Posts by Rick Newman

  • Hillary Clinton’s real Wall Street problem: She could seriously use the money

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    She’s not in the bankers’ back pockets. No, siree. Hillary Clinton may have received millions of dollars from Wall Street—in both personal income and campaign contributions—but she can ditch those well-heeled friends at a moment’s notice.

    To prove it, she has postponed (but not canceled) two fundraisers with Big Finance, one with the huge investing firm BlackRock and the other with an affiliate of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old outfit. This comes amid Clinton’s unconvincing answers when pressed on her apparent coziness with banks and financial firms. When CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked Clinton recently why she accepted $675,000 from Goldman Sachs for giving a grand total of three speeches, she stammered and finally said, “That’s what they offered,” as if she would have taken 25 bucks and a free sandwich, if that’s all Goldman were able to afford.

  • Goldman Sachs helped Hillary Clinton get rich? So what

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    In April of 2014, Hillary Clinton earned $225,500 for giving a speech to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries in Las Vegas. Scandalous? Hardly. Clinton was a private citizen at the time, earning every dollar she could as one of the most popular paid speakers in the world. Her talk to the recyclers generated absolutely no hint of controversy.

    A few of Clinton’s other speeches have come back to haunt her, however. Between 2013 and 2015, Clinton earned $3.7 million from 16 speeches she gave to Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America. Critics claim those lavish payouts show that big banks have Clinton in their back pockets, a claim Clinton has struggled to refute. When CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked about three speeches to Goldman Sachs in 2013 that earned her $675,000, Clinton waffled and stoked the controversy instead of quelling it. (A list of all paid speeches Hillary Clinton gave during the last three years is at the bottom of this story.)


    Hillary Clinton's paid speeches between 2013 and 2015

  • To financial markets, the 2016 election will barely matter

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    It will be the biggest show of the year. And on Wall Street, it may signify nothing at all.

    The 2016 presidential election is already filled with drama and portent. Will Trump fade or continue to steal the show? Will Sanders the socialist disrupt the relentless Clinton machine? Will rich donors buy the next president? Will the Beltway power base shift or remain intact?

    For some segments of the population—such as immigrants or Obamacare enrollees—the outcome of this year’s election could be quite important. But don’t expect a swing in the economy or the financial markets based on whether a Republican or Democrat is the next occupant of the White House. “Meaningful reform is dependent on political consensus and political courage, which will likely remain in short supply, whatever the outcome of the 2016 election," investing firm BlackRock concludes in a recent analysis.

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

  • Martin Shkreli is actually a great guy

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    The media has taken down another upstanding citizen.

    Martin Shkreli, unfairly slandered as “the most hated man in America,” is on a sort of redemption tour leading up to his forthcoming trial for federal securities fraud charges. Shkreli, to refresh your outrage, is the former CEO of drug firm Turing Pharmaceuticals, which earlier this year tried to help some cancer and HIV patients by raising the price of a drug they might need by 5,000%. Critics howled, but Shkreli straightened them out by explaining that the move was “altruistic.”

    Honestly the @breakfastclubam interview of @MartinShkreli showed me he actually ISN'T a douche. At all.

  • Alphabet has dethroned Apple, but maybe not for long

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    Eras change slowly—then seemingly all at once. So now that Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) has displaced Apple (AAPL) as the nation’s most valuable company, it’s tempting to declare the reign of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook officially over.

    Not likely. A review of the most valuable companies of the last 50 years shows a lot of jockeying for the top spot, with some companies losing the mantle only to regain it a year or two later. The winds of change invariably sweep some companies aside for good, but well-run businesses also adapt and regain their footing. Here’s the market capitalization of the nation’s most valuable company each year since 1968:

    Exxon became a huge energy conglomerate in the 1980s, merging with Mobil in 1999 to become a true giant, Exxon Mobil (XOM). With revenue more volatile than most companies its size, Exxon’s value soared during oil booms and fell during busts.

  • Trump’s campaign is getting the most bang for the buck

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    Here’s the value of being a master showman running for president: Many millions of dollars.

