Must Read Money Stories for Friday, March 25

by March 25, 2016


Trump’s investments. Donald Trump has frequently touted his business success on the campaign trail. But a Reuters examination found that 18 out of 21 hedge funds and mutual funds in Trump’s investment portfolio lost money in 2015. Seventeen of those funds are down this year, Lawrence Delevingne of Reuters reported. Trump has said he invested in the funds several years ago and they have performed well over time.  

Georgia boycott? Disney and the NFL are just two organizations that have threatened to boycott Georgia if Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signs into law a bill that would allow businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian couples. Executives cited religious principles. MSNBC writer Adam Howard reported the bill becoming law might jeopardize Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl bid. Film giant Disney also has threatened to take its business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law, a company spokesman said. Disney has made several hit Marvel movies in the Atlanta area. Deal has until May 3 to act on the bill.

Drug war flop. The Economist reports on a new collection of essays, “Ending the War on Drugs,” by the former presidents of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria and Switzerland, as well as a former deputy prime minister of Great Britain. Business mogul Richard Branson and financier George Soros also weighed in. This diverse group of former leaders all say the drug war has failed, with little to show for all the money and violence. The missive argues that the war has failed to stop people from taking drugs. Instead, they say, the war to stop drugs has driven up the cost of narcotics to the point that drugs generate more than $300 billion a year for dealers and drug traffickers.

Anti-free riders. President Obama complained to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg about European countries that do not pay their “fair share” in global affairs. Obama has said he is on an “anti-free rider campaign” to encourage other countries to aid the U.S. abroad in anti-terrorism and military affairs. Simond De Galbert reported on the odd timing of Obama’s comments given the recent terrorism attacks in Brussels and the daunting challenge to fight terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic. But defense-spending cuts have stopped in Europe, and Europeans have supported America in many recent military interventions, including the Balkans, the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Donald Trump Sr. at #FITN in Nashua, NH” by flickr user “Michael Vadon” CC license cc by-NC 2.0