• Work resolutions: Tech habits for the new year


               image by Minh Uong for the NYT

    It is easy to take technology for granted--as a tool that doesn't need attention.  But even a toothbrush needs to be replaced, and cars need maintenance. Technology habits can also use some "tweaking" to stay problem-free. Here are five technology resolutions for the new year:

    • Increase your password hygiene.
    • Maintain your devices (check batteries, back-ups and used storage).
    • Check your infrastructure--for example your router. If not recently replaced, it is probably not efficient.
    • Recycle old devices, or drop them off at a facility for refurbishing or harvesting of elements.
    • Install and use shopping tools like Camel Camel Camel to make wise purchase decisions on Amazon, or buying refurbished products.

    Check out the linked article for specifics. 

    Source: "Five Resolutions to Simplify Your Tech Life," by Brian X. Chen, New York Times, December 28, 2016.

    Follow up:

    • Explain what is meant by "password hygiene". Why is it important?
    • What resolutions for the new year are you making regarding your technology or social networking? Would you consider limiting your tech time as well as establishing one or more of these habits?
    • What are your other resolutions? How will you stay on track?

    -

  • Millennial challenges in the workplace


      see link sourced below

    Millennials in the workplace are sometimes pre-judged by harsh stereotypes. But, according to Simon Sinek, millennials are the product of environmental influences over which they have had no control. He cites four instances which have had unforeseen consequences resulting in significant challenges for millennials as they transition into adulthood. 

    The first of these hurdles is "failed parenting (and educational) strategies." These strategies were employed with the best of intentions, but had the ironic effect of producing unrealistic expectations about life for millennials, which led to low--rather than high--self-esteem. These strategies included:

    • telling each millennial they were always special and outstanding in every endeavor
    • telling them they could have anything they wanted in life (and often granting them everything they could as children)
    • intervening for millennials to get them into honors classes or other situations for which they had not been previously chosen.
    • bestowing "A" grades and certificates of achievement at all levels of actual performance--not just for merit 

    Sinek identifies three other destructive influences to which millennials have been subjected, through no fault of their own:

    • technology and social networking's effects on brain chemistry, on the development of coping mechanisms for stress, and on the development of addiction
    • the ability to obtain entertainment, food, and material goods instantly--by streaming or ordering online--has led to impatience and the inability to defer gratification
    • corporate outcome-based and monetary values, which create a dehumanizing working environment

    Nevertheless, the deeply fulfilling goals of job satisfaction and strength in relationships are not obtainable except with time and effort. Therein lies the real challenge.

    Sinek has a very interesting solution to this problem and he assigns responsibility to a surprising stakeholder.

    One footnote: This piece has some limitations in its applicability. Sinek (who, born in 1973, is a Gen-Xer) is addressing issues facing privileged, upper middle class millennials--not those of under-represented or impoverished groups.

    Source: "Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace," posted by David Crossman, Inside Quest, November 27, 2016.

    Follow up:

    • What do you think of Sinek's solution to these problems? What would you do to make the transition smooth and effective, if you were in charge?
    • What is the most insidious problem with technology, vis-a-vis taking on work responsibilities? What is the underlying cause?
    • What additional hurdles are faced by millennials who grew up in rural or impoverished areas? Do you see these hurdles increasing or decreasing over the next 8-10 years? Explain. 
    • Do you see yourself described in Simon Sinek's talk? Why or why not?

    -

  • Return fraud after the holidays


      from smallbiztrends.com

    After the holidays, many retail goods are returned. In a season of retail sales of around $600 billion, approximately $70 billion in returns are expected. Some of these returns are legitimate, of course, but there will be at least $2 billion in fraudulent returns. Some of techniques used by the crooks perpetrating these returns are:

    • Wardrobing
    • Invoice fraud
    • Shoplifting returns

    Listen to the linked podcast for details about these types of fraud, and how retailers attempt to prevent, stop, or ameliorate them. 

    Source: "Retailers Brace for Return Fraud in the Holiday Season," by Rheema Krais, Marketplace; American Public Media, December 26, 2016.

    Follow up

    • What is "wardrobing"? Have you ever done it, or do you know someone who has? What might prompt it?
    • Think of additional ways that consumers might perpetrate return fraud or other thefts from retailers. Now think of internal control procedures that could thwart and/or detect these thefts. 
    • What legitimate returns do you plan to make? Comment on how you think retailers should reflect their income reports for 2016, based on the expected returns.

