Page 8 - Business Facts

Ben & Jerry's policy used to be that no employee could make more than 5x than the lowest paid worker!


Ben & Jerry's has been making delicious ice cream treats since 1978. The business started off in a small town in Vermont, and has grown to be a nation wide empire of frozen deliciousness.

During the 1980's, this small town ice cream maker had a rule that said that no employee, including the CEO, could make more than 5 times what the lowest paid worker was making. Essentially, this capped the CEO's salary at $81,000 a year.

This policy lasted until 1994, when one of the founders of Ben & Jerry's, Ben Cohen, retired from the company and the company decided it needed to offer higher salaries in order to acquire an outside business man as the new head of the company!

Before 1990, the average worker to CEO pay ratios were less than 1 to 100. By 2000, these ratios had increased to 1 to 500 before being lowered in 2003 to 1 to 300.

This means that today, the average CEO is paid 300 times more than the lowest paid position in the company!

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After an economic crisis, a therapist created a bank where people exchanged good deeds!


The Bank of Happiness was founded in Estonia is a virtual bank where the transactions don't involve money, but rather good deeds.

The first transaction recorded in the bank's records was that of a man receiving a haircut from a total stranger, for free!

In order to become an official member of the bank, an Estonian citizen must fill out a report online, stating what types of things that they can do for others (bag groceries, walk dogs, fix cars).

Next, the applicant, must explain what types of things that they would like to be done for them!

The bank was first created as a result of Estonia suffering an economic crisis, and being named in the bottom 30 nations ranked by 'happiness'.

Tiina Urm, the 26-year-old that is partially responsible for thinking up the idea says "At the moment we are glued to other people only through money. But that’s not how we evolved as a society.

We used to work as a team.” Wouldn't it be nice if that way of thinking was spread all around the world?

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Chicken Nuggets are only half chicken!


Researchers from Mississippi examined two nuggets from two national fast food chains and found that they were only 50% and 40% chicken meat. What's in the other half?

Are you sure you want to know? You get one more shot. Ok, here's the rest of the ingredients: Fat, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage and bone pieces.

Someone who works in the fast food industry faulted the small sample size that they used, although others say it's OK because those giant chains have big pushes towards uniformity.

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Some awesome lists!

The Black Market is the world's 2nd largest and fastest growing economy!


The fact that the shadow economy, or the black market or underground economy, is on the rise in the middle of a global financial crisis should be no surprise to economists.

A recent post on Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics blogdiscussed the growth of the shadow economy across the world. The post claims that the shadow economy is the second largest in the world!

It is expected that over 10 trillion dollars circulate through the black market, which can be found anywhere from flea markets, roadside farm stands, swap meets and even the darkest allies around town. If governments around the World don’t do anything soon the black market might even become the world’s strongest economy soon!

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SONY's most successful business is selling insurance!


The first thing you think of when you hear the word SONY is probably not financial services. They make the Walkman, the Playstation, TVs. You might even think of them as a movie studio.

However, not only do they sell insurance, it's also their most profitable division. They mostly operate in Japan and it represents about $9.07 billion in annual profit or just about 63% of their total profit.

The most recognizable part of the business, electronics, is actually not doing so well. Over the last ten years it's lost $8.5 billion and some investors are even asking for SONY to leave that behind.

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