By Peter Ward December 30, 2016
Trump to Close Foundation
Can a President of the U.S. also lead a charitable foundation? Apparently not if the foundation suffers repeated controversies over how it has collected and disbursed funds.
David Fahrenthold and Mark Berman write in The Washington Post this week that President-elect Donald Trump will be closing his foundation down. The Donald J. Trump Foundation has been under intense scrutiny all year, after a series of Fahrenthold investigations published in The Washington Post revealed that Trump had used the charity’s money to settle lawsuits for his other businesses.
Trump can’t shut it down immediately, though. New York’s attorney general has been investigating the charity since the Post reports were published and says the foundation will not be closed until after the probe is over. “The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for attorney general’s office, wrote in an email to The Post.
Earlier in the week, Trump’s second-oldest son Eric revealed he suspended his own charitable foundation after reports emerged that the foundation had offered donors special access to his father.
Streaming Saves Music Industry
The music industry enjoyed a good year in 2016, and the phenomenon that juiced profits happens to be something many once believed would cause the industry’s downfall: streaming.
Profits from music streaming gave labels their largest surge in revenue in more than a decade, according to an article published in The Guardian this week.
Warner Music, one of the world’s biggest record labels, announced revenues of $3.25 billion this year, an eight-year record. $1 billion of that revenue came from streaming, more than double the revenue from downloads and over $100 million more than its revenue from physical merchandise like CDs and records.
Similar surges in profits were logged across all the major labels. Streaming revenue in the U.S. grew by 57% to $1.6 billion in the first half of 2016.
Paul Smernicki of Restless Natives, an indie label, told The Guardian: “I thought the days of the music industry talking about anything in terms of millions were gone, but now we are looking at billions of streams on an almost daily basis. If you look at the raw numbers of people who are streaming, I think you could now argue that music has never been more popular.”
Streaming has also helped independent record labels who can put music out cheaply and make money every time songs are played, rather than every time one is bought.
Boardrooms are still male-dominated, despite recent efforts to diversify them. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that recently published research reveals that the boardrooms of 76 U.S. public companies have had no female directors for the entire past decade.
The research was carried out by Equilar on behalf of the newspaper, and tracked the 1,500 largest companies in the market index Russell 3000, to identify those that had no female board members in the past 10 years. Most of the firms are small and work in male-dominated industries like energy.
“I expected to see fewer companies with no female directors since 2006, given the focus and high level of scrutiny on gender diversity in corporate boardrooms over the past few years,’’ said Belen Gomez, Equilar’s director of research.
Over the past five years, U.S. companies with at least three female directors in 2011 have financially outperformed those that had no female board members in 2011, according to MSCI, an investment research firm.
Despite the Equilar findings, the overall trend in the Fortune 1000 has been more equitable. In 2011 the proportion of female board directors was under 15%, and by 2016 that figure has risen to 19.7%.
Will Dow Jones Hit 20,000?
Will the Dow Jones Industrial Average cross the 20,000 mark? The financial world has been waiting for weeks for the index to hit 20,000 and there were hopes it would before the end of the year, but it had not passed the mark as of lunchtime on Thursday.
Stock markets have enjoyed a post-election surge and many pundits have predicted the Dow Jones might cross 20,000 for the first time in its 120-year history. But a 113-point dive on Wednesday made reaching the landmark unlikely before the end of 2016
In November, the Dow passed the 19,000 mark for the first time ever, and has continued to climb since then. The Wall Street Journal has created a web page dedicated to answering the question – ‘Has the Dow hit 20,000 yet?’
“There is a wave of optimism that’s taken over Wall Street since the election either from the Trump trade or from a better sentiment of the prospects for U.S. economic growth in 2017,” Kevin Mahn, president and chief investment officer of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management told CNBC.
Last Week’s Top Headlines
Sears Jumps After Lining Up $200 Million to Help Stay Afloat – Nick Turner, Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Bloomberg News
Investors wipe $6.6 billion off Toshiba’s market value – Sherisse Pham, CNN Money
Amazon Is Considering Drone-Friendly Floating Warehouses – Don Reisinger, Fortune
Obama Plan Would Bar New Mining to Protect Chest-Puffing Grouse – Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News
Donald Trump Tricks The Media Into Crediting Him For Creating More U.S. Jobs – Ashley Alman, Huffington Post
Airbus forced to postpone delivery of 12 A380 jets to Emirates – Rob Davies, The Guardian
Honda to recall about 650,000 Odyssey minivans in U.S. – Bernie Woodall, Reuters
Airline passenger details easy prey for hackers, say researchers – Alex Hern, The Guardian
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