    .

  • Small business choices: Facebook? Snapchat? Something else?

    Social media networks that do not charge a user fee make their money from advertising revenue. So companies who want to reach their customers have to go where their customers are hanging out. The expense of advertising on these platforms might be just an allocation of part of a large company's advertising budget, but for small companies with fewer discretionary funds, the decision about which social media outlets to purchase ad space on can be challenging. 

    Small businesses sometimes use trial and error with various sites--often with more failures than success. Nevertheless, according to Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of media consulting agency VaynerMedia,  “Facebook is a must. It’s the oxygen of social networks."

    Source: "Still Mastering Facebook. Do I Really Need to Learn Snapchat?" by Ian Mount, New York Times, December 17, 2016. 

    Follow up:

    • What social network platforms are you on? Make a pie chart showing the platforms you use and the percentage of time you spend on each. 
    • What social network helps YOU form opinions about products, or introduces you to new products? If you have ever invested in a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project, did you find out about them from a social network?
    • Summarize the experiences of the businesses mentioned in the linked article by ranking the social media networks mentioned in order of efficacy. Cite the reasons for this hierarchy. 

    .

  • The influence of Trump's criticisms on advertising decisions

    Trump has criticized several business over the last several months, and businesses have developed strategies to respond before their sales are negatively affected. Earlier this year, Vanity Fair magazine published a negative review of a restaurant that was housed in one of Trump's hotels. Trump then tweeted that Vanity Fair magazine was "way down, big trouble, dead." Vanity Fair then launched a marketing campaign with the tagline, "The Magazine Trump Doesn't Want You To Read." The result? Circulation increased by 40,000.

    Another Trump statement was that he was going to put the taxing-preparing company "H&R Block out of business" by making the tax code simpler. As a result, H&R Block has developed a campaign using Trump's own language regarding his use of tax advantages: that he was a "winner." The H&R campaign uses the slogan, "Get Your Taxes Won." Better yet, they have landed Jon Hamm (of Mad Men fame) as a spokesperson. This is the first time that Jon Hamm has ever pitched a product.

    Other businesses are readying campaigns to be launched straightaway JUST IN CASE Trump criticizes them. According to Scott Farrell, president of Golin Corporate Communications (and a specialist in crisis management), in the age of lightning-speed Twitter, a slow response is of no value at all.  

    Source: "Brands Start Planning for Unexpected Criticism by Trump," by Zach Schonbrun, New York Times, December 25, 2016.

    Follow up

    • How would you plan a response if you had an importing or exporting business that might be harmed by major changes in trade agreements?
    • Develop a responsive ad line to Trump's criticism of Macy's department store. Or to the criticism of the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.

    .

  • Attaining SMART goals

    Often, as the New Year rolls around, people make new goals to achieve. In the business arena, there are some goals that make sense...and others that, for various reasons, are not the best way to frame a desired outcome. One rubric to evaluate goals is the SMART strategy: 

    • Specific 
    • Measurable
    • Agreed upon (by the business's external and internal stakeholders) and attainable
    • Reasonable and relevant
    • Time-based, in terms of their total framework (for example, not just per month, but for how many months)

    Here is a link to a QUIZ that will help you evaluate the missing components of twelve goals: GOALS QUIZ

    Source: "Can You Identify a SMART Goal?" by Tara Duggan, Bright Hub Project Management, December 14.

    Follow up

    • Take the quiz linked above, then set two business and two person goals for 2017. Refine them using the SMART rubric. Share them with someone else to keep yourself honest as you pursue them over the next several months.
    • Read the material at the SMART GOAL explanation link. What other classic strategy is suggested regarding goal setting? Explain how it works. 

    .

  • Why create pointless jobs?


      image from the Time Out London blog

    Capitalism, in theory, is supposed to create efficiencies that increase net income to the corporation. Ironically, the opposite trend has been occurring in the last several years--more jobs exist that add nothing of value to the economy. "Pointless" jobs, for the purpose of this blog and the article cited, are jobs that do not produce anything tangible and that do not satisfy a previously existing need.

