Posts by Rick Newman

  • How a white supremacist tapped into a Jewish fortune

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 23 hrs ago

    Editor's note:This story contains racially charged language some readers are likely to find offensive.

    As president of a white nationalist group linked with the murders of nine churchgoers in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, Earl P. Holt III is straddling the uneasy boundary between free speech and racial hatred. Once known only to watchdog groups that monitor extremist groups, Holt has suddenly become notorious for racial slurs splattered across the Internet and for writings on his group's web site that supposedly inspired Dylann Roof, the alleged Charleston shooter, to carry out a massacre. Holt has become so toxic that Republican politicians who accepted campaign donations from him have returned the money or given it to charity.

    Earl Holt may now be extremely wealthy, too, courtesy of Irving Falk’s industriousness. The Dylann Roof connection

    While building his business, Falk married, had a son and got divorced. Around 1977 he got married for a second time. The bride was Katherine Ann Cook, who had one son herself. She became Katherine Falk.

  • Here’s where all the presidential candidates get their campaign money

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    There will probably be more money flowing into the 2016 presidential race than in any election in U.S. history. The most important new trend is the hundreds of millions flowing into “super PACs” and other outside spending groups, which can accept unlimited amounts from rich donors and spend it on ads and other efforts to support favored candidates or help defeat their opponents. The gusher of political money flowing from “economic elites” may even endanger democracy itself, according to a recent study by two leading academics, since it concentrates political influence among a small number of billionaires while disenfranchising typical voters.

    With crony capitalism and income inequality likely to be prominent issues in the election, Yahoo Finance will track the big donors funding each candidate, and why they might be doing that. Below is our list of who’s donating to each candidate so far, with the candidates grouped by party and listed according to their fundraising prospects. (Click on each name for a more complete funding profile):

    Prominent donors: Unions

     

     

  • Here’s where Chris Christie gets his campaign money

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Political strategists wonder why New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to compete with more than a dozen other Republicans for the 2016 presidential nomination, given that home-state scandals have tarnished his reputation and deflated his approval ratings. Here’s one possible answer: Smart money is behind him.

    As the ambitious Republican governor of a state across the river from Wall Street, Christie has become well-acquainted with some of the world’s richest money movers. With New York and Connecticut in Democratic hands, Christie is the go-to governor for Republican financiers seeking a voice in national politics. Many of them urged Christie to run for president in 2012, when he declined, choosing instead to bide his time and run for a second term as New Jersey governor. By that logic, 2016 looked like the year the stars might align for Christie.

    [See where all the presidential candidates get their campaign money.]

  • Obamacare still faces these big challenges

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    The Affordable Care Act “is here to stay,” as President Obama said following the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell that upheld the law in full. The justices could have ruled that federal subisidies—integral to the functioning of the law—were invalid in 34 states that rely on the federal healthcare exchange rather than running one of their own. Instead, the court ratified the status quo, which means nothing changes.

    But the controversial law still faces a bumpy future. Here are five challenges the ACA will face during the next several years:

    The ACA includes several long-term provisions meant to explore ways to lower costs, but they may not be nearly enough to offset other trends pushing costs up, such as the retirement of the baby boomers and the development of expensive new drugs. If Congress ever gets serious about improving the ACA rather that faux-repealing it, cost will be the thing to focus on.

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

  • Here's where Bobby Jindal gets his campaign money

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    But wait—there’s more! More Republican candidates, that is. Even though there are already 12 Republicans running for the 2016 presidential nomination, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal decided one more can’t hurt, so he jumped into the race on June 24, promoting himself as " the youngest candidate with the longest resume." There’s more money than ever flowing into political campaigns these days, but even so, the long parade of Republican candidates could max out donors and leave marginal candidates such as Jindal severely underfunded. Though Rush Limbaugh once called him “the next Ronald Reagan,” the 44-year-old Indian American has struggled of late, with his home-state popularity plunging amid endless budget battles and the impression that his ambition lies outside Louisiana. Jindal enters the presidential race with a funding deficit that seems likely to get worse. He has no billionaire sugar daddy, as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio do, and conservative groups that supported him as a governor may place their bets on other candidates now that the prize is the White House. Plus, Jindal’s super PAC, Believe Again, seems to have barely gotten started raising money, leaving him short of the crucial outside funding often used to run ads and attack opponents. [Yahoo Finance exclusive: See where all the presidential candidates are getting their campaign money.] Still, Jindal did raise a respectable $40 million or so in four successful elections, two for the House of Representatives followed by two for governor. Here are a few big donors from past campaigns he’ll likely be hitting up for his presidential bid. The family of Bobby Jack Perry. The Texas real-estate honcho and his wife Doylene gave at least $400,000 to the Louisiana Republican Party in 2007 and 2011, when the party was Jindal’s biggest campaign contributor, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Bobby Jack died in 2013 but Doylene was an active donor as recently as last fall. Jack Lawton, Jr. and family. The Lawtons operate a 20,000-acre ranch near Lake Charles, in southwestern Louisiana, and also have interests in real estate and oil and gas. Jack Lawton’s eponymous firm has been Jindal’s biggest donor, after the state Republican party, donating $45,000 over the years. Lawton family members have given Jindal another $50,000, while donating at least $120,000 to the state GOP. In 2011, Jindal appointed Lawton to the board of Louisiana State University, where Lawton played cornerback in the 1970s. Club for Growth. The conservative interest group was Jindal’s biggest donor during two terms in the House of Representatives, from 2003 to 2007, contributing $50,900, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. There are no records of the group donating to Jindal as governor, but its backing during his years as a legislator shows Jindal’s appeal to the rightward flank of the GOP. The oil and gas industry. Not surprisingly, firms and individuals in this key sector of Louisiana’s economy have given Jindal at least $1.24 million as governor, topping donations from any other sector. Nursing homes. Jindal has privatized much of Louisiana’s Medicaid program and slashed state spending on healthcare—except for nursing homes, which have enjoyed relatively stable funding. That has raised eyebrows because nursing homes, usually uncontroversial, have become one of Jindal’s largest funding sources, offering up at least $380,000 during his tenure as governor. One nursing home operator, Magnolia Management, has been Jindal’s third-largest donor, with contributions of at least $37,500, while the firm’s president, Elton Beebe, and his wife Carol have given another $20,000. If Jindal gains traction in the presidential race, you might hear more about that. On the other hand, you may not.

