Monthly Archives: March 2018

The 25 schools that make the most money in college basketball

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Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team has been wrecked with scandal recently, and even had to vacate its most recent title.

The good news for the Cardinals, however, is they are still the richest men’s college basketball program in the country. Based on the most recent data, the Cardinals have the highest revenue of any program in the country, and it is not even that close.

But Louisville isn’t the only scandal-ridden program raking in the money.

The Arizona Wildcats are also near the top. Their head coach, Sean Miller, was reportedly caught on an FBI wire tap discussing the $100,000 payment to secure the commitment from a top recruit.

Below is a closer look at the 25 richest programs in college basketball. Data comes courtesy of the Department of Education and USA Today.


25. University of Dayton — $14,031,059

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Fans of the Dayton Flyers cheering on their team.
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Joe Robbins/Stringer/Getty Images

3-year average men’s basketball revenue: $13,171,557

1-year change: +4.1%

5-year change: +30.2%

Total athlete department donations: Not available

Athletics licensing/rights fees: Not available

2016 expenses: $1,861,323

2016 profit: $12,169,736


24. University of Minnesota — $14,172,048

caption
Cheerleaders for the University of Minnesota basketball team.
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $13,216,981

1-year change: +12.6%

5-year change: -12.3%

Total athlete department donations:$15,250,676

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$51,849,920

2016 expenses: $2,048,303

2016 profit:$12,123,745


23. University of Florida — $14,200,425

caption
Former Florida player Canyon Barry.
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Mike Ehrmann/Getty

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $12,632,784

1-year change: +6.8%

5-year change: +39.4%

Total athlete department donations: $43,146,263

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$62,151,216

2016 expenses: $1,917,690

2016 profit: $12,282,735


22. Northwestern University — $14,581,162

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $14,591,646

1-year change: +3.1%

5-year change: +24.3%

Total athlete department donations: Not available

Athletics licensing/rights fees: Not available

2016 expenses: $1,816,709

2016 profit: $12,764,453


21. North Carolina State University — $14,611,434

caption
Fans of the N.C. State Wolfpack.

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $13,916,407

1-year change: +7.2%

5-year change: +14.5%

Total athlete department donations:$15,119,174

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$37,032,338

2016 expenses: $1,487,112

2016 profit: $13,124,322


20. University of Alabama — $15,003,656

caption
Alabama Crimson Tide basketball coach Avery Johnson instructing one of his players.
source
Andy Lyons

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $14,076,857

1-year change: +3.9%

5-year change: +27.5%

Total athlete department donations: $29,651,491

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$66,253,910

2016 expenses: $1,831,200

2016 profit: $13,172,456


19. University of Illinois — $15,827,099

caption
Fans of the Illinois Fighting Illini basketball team.
source
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $16,774,156

1-year change: -5.1%

5-year change: -0.1%

Total athlete department donations:$28,531,388

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $44,433,775

2016 expenses: $1,308,101

2016 profit: $14,518,998


18. University of Arkansas — $16,332,876

caption
Arkansas Razorbacks basketball players in action.
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Mike Stobe/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $16,230,356

1-year change: 1.8%

5-year change: -1.8%

Total athlete department donations:$25,860,510

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $58,473,384

2016 expenses: $2,286,322

2016 profit: $14,046,554


17. University of Michigan — $16,913,194

caption
Moritz Wagner playing for the Michigan Wolverines basketball team.
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $15,960,646

1-year change: +0.8%

5-year change: 71.2%

Total athlete department donations: $37,581,954

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $62,697,349

2016 expenses: $1,658,202

2016 profit:$15,254,992


16. Michigan State University — $17,548,611

caption
Michigan State Spartans basketball players celebrating.
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Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $17,674,958

1-year change: -0.5%

5-year change: -8.7%

Total athlete department donations: $30,441,924

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $53,914,039

2016 expenses: $2,577,865

2016 profit:$14,970,746


15. University of Texas —$17,567,914

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $17,409,933

1-year change: -2.3%

5-year change: -4.9%

Total athlete department donations:$42,159,118

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $75,014,854

2016 expenses: $2,993,873

2016 profit:$14,574,041


14. Georgetown University — $17,702,377

caption
NBA and Georgetown Hoyas legend Patrick Ewing getting introduced as the head basketball coach of his alma mater.
source
Mitchell Layton