    It doesn't make economic sense that so many jobs are non-productive. John Maynard Keynes predicted in the early 1900s that by 2000 the work-week would be 15 hours, due to automation. Clearly this has not occurred. Some of the reasons may be:

    • Consumers have made the choice to consume more goods rather than work less.
    • There has been an increase in service jobs rather than production jobs.
    • There has also been an increase in other jobs that do not actually produce anything--professional, managerial, sales and (to some degree) clerical jobs.
    • Many of the created jobs are designed to increase consumerism, such as telemarketing and public relations. 
    • Other paper-pushing jobs are in educational administration and testing, as well as health administration (including insurance).

    "Ruthless downsizing" occurs more at the production level due to automation. And automation creates speed in production, but more of a need to sell, and to have administrators correcting mistakes. In addition, fuller employment means more people to buy products, and fewer people using their leisure time to become more educated and creative about expressing what they really might want and need. The article makes a strong case for the moral and psychological problems created by this situation.

    On the other hand, there must be an argument on the other side, since the reality that exists is one of more pervasive full-time employment.

    Source: "Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs," by David Graeber, Evonomics, September 27, 2016. 

    Follow up

    • Have you ever had  a pointless job, as defined in the article? Describe the jobs, how you felt about work, and what was the motivation to leave...or stay.
    • Do you agree with the position of the author? Why or why not?
    • The argument can be made that increasing sales--by whatever means--can also increase production. Make a case for why this may be a good thing. Include points in your argument that counter some of the assertions made in the article.
  • Fed raises key interest rate


     from YouTube

    Consumers have been enjoying low interest rates on mortgages for the past several years. Businesses have also benefitted from lower-than-usual rates (at least established businesses and large corporations have been able to take advantages of these rates. Unfortunately, banks have not passed through these low rates to credit card holders.) The lower "retail" interest rates have been possible because the Fed has set benchmark interest rates lower than it has in decades--primarily to encourage growth in the economy. On the down side, these lower rates have also meant that savings accounts earn almost nothing. 

    The rate has been increased to "from 0.5 to 0.75%" which is still very low. The increase in the benchmark rate by the Fed is a sign that Janet Yellen and her cohorts believe that the economy is doing well enough to no longer need the support of the low interest rate. This optimism is in contrast to the President-elect's assertion that the economy is "terrible."

    Not everyone is in favor of the increase in interest rates. According to Roger Williams, a Texas Republican who serves on the House Financial Services Committee:

    "Today’s decision by the Fed to raise the interest rate is entirely premature and will be burdensome to a nation already struggling to pull itself out of this slow-growth Obama economy. By making rates even higher, the Fed is effectively making our hardships even harder.”

    Source: "Fed Raises Key Interest Rate, Citing Strengthening Economy," by Binyamin Applebaum, New York Times, December 14, 2016.

    Follow up: 

    • What is "the Fed"?  What are its duties and why is it important?
    • Who is Janet Yellin? Would you consider her to hold strong beliefs based on a political party, based on her actions and her words? If not, what do you feel guides her opinions and actions?
    • What, according to the article, is a risk of higher interest rates? List at least three items and explain why they might result from this action of the Fed.
    • What hardships was Representative Williams referring to in the quote above?

    .

  • Burnout at Work


      image from Social Text

    "Burnout" at work is not only a possibility for long-time workers.  It affects those in demanding jobs with time pressures...and in boring jobs as well. Customer service representatives--who are caught in the middle between corporate scripts and unhappy consumers--may have a particularly hard time with it. Those in "helping" professions--psychologists, social workers, teachers and nurses, for example--are classic victims of burnout.

    Ironically, "burnout" has never become a diagnosable mental disorder in the DSM classification system used by mental health professionals and insurance companies. Most Human Resource department don't have procedures for dealing with it. Nevertheless, it is prevalent throughout the workforce and some companies have made strides to address it. Maybe the "Zen Room" concept discussed in the podcast can help.

    Source: "Burnout," Episode 740, by Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR Planet Money, December 9, 2016. [Transcript]

    Follow up:

    • Explain the "Zen Room" discussed in the podcast.
    • When have you experienced burnout? Think back to music lessons, sports teams, school itself, relationships, and work situations. Describe the situation when you felt engaged, and how things changed.
    • What happens to motivation when a person experiences burnout? What can others do to help? 

  • Girl Scout skill set goes beyond cookies

    Business skills are a new priority for the Girl Scouts of America. They were always a factor in the annual cookie sales event. But the organization is "rebranding" itself as a broad-based builder of business skills with its GIRL initiative. GIRL is an acronym for:

    • Go-getters
    • Innovators
    • Risk-takers
    • Leaders

    Parts of the new campaign include a song, a 30-second ad, and a gathering in Columbus, Ohio called GIRL 2017.

