Friday, December 9

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A Conversation with Vanderbilt Senior Ash Rai, Co-Founder and CEO of Fin-Tech Startup Feather
All Posts, Finance and Business Insight

A Conversation with Vanderbilt Senior Ash Rai, Co-Founder and CEO of Fin-Tech Startup Feather

By: Shane Mumma Editor’s Note: Shane and Ash are good friends. The following in-person interview has been edited for clarity and length. Shane: So, hello Ash! Welcome to this interview with the Vanderbilt Business Review—we’re happy to have you here! Basically, we’ve heard that you’ve launched a bunch of businesses during your time at Vanderbilt, and we’d love to hear about them. So, if you could tell me about your current business Feather—what it is, how you got the idea, and what the timeframe for it actually being available is. Ash: Sure, great! So yeah, I’m Ash. I’m a senior here at Vanderbilt and I’m the Co-Founder and CEO at Feather. And at Feather, we’re building a platform that allows retail traders to discover, analyze, and identify the world’s best investments with ...
Expanding H-1B: The necessity of skilled foreign labor
All Posts, Economy and Government

Expanding H-1B: The necessity of skilled foreign labor

By Sebastian Marrero Featured image: iStock  In this article, I will discuss a few of the many economic benefits that H-1B workers provide in strengthening the U.S. economy, additionally talking over past efforts that have been made to weaken or remove the program altogether. Finally, I will argue that increasing visa caps and changing the way the program chooses its recipients will form a safer, stronger, and more equitable visa program for skilled foreign workers. What is H-1B? Foreign workers form an integral part of the American economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, they comprise 17.4 percent of the labor force. For technical fields that require extensive experience and education, demand for highly specialized foreign labor among U.S. employers is con...
Leveraged Finance: Where We Are and How We Got Here
All Posts, Finance and Business Insight

Leveraged Finance: Where We Are and How We Got Here

By Edward Ding (Featured image: creative common license) It would be an understatement to say that corporate debt is important. From Coca-Cola toTwitter, corporations are frequent borrowers that use bonds and loans to fund a wide range of difference business activities. Much of this debt financing occurs on the public markets, where investors supply capital in exchange for portions of debt. Leveraged finance, which refers to corporate debt rated at below investment grade (i.e., high-yield debt, “junk bonds”), constitutes a relatively riskier but still vital portion of these markets. By looking deeper into the present state of leveraged finance, we can gain some important insights into the financial landscape and markets as a whole. 2021 was an outstanding year for capita...
<strong>Pleasant Vineyard: A Story of Sweetness, Passion, and Unwavering Patience</strong>
All Posts, Featured

Pleasant Vineyard: A Story of Sweetness, Passion, and Unwavering Patience

By Iris An  (All pictures taken by the author and used with permission from Dr. and Mrs. Yao unless otherwise cited)  Pleasant Vineyards is located at 2018 Les Robinson, Columbia, Tennessee, at the foot of the picturesque Theta hills. The lovely 27-acre property features 11 acres of grapes, gorgeous views, quiet picnic spaces, and plenty of free parking. The Pleasant Vineyard, which is open every weekend for muscadine U-pick, wine tastings, and wine purchases, has hosted a great number of muscadine lovers and introduced this unique grape to a wider audience. This beautiful vineyard is owned by Dr. Jie Yao, a reserved, friendly, and hardworking man from Sichuan, China, and his wife, Mrs. Yao, who comes from Guangdong, China, and speaks fluent English, Mandarin, and ...
<strong>A Niche Market in Asian-style Bakeries: Sweet Dreams Bakery & Bubble Tea</strong>
All Posts, Featured

A Niche Market in Asian-style Bakeries: Sweet Dreams Bakery & Bubble Tea

By: Iris An  (All images are provided by Sweet Dreams Bakery & Bubble Tea, used with permission)  YiMemg Wang is the owner of Sweet Dreams Bakery & Bubble Tea, a bakery on Cool Springs Blvd., in Franklin, Tennessee, which specializes in pies, cheesecakes, egg tarts, breads and bubble tea. In this interview, YiMeng shared her story of establishing her own business and the most essential factors and long-term strategies in the food service industry from her unique perspective.  (more introduction of YiMeng's fantastic bakery is below this article!) IA: What made you decide to establish your own business?  YM: My husband and I both enjoyed making and tasting bakeries and desserts, and we have noticed for a long time that there is a huge...
Bread, Circuses, and… Gas Prices? Energy as the Symbol of American Prosperity
All Posts, Economy and Government

Bread, Circuses, and… Gas Prices? Energy as the Symbol of American Prosperity

By: Claire Chen The U.S. Department of Labor’s August 2022 CPI report reveals that American consumers may finally see a respite in the inflationary processes that have contributed to a skyrocketing cost of living. The modest 0.1 percent increase in August’s CPI – still higher than expected, but consistent with July’s 0.0 percent increase and a dramatic reversal from June’s 1.3 percent increase – may explain the September 26 remarks expressed by Federal Reserve Chair of Boston Dr. Susan Collins, who states, “I think that it’s quite likely that inflation is near peaking and perhaps may have peaked already.” However, this measured outlook contrasts starkly with a media ecosystem that remains fixated on high prices. “Get ready for a food fight: High grocery costs are here to stay,” ...
<strong>How far is a grocery store from your home? Dr. Schlundt’s research reveals alarming results on food deserts as an economic factor of health outcomes.</strong>
All Posts, Opinion

How far is a grocery store from your home? Dr. Schlundt’s research reveals alarming results on food deserts as an economic factor of health outcomes.

By: Iris An  Take a moment, and try to picture the area where you grew up: How far is it to go to a grocery store which provides healthy foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy? If it’s a bit far, considering the car and gas price, how affordable is the driving?How often can you go to grocery stores that provide healthy food Now, think about your family’s diet habit:  How often do you consume healthy food? Is it daily, weekly, or seldom?  Food deserts are residential areas that provide poor access to healthful foods, and that largely consist of low-income residents who face transportation barriers to traveling outside their neighborhoods for full-service grocery stores.  Accord­ing to the USDA’s food access...
Starbucks’s ambitious plan in China: reflecting and expanding a business class reading
All Posts, Featured

Starbucks’s ambitious plan in China: reflecting and expanding a business class reading

By Iris An Sitting in the 21st Avenue coffee shop with my pumpkin spice latte, I opened my next week’s reading assignment for BUSA 3710 and found myself staring at six articles about Starbucks—in a Starbucks (the irony of this weekend study mode  was not lost to me). As its name indicates, BUSA 3710: Corporate Valuation is a course introducing the methods of intrinsic, relative, and contingent valuation. Like Aswath Damodaran, the “dean of valuation,” once said, “A craft is a skill that you learn by doing. The more you do, the better you get.” Valuation is a craft that requires experience with a vast array of companies and their constantly fluctuating values. One way to expand one’s knowledge on a variety of businesses is to read about them. This is when the class reading ...
Financial Greenwashing for Dummies (and other related concepts)
All Posts, Sustainability

Financial Greenwashing for Dummies (and other related concepts)

By Edward Ding Sustainability, ESG, GBPs. What do any of these things actually mean? Before we can get into a discussion about financial greenwashing, we first need to understand the meaning of “green” and a few other ideas. Our first definition is of principles related to ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance. “Environmental” refers to how a business affects the world’s natural resources, especially in terms of climate change; “Social” refers to a business’ relationship to the communities and people that it serves, employs, or coexists with; “Governance” refers to the way a business regulates itself, prevents wrongdoing, and ensures ethical corporate behavior. Businesses must act responsibly in all three of these areas if they aim to be sustainable organizations: to be...