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Recode Daily: A NYT financial investigation punctures Trump’s ‘self-made’ image

Plus, Tesla meets its Q3 production goal for the Model 3 — with some help from customers on the delivery end; China’s Tencent Music files for a $1 billion U.S. IPO.

U.S. President Donald Trump wearing a hardhat
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 2, 2018.
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has long sold himself as a self-made millionaire, but a New York Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s money from his father’s real estate empire; much of this money came to Trump through dubious tax schemes he participated in during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud. These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances. Tax records show that the Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent. The Times also aggregated its own reporting into a convenient list of 11 top takeaways from its investigation. [David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner / The New York Times]

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For the first time ever, Americans nationwide will receive an alert from President Trump on their cellphones today. The test, scheduled for 2:18 pm ET, is the first trial of a national presidential alert system that will let any president issue a warning about a crisis. That could include a missile launched by another country at the U.S. or a tsunami. This “presidential alert” won’t actually be written by Trump, nor will it be sent from his mobile device. “You would not have a situation where any sitting president would wake up one morning and attempt to send a particular message,” said a senior FEMA official. (So they say ...) [Gregory Wallace / CNN]

Tesla met its third-quarter production goal for its Model 3 sedan but struggled to get the cars to customers, underscoring the operational challenges ahead for CEO Elon Musk and his electric-car company. Tesla said it made 53,239 Model 3s during the three-month period, up from 28,578 in the second quarter, and within the company’s forecast range. Tesla owners, eager to help with the delivery crunch, volunteered to help at company stores with customers coming to pick up their vehicles during the end-of-the-quarter rush. [Tim Higgins / The Wall Street Journal]

Chinese streaming music giant Tencent Music filed for a $1 billion U.S. IPO. The online music arm of China’s largest social-media company, Tencent Music has 872 million monthly active users and focuses on three main experiences: Online music listening through products such as QQ Music that also help users discover new tunes; online karaoke sites like WeSing, where people can sing virtually with friends, celebrities or strangers; and livestreamed performances. On U.S. exchanges alone, $7.4 billion has been raised in IPOs by China-based businesses this year, almost double the $3.9 billion total in 2017. [Alex Barinka and Crystal Tse / Bloomberg]

Chart of the Day: Half of U.S. Uber drivers make less than $10 an hour after vehicle expenses

Microsoft unveiled a bunch of new and updated Surface-branded products, including a refreshed Surface Pro 6 tablet/laptop hybrid that comes in a matte-black finish, and $350 noise-cancelling Surface headphones. The company also began rolling out its free Windows 10 October 2018 update to users; the operating system is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Take a look at the five biggest announcements from Microsoft’s Surface event. [Tom Warren / The Verge]

At restaurants like Sweetgreen and Starbucks, data is emerging as a powerful weapon in the increasingly competitive battle for the restaurant consumer. Because total restaurant traffic is not growing, anything restaurants can do to offer a better customer experience differentiates them from the competition. Mobile apps and digital reservation systems track customer preferences and spending habits and share it across their systems; servers are also using the information to steer guests to try new dishes. Some 2.8 billion restaurant orders were placed digitally in the past year, about 5 percent of total orders, up from 2 percent in 2015. [Julie Jargon / The Wall Street Journal]

Top stories from Recode

Coinbase, the startup at the core of the crypto craze, is now considered an $8 billion company.
The company is in talks with Tiger Global and its existing shareholders for an investment of up to $500 million.
[Theodore Schleifer]

Walmart plans to acquire plus-size fashion startup Eloquii for $100 million.
The company will join a portfolio of Walmart brands run by Bonobos founder Andy Dunn.
[Jason Del Rey]

Google’s former PR boss wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium.
On the latest episode of Recode Media, Jessica Powell talks about her new book, “The Big Disruption,” which scrutinizes Silicon Valley from the perspective of someone who has spent most of her career in the industry.
[Kara Swisher]

Elites like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos think they’re being philanthropic. But they could do so much more.
“Winners Take All” author Anand Giridharadas says elites only help on their own terms — and never in any way that would endanger their own extreme wealth.
[Kara Swisher]

Uber has hired a former Expedia exec to head HR.
Nikki Krishnamurthy is replacing Liane Hornsey.
[Kara Swisher]

Amazon will raise its minimum wage to $15 for all 350,000 U.S. workers.
The move comes in the wake of mounting criticism of the company’s treatment of warehouse workers.
[Jason Del Rey]

This is cool

At long last, a bagel emoji. But without a schmear?

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