    Source: "More Than Cookie Sellers: The Girl Scouts Buff Their Image," by Elizabeth Olson, New York Times, December 11, 2016.

    Follow up

    • According to the cited article, what celebrities have a history of being a Girl Scout? What qualities, mentioned in the article, do those individuals bring to their professional lives?
    • According to the cited article, the linked rebranding graphic, and this list of questions, what are some of the risks of rebranding a product? What was the previous Girl Scout brand? What is it now? Which pitfalls might affect the new brand campaign?

    .

  • Business Books for the 2016 holiday season

    Are your friends and relatives asking you what you want for the holidays?  You might send them The New York Times Business Bestsellers list to give them some ideas: 

    1. The Magnolia Story, by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino: The HGTV "Fixer Upper" couple's bio
    2. Thank You For Being Late, by Thomas L. Friedman: how to adapt to the ever-increasing pace of life in technology, global business, and climate change
    3. Building the Internet of Things, by Maciej Krantz: Making a business model that incorporates disruption and industry transformation
    4. Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth: Passion and perseverance as the keys to success
    5. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman: an exploration of what influences thinking, by a Nobel Prizewinner (Economics)
    6. Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dale Evans: Make your life great even if you have not identified your "passion"
    7. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg: how we form, break and make habits, and how good habits can make our lives easier
    8. Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight: a memoir by the CEO of Nike.
    9. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell: why some people succeed in unpredictable ways. Ironically, this book itself in an outlier, as it has been on the bestseller list since 2008!
    10. Together is better, by Simon Sinek: an inspirational fable about how meeting goals by asking others for help can be more fulfilling

    Several of these books have been on the best seller list for several months, and have been the subject of previous blogs.

    Source: New York Times Business Bestsellers, December 11, 2016.

    Follow up

    • Which titles would you NOT want to read?  Why not?
    • What titles appeal to you the most? Why?
    • When was the last time you read a book (including audiobooks)? Was it business-related? If not, what was the genre, and why did your read it?

    .

  • Green is the official color of 2017


          image from Fashionisers

    Pantone is the standard-setter for industry color. It influences colors in clothes, cars, appliances, paint and decorative fabric. The fashion industry, in particular, pays attention to the annual unveiling of the "new" color trends, as announced by Pantone. The very act of creating a "color of the year" creates a need in some consumers to buy or replace items in order to remain up-to-date.

    This year, the color is Green--to be more specific: "Greenery 15-0353 TCX". This is not an environmentalist's green. This is not a money-like green. This isn't the green you would find in your standard box of Crayola crayons. It is a very yellow green--somewhat like a newly opened springtime leaf. According to the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, Greenery 15-0353 TCX gives us:

    the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” 

    I am not sure that Greenery can really deliver on these promises. But the announcement makes good advertising copy!  

    Source: "The Pantone Trendsetters Have Spoken: Green is the Color of 2017," by Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, December 8, 2016. 

    Follow up:

    • What do the design professionals interviewed by Lisa Boone have to say about this color choice?
    • How would you use their opinions to market various products to consumers?
    • What products and industries are immune to color trends? Why? Are you immune?

  • Radical innovation in shipping still shapes global commerce


      image from PartyMusicLeader.com

    Shipping goods overseas was not always done in the "intermodal shipping containers" that are in wide use today. This "containerization" became a reality because of a logistics insight made by Malcom McLean. In order to reduce shipping costs, McLean did not focus on the ships; he focused on the docks.

    Dockworkers lifting and unloading individual crates and transporting them onto large trucks was very labor intensive and time consuming. This process, as a result of McLean's insight, eventually morphed into the creation of huge truck-sized and standardized containers that could be efficiently packed onto a ship. They could then be loaded by a crane or forklift directly onto truck bed frameworks. It is also possible to move a shipping container without a crane--and still save time and labor costs [VIDEO].

    Using the containers, the cost of shipping on international freighters went from almost $6 per ton to only $0.16 per ton. This improvement in price meant that goods could be shipped all over the world, between each step of their production processes, taking advantage of cheap labor and low manufacturing overhead in developing countries.

    In that way, containerization transformed not only shipping logistics, but the global manufacturing market as well. 