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $13,134,412

1-yearchange: 56.1%

5-year change: 76.8%

Total athlete department donations: tk tk tk

Athletics licensing/rights fees: tk tk tk

2016 expenses: $2,559,739

2016 profit: $15,142,638


13. University of Maryland — $17,741,322

caption
Rasheed Sulaimon of the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team.
source
Rob Carr/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $17,202,172

1-year change: 3.5%

5-year change: 41.6%

Total athlete department donations:$13,676,004

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $46,175,076

2016 expenses: $1,371,837

2016 profit: $16,369,485


12. Ohio State University — $18,250,063

caption
Ohio State Buckeyes basketball player Trevor Thompson.
source
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $20,727,836

1-year change: -8.2%

5-year change: -3.3%

Total athlete department donations: $33,138,103

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$60,429,212

2016 expenses: $1,835,458

2016 profit: $16,414,605


11. University of Kansas —$18,266,319

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The Kansas Jayhawks basketball head coach Bill Self coaching his team during a timeout.
source
Wikimedia Commons

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $18,476,162

1-year change: 1.4%

5-year change: 11.1%

Total athlete department donations: $24,020,732

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $44,238,082

2016 expenses: $2,149,420

2016 profit: $16,116,899


10. University of Tennessee — $18,322,729

caption
Tennessee Volunteers basketball player Devon Baulkman.
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $17,948,638

1-year change: -1.5%

5-year change: 26.2%

Total athlete department donations: $34,082,765

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $61,453,383

2016 expenses: $1,404,533

2016 profit:$16,918,196


9. Marquette University — $19,327,629

caption
Fans of the Marquette University Golden Eagles.
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Andy Lyons/Getty

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $17,656,689

1-year change: 5.6%

5-year change: 34.3%

Total athlete department donations: tk tk tk

Athletics licensing/rights fees: tk tk tk

2016 expenses: $4,368,873

2016 profit:$14,958,756


8. University of North Carolina — $21,408,475

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $21,174,115

1-year change: 0.3%

5-year change: -10.8%

Total athlete department donations:$22,926,465

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $33,669,653

2016 expenses: $1,895,969

2016 profit: $19,512,506


7. University of Wisconsin — $23,168,473

caption
Wisconsin Badgers basketball player Zak Showalter.
source
Rob Carr/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $2,383,494

1-year change: 1.6%

5-year change: 35.1%

Total athlete department donations: $21,499,693

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $59,086,137

2016 expenses: $2,383,494

2016 profit:$20,784,979


6. University of Arizona — $23,434,825

caption
Current Arizona Wildcats basketball head coach Sean Miller.
source
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $21,460,877

1-year change: 7.9%

5-year change: 15.2%

Total athlete department donations: $18,904,155

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $38,271,043

2016 expenses: $3,091,204

2016 profit:$20,343,621


5. Indiana University — $24,560,829

caption
Indiana Hoosiers basketball championship banners hanging in the rafters.
source
santanartist via flickr

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $23,890,290

1-year change: 6.3%

5-year change: 36.9%

Total athlete department donations: $20,467,570

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $49,690,229

2016 expenses: $2,485,006

2016 profit:$22,075,823


4. University of Kentucky — $27,965,227

caption
Kentucky Wildcats basketball players celebrating a conference championship.
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $26,629,669

1-year change: 2.7%

5-year change: 29.5%

Total athlete department donations: $25,039,404

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$65,400,012

2016 expenses: $2,798,158

2016 profit:$25,167,069


3. Syracuse University — $29,322,084

caption
The Carrier Dome is the home of the Syracuse Orange basketball team.

