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Description:  A perspective on the markets, with Bob Prechter, Elliott Wave International Founder & CEO and CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo.

Source: CNBC – video report
 
Date: 11/04/2009

Link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1319011626&play=1

Questions for discussion:  

  • How do you think a dramatic change in stock market value suggested by Prechter would affect future financial planning in businesses? Explain your answer.
  • How does the technical analysis advocated by Prechter jive with other methods discussed in the textbook? 
  • Do you agree with his assessment of the stock market and his advice for investing?

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Description: Stock splits don’t change the value of a company. But a lower share price for Warren Buffett’s firm (and other triple-digit stocks) could attract more investors.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 11/06/2009

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/06/markets/thebuzz/index.htm?postversion=2009110616

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the reasons offered for creating stock splits? 
  • What do you think motivated the decision to create a stock split of this magnitude at Berkshire Hathaway?  Explain your answer.
  • How might Buffett`s decision to split the stock be related to the acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad?

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Description: Johnson & Johnson plans to cut up to 7 percent of its workforce in order to generate cost savings needed to finance increasingly costly drug research and to weather future challenges, the diversified healthcare company said on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 11/03/2009

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5A229D20091103

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the reasons for the cost cutting measures?
  • Do you believe these decisions will result in long-term profitability? Explain your thinking.

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Description: Stanley Works agreed to purchase Black & Decker Corp. yesterday for $3.5 billion in stock after on-and-off talks that spanned almost three decades.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 11/03/2009

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ai7WJ.67rcVE

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the financial reasons that motivate this merger.
  • Why do you think a merger was agreed to at this time, after so many years of discussions?

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Description:  Fortune’s Andy Serwer says that third-quarter economic growth was fueled mostly by government dollars.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 10/30/2009

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/10/30/f_sl_recovery_illusion.fortune/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the arguments presented for economic optimism as well as pessimism.
  • Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the current situation?
  • How do you think financial managers view the current state of the economy?  Explain your answer.

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Description: When night falls in remote parts of Africa and the Indian subcontinent, hundreds of millions of people without access to electricity turn to candles or flammable and polluting kerosene lamps for illumination. Slowly through small loans for solar powered devices, microfinance is bringing light to these rural regions where a lack of electricity has stymied economic development, literacy rates and health.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 10/27/2009

Link:  http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE59Q01J20091027

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the benefits of microfinancing of electricity?
  •  Is microfinancing a viable alternative to large-scale government capital budgeting projects? Explain your answer.
  • What are the economic ramifications for economic development if microfinancing grows in popularity?

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Description: Dutch bancassurer ING will split in two, transforming itself into a smaller European lender in the most striking example yet of the deep changes that EU policymakers want to force on banks that received state aid.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 10/26/2009

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/innovationNews/idUSTRE59P0U020091026

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the financial structural changes coming to ING.
  • Do you think the bank was responsible for its own financial weakness or was it simply another victim of the credit crunch? Explain your answer.
  • Has the treatment of U.S. banks by regulatory authorities been similar or different?
  • How has ING stock performed recently?

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Description: Iceland’s McDonald’s Corp. restaurants will be closed at the end of the month after the collapse of the krona eroded profits at the fast-food chain, McDonald’s franchise holder Lyst ehf said.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 10/26/2009

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aNNKbYNHF_Og

Questions for discussion: 

  • Explain why businesses that are dependent on imported materials are at greater financial risk during a currency crises?
  • What alternatives are available to management besides closing down operations?

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Description:  Sergei Brin and Larry Page share the No. 1 spot on Fortune’s list of top young businesspeople.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 10/21/2009

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/10/21/f_40_under_40_overview.fortune/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Is there a common denominator that connects these business people?
  • Do you think being young has contributed to their business insight and success? Explain your thinking.

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Description: Stock soars 10% after the software giant’s earnings and revenue beat analysts’ forecast. Sales fell 14% to $12.9 billion, declining for the third quarter in a row.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 10/23/2009

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/23/technology/microsoft_earnings/index.htm?postversion=2009102311

Questions for discussion:

  • Explain why Microsoft’s cash flow and other financial metrics are expected to improve?
  • Do you believe Microsoft stock values are likely to be higher over the next year? Explain your answer.