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Tumultuous Past Leads ITT Tech to Close All Campuses

By: Libby Casale*| Staff Writer

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ITT Technical Institute Canton, MI campus. Photo credit: Dwight Burdette

ITT Technical Institutes was founded at the end of World War II as part of International Telephone & Telegraph.  It split off from the corporation in the mid-1990s.  The spin off came at a time when privatization was embraced.  Investors flocked to the for-profit education sector. From 2000 to 2003 spending in the education sector was higher than any other sector on Wall Street. Continue reading »

Old Statute, New Tricks, and the Spirit of the Law

By: Santiago Herrera*| Guest Writer

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The Trust Indenture Act of 1933 (“TIA”) is administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Trust Indenture Act (TIA) is a depression-era statute that was passed to protect retail investors and minority bondholders from majority bondholders and insiders who occasionally operated in collusion with the issuer to the detriment of minority bondholders and outsidersContinue reading »

Credit Rating Agencies Dodge Investors’ Lawsuits

By: Brad Fleming*| Guest Writer

https://www.fitchratings.com/images/redesign/fitch_logo.gifThe “Big Three” credit rating agencies (CRAs)—Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s (S&P), and Fitch Ratings—have come under intense scrutiny in the wake of the global financial crisis. Continue reading »

Coal Titans’ Bankruptcies May Cost Taxpayers

By: Rachel Raimondi*| Guest Writer 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Coal_mine_Wyoming.jpgAs the coal industry faces declining demand and struggles to recover from several “ill-timed multibillion-dollar acquisitions,” it becomes increasingly likely that taxpayers will be on the hook for exorbitant environmental cleanup costs.

Continue reading »

Driving With No Hands: How Tesla’s Autonomous Vehicle System Escapes Liability

By: Khalif Timberlake*| Guest Writer 

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As driver assistant technologies have developed, liability from vehicle accidents has increasingly become a topic of discussion. Exactly who should be responsible when these technologies fail and a person or property is damaged? Tesla Motors is widely considered one of the leading companies pioneering the trail of autonomous vehicle operations. Its system, named “Autopilot” can control steering, braking, and acceleration when activated. It uses a combination of cameras and sensors around the vehicle to determine its proximity to other objects and to map the road around the vehicle. Tesla vehicle owners have posted numerous videos online demonstrating showing Autopilot in use. Continue reading »

“Ooh, it makes me wonder” … Did Led Zeppelin Steal “Stairway to Heaven?”

By: Meredith Pace*| Guest Writer 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Jimmy_Page_with_Robert_Plant_2_-_Led_Zeppelin_-_1977.jpgFor nearly half a century, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” has touched the souls of guitar shredders across the globe.  The masterpiece is regarded as the “cut that was to FM radio what The Godfather was to cinema.”  Released in 1971 on Led Zeppelin IV, the eight-minute composition truly captures the psychedelic vibes of early rock and roll.  Yet, in later years, the mystical tune will surface not music charts, but court dockets. Continue reading »

Musicians Fight for a Change in Law to Stop Streaming from Cutting into their Royalties

By: Charity Barger*| Guest Writer

 

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By Concerttour – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Over the last several decades, the ways in which music has become available to the public have been numerous: records, 8-track tapes, compact cassettes, CDs, downloaded music, and, now, streaming.  Nowadays, it is rare for a teenager to race to the music store to buy the latest CD from their favorite band.  In fact, CD sales have dropped 84 percent in the last decade.  Downloads, which were thought of as the “industry’s savior,” have been in a three-year decline. These changes are all due to the efficient trend known as streaming. Efficiency aside, streaming has started a fight between musicians and streaming providers.  YouTube has been accused of paying too little in royalties. “Last year, YouTube and sites like it generated $385 million in  royalties. In comparison, vinyl records . . . brought in $416 million.”  With an 84 percent decline in CD sales, the streaming statics are hardly comforting to musicians. Continue reading »

Arbitration: A Double-Edged Sword for Start-Up Employees

By: Michael Fleming*| Guest Writer 

https://pixabay.com/en/business-signature-contract-962364/For many, start-ups represent an opportunity to become a part of the next Uber, Venmo, Tinder, or to the most auspicious, Apple or Google.  Employees are willing to work longer than normal hours not only to be a part of something bigger, but also because they are rewarded with perks like daily catered lunches, company sponsored happy hours, and lavish trips.  In 2013, over 47% of college graduates were working for companies who employed less than 100 employees. A start-up’s mission goal, the culture, the pay scale, and the perks are simply too tempting for a college graduate to turn down. Continue reading »

UNIT APPRECIATION RIGHTS When Cash Does Not Equal Ownership

By: Khalif Timberlake*| Guest Writer 

https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/p/8/005/0b7/185/175f506.jpgAs publicly traded companies (“PTC”) continue to grow both in revenue and profits, non-publicly traded companies (“NPTC”) have found themselves competing for employees. For many employees, an important factor when choosing where to work is compensation. One form of compensation in which PTC have historically prioritized are stock grants and also stock options. In essence, PTC either award stock or present a favorable price at which to buy stock in the company for a particular employee. Largely reserved for key executive employees, such compensation increasingly became an attractive incentive for employees. The benefits also favored companies, for now the employees had an additional incentive to increase the value of the company. The utilization of stock options and grants has incentivized competing employers within the same markets to offer alternative employee packages to maintain and attract desired employees. This usually resulted in an increase in other forms of compensation areas such as base salary, vacation time, insurance benefits etc. Continue reading »

Beer Serious: 500 Years of Beer Regulation

By: Libby Casale*| Guest Writer 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Flag_of_Germany.svg/640px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.pngThere is a German word, bierernst, which literally translates to “beer serious.”  And in Germany, beer is serious business.  Beer purity laws, known as Reinheitsgebot, govern what specifications beer must conform to in Germany.  The law is celebrating its 500th birthday this year. Continue reading »