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $28,521,803

1-year change: 9.0%

5-year change: 13.3%

Total athlete department donations: $ million

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $ million

2016 expenses: $2,110,527

2016 profit:$27,211,557


2. Duke University — $34,398,285

caption
Iconic Duke Blue Devils basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.
source
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $33,067,995

1-year change: 10.8%

5-year change: 34.0%

Total athlete department donations: $ million

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $ million

2016 expenses: $3,142,715

2016 profit:$31,255,570


1. University of Louisville —$43,960,492

caption
Fans of the Louisville Cardinals basketball team.
source
Kevin C. Fox/Getty

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $45,143,036

1-year change: -3.7%

5-year change: 3.6%

Total athlete department donations: $30,391,706

Athletics licensing/rights fees:$38,148,302

2016 expenses: $2,289,807

2016 profit:$41,670,685

May praises ‘triumph of the human spirit’ in her Easter message after a ‘dark’ year for Britain

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May visits textile producers Alex Begg during a tour of the United Kingdom, timed to coincide with one year until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, in Ayr, Scotland, March 29, 2018.

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May visits textile producers Alex Begg during a tour of the United Kingdom, timed to coincide with one year until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, in Ayr, Scotland, March 29, 2018.
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REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/Pool

  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May uses Easter message to praise “bravery of those facing adversity.”
  • “Britain has faced some dark moments,” May says, including terror attacks in London and Manchester, and the Grenfell Tower blaze that claimed 71 lives.

LONDON – Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May used her Easter message to praise “the bravery of those facing adversity” after a year in which “Britain has faced some dark moments.”

“Over the last year, Britain has faced some dark moments, from the terrorist attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge, at Manchester Arena and Finsbury Park, and the fire at Grenfell Tower,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

Six people died in a terror attack on Westminster Bridge last March and 50 more were injured. Eight people died and 48 were injured when armed men attacked people on London Bridge and in Borough Market in June last year. 22 people, including some children, were killed and 59 wounded when a suicide bomber struck a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester last May. One person died and nine others were injured when a man drove a van into a crowd outside a mosque in Finsbury Park last June. 71 people died in a blaze at Grenfell Tower in Kensington last June.

May said in her Easter message: “I know from speaking to the victims and survivors of these terrible events how vital the love and support they have received from their friends, family and neighbours has been to them as they begin to rebuild their lives.

“In the bravery of those facing adversity, the dedication of our emergency services, and the generosity of local communities, we see the triumph of the human spirit.”

May faced criticism for her handling of the Grenfell Tower blaze last June. The Prime Minister did not initially visit victims of the fire and rapper Stormzy used his performance at the Brits in February to accuse the PM of forgetting about those effect by the disaster.

May, who is the daughter of a vicar, said in her seasonal message on Sunday: “The Easter story contains an inspiring promise of new life and the triumph of hope.”

Here’s the Prime Minister’s full message:

Easter is the most important time in the Christian calendar.

A time when we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and give thanks for the promise of redemption afforded by his resurrection.

Over the last year, Britain has faced some dark moments, from the terrorist attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge, at Manchester Arena and Finsbury Park, and the fire at Grenfell Tower.

I know from speaking to the victims and survivors of these terrible events how vital the love and support they have received from their friends, family and neighbours has been to them as they begin to rebuild their lives.

In the bravery of those facing adversity, the dedication of our emergency services, and the generosity of local communities, we see the triumph of the human spirit.

The Easter story contains an inspiring promise of new life and the triumph of hope.

For Christians around the world facing persecution, the message of the Cross and the resurrection help them to stand firm in their faith.

Here in Britain, Easter arrives with the coming of spring – a time of rebirth and renewal.

It is a chance for families to come together, to share a meal, to be outdoors and to enjoy the first stirring of nature after winter.

However you are spending this Easter, I hope that you have a happy and peaceful time.

These 8 industries have been threatened by Amazon’s domination

  • President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that Amazon is “putting many thousands of retailers out of business.”
  • Amazon‘s aggressive expansion into new industries has terrified competitors.
  • Here are eight industries threatened by Amazon’s growth, from shoe stores to healthcare businesses.

President Donald Trump seems determined to take down Amazon as the e-commerce juggernaut expands its reach.

“Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” Trump tweeted on Thursday morning.

Trump has a history of criticizing Amazon. The president argues that Amazon has unfairly received prime tax benefits and preferential treatment from the US Postal Service, hurting brick-and-mortar retailers.