    Source: "The Power of Outsiders," by Charles Duhigg, Aaron Byrd, and Samantha Starr, New York Times video, December 8, 2016.

    Follow up:

    • What were the hurdles that McLean had to overcome before his shipping idea became a reality? How long did it take? What major action did McLaren have to commit to before there was a successful change in shipping practices?
    • What groups or stakeholders experience a downside as a result of McLean's shipping innovation? Explain their situations. 

    .

  • Moovn: a ride-sharing app for the U.S., Africa, and elsewhere


      photo from article linked below and urbvangeekz.com

    Moovn is a ride-sharing app similar to Uber and Lyft. It was started by Godwin Gabriel, and currently operates in seven cities in the U.S., as well as three cities in Africa--Johannesburg (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya), and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania). Though there are huge marketing challenges in the U.S., where Uber and Lyft dominate, the decision to launch the app in Africa was a good one. Smart phone use is on the rise on the continent, and the bigger apps have not penetrated this market. Gabriel feels "confident that the global market remains sizable enough for all of us to fit in and play.” He also believes that "Moovn is changing lives – particularly in Africa and developing markets. For instance, drivers earn more on our platform, are reducing idle time and are able to provide and build their communities."

    One innovation that Moovn offers commuters is the opportunity to schedule rides up to a month in advance. The vehicle options also are varied--and even include motorcycles and tricycles in countries where those modes of transport are typical. 

    Source: "Godwin Gabriel Launches Moovn, a Ride-Sharing App to Compete with Uber, Lyft in the U.S. and Abroad," by Wilfrid Ainsworth (urbangeekz.com), Good Black News, October 16, 2016.

    Follow up: 

    • What is Godwin Gabriel's educational and business career background? How did this preparation help him in his entrepreneurial venture? What other skills does he have?
    • Read the expanded article at urbangeeks.com. Summarize the hurdles that Godwin Gabriel overcame in the initial phases of this start-up. What helped? What hurt?
  • China stops program to catch counterfeit goods producers


     image from Global Trade Magazine

    China has consumer protection laws that provide for payments to people who look for goods that are manufactured by generic product makers, and have a fake label slapped on them. Gullible consumers--or those who want to impress others with a designer label, but who don't want to pay designer prices--have been protected by governmental regulations and those who identify counterfeit merchandise. 

    Here's the problem: the Chinese government is now saying that they never intended for entrepreneurs to become professional "bounty hunters." They say that the law was intended to give individual consumers who found a problem an incentive to expose the wrongdoer. The law did not anticipate that professional counterfeit hunters would buy up huge quantities of fake goods, and then get paid for each item, as the law provided. One counterfeiter with 1,000 pieces of counterfeit product would generate a windfall to the professional bounty hunter--the same payment that would be paid out to 1,000 individual consumers who had purchased one item from 1,000 different counterfeiting companies. 

    In favor of this law is that it provides protection to both Chinese and international consumers. Online marketplaces like Alibaba in China and Amazon in the USA and elsewhere cannot police individual sellers. These online marketplaces rely on regulation of commerce by other entities--such as these bounty hunters. But Chinese officials have proposed rules to eliminate the possibility of doing this detective work as a livelihood. 

    Source: "Though Awash in Fakes, China Rethinks Counterfeit Hunters," by Sui-Lee Wee, New York Times, November 30, 2016.

    Follow up

    • Have you ever bought a fake product produced as a knock-off in China--knowingly? Was it a purse? Watch? Prescription drug? Clothing item? Food product? Electronic item? Why did you make the choice to buy counterfeit? What are the consequences of buying these goods? Would you do it again?
    • What comprises a bounty-hunter's business model? What are his or her revenue sources? Expenses? Risks of operation? Is counterfeiting on the decline or on the rise?
  • Antipathy toward corporations

    Today, every faction on the political spectrum seems to be weighing in on two topics--one of which is directly relevant to business life:

    • the power and influence of corporations; and
    • what the Founding Fathers intended for the country's future and well-being

    As it happens, the topics overlap: the Founding Fathers had a clear opinion regarding corporations and their influence. The Founding Fathers did not like corporations at all:

