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Donald Trump, after long saying his self-financed campaign shielded him from special interests, is preparing to start raising large donations. A close analysis of Mr Trump’s finances shows that in terms of ready cash, he would be “ill-equipped“ to foot the campaign bill himself.
He has accused hedge fund managers of “getting away with murder” under US tax rules and assailed their free trade orthodoxies, but some of his targets are backing a Trump presidency on the premise that his rhetoric would give way to pragmatism in government. One of the first to sign up as a Trump fundraiser, Anthony Scaramucci, has been telling peers that Mr Trump would soon make a dramatic shift in style, while other backers said they expected the candidate to surround himself with experienced policy advisers.
The billionaire’s claim that his campaign was self-funded, was in any case a fiction, writes Sean Calarossi, because most of the cash used was money he loaned to the campaign, “meaning he can recover it later. Not to mention the fact that almost $3m of his campaign expenditures went to companies owned by or connected to Trump.
“As it turns out, Trump may even use some of the cash raised during his upcoming general election contest to pay back any of the money he did happen to spend during primary season — what a sweet deal that is.” (WSJ, FT, Politicus)
In the news
Goldman Sachs's natural gas play The Wall Street bank has quietly overtaken Chevron and ExxonMobil to become one of the biggest natural gas merchants in North America, expanding in physical commodities trading even as other banks pull back. (FT)
Norwegian fund to sue VW The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund is planning to sue Volkswagen in a rare legal action from Norway’s $850bn oil fund that underscores investor anger over the emissions scandal at the German carmaker. The oil fund, the carmaker’s fourth-largest shareholder, told the Financial Times that it would take legal action against VW in German courts by seeking to join one of the class-action suits being prepared there. (FT)
Nato rapid unit ‘vulnerable’ The alliance’s new “spearhead” rapid reaction force could not be deployed in eastern Europe if there was a war with Russia, according to the alliance’s own military assessments. The “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force”, the 5,000-man centrepiece of the 2014 Nato summit and the package of measures it produced to counter Russian aggression, would be too vulnerable during its deployment phase to be used in Poland or the Baltic states, according to two senior Nato generals with close knowledge of the alliance’s logistical and military planning. (FT)
A scare at Old Trafford A suspect package that triggered the evacuation of Old Trafford and the scrapping of a football match was later found to be a “training device” for bomb-search dogs. About 75,000 people were at the game between Manchester United and Bournemouth in what was to have been the last round of the Premier League season when it was abandoned just after the scheduled kick-off. (FT)
French ex-ministers denounce sexism A group of 17 former French ministers, including IMF chief Christine Lagarde, have denounced the systemic sexism and sexual harassment in society, calling for an end to impunity for offenders. Five years after former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York on sex abuse charges, they called for an end to sexual harassment in a letter published in Le Journal du Dimanche. “This scourge is not unique to our universe, far from it, but the world of politics must serve as an example,” began the letter. (france24)
Mandela arrest came from CIA tip Nelson Mandela’s arrest in 1962 came as a result of a tip-off from an agent of the US Central Intelligence Agency, according to an interview with a former American agent in South Africa. (BBC)
It's a big day for
Migrants The European Commission will present its third report on efforts to deal with the refugee crisis, as fresh data show that the number of migrants being sent back to Turkey from Greece has fallen well short of EU expectations. (FT)
Food for thought
Financial engineering is ‘destroying value’ The business of corporate America is no longer business — it is finance, writes Rana Faroohar. Airlines, for instance, often make more money from hedging on oil prices than on selling seats — even though it undermines their core business by increasing commodities volatility, and bad bets can leave them with millions of dollars in sudden losses. All this is bad for the real economy: academic research shows that not only has finance become an obstacle to growth, but “financial engineering is destroying long-term value within companies”. (FT)
Brazil: Tales of agony A nation that only a few years ago boasted of its rising economic status in the world is suffering a bewildering reversal of fortune. Joe Leahy and Samantha Pearson report on how the downturn is affecting everyday Brazilians. (FT)
The spy who vanished In 2007, CIA consultant Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran while trying to recruit a fugitive assassin. Friends and former colleagues wonder why more hasn’t been done to find him. (NYT)
Xi is the new Mao The blossoming personality cult around Chinese President Xi Jinping is casting a shadow over the country's social and economic activities, invoking memories of the decade-long chaos under Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution that began 50 years ago. (NAR)
Double cross Meet Maksym Igor Popov, the Ukrainian hacker who spent years raiding and extorting US companies, only to turn FBI informant. The trouble is, he never really gave up his black hat. (Wired)
Video of the day
Looking at the week ahead Pressure will be on Burberry as the luxury group delivers results following a sales slowdown. G7 finance ministers will convene in Japan amid a backdrop of sluggish global growth, and US inflation data should provide clues as to the Fed’s next move. (FT)