While Amazon denies that its aggressive growth hurts competitors, many analysts and executives agree that, often, when Amazon enters a new industry, rivals suffer.

These are eight industries that have been threatened by Amazon’s increasing domination:


Food delivery businesses

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Blue Apron

Blue Apron’s disastrous IPO reveals how big of an impact Amazon’s entrance in a new industry can have on competitors.

The company went public in June. When Amazon filed a trademark application for “prepared food kits” on July 6, Blue Apron’s stock sank 11%.

Amazon’s success has continued to plague Blue Apron. In January, the company’s shares fell more than 6% after One Click Retail’s 2017 Grocery Report showed that Amazon had made impressive gains in the US grocery market.


Shoe stores

As customers shop for shoes directly from Amazon, analysts say companies like Foot Locker and Finish Line are in danger. In August 2017, UBS analyst Michael Binetti downgraded both companies, saying it is “almost certain” that sneaker retailers will lose market share to Amazon.

“The disruption that has characterized the retail industry recently is not going away,” Foot Locker’s CEO Richard Johnson said in a call with investors in February. “Consumers want experiences, they want cool products, and they want it all – fast.”

Foot Locker plans to close approximately 110 stores this year after closing 147 stores globally in 2017.


Grocery stores

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Amazon Go offers a shopping experience without cashiers, registers, or lines.
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Getty/Stephen Brashear

Amazon bought Whole Foods in August 2017, which dealt a massive blow to US grocery stores as it forced its way into the brick-and-mortar market and threatened to drive prices down.

The retailer is already the largest seller of groceries online. It’s estimated to have 18% of the US online grocery market, which is double the second-place share held by Walmart.

By having access to brick-and-mortar locations, the company is able to expand its reach across the US and use these stores as distribution centers for online orders. And, Amazon is building out its own brick-and-mortar concept, with the first Amazon Go store opening in Seattle in January.


Consumer staples

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Shutterstock.com

The future of batteries may be online – and that’s bad news for companies like Energizer.

While online sales of batteries only make up roughly 5% of total battery sales today, UBS said in a note that it expects that figure to rise to 17% by 2025. With Amazon making up roughly 90% of online battery sales, often from its own private-label battery brand, this could create some major complications for Energizer.


Department stores

Macy’s and other department stores, such as JCPenney, are facing off against Amazon – and coming up short, with hundreds of closures in recent years.

“Internet retailers (led by Amazon) have added $27.8 billion to their apparel revenue since 2005, while dept stores have lost $29.6 billion,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a 2016 note. “This share loss appears at risk of accelerating given 1) Amazon’s bigger push into fashion, and 2) consumer willingness/acceptance to shop fashion through Amazon.”

Launching the Prime Wardrobe service in June 2017 was “another nail into the department store coffin,” Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow wrote in a note to clients.


Upscale retailers

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Facebook/Nordstrom

Nordstrom is another traditional retailer getting hit hard by Amazon’s online dominance.

“Amazon knows more about the consumer than they do,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer wrote after Nordstrom reported another disappointing quarter in May 2017. “They – the best out there – are still doing guesswork, with one brick-and-mortar hand tied behind their backs.”

And in October, Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business who correctly predicted the company would buy Whole Foods, said Amazon could buy Nordstrom next.


Book stores

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Barnes & Noble.
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Mark Matousek / Business Insider

The Barnes & Noble versus Amazon battle has been going on for years. However, the discrepancy between the two has been especially grim recently.

Barnes & Noble reported in March that comparable sales decreased 5.8% in the most recent quarter. The biggest culprit: lower traffic, as fewer people visit stores.


Healthcare companies

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Reuters

Amazon’s latest venture with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co, announced in January, threatens to have a big impact on the US healthcare market.

