Why did Subaru’s sales and profits surge in 2014 and 2015?
> Do you think it is ethical for companies like Microsoft to continue to hold cash overseas in order to avoid paying U.S. corporate income taxes? Is this practice always in the best interests of the company’s shareholders?
> During the Chávez years, many foreign multinationals exited Venezuela or reduced their exposure there. What do you think the impact of this has been on Venezuela? What needs to be done to reverse the trend?
> Why does Microsoft continue to hold so much cash overseas, rather than returning it to the United States? What do you think are the opportunity costs of holding tens of billions of dollars in cash in foreign locations? What potential benefits might accru
> Microsoft’s effective tax rate on foreign earnings retained overseas appears to be only 4 percent. How is this possible given the corporate tax rate in most developed countries where Microsoft earns profits from foreign sales are considerably higher?
> What were the benefits to Microsoft’s shareholders of using cash held overseas to purchase Skype?
> With the arrival of Joe Kaeser, the focus is much more on apps and websites. How can these individual, customer-based IT features help industrial-based IT companies such as Siemens?
> Does the “power and accountability” initiative imply that Siemens will ignore national and regional differences?
> What strategy was Peter Löscher trying to get Siemens to pursue with his streamlined “power and accountability” initiative? What are the benefits of this strategy? Can you see any drawbacks?
> How would you characterize the strategy for competing internationally that Siemens was pursuing prior to the arrival of Peter Löscher? What were the benefits of this strategy? What were the costs? Why was Siemens pursuing this strategy?
> What lessons can we draw from the Domino’s case study that might be useful for other international businesses selling consumer goods?
> How does the marketing mix for Domino’s in Japan differ from that in the United States? How does the marketing mix in India differ?
> What do you think Domino’s does from an organizational perspective to make sure that it accommodates local differences in consumer tastes and preferences?
> During the latter part of Chávez’s rule, Venezuela benefited from high oil prices. Since 2014, however, oil prices have fallen substantially. What has the effect of this has been on government finances and the Venezuelan economy?
> Do you think it is wise for Domino’s to stick to its traditional “home delivery” business model, even when that is not the norm in a country and when its international rivals have changed their format?
> Apple’s global supply chains make its business thrive. There is secrecy among suppliers, superior quality standards by every party involved in Apple’s supply chains, and a total value focus that ultimately makes the customers happy. Is this a sustainable
> Apple products have usually been priced above their competition and sold for their value, intrigue, and market leadership. Some would say Samsung is catching up on many of these fronts and even, perhaps, passing Apple. Do you think Apple can charge a pri
> With the 2011 death of Steve Jobs, Apple’s legendary founder and CEO, what can we expect from Apple in the future? Will it be as innovative? Will it maintain brand value leadership? Will it run the top global supply chains in the world?
> According to Interbrand’s analysis, Apple’s brand is valued at more than $180 billion, while Google in second place is valued at $133 billion and Coca-Cola in third is at $73 billion (2016). Do you agree that Apple should be so far ahead of its nearest b
> Do you think franchising is a foreign market entry option for Lulu’s Dessert? Why or why not?
> Lulu’s Dessert used services of the U.S. Export-Import Bank to help with knowledge and market segmentation for her desserts as a part of exporting the company products. The Ex-Im Bank receives lots of positive and negative reviews in the United States; d
> Desserts are often localized in taste. Beyond the United States and Mexico, where do you think Lulu’s Dessert products would be favorably received by customers?
> As of 2018, GM appears to be increasing its strategic commitments to China by building more factories and opening more dealerships. Why is the company making these bets? Do you think it is doing the right thing?
> Why has the joint venture been so successful to date?
> How will the high level of public corruption in Venezuela affect future growth rates?
> Why did GM not simply license its technology to SAIC? Why did it not export cars from the United States?
> Why did GM enter through a joint venture with SAIC? What are the benefits of this approach? What are the potential risks?
> GM entered the Chinese market at a time when demand was very limited. Why? What was the strategic rationale?
> Philips reorganized multiple times, from 21 divisions to 9 divisions and subsequently just 3 divisions. Why do you think it did this? What is it trying to achieve? Can a company reorganize its structure this often and maintain competitiveness?
> What was the point of the organizational changes made by Cor Boonstra? What was he trying to achieve? Do you agree with Frans van Houten’s decision to keep the same three divisions when he became CEO?
> What was Philips trying to achieve by tilting the balance of power in its structure away from national organizations and toward the product divisions? Why was this hard to achieve?
> Why did Philips’ organizational structure make sense early on in its existence? Why did this structure start to create problems for the company later on?
