Business

Se[a]ttle for Better: Learning About Health Outcomes from the City that Sparked the Higher Minimum Wage Movement

By: Katherine Brock 

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Nearly eight years ago, fast food employees in Seattle marched out of work and into the streets, launching a strike—and ultimately a movement—for a $15 minimum wage. Within two months, the strike spread to more than fifty cities across the country, forcing many restaurants to close temporarily amid cries for higher wages and the right to organize. Today, Seattle residents enjoy a minimum wage between $15 and $16.69 an hour depending on the size of the employer, but the movement that spurred change in Seattle—and even the state of Washington—has yet to succeed on a national scale. Why is that? Continue reading »

Finders Keepers? New York’s Discharge for Value Doctrine May Lead to a Big Loss for Citigroup

By: Evan Federico

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In August of 2020, Citigroup Inc. inadvertently wired almost $900 million to a group of hedge funds to pay off a syndicated loan for the struggling multinational cosmetics company Revlon, Inc. However, the money had come from Citigroup–not Revlon–and neither Revlon nor Citigroup intended to pay the loan off. Citigroup was merely the administrative agent for the loan, meant to collect and distribute interest payments, manage amortization schedules, and provide other administrative services to Revlon and its lenders. An employee in Citigroup’s back-office had failed to check two boxes in the software Citigroup used to process loan interest payments. Citigroup noticed their error the following day and contacted the hedge funds to ask for their money back. However, some hedge funds, who were also in an unrelated dispute with Revlon, refused to give back the money. Those hedge funds failed to return roughly $500 million to Citigroup, and Citigroup sued to recover the funds. Continue reading »

Motivating, Momentous, Masterful: What Businesses Can Learn from 3M in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Katherine Brock 

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At the start of the twentieth century, five men founded the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company for the purpose of mining for corundum, an extremely hard and versatile mineral ideal for making sandpaper and grinding wheels. The company failed, however, discovering only a low-grade, inferior mineral called anorthosite. Today, with corporate operations in seventy countries and sales in two hundred countries, the same company is a household name across several industries, including automotive, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, safety, and transportation, among many others. Most recently, the company served as a leading global provider of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This is 3M. Continue reading »

Added Sugar: Taxes, Claims, and Labeling Regulations Impact on Consumers

By: Britteny Junious

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Sugar has been a hot topic discussion among the sugar industry and its advocates, food regulatory officials, and dieticians for decades. The most prominent reason has been America’s struggle with controlling obesity rates and diabetes. It has been argued that to help control obesity, we must limit our daily intake of added sugars. The most recent 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that Americans’ consumption of calories from added sugar should account for no more than ten percent of their daily calories (See article page 41). For example, for the average 2,000 calorie diet, a person should not consume more than 200 calories of added sugar.  Continue reading »

How a Change in FERC Leadership Will Affect the American Energy Industry

By: Evan Federico

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “the Commission”) will play a crucial role in President Joe Biden’s ambitious plans to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power generation sector. FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Biden has already named Democratic Commissioner Richard Glick Chairman of FERC. Once Republican Commissioner Neil Chatterjee’s term expires in June of 2021, Biden is expected to appoint another Democrat to the panel, which will secure a 3-2 Democratic majority. The economic impact of this shift in political power is likely to be significant for both the fossil fuels and renewables industries. Three possible areas that bear watching: (1) reforms that encourage state efforts to subsidize renewable power, (2) increased buildout of high-voltage transmission infrastructure, and (3) increased scrutiny of proposed natural gas pipelines. Continue reading »

When Does a Business Review Constitute Defamation?

By: R. Daniel Johnson

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As the business world continues to evolve, one increasingly important aspect of business success is the online reviews left by customers. Customer satisfaction has always been a main priority for small and large businesses, but when does the old saying that “the customer is always right” go too far? With the advance of technology, the availability of public comment on business performance is at an all-time high. While this new access to information has given customers the ability to make fully informed decisions, can it also be abused?  Continue reading »

A Practical Guide to Corporate Law

By: R. Daniel Johnson 

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Being a corporate attorney is both challenging and rewarding. While law school teaches many valuable lessons, it is unable to educate students about the practical side of working as an attorney. Mr. Afzal Karim, of the Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP (Womble) office in Charlotte, was kind enough to answer some questions for the Journal about his career as a corporate law attorney. Mr. Karim is a Wake Forest School of Law graduate and a native of High Point, North Carolina. He also served as a staff member for the Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law. His role as an associate at Womble includes representing clients in mergers and acquisitions, contracts, operating agreements and shareholder agreements, and many other transactional matters. Continue reading »

Chaos is Not a Pit. It is a Ladder.

By: R. Daniel Johnson

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There is no question that the Coronavirus pandemic has and will continue to drastically alter the business world. Even in this uncertainty, some companies are experiencing more confidence and profits than ever before. Amazon has gained over $570 Billion in market capitalization this year. Its stock has risen 63.3 percent and is now trading for $3,000 a share. Clorox has experienced organic sales growth of over 24 percent. Peloton reported revenue growth of 77 percent. But these success stories are few and far between as CNBC has reported that over 7.5 Million companies are at risk of closing their doors every day. Despite the looming closure that many companies are facing due to the pandemic, some companies have thrived. The massive success of these companies have led many to fear monopolization and antitrust issues.

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How the Market Data Infrastructure Proposal Could Affect Free Trading Platforms

By: Tianna Larson

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Robinhood has come under fire once again, this time for failing to properly disclose its payment for order flow practices. The trouble comes after recent enhancements to the order flow disclosure requirements, reflecting the SEC’s concern about the practice.[1] While controversial, order flow revenue supports most brokerage firms’ ability to provide free or low-commission trades to retail investors. In a crude sense, the practice reflects a steal-from-the-rich ethos. However, a recent SEC proposal[2] threatens the retail order flow internalization dynamic and could impact the continuity of free trading services.

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Understanding Schrems II: What the Decision Means for Data Transfers Between the EU and US

By: Haodi Dong

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On July 16, Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), released a landmark decision in Schrems II, complicating the process of transferring personal data from the EU to the US. CJEU struck down the EU-US Privacy Shield, an agreement reached between the EU, Switzerland, and the US in 2016.

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