    • They protested against tax incentives for corporations, particularly the Tea Act  of 1773. "The Tea Act was a government bailout for a company on the brink of financial collapse, the flailing East India Company, which was deemed to be, in modern terms, 'too big to fail.' The legislation gave the East India Company a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade, allowing it to bypass colonial merchants as middlemen and to even undercut the price of smuggled Dutch tea, which was widely consumed in the colonies." 
    • John Hancock helped foment the Boston Tea Party uprising, which was a protest against the East India Trading Company's tax break (rather than, as is widely believed, a protest against a tax increase for colonists). Ironically, the tax break for East India authorized by the Tea Act probably would have reduced tea prices for the colonists. But they protested anyway--on principle, rather than self-interest.
    • The Federal government granted corporate charter authority to State governments, which still exists today. But for the first 100+ years of our nation's history, States sought to severely limit the power of corporations. State laws that governed corporations:
      • allowed corporations to operate for only 20 to 30 years;
      • allowed corporations only to deal in ONE product or commodity;
      • forbade corporations from owning stock in another corporation (so they could not merge into bigger and bigger companies);
      • forbade corporations to accrue "excess capital" above the funds that they needed for operations.
      • forbade corporations, subject to criminal penalties, to make political contributions.

    On the other hand, an opinion piece in the NYT points out that there was plenty of disagreement among the Founding Fathers about what was best for the nation in many arenas. They may not all have agreed on the limitations of corporate power, either. 

    To complicate things further, here are some quotes to ponder:

    • Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.” – John Adams
    • When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin

    Sources: "What the Founding Fathers Thought about Corporations," by Stephen J. Foster, addictinginfo.com, June 9, 2013. 
    "Our Feuding Founding Fathers," by Alan Taylor, New York Times, October 16, 2016. 

    Follow up

    • What forms of business organization prevailed other than corporations? In particular, what forms or organization did John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie adopt for their enterprises? How do these structures differ from corporations? 
    • How might the differences between sole proprietorships, corporations, LLCs ,partnerships, and trusts affect the amount of political power and control of capital markets that individual business entities can accrue? Why is this significant?
    • Analyze and comment on the quotes from John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Consider the Benjamin Franklin quote in terms of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

    .

  • What are the trends in a pro-Wall Street political environment?


     Steven Mnuchin (Treasury) and Wilbur Ross (Commerce)
      photos  via businesstimes.com and NYT

    Trump's primary advisors--individuals who will set the tone and implement policy during Trump's presidency--comprise his Cabinet picks. Surprisingly, several of these people are former hedge fund managers and Wall Street professionals--some with a poor track records of success. Very few Cabinet picks have any government experience. Observers note that the policies favored by these Cabinet picks indicate the likelihood of several economic and business events, including:

    • The Fed will probably let interest rates rise, which will make small business loans more expensive, as well as mortgages (which will impact first-time buyers the most).
    • The increased interest rates will also lead to inflation of 2.2% to 5% (which would more than offset any tax decreases for middle class workers)
    • Stock prices will continue to rise (they have already jumped) for big investment banks (Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, among others)
    • The Volcker Rule section of the Dodd Frank Act will be under attack, as it limits the ability of investment banks to invest in their own financial products. (These types of investments were a primary trigger for the collapse in 2007-2008.) 
    • The tax structure will change--and the major reductions in terms of absolute dollars will benefit top income earners. 

    Many Trump voters may have expected the opportunities for middle class workers and small business that were described in his campaign ads. According to one, he would rescue America from “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations.” While this message was heard audibly, these images flashed across the screen: "The New York Stock Exchange, the hedge fund billionaire George Soros, and the chief executive of the investment bank Goldman Sachs." Market reaction to Trump's election would indicate that these interests will be benefitting the most. 

    At least one additional opportunity exists for middle class professionals. According to a recent Bloomberg article, the demand for computer programmers on Wall Street exceed the supply.

    Source: "Trump's Economic Cabinet Picks Signal Embrace of Wall Street Elite," by Landon Thomas, Jr. and Alexandra Stevenson with Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times, November 30, 2016. 

    Follow up:

    • What is meant by the term "Wall Street"? To what kinds of businesses and to which types of professionals does the term refer?
    • Review this list of Trump's cabinet picks through December 1, 2016. Comment on any likely effect of each one on the business environment. Also comment on the Cabinet as a whole, vis a vis Trump's promise quoted above. 
    • Does a Wall Street career appeal to you? Are you a computer programmer or another type of professional? What are the plusses and minuses of a Wall Street career? What do you see as the plusses for you and your career goals in this business environment. 

    .