Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy

Photo Credit: Shop Catalog http://www.shopcatalog.com/

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 5/18/18

Cambridge Analytica, the company that worked with Trump’s campaign was accused of accessing private user’s data and personal interests on Facebook in order to advertise to them, bringing them into the center of a lengthy scandal, including a testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook to explain what happened to his company, and what could be done to prevent it.

Now, the data sharing firm has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy at the US Bankruptcy Court of New York Southern Division, the same division that covers New York City. The processes of bankruptcy started in early May, with both Cambridge Analytica and their parent company, SCL Elections, starting bankruptcy procedures.

In the tech firm’s filings, they stated that their “assets” or valuable sources of money, number from $100,000 to $500,000, while their “liabilities”, or responsibilities that they will need to pay for, number from $1 million to $10 million, due to the past scandal as well as their former Director of Research, Christopher Wylie, had to testify against a Senate Committee on Wednesday.

Sources: CNN, BBC, USA Today

EXCLUSIVE AND OPINION: Ranking the Top 20 Cities for Amazon’s Second Headquarters (Part 2)

By Nick Baum

Note: DON’T READ THIS POST IF YOU HAVEN’T LOOKED AT THE ORIGINAL PART ONE. LINK HERE: https://thedailynick.com/2018/05/06/exclusive-and-opinion-ranking-the-20-cities-for-amazons-second-headquarters-part-1/

Ever since Amazon first announced they will build a second headquarters, 238 cities across North America sent bids in hopes to obtain the new headquarters, and now, only 20 remain, and the final ten of them will be ranked.

10. Denver, Colorado – The mile high city has been a commercial and tech hub in the mountain region, attracting startup companies for its growing population and skill set. The city also gives out tax breaks and has often looked up to larger companies, giving the city a chance.

9. Dallas, Texas – Dallas is a city that has all of the abilities and needs that Amazon is looking for. Transportation, check. Education, check. Innovation, check. What brings Dallas down however is other cities being able to do the same necessities, but better. Nevertheless, Dallas has a good shot

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The city of brotherly love has seen a massive breakthrough of innovation and commercial success over the past years, and doubled with close vicinity to New York City and other candidate city Newark, gives the city to admire.

7. Miami, Florida – Much like Philadelphia, Miami has seen a recent influx or corporations wanting to move to city that can offer more space and less tensions. Miami is also a city built on tourism and vacationing, not companies. So, while smaller companies might enjoy the increased chances of profit, Amazon might see some difficulty despite the abilities Miami contains.

6. Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Being the only Canadian city on this list, Toronto can perform differently from the rest of the mainstream American crowd, and his the abilities to use different strategies through tax breaks and incentives. Much like New York, it is a powerhouse and is the highest market in Canada, also bringing expensive costs into question.

5. Chicago, Illinois – The windy city is a city that can offer lots to Amazon. It has low costs, lots of commercial success, transportation and airports, and much more, only bringing into question the city’s high crime rate, looking rather unattractive.

4. Columbus, Ohio – This smaller city is still the biggest in Ohio, and can offer low costs as well as transportation between two other Ohio cities, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus has a relatively small market, but hopes for a new rebirth in the city’s economy if Amazon comes in, which is hopeful.

3. Northern Virginia, Virginia – This section of the state can offer the same benefits of Washington DC, but without the high tax rate and limited space. Innovation has been spreading throughout the region, with many companies calling the state home. That mixed with the amount of space available and tax cuts, means Northern Virginia is a top contender.

2. Austin, Texas – The capital of Texas is a very successful city that has been growing large in size ever since the great recession. Contrasting from other entries, Austin has a relatively conservative government, meaning there are more lower taxes as well as space for bigger companies. All in all, and politics aside, Austin has a major chance.

1. Atlanta, Georgia – What other city provides everything that Amazon is looking for in a new headquarters, but in such a good way? Atlanta. The city was founded as a major transportation hub, but has seen an increase in companies and corporations in the area. Atlanta gives plenty of tax breaks to both companies and movies, which is why many movies and tv shows have been shot there, including the Walking Dead, Stranger Things, the Hunger Games, and Baby Driver have been filmed there. Atlanta has the best shot, every requirement Amazon needs the city is one step ahead, making their chance the best of all.

Sources: CNBC, TheDailyNick (Part 1), Tech Crunch, Wall Street Journal

EXCLUSIVE AND OPINION: Ranking the 20 Cities for Amazon’s Second Headquarters (PART 1)

By Nick Baum

SUNDAY – 5/6/18

Ever since Amazon has announced a new second headquarters, hundreds of cities across North America raced to prove why they were best for the company to move its new location. Out of the over 200 bids, came just 20 finalists, ranked. (List goes from least likely to most likely)

20. Washington D.C. – D.C. definitely has some advantages, as having a headquarters in the capital of America as well as an up and coming tech hub can give power to the company. However, take into account the amount of space available in DC as well as high taxes and costs.

19. Montgomery County, Maryland – Montgomery County has a strategic location for Amazon, being squeezed in between both D.C. and Baltimore. Unlike DC, Baltimore didn’t make it to the finalists so the fact that the county of about a million people can rival major cities with their education and transportation proves promising. However, similarly to DC, Montgomery County has very high taxes, and not enough space in the densely populated area.

18. Nashville, Tennessee – Nashville is a center for innovation in the Tennessee area, with many companies flocking to the innovation center. However, the city’s lack of education as well as proximity from any major transportation lines proves to be hard on the city’s bid.

