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U.S. charitable giving hits record at $410 billion

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Charitable giving hits record at $410 billion

Fueled by a surging stock market and huge gifts from billionaires, charitable giving in the United States in 2017 topped the $400 billion mark for the first time, according to the latest comprehensive report on Americans’ giving patterns.

The Giving USA report, released Tuesday, said giving from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an estimated $410 billion in 2017. The total was up 5.2 percent in current dollars (3 percent adjusted for inflation) from the estimate of $389.64 billion for 2016.

“Americans’ record-breaking charitable giving in 2017 demonstrates that even in divisive times our commitment to philanthropy is solid,” said Aggie Sweeney, chairman of the Giving USA Foundation, which publishes the annual report. It is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

The biggest increase was in giving to foundations, up 15.5 percent. That surge was driven by large gifts from major philanthropists to their own foundations, including $1 billion from Dell Technologies chief executive Michael Dell and his wife, Susan, and $2 billion from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

Still, Americans’ level of generosity is no higher than it was decades ago. For 2017, giving by individuals represented 2 percent of total disposable income, down from 2.4 percent in 2000 and the same as in 1978.

— Associated Press

Budget deficit up 23% from May 2017

The federal government recorded a budget deficit of $146.8 billion in May, helping push the total deficit so far this year 23 percent above the same period a year ago.

Last month’s deficit followed a surplus of $214.3 billion in April, a month that traditionally ends in the black because of the federal tax-filing deadline.

The deficit for the first eight months of this budget year, which began Oct. 1, totals $532.2 billion, up $99.4 billion from the $432.9 billion imbalance run up during the same period last year.

The deficit increase reflects in part the impact of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Trump pushed through Congress in December.

— Associated Press

10-year sentence in payday lending case

A Kansas City businessman was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday after he was found guilty of running a $220 million payday lending scheme that charged illegally high interest rates and signed up borrowers without their consent, federal prosecutors said.

Richard Moseley, 73, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.

“Richard Moseley’s illegal payday lending operation exploited more than half a million of the most financially vulnerable people in the U.S.,” Berman said in a statement.

Moseley was convicted in November of six counts, including wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was charged in February 2016.

Prosecutors have said that from 2004 to September 2014, Moseley’s businesses made “predatory” loans to more than 620,000 Americans, often playing down the financing costs and charging effective annual interest rates that could top 700 percent.

— Reuters

Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman said Tuesday that the bank expects to move 400 to 500 jobs out of the United Kingdom as the nation breaks from the European Union. The move represents as much as 10 percent of the 5,000 employees the bank has in Britain. Morgan Stanley's E.U. legal entity will be based in Germany, as Gorman said the country's regulators are "used to dealing with large trading businesses." Investment management is moving to Ireland, and the firm will also add salesmen and traders in Milan and Paris, he said.

Uber's chief executive says New York City should impose a fee on app-hailed rides to help taxi medallion owners who are struggling with debt. Dara Khosrowshahi told the New York Post on Monday that the city should put the surcharge into a fund to help taxi owners who bought their medallions at sky-high prices. He did not say how much the fee should be. The value of a taxi medallion has fallen from as much as $1 million to $200,000 in the years since Uber and other ride-hailing companies disrupted the industry.

— From news services

8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for May.

2 p.m.: Federal Reserve policymakers meet to set interest rates, issue statement and economic forecast; news conference at 2:30 p.m.