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Current Readings

No Cheers When Wal-Mart Packs Up

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

Wal-Mart is closing a whole division of its retail stores in smaller communities. The push for growth created underperforming stores for the company and closed many small retailers that couldn’t compete with them. Now the people in these communities have no local outlets for buying basic goods.

The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States

Larry Tunnell, Ph.D., CPA  |  Accounting & Taxation

How has the United States become a prime tax shelter destination?

What's Not to Like About Cheap Oil? Well . . .

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

In an effort to reassure the stock market that dramatically cheaper oil is something to cheer about and not to fear, Treasury secretary Jacob Lew is making the argument that cheap oil acts like a tax cut for consumers. But while cheap oil has benefits for consumers, defaults by producers and pain in oil-rich countries could stall the world economy.

No Cheers When Wal-Mart Packs Up

Eric Cardella  |  Economics

Spurred by recent financial struggles, Wal-Mart is closing several hundred stores worldwide. Many of the closures will be in small towns, which will leave residents with few options for groceries and pharmacies.

Who Owns the Sun?

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

Warren Buffett’s utility NV Energy is winning the battle with Elon Musk’s SolarCity by getting the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules making rooftop solar panels unattractive. NV Energy prefers deals with concentrated solar farms to meet renewable energy targets.

No Cheers When Wal-Mart Packs Up

Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.  |  Org Behavior & HR

Wal-Mart has long been criticized for driving mom-and-pop stores out of business in small towns and rural communities. Still, Wal-Mart stores served consumers and provided employment. As the company begins closing hundreds of stores, including all of its small Wal-Mart Express stores, small towns and rural areas are experiencing a whipsaw effect: When Wal-Mart stores close, communities are left without grocery stores or pharmacies. The company's decision to shutter stores and increase efficiency is partially explained by recent increases in wages. These wage increases may be seen as socially responsible, but the store closings in small towns and rural communities has an adverse effect.

Who Owns the Sun?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission recently changed rules that set back Elon Musk’s SolarCity in its battle with NV Energy, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. The change involved a sharp drop in the rates rooftop solar providers were paid for the energy they provided to the grid (net metering).

E-Mail Spam Goes Artisanal

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Operations Management

Scammers are turning to small batch attacks to beat today’s more sophisticated e-mail filters. As artisanal spam becomes a bigger problem, the cybersecurity industry is pushing for adoption of new protections that could save our in-boxes.

Swiss Watches Take a Licking

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

The Swiss watch industry is lowering prices and looking to new markets. High-end Swiss luxury watches saw sales drop 3.3 percent in 2015, the first annual decline since 2009.

Gaming's Growing Pains

Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.  |  Entrepreneurship

As gaming leagues show rapid growth and indications that they're growing profits too, the competitive arena for leagues and teams has ramped up. As profits become more certain, interest from major investors seeking to leverage their economies of scope and scale are beginning to enter the fray. In question are the distribution of overall industry profits (appropriation) throughout the key stakeholder groups involved and how the cooperation can create even more value.

E-Mail Spam Goes Artisanal

Angelina I. T. Kiser, Ph.D.  |  Information Technology

You may start getting more spam e-mails now because spammers have found new ways for getting around the filters.

The Iran Invasion

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

The multinational agreement regarding Iran's nuclear program has opened the door for many foreign firms to pursue business deals in Iran. Not only are many foreign business leaders visiting Iran, but on a recent trip to Europe, the country's president, Hassan Rouhani, closed deals with several European firms. Most American firms, however, still have significant restrictions on what they can do in Iran.

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