Must-Read Money Stories for Wednesday, Nov. 23

by November 23, 2016
Despite the soda industry's 2014 pledge otherwise, new data shows the decline in U.S. beverage calories has been slowing. (Image "soda pop" by Nicholas Liby via Flickr, CC by 2.0.)

Despite the soda industry’s 2014 pledge otherwise, new data shows the decline in U.S. beverage calories has been slowing. (Image “soda pop” by Nicholas Liby via Flickr, CC by 2.0.)

Trump Foundation admits to “self dealing”

In the world of charitable giving, nonprofit leaders who use their organization’s money for their own personal benefit is an ethical transgression. And in the U.S., it’s also illegal. President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation made headlines this week when it reportedly admitted to violating this so-called act of “self dealing” to the IRS, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The disclosure was made public via the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s 2015 tax forms that were recently uploaded to nonprofit-tracking site Guidestar. It’s unclear whether there was any correlation to previous accusations during his campaigning that Trump used his foundation’s money for personal and for-profit ventures.

Tyson CEO voluntarily resigns, collects severance

Donnie Smith disclosed this week that he’s decided to step down as CEO of the largest meat producer in the U.S., Tyson Foods Inc, effective Dec. 31. At that time, he’ll collect $3.53 million-worth of severance—an unusual form of pay for executives such as Smith departing voluntarily, according to Bloomberg. That’s on top of Smith’s “golden parachute” worth $24 million, roughly $8 million in retirement benefits, about $5.55 million in stock options and equity and the $5,800-hourly minimum he’ll earn as a Tyson consultant for the next three years. During an analyst call Monday, Smith said his departure was unrelated to the series of ongoing lawsuits in which Tyson and other poultry-industry giants are accused of price collusion.

Soda industry’s calorie-cutting pledge stalls

Back in 2014, concerns over climbing obesity and diabetes rates in the U.S. prompted a pledge of corrective action from the soda industry. But the campaign appears to already be losing momentum in its first two years, according to the Wall Street Journal. The initial plan—spearheaded by Coca Cola Inc., PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.—was to slash calories from American beverages by at least 20 percent over a decade while also encouraging lower-calorie drinks and more bottled water into consumers’ diets. Since then, however, the annual rate of decline in U.S. beverage calories has actually slowed and last year saw a mere 0.2 percent decrease, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Beverage Association.

U.S. home sales nearing 10-year highs

Nationwide sales of existing homes in October climbed to figures the U.S. hasn’t seen almost a decade, according to Reuters. Roughly 5.6 million existing homes changed hands last month, a 2 percent year-over-year rise to the highest figure since February 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors’ latest housing data Tuesday. The surge was noteworthy for October, when buying traditionally slows leading into the holidays, and surprised housing experts, who had conversely been expecting would-be homebuyers to be deterred by the summer’s mediocre activity and the upcoming presidential election.