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Current Readings

CVS Brings One-Stop Shopping to Healthcare

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

The proposed CVS acquisition of Aetna would provide another combination within the healthcare industry. The move, which seeks to counter the potential entry of Amazon into prescription drug distribution as well as keep up with UnitedHealth in terms of access to primary patient care, may ultimately help make consumers feel good but could be a bitter pill for rival drug store chains.

Games and Gold in Desperate Venezuela

Derek Abrams  |  Economics

Virtual currencies from games such as RuneScape are prized in a country whose real money is worthless. Game players can sell their virtual gold to other players for real money or cryptocurrencies, but the market is getting crowded, and hyperinflation is a threat.

Struggling to Keep the Lights On

Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.  |  Entrepreneurship

The locally oriented economic structure of Puerto Rico followed a model that many in the United States find appealing. A hurricane has blown some of that theory upside down and the problems of being self-sufficient are particularly telling to entities that have yet to reopen nor see reason to do so thus far.

CVS Brings One-Stop Shopping to Health Care

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

Some initially described the acquisition of Aetna by CVS as a reaction to Amazon’s possible entry into the pharmacy business. But CVS seems more focused on gaining access to Aetna’s 22 million health insurance customers for its new line of in-store MinuteClinics.

Thinking About Bitcoin? Beware the Whales

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

At present, the top 100 bitcoin addresses hold 17.3 percent of bitcoin. There are mounting concerns that large holders of bitcoin, known as “whales,” have been colluding to manipulate bitcoin prices.

Thinking About Bitcoin? Beware the Whales

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

The top 100 bitcoin addresses control 17.3 percent of all issued bitcoin currency, and 1,000 people own 40 percent it. With the lack of regulation in this new market, they can potentially band together to tank or prop up the market. That puts small buyers at a big disadvantage.

They Gave Her a $3.8 Million Bonus — and then the Boot

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

Christine Rohrbeck, a Baupost Group investment professional, received a $3.8 million bonus for 2014 and advice to “lean in.” Within a year, she was fired. Rohrbeck’s discrimination complaint gives a glimpse into the culture and practices of a firm in the secretive and lucrative world of hedge funds.

Air France Goes for (Not Too) Cheap

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Competition is fierce in the European airline industry. Air France recently announced a new brand, Joon, with lower costs and a distinctive style. Joon's fares tend to be lower than those of flag carriers such as Air France but higher than low-cost, no-frills carriers like Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

If Anyone Asks, You’re Steve’s Friend

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

Silicon Valley modeling agencies are seeing record numbers of requests for beautiful “guests” at tech holiday parties. “Ambiance and atmosphere models” contractually obligated to pretend they’re party guests are in record demand from local agencies.

CVS Brings One-Stop Shopping to Health Care

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

CVS operates 9,700 drugstores. By buying Aetna, it wants to funnel more of the insurer’s customers into health centers at its retail locations.

Crowdfunded Hate

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

Hate crimes are illegal, but funding hate groups isn't. This is how it's being done via crowdfunding.

The GOP Must Crack These Four Tax Bill Disagreements

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

The House and Senate have both passed bills making sweeping changes to the U.S. tax code. But nothing is final until the versions are reconciled and signed by the president. Exactly what are the big differences that need to be worked out?

An Indian HIV Drugmaker Takes On Big Pharma

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

For American HIV patients, the annual wholesale price of a common drug combination is around $37,000. In developing countries, a similar drug combination could sell for around $100 annually. Patents for some of the compounds found in these drugs are about to expire, and India-based Laurus Labs is preparing to offer generic versions at a fraction of the current cost. It will be competing with Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's largest maker of generic drugs.

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