    Donald Trump is trouncing the competition in terms of getting the best return on the money he’s spending as a presidential candidate, according to a new Yahoo Finance analysis of campaign spending data. Worst among the major candidates: Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush. With primary elections now underway, the field is likely to narrow quickly, and the candidates running the most efficient campaigns will reap a distinct advantage.

    To determine return on investment, or ROI, for each candidate, Yahoo Finance measured the amount spent by each campaign during the last three months of 2015 against the results of the most recent Democratic and Republican polls. In essence, we determined how much money each candidate spent for each percentage point’s worth of poll standings. Here are the results:

    (We used results of the ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted Jan. 26 and 27, 2016. This was a national poll rather than one focused on a single early-voting state such as Iowa or New Hampshire.)

  • Why Republicans envy Bernie Sanders

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    Capitalists don’t normally envy socialists, but the 2016 presidential election has upset a lot of conventional wisdom. Here’s one more surprise: Left-wing candidate Bernie Sanders has raised more money than every single Republican in the race.

    The candidates just submitted their year-end fundraising reports for 2015, and Democrat Sanders raised a total of $73 million. That trailed his rival Hillary Clinton, who pulled in $109 million. But the closest Republican was Ben Carson, with a fundraising haul of $54 million. Here’s how all the candidates fared:

    These totals represent donations to each individual campaign, where the limit is $2,700 per person. They don’t include the big-money groups known as super PACs, which can accept unlimited amounts of money from rich donors. Some candidates, such as Jeb Bush, have raised far more money for their super PACs than for their campaigns. Super PACS can spend money on behalf of a chosen candidate by running ads, making phone calls and doing other types of electioneering. The campaigns, by contrast, fund the candidate’s staff and travel, plus whatever else there’s money for.

  • Trump's biggest challenge in early voting states: Prosperity

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    The prevailing theme of the 2016 election, so far, has been the appeal of rogue candidates and the defenestration of establishment politicians. Once the voting actually starts, however, the angry rumbling might settle down.

    Voters will finally head to the polls for primary elections in Iowa on Feb. 1 and in New Hampshire on Feb. 9. The nation’s first two primaries are always make-or-break events for candidates on the edge, which this year includes Democrat Martin O’Malley and Republicans Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and a few others. A poor showing in one or both states will raise doubts about electability and prompt donors to throw in the towel, except for the most dogged and best-funded candidates.

    Here are some key economic indicators for Iowa and New Hampshire, plus South Carolina, which will hold the third Republican primary on Feb. 20, and the third Democratic contest on Feb. 27:

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

  • Fox News will profit from the debate showdown with Trump

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    Presidential bomb-thrower Donald Trump thinks he’s hitting Fox News where it counts—in the wallet—by skipping tonight’s seventh Republican presidential debate.

    That’s doubtful. Even if ratings for the Trumpless debate slump, as Trump insists they will, Fox sold all its advertising time for the event while Trump was still on the agenda. Those rates (which Fox doesn’t disclose) were based on advertiser demand and the ratings of prior debates, not on developments that occurred 48 hours before showtime. "No rates have changed," Fox said in a statement. "There are no advertisers who backed out."

    Prior debates have been ratings blockbusters, allowing the networks hosting them to charge as much as 40 times their advertising rates for normal programming. Here’s a tally of ratings for the debates so far:

    The "debate" tonight will be a total disaster - low ratings with advertisers and advertising rates dropping like a rock. I hate to see this.

    On top of that, some people who didn’t even know a debate was scheduled for tonight now do.

  • This presidential candidate hopes to cash in on the pot boom

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    Gary Johnson has a backup plan. If the Libertarian candidate for president doesn’t win the White House in 2016, he hopes to profit handsomely from a timely investment in the marijuana business. In fact, he might enjoy that profit even if he does win the White House.

    Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico (from 1995 to 2003) who ran for president as the Libertarian candidate in 2012. He’s also a successful businessman who built one of the largest construction firms in his state before running for governor. If he wins his party’s nomination at a convention in May, he’ll mostly likely appear as a third-party presidential candidate in all 50 states.

    Does Johnson inhale himself? “I occasionally partake,” he says. “We’ve got all sorts of politicians who use marijuana and don’t admit to it. I’m the only one who’s going to say what I just said.”

    [Read the case for one more presidential candidate.]