China’s $300 billion bullet train

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Multinationals like IBM and Bombardier stand to profit from China’s new high-speed rail system.  Source: CNNMoney – video report   Date: 8/05/2009 Keys: International business, economy, government, management, finance, banking, strategic alliances Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/08/05/f_fr_china_bullet_train.fortune/ Questions for discussion: Summarize the current and longer term benefits to the Chinese economy associated with the building of the bullet… Read more »

Half of mortgage borrowers will be ‘underwater’

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An estimated 25 million borrowers will owe more than their house is worth by 2011. Source: CNNMoney.com Date: 8/06/2009 Keys: Marketing, pricing, consumer behavior, economy, government Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/06/real_estate/underwaterworld/index.htm?postversion=2009080615 Questions for discussion: Research suggests that the current and expected value of a home influences the homeowner’s attitude towards spending. Explain why this would be true. How… Read more »

S&P 500 Tops 1,000 in Fourth Weekly Gain on Better Labor Market

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U.S. stocks rose for a fourth week, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index above 1,000 for the first time since November, as better-than-estimated employment, manufacturing and home sales data boosted confidence that the worst slump since the Great Depression is ending. Source: Bloomberg.com Date: 8/08/2009 Keys: Stock market, economy, finance, investing, business cycle Link:… Read more »

House OKs $2 billion more for Clunker program

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House passes bill to add $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers program. Source: CNNMoney.com Date: 7/31/2009 Keys: Marketing, pricing, consumer behavior, economy, government Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/31/autos/cash_for_clunkers_update/index.htm?postversion=2009073114 Questions for discussion: Explain why you think this program has been overwhelmingly successful in stimulating demand for new car purchases? What does price sensitivity suggest to you about why auto… Read more »

U.S. Economy: Recession Eases, Consumer-Spending Slump Deepens

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The worst U.S. economic slump since the Great Depression abated in the second quarter as government spending programs started to kick in, while the sharpest pullback by consumers since 1980 augured a muted recovery. Source: Bloomberg.com Date: 8/01/2009 Keys: Economy, finance, investing, business cycle Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aRV7ZR6CGNQY Questions for discussion: Do you believe the economy will… Read more »

Get ready for banking’s next headache

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A weak economy and frozen financing markets could spell trouble for regional banks with big commercial loan portfolios. Source: CNNMoney.com Date: 7/24/2009 Keys: Finance, economy, investing Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/24/news/economy/banks.commercial.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2009072416 Questions for discussion: Banks reflect the local economic conditions that exist by way of the current state of their loans to businesses and consumers.  Summarize the reasons… Read more »

Sales Fail to Keep Pace With Profits as Economy Stays Sluggish

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Sales growth lagged behind profits as companies in the Standard & Poors’ 500 Index beat analysts’ estimates this week, a signal that economic recovery may be slow. Source: Bloomberg.com Date: 7/25/2009 Keys: Economy, finance, investing, business cycle Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a8SqhtHkyfL4 Questions for discussion: Explain what the article says about the relationship between sales revenues and profits…. Read more »