Blog Posts by Aaron Task

  • Things You Didn't Know About Discount Grocer Aldi


    For many shoppers who are serious about spending less on groceries, a trip to discount supermarket Aldi is a weekly ritual. The chain, founded in Germany, credits its rock-bottom prices to low labor and operating costs, a limited selection of mostly inexpensive private brands, and a no-frills store design. Merchandise is often stacked in the aisles and sold straight from the cardboard box it was shipped in. Essentially, it's a grocery store that's the size of a convenience store.

    If there isn't an Aldi near you, don't be surprised if one pops up soon. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 stores in 32 states, mostly in the eastern half of the U.S. By 2018, the company plans to expand its store count to close to 2,000 including locations in Southern California.

    Never shopped at Aldi before? Here are 10 things you should know before your first trip.

    Trader Joe's is part of the family

    JoseAnthony092931 via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Here’s where the most retirees are moving — and why


    Perhaps the best way to find out which states are winners for retirees: Forget surveys and expert opinions, and find out where the most retirees are actually moving. See full story.

    Tour the house Obama will live in after he moves out of the White House

    Photos show the house that Obama will reportedly live in after leaving the White House See full story.

    Stock-market IPOs are rebounding with a bang

    Five initial public offerings priced this week, which experts view as an IPO market on the rebound. See full story.

    5 things rich people do with money — that you should be doing

    You can learn a lot from how rich people handle their money. See full story.

    Why men still pick up the check on first dates

    Women are more economically and politically powerful than ever. So why are men still expected to pay? See full story.


    Photos show the house that Obama will reportedly live in after leaving the White House See full story.

    Read More »from Here’s where the most retirees are moving — and why
  • Risky Business: Former Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski Sounds Alarm About Investment in Tehran

    Polish-Iranian Economic Forum Opens to Warnings of Grave Business Risks


    As Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif kicks off his European tour in Poland on May 30 at the Polish-Iranian Economic Forum, former Polish Foreign Minister and United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Advisory Board Member Radosław Sikorski today warned foreign companies tempted to do business with the Ayatollah about the looming risks involved:

    “Polish leaders have ramped up their efforts in recent months to crack down on terrorism. And yet, they are actively pursuing business in a country where business and terrorism are intertwined.

    “Iranian leaders empower the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — a sanctioned terrorist group — to wield enormous clout and oversee billions of dollars in deals.

    “The Guard’s complex web of front companies threatens to entangle and endanger any company that pursues business with Iran. The risks are just too

    Read More »from Risky Business: Former Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski Sounds Alarm About Investment in Tehran
    United Against Nuclear Iran
    Steven Cohen, 212-922-0063
  • Why a six-hour workday may work for Europe but not the US

    Workers in Sweden are proving that spending less time in the workplace may actually be more productive.

    In an experiment last year, nursing home employees in Gothenburg, Sweden, switched to a six-hour workday, with no cut in pay. An audit in mid-April concluded the program improved productivity and worker health, and reduced absenteeism, The New York Times recently reported.

    As one employee told the publication, "a happy worker is a better worker," and the report added to a chorus of social scientists calling for fewer hours to boost work output. Can that formula be replicated across the Atlantic?

    Corporate coach Annie Perrin agrees that when companies make an effort to make their workers happy, it pays off.

    "What the evidence suggests overwhelmingly is that the more organizations invest in their people, the more the people are going to invest back into the organization," she said in a recent interview with CNBC's " Power Lunch ."

    The concept of a shorter workday

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  • French unions seeking to overturn an unpopular labor law are set to intensify their protests as the government shows no sign of giving in after a week of strikes and blockades caused gas stations in many regions of the country to run dry.

    By the end of this week, the national railroad, the Paris metro, ports and air traffic controllers will all be on strike, though the degree to which the actions will be followed is unclear.

    After a week in which many French gas stations faced shortages and some protests turned violent, Prime Minister Manuel Valls in a series of weekend interviews said the government will not back down on the labor law or the contentious article 2 that lets companies negotiate labor contracts outside industry-wide accords. “There will be no withdrawal of the text, no withdrawal of article 2,” Valls said in a round-table interview with Le Parisien readers in the newspaper’s Saturday edition.