17. Indianapolis, Indiana – Similar to Nashville, Indianapolis is the center of the regional area around, with many companies and important programs in Indiana being centered there. However, the lack of an economy as well as a bigger rival just north of them, Chicago, can prove strong against the city.

16. Newark, New Jersey – Being the smallest city on the list, Newark is the underdog in the battle for Amazon, but has the capabilities. The city is connected to railroad stretching through the east coast, has an airport a short distance from downtown, and is also home to Amazon’s Audible, an audio-book company, as well as having education and tons of space in the city. However, the small size of the city, negative publicity due to its very high 7 billion dollar bid, as well as close proximity to two other candidates, New York and Philadelphia, can prove to be costly for the Brick City.

15. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The western Pennsylvanian industrial powerhouse definitely has a shot at Amazon, but will be hard to deliver. Having lots of space in terms of both warehouses and factories, Pittsburgh can deliver. However, the lack of innovation as well as startups or new programs in the city can prove difficult.

14. Raleigh, North Carolina – Raleigh has a stable and well city that has low taxes and can always welcome a new company. However, if you take into account the lack of skills or transportation to other cities, let alone the fact that its the biggest city for miles, could be costly.

13. Boston, Massachusetts – Boston is a stronghold in the region, being the center for finance and commerce in New England while holding a fierce rivalry with New York City. Boston has strong innovation and leadership in the region, as well as strong culture and transportation for Amazon. Despite all of this though, Boston has a high tax rate, and has seen a fair share of corporations leave the city, but Boston still has a small shot at delivering.

12. Los Angeles, California – The City of Angels is dominant in the southwest, boasting lots of companies and startups throughout the region. The city has a population of 4 million, has multiple universities and has multiple airports. Despite all of this though, high taxes and homelessness could be a setback.

11. New York City, New York – The Big Apple might be the largest city in the country, attracting companies big and small and having world class universities and transportation, but similarly to Los Angeles, high taxes as well as space and many regulations in New York might damage the city’s chances, but New York still has a good shot.

The bottom 10 will be featured on Part 2.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, CNBC

Toys-R-Us Finds Bidders in Asia

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 4/12/18

Toys-R-Us, the popular store selling toys for kids of all ages has been in the midst of wind down, with sales coming in low every month. Just a few months ago, the company said they will close business, with them looking for buyers and that they will liquidate all their products that were not sold.

Luckily for Toys-R-Us, the company’s chain of businesses in Asia has gotten multiple bidders above $1 Billion dollars, with $80 million being granted to the Toys-R-Us company itself. The decision has come after Toys-R-Us sales skyrocketed, reportedly ever since they announced their closure.

Toys-R-Us also released a statement, saying that this brings new hope for them to find bidders else where in the world, and means that the chain could stay alive, just with new owners. It is unclear when the company’s asian chain will be sold.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, Reuters

Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Against Senate

By Nick Baum

Edited by Alex Baum

WEDNESDAY – 4/11/18

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, was asked a wide range of questions while he testified against a Senate committee.

   Zuckerberg still has another day of testimony on Capitol Hill, and will likely again be asked a diverse amount of questions. The hearing was called on suspicions of Cambridge Analytica, who in order to promote Republican candidates hacked into Facebook in order to advertise.

   Despite the scandal gaining an increased amount of attention, other questions were asked, sparking both approval and disapproval. Sen. Ted Cruz backlashed at Zuckerberg, complaining about Facebook’s treatment of conservative groups on the sight. Other questions weren’t on point, Sen. John Kennedy Jr. complained about Facebook’s user agreement, saying that it “sucked,” while also pointing out numerous things to improve. Zuckerberg, of course, responded with defense stating that they were already a part of the agreement.

Sources: CNN, Fox News

EXCLUSIVE: Trade Tension Between US and China Eases

By Nick Baum

TUESDAY – 4/10/18

Just days after President Trump proposed a $100 billion dollar tariff plan on Chinese made products, tension between the two leading economies in the world died down. After the tariff plan was announced, The Chinese administration of leader Xi Jinping responded to the act angrily.

However, no new tariffs or duties were placed on either countries’ economies, a sign that economic tension and rivalry between the two countries might be eased, even after signs of a trade war were showing.

Also a good sign is that stocks in the NYSE have opened higher than expected. Currently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the largest indicator of the stock market, has risen to a steady 24,400. The last time the stock market was at that amount of points, it was on the steady decline after President Trump’s new tariff plan.

Sources: Fox News, Fox Business, NBC News

EXCLUSIVE AND OPINION: Gambling in the United States

By Nick Baum

SUNDAY – 4/8/18

Gambling has taken many forms, not only the United States but in other countries, too. Both the United Kingdom and France has legalized gambling nation-wide, so why haven’t we? To simply put it, the government doesn’t want us to get in a habit.

Numerous studies have shown the risks and effects of long term gambling, as it can easily lead to fights, deaths, and obviously, losing large sums of money. So, as a result, the government decided to keep gambling legal, but to only grant states the permission on where and where not to legalize gambling and casinos.

For example, after the gold rush, Nevada had no true and reliable industry. Most of the state’s gold was gone, and there weren’t that many resources there, so it was decided that they would legalize gambling state wide, and now benefits off of that. New Jersey is another example. Atlantic City was going bankrupt, and as a result the state legislature decided to legalize gambling in the city only.

This is a great idea, both for the states of Nevada and New Jersey, and for the United States government. Regulations on gambling can take advantage of it, by excluding to certain areas only, and thus promoting different cities. Overall, America’s approach at gambling isn’t right or wrong from other countries, but it gives small and declining areas a chance.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, NJ.com