Must Read Money Stories for Monday, Aug. 1

by August 1, 2016

Must Read Money Stories

Kochs’ November game-plan.

Brothers Charles and David Koch gathered with 400 wealthy conservative donors in Colorado Springs over the weekend to discuss their game plan for the November general election. None of the planning involves Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In two articles here and here, Wall Street Journal reporters who attended the event explain why the Koch brothers didn’t invite GOP nominee Trump, who campaigned there Friday. The coverage also explains why they discouraged their donor network from making political contributions to help his campaign or attack his Democratic opponent. Instead, they’re shifting focus on maintaining Republican control of the U.S. Senate and planning to distance themselves from politics overall.

 

GMO labeling becomes law.

Late last week President Barack Obama signed a controversial new law requiring labels on food packaging identifying when genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are among the ingredients, the Associated Press reports. It’s the first-ever nationwide GMO-labeling requirement and comes on the heels of the first state law in Vermont that the state implemented earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has two years to draft the rules, at which time Vermont’s law and its tougher provisions will be pre-empted.

 

Flying to Cuba.

Low-cost carrier JetBlue announced late last week that it’s on track to begin flights to Cuba on Aug. 31–potentially making it the first U.S. commercial airline to touch down on the island country in more than half a century, according to the Miami Herald. Federal transportation officials gave six U.S. airlines the green light on Cuba travel in June and JetBlue’s August start-date, which is still awaiting Cuban government approval, is the earliest timeline announced by any carrier so far. It’s also the cheapest: $99 one-way or $210 round-trip.

 

Facebook vs. IRS.

Uncle Sam came knocking on Facebook’s door last week with a “deficiency” notice. The note outlined that the social media giant has racked up roughly $5 billion in back taxes–a tab that could have a “material adverse impact” on Facebook’s financials, according to the Washington Post.  The article cited the company’s recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The tax bill, which the company plans to fight, dates back to 2010 when Facebook moved many of its overseas “intangible” assets to its holding company in Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is about a third lower than the U.S.’s 35 percent.