    More from In Tech's Batman v Superman, Gawker's Nick Denton Sets a

    Read More »from French Transport Strikes to Intensify as Valls Digs In on Law
  • [$$] Mizuho readies fintech war chest to escape Japan gloom

    Mizuho Financial Group is building a pot of money for global acquisitions of financial technology companies as Japan's second-biggest bank attempts to leapfrog its local rivals after years of industry torpor.

    Despite its strong position in consumer technology, Japan has lagged behind its global peers in harnessing the so-called "fintech" wave of digital disruption in banking.

    The country's lenders, felled by the bursting of the bubble in the 1990s, have long lost their appetite for risk and continue to struggle as negative interest rates erode profits from bread-and-butter lending.

    In an interview with the Financial Times, Mizuho's president Yasuhiro Sato described plans to build the next generation of consumer lending on smartphone services and using "big data" analysis to manage credit risk.

    More from the Financial Times

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  • [$$] The real threat to Europe lies in the Aegean

    At the start of the year, the EU was paralysed by the prospect of three simultaneous, potentially destructive threats: Grexit, Brexit and the refugee crisis. Since then, one has receded but not disappeared; one remains undecided; and another is in danger of blowing up.

    The receding crisis is Greece. The agreement last week removed the risk of a Greek exit from the eurozone in the immediate future. The deal characteristically leaves a number of open ends, which is troubling but not necessarily disastrous.

    In a significant concession the International Monetary Fund accepted that an agreement on debt relief for Athens is postponed for another two years. This suits Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, because his party opposes debt relief. But the deal also requires him and other European finance ministers to come clean before the end of this year on what debt relief measures they intend to propose. The numbers will have to add up - an unheard of event in eurozone crisis

    Read More »from [$$] The real threat to Europe lies in the Aegean
  • U.K. Sees Net Loss on Tax Revenues from North Sea Oil

    The United Kingdom’s net revenues from taxes levied on oil and gas companies operating on or near the North Sea turned negative “for the first time since records began in 1968,” according to a report by London-based Argus Media.

    The government collected £538 million (about US$790.5 million) during the 2015-16 fiscal year, but a change in tax rules and enforcement, coupled with chronically low oil prices, meant more money went out through investments and subsidies, than went in.

    A statement by tax officials said it had expected to take a loss of £10 million, but "low oil prices… continuing high levels of investment and increasing amounts of decommissioning expenditures” led the deficit to increase.

    Related: NATO Energy Security Threatened By Karabakh Conflict

    Petroleum revenue taxes had been virtually eliminated by the U.K. starting from January 1st of this year, as a result of a measure decreasing the tax from 50 pence per unit to 0 pence. The move, coupled with other provisions,

    Read More »from U.K. Sees Net Loss on Tax Revenues from North Sea Oil
  • [$$] Retailers brace for higher sales tax in Poland

    Retailers in Poland are cutting expansion plans and squeezing assets ahead of a new tax that could tip some into unprofitability. 

    Poland's retail market, led by foreign companies such as Jerónimo Martins, Carrefour and Auchan, will pay about ?360m a year more from July. 

    The tax of up to 1.4 per cent of sales revenue is designed to target larger, foreign-owned retailers as part of a push by the rightwing government to promote domestic businesses and remove "privileges" for overseas investors while funding its expanded programme of social handouts.

    "Nobody wants to operate more stores any more," said the chief executive of one of the country's largest foreign-owned supermarket chains. "Due to the tax it is all about making existing stores more efficient and increasing sales density."

    More from the Financial Times

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  • ABU DHABI and DUBAI, May 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

    • Poll is aimed at raising awareness regarding corporate UAE's attitude to rising cyber security threat

    DarkMatter, an international cyber security firm headquartered in the UAE, has found that 48% of respondents to its DarkMatter Cyber Security Poll say their organisations do not have a senior management executive assigned to oversee cyber security, while 46% of respondents said their organisations did not have a Board-level representative responsible for cyber security.

         (Photo: )

    The statistics are extracted from a poll conducted by DarkMatter during the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) 2016 held in Dubai, at which the company was the Cyber Security Innovation Partner. DarkMatter was able to poll the answers of over 200 information and communication technology (ICT) visitors present at the event, with the aim of the exercise being to identify attitudes held

    Read More »from DarkMatter Cyber Security Poll Reveals 48% of Respondents' Organisations Still Lack Key Cyber Security Personnel


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