> Car manufacturers are some of the most secretive companies in the world. Should more car competitors share building platforms to standardize their operations like other industries (e.g., music, electronics)? In this spirit, can Ford become more competiti
> What would you recommend that Ford undertakes in terms of continuing or possibly changing the global strategy that Mulally put in place? Clearly Fields’ long-term employment with Ford did not result in a benefit to making Ford globally competitive (Ford’
> How would you characterize the strategy for competing internationally that Ford was pursuing prior to the arrival of Alan Mulally? What are the benefits of the more standardized platform strategy? Can you see any drawbacks?
> How do you think that Chávez’s unilateral changes to contracts with foreign oil companies will affect future investment by foreigners in Venezuela?
> What actions do you think a multinational firm can take to limit the impact of future crises in the global financial system on the ability of the enterprise to raise capital to pay its short-term bills and fund long-term investments?
> Why do you think that global capital flows were still significantly below their 2007 peak seven years after the crisis hit? What are the implications of this for the ability of multinational firms to finance their investments by raising outside capital?
> How can the risk of occurrence of crises such as the 2007–2008 global financial crisis be mitigated in the future?
> In retrospect, were central banks justified in stepping in as aggressively as they did to shore up the global financial system? If they had not done so, and instead let more large financial institutions fail, what would have been the consequence?
> Do you think that something like the financial crisis that occurred in 2007–2008 could happen again? If it did, what would the impact be on the ability of firms to raise capital to fund investments, and on the global economy?
> Could the IMF have done anything differently to avoid the situation it now finds itself in?
> What might happen if the IMF discontinues its loan program to Ukraine, as it has threatened to do?
> Was the IMF right to suspend disbursement of monies under its loan program in October 2015? Under what conditions should the IMF resume making loans?
> Why do you think the Ukrainian government balked at fully implementing the IMF policies?
> Were the policy recommendations made by the IMF reasonable?
> Under Chávez’s leadership, what kind of economic system was put in place in Venezuela? How would you characterize the political system?
> What were the root causes of Ukraine’s currency crisis? Without help from the IMF, what might have happened?
> Why do you think Viktor Yanukovych walked away from a trade agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia? What did he gain by doing this? What did he lose?
> Is Subaru wise to expand its U.S. production capacity? What other strategies could the company use to hedge against adverse changes in exchange rates? What are the pros and cons of the different hedging strategies Subaru might adopt?
> What are the currency risks associated with Subaru’s export strategy? What are the potential benefits?
> Why do you think that, historically, Subaru chose to export production from Japan rather than set up manufacturing facilities in the United States like its Japanese rivals?
> What do you think is the optimal government policy response here? Explain your answer.
> What do you think will be the impact of the new higher floor price? Who benefits from the higher floor price? Who suffers?
> Was the Commerce Department right to establish a new minimum floor price rather than scrap the agreement and file an antidumping suit? Who would have benefited from an antidumping suit against Mexican tomato producers? Who would have suffered?
> Do you think that Mexican producers were dumping tomatoes in the United States?
> Who are the primary beneficiaries of the growth of medical tourism? Who might lose from this trend?
> Who benefits from the importation of tomatoes grown in Mexico? Who suffers?
> Why, despite the establishment of a minimum floor price, have imports from Mexico grown over the years?
> Was the establishment of a minimum floor price for tomatoes consistent with the free trade principles enshrined in the NAFTA agreement?
> Volkswagen has signaled that it is going to stay the course in Russia, despite current political and economic headwinds. Why do you think it made this decision? What are the pros and cons of this decision? In your opinion, is it the correct decision?
> Russia is largely dependent on oil exports to drive its economy forward. Given the sharp fall in global oil prices that occurred in 2014 and 2015, what impact do you think this will have on FDI into Russia?
> How do you think FDI by foreign automobile companies might benefit the Russian economy? Is there any potential downside to Russia from this inflow of FDI?
> Which theory (or theories) of FDI best explain Volkswagen’s FDI in Russia?
> What factors underlay the decision by Volkswagen to invest directly in automobile production in Russia? Why was FDI preferable to exporting from existing factories in Germany?
> If you had the power to make changes here, what would you do and why?
> Government support programs for sugar producers were introduced in the 1930s, yet they are still in place today, long after the original rationale disappeared. What does this tell you about political decisions relating to international trade?
> What are the practical limits to outsourcing health care provision to other countries?
> What do you think would happen if the U.S. government removed all support for U.S. sugar producers?
> Do the benefits of U.S. government support to the U.S. sugar industry outweigh the losses?
> Who benefits from subsidies to U.S. sugar producers? Who loses?
