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Introduction to Business

Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

Introduction to BusinessPreparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

  1. How much does a checking account cost? Call or visit websites of several local banks and weigh prices and services. Take into consideration how you use your checking account, how many checks a month you write, and the average balances you keep. On the internet, ( lets you digitally compare bank products, including those banking institutions that are strictly internet-based. Could you pay lower fees elsewhere? Could you earn interest on your checking account at a credit union? Would you be better off paying a monthly fee with unlimited check-writing privileges? Crunch the numbers to find the best deal. (Resources, Information)
  2. You are starting a small business selling collectible books over the internet and need to establish a business banking account that will provide the following services: business checking, credit-card processing, a business savings account, and perhaps a line of credit. Call or visit at least three banks, including an internet-based one, to gather information about their business banking services, including data about fees, service options, and other features of interest to entrepreneurs. Write a short summary of each bank’s offerings and benefits and make a recommendation about which bank you would choose for your new business. (Interpersonal, Information)
  3. If you watch the news, you’ve undoubtedly heard mention that the Fed is going to raise or lower interest rates. What exactly does this mean? Explain how the Fed’s decision to raise and lower its discount rate might affect (a) a large manufacturer of household appliances, (b) a mid-sized software firm, (c) a small restaurant, (d) a family hoping to purchase their first home, and (e) a college student. (Information)
  4. Research the banking system of another country, and write a report on your findings by answering these questions: Is there a central banking system similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve System in place? Which government agency or department controls it, and how does it operate? How stable is the country’s central banking system? How does it compare in structure and operation to the Federal Reserve System? How much control does the government have over banks operating in the country? Are there any barriers to entry specifically facing foreign banks? What would this mean to a foreign business attempting to do business in this country? (Information)
  5. Banks use databases to identify profitable and unprofitable customers. Bankers say they lose money on customers who typically keep less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts and frequently call or visit the bank. Profitable customers keep several thousand dollars in their accounts and seldom visit a teller or call the bank. To turn unprofitable customers into profitable ones, banks have assessed fees on many of their services, including using a bank teller, although many of the fees are waived for customers who maintain high account balances. Bankers justify the fees by saying they’re in business to earn a profit. Discuss whether banks are justified in treating profitable and unprofitable customers differently. Defend your answers. (Information, Systems)
  6. Team Activity During its regular meetings, the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy-making body, considers a number of economic indicators and reports before making decisions. The decisions made by the Fed include whether to sell or purchase Federal treasury bonds, whether to raise or lower bank reserve requirements, and whether to raise or lower the Federal Reserve discount rate. Divide your class into groups (if possible, try to use seven members, the size of the FOMC), and assign each group one of these decisions. As a group, identify the types of information used by the Fed in making their assigned decision and how that information is used. Find the most recent information (sources may include newspapers, business publications, online databases, etc.) and analyze it. Based on this information and your group’s analysis, what should the Fed do now? Present your findings and recommendations to the class. (Interpersonal, Information)
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