Business

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Files Suit against Navient in Preparation for Legal Showdown with Trump Administration

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer 

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Recent lawsuits filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Attorneys General of the states of Washington and Illinois allege that Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, used illegal and deceptive practices to trap students into higher repayment plans for longer periods of time than necessary. Navient denies any wrongdoing.

The most serious allegation is that, from January 2010 to March 2015, Navient based employee compensation in part on manipulating student borrowers into postponing payments through forbearance which cost students an extra $4 billion in unnecessary fees. In another example, Navient is accused of shouldering disabled veterans with poor credit reports due to improperly marking their loan discharges as defaults.

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THE FATE OF THE FIDUCIARY RULE

By: Cara Van Dorn*| Staff Writer

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The Trump administration and a republican Congress have begun efforts to unravel the Department of Labor’s six-year-long effort to ensure that Americans saving for retirement receive only investment advice that is in their best interest.  The Fiduciary Rule, unpopular with conservatives and some members of the investment advice industry since its inception, was promulgated in response to a study by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors that found that American workers lose more than $17 billion each year to conflicted investment advice.   Continue reading »

The Business of the Oscars

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

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By BDS2006 (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8109739

The Academy Awards for the film and entertainment industry are Sunday, February 26, and after La La Land netted a record-tying 14 nominations in mid-January, its win for Best Picture seems inevitable. But La La Land has just as many fans as it does detractors. The detractors have many axes to grind but a common criticism is that a La La Land victory will perpetuate a larger, engrained problem: The Declining Business of the Oscars. Continue reading »

FinTech Disruptor, Blockchain, Makes Its First Splash on Wall Street

By: Thomas Gaffney*| Staff Writer

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On Monday January 9th,  the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which plays a major role in recording and reporting nearly every stock and bond trade in the United States, announced that it is replacing one of its central databases with a new blockchain style software inspired by the technology underlying the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.  Bitcoin is the World’s most popular cryptocurrency and was the originator of the new financial technology disruptor Blockchain.  The concept of Blockchain is essentially a “revolutionary approach to the age-old problem of trust.”  Blockchain is a decentralized network that produces a public ledger by recording transactions conducted on the network which are then verified by third parties. Because of its design, Blockchain cannot be changed or modified unilaterally, and therefore any changes made to the ledger need to be accepted by the entire network making it more reliable and secure than contemporary methods.
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The Growing and Changing Business of “Impact Investing” in Private Group Homes for Disabled Adults

By: Anna-Bryce Flowe*| Staff Writer 

https://pixabay.com/en/integration-home-at-home-welcome-1777543/Throughout history, families with disabled children have grappled with how to provide adequate housing for their mentally disabled children as these children, and their caretakers, grow older. Often, families turn to the state and federal governments for funding assistance, like Medicaid, and/or state-funded housing options. Over time, the government’s approach to providing said housing assistance has changed. Asylums, which were funded by most state housing boards in the early part of the twentieth century, were initially popular for providing cheap housing and hospital-like care to anyone who seemed mentally inapt in any way. Continue reading »

Proposed football league to rival NCAA, starts in summer 2018

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

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Diehard football fans may have yet another outlet for their passion if sports agent Don Yee has his way.  Yee, who represents New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, has plans for a new football league to start in the summer of 2018. Continue reading »

Marijuana in the Workplace

By: Doriyon Glass*| Staff Writer 

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As states continue to legalize marijuana, its effect on the employment realm has also continued to surface.  Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia (DC) have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.  Seven of these states and DC have legalized recreational use of the drug.  Some states have also decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  One reason issues arise is because although a state may permit the use of marijuana, it is still an illegal Schedule 1 drug under federal law.  This inconsistency may lead to confusion for employees and employers, especially regarding employees with medicinal marijuana licenses. Continue reading »

Airbnb Fights to Continue its Mission in New York

By: Charity Barger*| Staff Writer

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Airbnb is one of the largest home sharing networks in the world.  The network has over two million listingsAirbnb’s website attracts its customers by creating the opportunity to “book unique homes and experience a city like a local.” An Airbnb rental is very attractive to the younger generation of travelers because of its ambiance and price.  “Airbnb has created a new opportunity for some of the better quality hostel operators that are halfway between Airbnb and a hotel to seize on a new style of hotel,” said Mr. Hanson of N.Y.U. Continue reading »

SCOTUS is Talking Fashion, Cheerleader Fashion

By: Doriyon Glass*| Staff Writer

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The Supreme Court’s decision in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., may have huge implications on the fashion industry.  Varsity Brands (Varsity) is one of the largest cheerleader uniform suppliers, they claim their uniforms contain something unique: copyrightable works of art.  Varsity received U.S. copyright registrations on five designs in which it claims that Star Athletica’s (Star) cheerleading uniforms infringe on.  The issue is whether these designs on cheerleader uniforms can be protected by the Copyright Act. Continue reading »

A Victory for Farm Animals, How Great a Loss for Farmers?

By: Anna-Bryce Flowe*| Staff Writer 

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As some cheers and some tears echoed around the nation over the Presidential election, the voters of Massachusetts were largely celebrating a victory, the passing of The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals. The Act was dubbed “Question 3” by the media and news outlets tracking the Act’s success during the polls. It aimed to ban the sale of foods derived from animals raised in less than ideal conditions: small cages where animals can barely turn around or extend their limbs. Question 3 received seventy-eight percent approval by the Massachusetts voters in November. Thus, the ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, under regulations that will be written by Jan. 1, 2020. The most progressive animal safety act of its kind in the nation, the language of the Act will likely be copied by a number of other states looking to improve their animal safety laws. Only one other state, California, currently bans the sale of eggs from confined hens. Continue reading »