> One of the first actions of President Trump was to withdraw from negotiations on establishing the TTIP. Why do you think he did this? How does withdrawal benefit America? What are the opportunity costs of not pursuing the TTIP? Is Trump’s decision good f
> The Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) met with significant political resistance in the United States when it was announced, (see the closing case to Chapter 6), while the TTIP did not. Why do you think this is the case?
> Two decades ago when the United States entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, there was significant opposition from organized labor and some politicians. There does not seem to be the same level of opposition to the
> Can you think of any drawbacks associated with the TTIP?
> What are the benefits of the proposed TTIP?
> The Flint, Michigan, water crisis highlighted a major issue in the United States regarding old lead-based pipes used to transport water to the community. This came to light in Flint due to the failure of applying corrosion inhibitors to the water when th
> With some 80 percent of the toys sold in the United States being manufactured in China, should the United States place greater emphasis on its toy-trading relationship with China? Could the United States control China’s manufacturing more than it does to
> On balance, do you think that the kind of outsourcing undertaken by American health care providers is a good thing or a bad thing for the American economy? Explain your reasoning.
> Should there be a global standard for toy manufacturing? What are some of the benefits and what are some of the drawbacks of a potential global quality and manufacturing standard?
> With Alibaba’s ownership of the very popular Tmall and Taobao online shopping systems (similar to eBay and Amazon) and its spread across the world, will a Western-based online shopping culture ultimately infiltrate China?
> If China will go from 17 million to 200 million middle- and upper-income people by the early 2020s, would the scenario presented by Best Buy not be applicable anymore? Would newly rich Chinese customers engage in this purchasing in the 2020s?
> Will China maintain its strong economic growth in the years to come? Some suggest it will until 2050. What do you think?
> In November 2015, the democratic opposition won a landslide victory in a general election. How do you think this will affect Myanmar’s economic growth trajectory going forward? What are the risks here?
> What potential impediments do you think might stand in the way of further improvements in Myanmar?
> How would you characterize the nature of the economic reforms now being implemented in Myanmar? What is the government trying to do here? What do you think the results will be?
> What do you think motivated the government of Myanmar to start undertaking political and economic reforms from 2010 onward?
> What explains the economic stagnation of Myanmar until very recently?
> By 2016, Venezuela’s economy appeared to be on the brink of total collapse. What do you think needs to be done to reverse this?
> What are the benefits to American medical providers of outsourcing certain well-defined tasks such as interpreting an MRI scan to foreign providers based in countries such as India? What are the costs?
> Your company is deciding whether to invest in a new machine. The new machine will increase cash flow by $485,000 per year. You believe the technology used in the machine has a 10-year life; in other words, no matter when you purchase the machine, it will
> Consider the following financial statement information for the Newk Corporation: Assume all sales are on credit. Calculate the operating and cash cycles. How do you interpret your answer?
> The Morning Jolt Coffee Company has projected the following quarterly sales amounts for the coming year: a. Accounts receivable at the beginning of the year are $335. The company has a 45-day collection period. Calculate cash collections in each of the
> Cori’s Corp. has an equity value of $14,735. Long-term debt is $8,300. Net working capital, other than cash, is $2,850. Fixed assets are $18,440. How much cash does the company have? If current liabilities are $2,325, what are current assets?
> Cheap Money Bank offers your firm a discount interest loan at 9.85 percent for up to $25 million and, in addition, requires you to maintain a 4.5 percent compensating balance against the amount borrowed. What is the effective annual interest rate on this
> In exchange for a $300 million fixed commitment line of credit, your firm has agreed to do the following: 1. Pay 1.93 percent per quarter on any funds actually borrowed. 2. Maintain a 4.5 percent compensating balance on any funds actually borrowed. 3. Pa
> A bank offers your firm a revolving credit arrangement for up to $75 million at an interest rate of 1.75 percent per quarter. The bank also requires you to maintain a compensating balance of 5 percent against the unused portion of the credit line, to be
> You’ve worked out a line of credit arrangement that allows you to borrow up to $50 million at any time. The interest rate is .37 percent per month. In addition, 4 percent of the amount that you borrow must be deposited in a non-interest-bearing account.
> Below are the most recent balance sheets for Country Kettles, Inc. Excluding accumulated depreciation, determine whether each item is a source or a use of cash and the amount:
> Here are some important figures from the budget of Nashville Nougats, Inc., for the second quarter of 2021: The company predicts that 5 percent of its credit sales will never be collected, 35 percent of its sales will be collected in the month of the s
> The following is the sales budget for Lemonis, Inc., for the first quarter of 2021: Credit sales are collected as follows: 65 percent in the month of the sale. 20 percent in the month after the sale. 15 percent in the second month after the sale. The a