Saturday 17 February 2018

Money talks in US politics

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush
Niamh Townsend Dell

The Punt

Important people at Goldman Sachs want Jeb Bush to be the next US president. And they're giving him a lot of money to make it happen.

More than 50 executives and employees gave the Republican more than $144,000 in the second quarter, with most of them sending $2,700, the maximum allowed, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

And it's not just because they like his policies. The company that was the next-best source of money for the former Florida governor, Neuberger Berman, is run by George Walker, Bush's second cousin.

Employees at the money manager gave more than $63,000. It once was part of Lehman Brothers, where Bush was an adviser.

In fairness, Goldman Sachs isn't the only Wall Street firm with employees hoping to see a third Bush in the White House. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase were also among the top sources of donations.

Goldman Sachs employees sent more to Bush than to Hillary Clinton, who got less than $60,000. Even so, she received more than him from donors at JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, where her former State Department deputy, Tom Nides, is vice chairman.

He's among bundlers who helped her raise at least $100,000.

No Goldman Sachs employees were listed as donors during the second quarter to Vermont's Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic senator has called for breaking up the biggest banks.

Money is everything in politics.

Mealy-mouthed McMinions

McDonald's has found itself in a rather odd position as it tries to stave off some bad PR about one of its Happy Meal toys. Or, to be more precise, what customers believe the toys are saying.

The global fast-food chain is standing by its latest children's giveaway, denying that its Minions are the foul-mouthed playthings that some of its fast-food customers say they are. The restaurant chain on July 3 introduced a Happy Meal line of the toys inspired by the animated film 'Minions', a prequel to the 'Despicable Me' movies that feature the small, yellow, gibberish-talking characters. In videos posted online, some customers said they heard a curse when, by tapping one of the tiny plastic caveman characters against a hard surface, they activated its voice.

Some commenters wrote they heard the words: "What the f***".

"To me, it sure doesn't sound like anything a kid should be hearing," one commenter said on a YouTube video post.

McDonald's denied the toys were using bad language. Customers may feel management are just spouting gibberish themselves.

One Dell of a manager

Dell Ireland announced last week that it had appointed a new general manager. Niamh Townsend will be responsible for driving  business on the island. This involves delivering a wide range of services, solutions and products to a diverse range of customers in the public and private sector.

She is also a member of the Ireland Leadership Forum, which provides strategic direction and governance to Dell's sites in Cork, Limerick and Dublin.

Townsend, below, joined Dell in 2010 where she took up the role as a technical sales manager for UK Small Medium Business and later in 2012 progressed to senior sales manager.

She was responsible for managing technical sales reps to supporting growth of the enterprise business.

Before assuming the general manager position, Townsend led Dell's Enterprise Solutions Team, and was responsible for leading and proactively motivating a team of direct and channel pre-sales staff members, including domain specialists, to grow the Enterprise Solutions business in Ireland.

Townsend is married with one daughter.

Irish Independent

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