  • These stocks will move when the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    If the Supreme Court overturns a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, political turmoil will grip Washington. At least one sector of the financial markets could quake as well.

    The healthcare industry has been a big beneficiary of Obamacare, as the ACA is known, since the law has extended healthcare coverage to more than 16 million Americans who didn’t have coverage before. For hospitals, insurance companies, drugmakers and pharmacies, those are new customers with money to spend—in many instances backed by subsidies provided by the government.

    The stocks to watch are in four healthcare subsectors:

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    Pharmacies are another big component of Motif’s Obamacare basket of stocks, with CVS Caremark (CVS) and Express Scripts (ESRX) the biggest players. Those stocks have also outperformed the broader market during the last several years, suggesting they, too, could be knocked lower by an adverse Supreme Court ruling.

  • Retailers pull Confederate flags--after sales soar

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    Alotta Signs of Sparks, Nev., typically sells about five Confederate flags per week. On Monday, however, 46 orders came in. Then South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for removing the stars and bars from her state's capitol grounds. The next morning, Alotta Signs logged 200 orders for Confederate flags, most of them through Amazon (AMZN). “We don’t even have the lowest price,” says Dave Pearson, owner and president of the company. “It’s nuts.”

    Sellers on eBay (EBAY) experienced a similar surge in interest. At about 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, a confederate flag listed by a seller named superqualityflags showed 149 sold in the last 24 hours. By 11 a.m., 201 had been sold in the last 24 hours.

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    “Wrap yourself in it first,” another user replied.

  • Why Pope Francis wants you to turn off the lights

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 13 days ago

    For as popular as he is, Pope Francis is no fan of free-market capitalism. He blames the profit motive for degrading human dignity, faults financial speculation for many of the world’s biggest problems and sounds downright socialist when he calls for “a better distribution of wealth.”

    The anti-capitalist tone of the Pope’s environmental encyclical, “On Care for our Common Home,” has put many westerners on the defensive. Without coming right out and saying so, the pope basically argues that an orgy of overconsumption by greedy westerners imperils the planet.

    “A minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized,” he writes. “The planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption.”

    [Related: Why billionaires should listen to Pope Francis.]

  • How Jeb Bush escaped the Florida housing meltdown

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 14 days ago

    Jeb Bush hasn’t held office for eight years, leading some analysts to argue that he’s rusty at the rough art of politics. But in one important way, he left office at just the right time and stayed out of public life just long enough.

    Bush served two terms as governor of Florida as a bubble economy grew to unsustainable proportions in one of the most bubbly states in the nation. Bush was governor from 1999 to 2007, a period that included the modest 2001 recession and a decent recovery—so far, so good—but was then followed by the biggest housing bubble in perhaps 100 years. Florida was one of the four “sand states” (along with southern California, Arizona and Nevada) where the damage was greatest when the bubble burst. But Bush was gone by then, leaving others to deal with the rubble.

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    Real GDP

    Jobs

    Home prices

    Population

    Rick Newman’s latest book is Liberty for All: A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial and Political Freedom. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman .

  • Donald Trump may lack the cash to run for president

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 16 days ago

    He’s very rich. Donald Trump wants to make sure you know that. But that doesn’t mean he’s got enough money to run a competitive presidential campaign over the next 17 months.

    Trump has said many times in the past that he’s considering running for office, but has never actually done it until now. " Politicians are all talk, no action," he thundered while declaring his candidacy at Trump Tower in New York City. "Nothing's gonna get done. W e need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal." (For those who may not recall, that was Trump's 1987 bestseller.)

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    Rick Newman’s latest book is Liberty for All: A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial and Political Freedom. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman .