This case highlights the demand and supply factors that caused a sharp rise in onion prices during the period of December 2010 to January 2011. These factors ranged from natural demand and supply forces to manmade forces such as government price interventions in the form of a minimum export price and ceiling price, and a supply shortage that was artificially created by hoarders in anticipation of higher prices in the ensuing period. Government price interventions prevented price mechanisms from clearing the market. Hence, alternative clearing mechanisms such as maintenance of the surplus stock or rationing were used in the onion market. The cost of such alternative clearing mechanisms, however, falls on taxpayers. The case highlights the dilemma faced by policy makers and analysts: whether the government should intervene in the market in the short run by providing subsidies when prices are exorbitantly high, or incur heavy investment expenditures to bring about long-run stability in onion prices.
La firme Pizza Volant, célèbre au Québec pour sa livraison de pizzas à domicile, avait bâti sa longue réputation sur deux principaux axes : un service de livraison novateur et une compréhension en profondeur de la culture québécoise. Cependant, les tensions sous-jacentes à ce modèle, idéal en apparence, commençaient à se faire sentir, et la cohésion de la firme à se fissurer.
In 2013, Michael Froman, the newly appointed United States Trade Representative, was responsible for leading the U.S. negotiating team in the formulation of the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). During the negotiations, Froman had to adopt a position on the sensitive issue of tariffs on imported footwear. On the one hand, Vietnam, a TPP member country, was America’s second largest foreign footwear supplier and was pushing for the elimination of tariffs. On the other hand, U.S. labour unions argued that Vietnam’s strength in the footwear industry was based on unfair subsidies and labour practices. Even among U.S. footwear companies, there was disagreement. New Balance, the only U.S. athletic footwear company that produced parts of its shoes in the U.S., was openly opposed to the elimination of tariffs, as their removal could lead to factory closures in the U.S. Nike Inc., however, manufactured all its shoes overseas and was an overt proponent of the abolition of tariffs. Froman had to carefully weigh the arguments of all the stakeholders to determine whether or not to accept the lowering of tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam and, if he accepted, whether or not to impose conditions on Vietnam.