Sunday, September 27

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Want a Student Loan? Now’s the Time!
All Posts, Government

Want a Student Loan? Now’s the Time!

The U.S. economy has drastically changed ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses shuttered, teleworking at an all time high, are all part of the “new normal” we are living through. The lack of economic growth has called for the Federal government to enact very low interest rates in order to spur economic growth and prevent an economic crisis like we had in 2008. What do low interest rates mean? The cost of borrowing any money is now extremely low compared to before, because the government wants people to borrow money to spur economic growth. This low interest rate includes student loans, which are of high interest among the Vanderbilt student body. The interest rates on student loans is at a rate of  2.75%, much lower than a typical rate in any other year. Rat...
Wage Violations are Shameful
All Posts, Economy

Wage Violations are Shameful

There has been a drastic increase in worker violations since the onset of COVID-19. The American employer has responded by seemingly being passive with regards to the exploitation of their labor as times have become especially dire. There is no time to be prideful with fighting for their deserved liberties, as now COVID has led many to the mentality of survival. Many workers are grateful for just having a job, as with an unemployment rate of about 8.4%, getting too picky can easily lead to them being one of millions not having a stable source of income. The Washington Center for Equitable Growth published a paper on some potential violations. The typical worker on the wrong side of these violations lost approximately 20% of their hourly wage.  Furthermore, more than 20% of work...
Why Does the Fed Target 2% Inflation?
All Posts, Economy

Why Does the Fed Target 2% Inflation?

Since January 2012, the Federal Reserve has maintained a target of 2 percent inflation for the US economy.  The target allows the Fed to perform its congressionally mandated jobs of maintaining price stability and maximum employment.  Before the 1970s, economists believed inflation and unemployment had a permanent negative correlation so that low inflation and low unemployment could not be achieved at the same time.   However, the 1970s oil shock brought on a period of high inflation and unemployment known as stagflation.  With the high rates of the 1970s, the Fed needed a new way to control inflation.  At the time, most central banks used currency pegging to control inflation by controlling the value of currency.  Relatively stable currency values ac...
Microsoft and TikTok
All Posts, Technology

Microsoft and TikTok

In case you haven’t heard, President Trump said he planned to ban TikTok in the United States sometime in September of this year because of the risk of the popular social media app, impeding among American freedoms and security. To counteract the gaping hole that would be left by the fun and transcendent experience of posting short-1 minute clips of drop dead humor, Microsoft offered to jump in and buy TikTok. And then recently just a few days ago, Walmart also entered the competition for America’s most comedic website. Now Walmart and Microsoft are teaming up in attempting to claim the rights to TikTok.  Such a mashup introduces many interesting possibilities of what the potentially merged companies could do. TikTok’s influence is likely to be magnified under Microsoft for a coup...
OPINION: The Value of an MBA
All Posts, Opinion

OPINION: The Value of an MBA

There was a time when a Master’s in Business Administration – simply known as an “MBA” – was the degree to pursue. Regardless of price, it gave people a chance to pursue a high-earning career of their choice. If one felt trapped by a job and wanted a breath of fresh air, an MBA provided them the opportunity to switch to something else. If one wanted to maximize their wages but could not do so with their present job, an MBA allowed them to increase their earnings. Schools continue to advertise the degree as one that can propel someone to management and comfortable living, as evidenced by Harvard Business School’s statistics which shows that students received a $148,750 median salary. This statistic, along with the fact that many CEOs of the top companies have an MBA, suggests that it is st...
Dry Powder: Economic Threats in the Post-Pandemic Era
All Posts, Economy

Dry Powder: Economic Threats in the Post-Pandemic Era

As part of the historic 2nd quarter contraction in the US gross domestic product, investment spending decreased by a massive 49% under the duress precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Poor general economic conditions translated to uncertainty in the minds of investors.  Meanwhile, investors received government relief aid that they did not use to invest.  As a result, there is now an estimated $1.5 trillion in unused capital in private equity funds alone that could be invested as soon as negative economic conditions recede. This massive glut of capital could create an explosion of investment and is therefore referred to as dry powder.  Pandemic induced uncertainty has contributed to a buildup of dry powder in the global economy, something that economists are concer...
Stock Splits, Why?
All Posts, Economy

Stock Splits, Why?

For many people, the stock market seems daunting, regardless of how much money you have or do not have. The number one concern investors have about any stock is the price. Lower priced stocks are more attractive to investors for a multitude of reasons, but there is one main reason: they can buy more shares with the same investment. Smaller share prices make it more attractive for small investors to buy shares of a stock. Companies know this truth about investing; for that reason, the most popular stocks, including Apple, Google, and Amazon, have all split multiple times in the past.  Split? Yes, all of these titans of industry have split up their shares into multiple shares of stock before. For the main reason of attracting investors by offering a smaller price per share. However,...
Emissions Bounce Back as Economies Reopen
All Posts, Sustainability

Emissions Bounce Back as Economies Reopen

As people around the world faced forced confinements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, global greenhouse gas emissions fell as a result.  A study led by climate scientist Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia published in the journal Nature estimated that emissions fell by 8% compared with 2019 levels.  That drop brought emissions in line with their 2006 level.  The researchers estimated that total 2020 emissions would fall by between 4 and 7% compared to last year.  However, with communities reopening around the world, carbon emissions have begun to return, ticking back up to just 5% below 2019 levels.   At the height of lockdowns across the world, emissions from almost every industry fell drastically.  Transportation over land, sea, and a...
European Central Bank Ramps Up Asset Purchases in Light of Pandemic
All Posts, Economy

European Central Bank Ramps Up Asset Purchases in Light of Pandemic

On June 4, 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it would increase its envelope of asset purchases by €600 billion to a total of €1.35 trillion. The increased purchases will further the central bank's policy of monetary easing in order to help households and businesses deal with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase comes in response to disinflation and fears of a possible deflationary spiral. The ECB plans to continue asset purchases until it believes the coronavirus crisis is over and plans to reinvest any payments from maturing assets into further purchases. European interest rates will remain unchanged with deposit rates still negative. The ECB expects to keep rates at current levels or lower until inflation nears its 2% target.