By Peter Ward November 4, 2016
Trump Email Scandals
It’s less than a week until the U.S. chooses its next President, and coverage, even business news, is focused on the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Newsweek broke an investigative story this week, revealing how Trump’s companies have been systematically deleting emails for years, often in defiance of court orders.
The news bears significant relevance during this election cycle as Trump has repeatedly condemned Clinton for deleting more than 30,000 emails from her server while she was Secretary of State.
Newsweek discovered Trump’s companies’ practices of destroying or hiding emails, digital records and paper documents, after reviewing thousands of pages of court filings.
The tactic has enraged lawyers, judges, and citizens involved in litigation with Trump, according to the article. By hiding and deleting documents, Trump and his companies have placed numerous hurdles in the way of lawsuits, making them drag on for years and forcing opponents to spend huge sums of money to attempt to track them down.
“This review of Trump’s many decades of abusing the judicial system, ignoring judges, disregarding rules, destroying documents and lying about it is not simply a sordid history lesson. Rather, it helps explain his behavior since he declared his candidacy. He promised to turn over his tax returns and his health records—just as he promised to comply with document discovery requirements in so many lawsuits—then reneged,” the article states.
Other Measures on the Ballot
While everyone is focused on the two Presidential candidates, voters will also be making other decisions across the country. An interactive article by Bloomberg published on Wednesday outlined the other issues on the ballot this November.
In total, 35 states and Washington D.C. are voting on 163 ballot measures this year, and many of the issues will affect the business world greatly. The three most contentious matters for voters are the legalization of marijuana, gun control and minimum wages.
Voters in Arizona, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts will decide if they will legalize recreational marijuana use. California will likely pass legislation to legalize it, but a bill in Arizona seems unlikely to receive enough support to pass. A map and a timeline shows the evolution of marijuana laws in the country and which states have votes planned either this year or in the future.
Four states will vote on raising the minimum wage: Maine, Arizona, Colorado, and Washington could phase in a minimum wage of $12 by 2020. Meanwhile in South Dakota, voters will decide on a measure to create a second minimum wage for teenagers, with the intent of protecting starter jobs for young people.
Eight states and Washington D.C. will vote on required background checks for all gun purchases. Federal law currently requires checks only for guns bought by licensed dealers.
Last Book Store in The Bronx to Close
The Bronx, the poorest of Manhattan’s five boroughs, will soon lose it’s only general interest book store when Barnes & Noble closes in a few months. In a story published on Wednesday, The New York Times covered the repercussions for residents.
Two years ago, the Barnes & Noble nearly shut down when the landlord attempted to raise the rent. Following public outcry, elected officials intervened in rent negotiations, and the store, which opened in the Bronx in 1999, was able to keep its doors open. This time around, rent increases were allowed to go through, and the store has decided to close shop in January. A Saks Off 5th store will be opened in its place.
Residents interviewed by the Times were understandably disappointed by the news. “We have enough clothing stores,” Christina Tipiani, 23, who was browsing the store with her 3-year-old daughter, told the newspaper. “What do you want to teach your children? I want to teach my child actual values.”
The Bronx is the poorest county in New York state and one of the poorest in the whole country. Retailers are often hesitant to open stores there. In October, a consortium of Bronx politicians sent a letter to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, asking why the Bronx is the only one of New York City’s five boroughs without an Apple store.
Facebook Hurting Traditional Media
Facebook’s profits nearly tripled in the third quarter, while traditional media companies continued to lay off staff.
News groups including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail all announced cutbacks in recent weeks. One reason for the new cutbacks is that Facebook is taking a gigantic share of the online advertising market. The company’s advertising revenue increased 59% year-on-year and net income rose to $2.38 billion from $896 million a year earlier.
The company’s user base has climbed to 1.79 billion monthly active users and 1.18 billion who log in every day.
Facebook’s strong quarter is in part a product of the contentious U.S. election, according to the company. “Facebook is the new town hall and we are proud of the role that we’ve played in increasing civic engagement,” chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg told investors.”
Facebook does expect growth in advertising revenue to slow in the future, however. “Over the past two years we have averaged about 50 percent revenue growth in advertising. Ad load has been one of the three primary factors fueling that growth,” CFO Dave Wehner said on Wednesday’s earnings call. “With a much smaller contribution from this factor going forward, we expect to see ad revenue growth rates come down meaningfully.”
This Week’s Top Headlines
Sudden prospect of Trump victory sends shiver through markets – Larry Elliott, The Guardian
French Prosecutors Said to Recommend HSBC Face Trial in Tax Case – Gaspard Sebag, Bloomberg News
BoE ditches rate cut signal after Brexit hit to sterling – David Milliken, William Schomberg, Reuters
Reebok plans a big move — and some job cuts – Jon Chesto, Boston Globe
Google Hits Back at EU Over Antitrust Charges – Natalia Drozdiak, Sam Schechner, The Wall Street Journal
Deutsche Bank’s sale of stake in Hua Xia wins approval – James Shotter, Financial Times
Print newspapers are dying faster than you think – Timothy B. Lee, Vox
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