups with shelters and gas heaters that sometimes brought about more problems than they solved. For example, every night Ellen Yin’s restaurant in Philadelphia would burn through more than 10 propane tanks for their heat lamps, with staff often changing the tanks throughout the evening. “A couple of times I went to Continue reading

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October 5, 2021

More than 3.5 billion people around the world communicate through Facebook and its collection of apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus. But for about six hours yesterday, no one was using these platforms as Facebook disappeared from the Internet. Company representatives said that this outage occurred when “backbone routers that coordinate network traffic” failed and brought services completely to a halt. The total shutdown meant that Facebook could not remotely reset its network, requiring it to send out a Continue reading

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October 1, 2021

For months, supply chains across the globe have become highly disrupted due to a multitude of factors related to the pandemic. From closed factories and clogged ports to a shortage of shipping containers, supply chain snags are harming small businesses and could possibly affect the flow of goods during the Christmas season. And in the immediate term, shipping issues are contributing to rising inflation which then leads to price increases, something that has been felt by consumers across Continue reading

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September 29, 2021

At the beginning of the year, the widespread distribution of Covid vaccines gave many companies the confidence to start plotting their triumphant returns to office life. Then the spread of the delta variant largely thwarted these plans as firms brought back just a fraction of the staffers they had intended to. And for those few employees who returned to offices, most are still doing the same thing that they’ve done since March 2020: Zoom meetings. 

For example, Nick Kneer Continue reading

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September 24, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, sports card trading has transformed from a niche hobby to a booming market as people started turning old collections into big money. This video looks at how appraisal companies and online trading platforms have changed collecting forever while attracting the interest of Wall Street investors in the process.

Questions:

  1. How did sports card collecting transform from a fading hobby into a lucrative and vibrant market? 
  2. Do you think the market for cards will Continue reading
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