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Current Readings

Taking the Measure of Britain’s New Normal

Derek Abrams  |  Economics

The bet, in the short-term, is that Brexit will tip the British economy into recession. In the longer-term, the effects of Brexit on Britain are unclear. Much will depend on how the country leaves the European Union.

Becoming a Tax Haven Is Harder Than It Looks

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

Some in the UK argue for slashing taxes after Brexit, but the move might not be worth the cost to the public purse. If Britain’s cuts are viewed as unfair to other countries, the EU could exact a high price by restricting access to its markets.

Taking Bids on the Hospital of the Future

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

In Silicon Valley, Kaiser Permanente is testing new hardware and software. Kaiser says its San Leandro test facility is helping it design the hospital systems of the next decade.

The Mapping Expert Behind Pokémon Go

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

People can use their smartphones in a new way now. By employing the locational tracking built into phones along with the Pokémon comic characters, people are out and about, discovering their surroundings and getting some exercise. This summer phenomenon has boosted awareness and value for its creator, Niantic, which hopes that this type of game has legs.

A Big Settlement That Won’t Fix the Problem

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

Volkswagen’s $15 billion settlement with the EPA still allows the car company to exceed pollution standards. Under the settlement, Volkswagen owners are given some flexibility in how they deal with individual cars and do not have to immediately meet emission standards.

Shell Opens Up to Natural Gas

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

Shell Oil Co. has put its forecasting prowess and money behind the need to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change as it transforms into a natural gas company. Now there's a glut of natural gas.

A Risk That Couldn't Be Hedged Away

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

To provide themselves a cushion against sharp drops in oil prices, drilling companies often buy hedges. Now a quirk of bankruptcy law has stripped some shale drillers of that insurance just when they need it most.

A Big Settlement That Won’t Fix the Problem

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

$15 billion can fix a lot of problems, but Volkswagen’s settlement with U.S. regulators won’t be the end of the company’s emissions scandal problems. VW will offer to buy back affected vehicles, and vehicles that remain in use will be recalled and repaired. Repaired cars, however, won't fully comply with current emission standards, and this has led to criticism. Some states are separately seeking compensation for public health and environmental damage in suits that cite VW’s culture of arrogance.

Becoming a Tax Haven Is Harder Than It Looks

Larry Walther, Ph.D., CPA, CMA  |  Accounting & Taxation

Bermuda, Ireland, the Caymans, and a few other small spits of land have prospered by offering very low tax rates. The result is an influx of corporate homes and a flood of money that creates a guaranteed pathway to prosperity. Now that the UK has vowed to leave the European Union, some are postulating that the Brits may be about to embark on a round of sharp corporate tax cuts. Will it work?

This Owl Won't Save America's Jobs

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

In 2013, Wal-Mart announced a plan to encourage more manufacturing in the United States. Pledging to spend $250 billion over ten years on "Made in America" products, the goal was to entice companies to shift about 250,000 jobs to U.S.-based factories. While the results suggest that products can be efficiently manufactured domestically, with the program leading to an increase in U.S. manufacturing, the number of workers hired has not likely met the projections.

Will Spotify Live Up to Its $8 Billion Valuation?

Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.  |  Entrepreneurship

With technology stocks, IPO valuation is not necessarily related to current or past profitability. This is evident in the estimated IPO value of Spotify, the online music streaming service with 30 million users and $2.2 billion in revenues.

The Mapping Expert Behind Pokemon Go

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

Mapping technology brings back Pokemon via Pokémon Go. It is now one of the most popular downloads.

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