Must-Read Money Stories for Friday, March 17

by March 17, 2017
Public broadcasting affiliates in smaller cities fear draconian cuts to The Corporation for Public Broadcasting could be devastating.

Public broadcasting affiliates in smaller cities fear proposed cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting could be devastating. (Radio photo via Pexels)

Public broadcasters fear cuts

Small public broadcasting stations are worried President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting could devastate the public media system, The New York Times reported. The non-profit CPB provides about $445 million in annual funding to hundreds of locally owned public radio and television stations, which helps them subscribe to National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service programming. Larger affiliates, such as WNYC in New York City, likely would withstand the cuts. It’s the smaller market players that are at risk. While funding the CPB is a very tiny part of the federal budget, it’s long drawn the ire conservative lawmakers who view public media as having a left-leaning bent.

Proposed budget’s down-the-road damage

The Los Angeles Times took a look at how Trump’s proposed budget could harm the American economy in the future. The 2018 plan released Thursday would hike defense spending by $54 billion, while cutting funding for the National Institutes of Health, and education and science programs at the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. Analysts told the LA Times significant cuts to research and development funding would hurt the nation’s competitiveness and slow growth in high-paying industries such as medical research. The federal government is the top supporter of basic research, funding about 45 percent of the national total.

Caterpillar taps former attorney general

The large equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. announced on Thursday it had hired former U.S. Attorney General William Barr to assist with an ongoing federal investigation, Reuters reported. Earlier this month, U.S. officials raided three of Caterpillar’s Illinois facilities as part of an Internal Revenue Service investigation over profit earned by the company’s Swiss parts unit, Caterpillar SARL. The IRS has demanded that the company pay $2 billion in taxes and penalties for profit earned by the Swiss business unit. Barr was the 77th attorney general in George H.W. Bush’s administration.

Trump World Tower’s Russian rescuers

Bloomberg dug into the Russians who helped buoy Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza when it was being built. When the tower began construction two decades ago, many of the priciest units were purchased by people trying to get their money out of the former Soviet Union. By 2004, sales of a third of the units on floors 76 through 83 involved people and companies tied to Russia and the former Soviet Union, Bloomberg reported. The 1990s were a tough financial period for Trump and equally challenging for wealthy Russians. The country defaulted on $40 billion in domestic debt and the ruble plummeted—leaving Russians frantic to get their money out of the country.

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