Must-Read Money Stories for Wednesday, Nov. 9

by November 9, 2016
Loyal consumers of Toblerone have been outraged by the altered shape of the iconic triangular chocolate bar. ("Toblerone" imagine via tony hidalgo on flickr, CC by 2.0.)

Loyal consumers of Toblerone have been outraged by the altered shape of the iconic triangular chocolate bar. (“Toblerone” imagine via tony hidalgo on flickr, CC by 2.0.)

Ireland, EU go to court over Apple

After a three-year investigation, Apple Inc. was hit with a whopping $14.4 billion, or 13 billion euro, bill in back taxes this summer by the European Union, which subsequently ordered Ireland—where the tech giant’s European operations are based—to recoup the money. Ireland, however, has so far refused the EU’s order, the largest-ever such demand for state-aid payback. On Tuesday, Ireland dug its heels in further when Finance Minister Michael Noonan signaled his intentions to appeal the EU’s order in court—a process that Bloomberg reports will likely stretch over several years and ignite controversial debates about foreign investments and economic partnerships between the U.S. and the E.U.

Supreme Court takes up 2008 housing crisis

On Tuesday, as American voters were turning their focus on the future, the Supreme Court began delving into their recent past, blemished still by the Great Recession. The nation’s highest court is specifically looking at the 2008 housing crisis in two cases being brought by the city of Miami, according to NPR. Miami, where the housing market crashed especially hard, is seeking the court’s permission to sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America on grounds that they gave more expensive mortgages to to minority borrowers than white households, plus harsher foreclosure terms. That’s “precisely,” as Miami’s court brief states, the kind of discrimination that prompted the creation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which the city alleges the banks violated.

Americans quit jobs in soaring numbers

The U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday that roughly 3.1 million Americans quit their jobs in September—the largest monthly such figure in more than 15 years. What that signals is actually a good thing, at least for workers. According to USA Today, large numbers of resignations are signs that the workforce is tipping in workers’ favor in terms of job opportunities and wages. The latter has been particularly evident as of late, with new federal data last week showing a 2.8 percent jump in annual wage gains in October—marking a seven-year high.

Outrage over Toblerone’s altered shape

Toblerone—the Swiss chocolate bar signified by its bite-size triangle shapes—is an iconic consumer products with a fiercely loyal fan base. So when Toblerone maker Mondelez International’s recently announced on Facebook that it was making some changes to the aforementioned triangles, it didn’t go over so well. The chocolate bar’s lighter weight, slimmer peaks and wider valleys “felt treasonous to the brand’s loyal consumers,” according to the New York Times. The changes, Mondelez explained, were prompted by rising prices of ingredients. So instead of raising Toblerone retail prices, a smaller, lighter chocolate bar is now wrapped in the same packaging as before—a common industry strategy, Mondelez said, that consumers rarely notice.