The announcement sent ripples through the healthcare market; the share price at CVS and Walgreens dropped 4.5% to 6% in premarket trading, and UnitedHealth dropped 6.2%, Reuters reported.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores 2 absurd goals in MLS debut including stoppage time game-winner to help LA Galaxy complete a 4-3 comeback

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@MLS / Twitter

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival in MLS with two stunning goals to help the LA Galaxy comeback to win 4-3 after being down 3-0.
  • His first goal was a blast from 38 yards out, just five minutes after he took the field as a substitute in the 71st minute.
  • Ibrahimovic had only landed in Los Angeles on Thursday, and had had just one training session with his new team before taking the pitch.

“Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome.”

That’s how the braggadocious Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival in the MLS after agreeing to join the LA Galaxy. And while some might’ve found such a bold proclamation unwise, it didn’t take much for Zlatan, who once compared himself to God, to back up his words on the pitch.

On Saturday, the Galaxy faced off against in-city rivals LAFC in what Angeleno soccer fans had dubbed “El Trafico.” Zlatan began the game on the bench for the Galaxy, and LAFC quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead, which they held until the 60th minute.

After the Galaxy got a goal back, Zlatan took the pitch in the 71st minute facing a 3-1 deficit, just two days after landing in Los Angeles and with only one training session with his new team under his belt. It didn’t matter.

Just two minutes after taking the pitch, Zlatan helped the Galaxy move forward a possession that led to a goal from teammate Chris Pontius to bring the game to 3-2.

Five minutes later, Zlatan would take the spotlight, striking a scorcher of a volley from 38 yards out to tie the game.

But Zlatan wasn’t done. As the game moved to stoppage time still level, the Galaxy found an opening, with Emmanuel Boateng hitting a fine cross to Ibrahimovic, who would head the ball home for the game-winner.

It’s almost impossible to imagine a better debut. In just 20 minutes of work, and after only arriving in the country 48 hours earlier, Zlatan netted two goals to help his new club comeback against their cross-town rivals.

Zlatan has arrived.

The White House is now saying that VA Secretary David Shulkin actually resigned and wasn’t fired

Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

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Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.
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Carlos Barria/Reuters

  • A White House spokesperson contradicted former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin’s claim that he was fired from his job on Wednesday.
  • The spokesperson told Politico on Saturday that Shulkin resigned.
  • The claim comes amid questions about President Donald Trump’s authority to appoint an acting secretary to replace Shulkin until a new secretary is confirmed by the Senate.

The White House said on Saturday that ousted Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin resigned from his post earlier this week, contradicting Shulkin’s claim that he was fired.

“Secretary Shulkin resigned from his position as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs,” a White House spokesperson told Politico in response to questions about President Donald Trump’s legal authority to appoint Shulkin’s replacement.

On Wednesday, Trump announced on Twitter that he intended to nominate Admiral Ronny Jackson, the official White House physician, as the new secretary of the VA. Defense Department official Robert Wilkie, Trump said, would lead the department in the interim.

But Trump’s decision to bypass the VA’s second-in-command – who was supposed to succeed Shulkin – and appoint Wilkie instead could present legal problems for his administration.

As Politico pointed out, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, passed in 1998, says the president has the power to appoint an acting official to a vacant position if the current officer holder “dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.”

But if an official is fired, as Shulkin claims he was, it’s not entirely clear if Trump is still able to appoint anyone he wants as acting secretary.

Shulkin has repeatedly described his removal as a firing.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Shulkin said he had no idea he was about to be terminated until White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called him to give him a heads up that Trump was about to let him go. Trump then announced Shulkin’s ouster on Twitter.

Shulkin argued that he was removed for political reasons, and that certain officials within the VA were actively trying to get rid of him because of the direction in which he wanted to take the department.

“I think that [Trump’s] not being well served by all the people around him,” Shulkin told USA Today. “As big of an organization as he needs to run, you need to have the right people around you with the right team, and, you know, we see with all the turnover and different things going on that are happening in the White House, that he’s still trying to figure that out.”

When you’re a billionaire, spending $174,349 on an Airbnb-style vacation rental is no big deal — and these pictures prove it’s probably worth it

You probably won't find these vacation rentals on Airbnb.

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You probably won’t find these vacation rentals on Airbnb.
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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

  • Airbnb has changed the way many people travel, including billionaires.
  • Renting private villas has become increasingly popular among the world’s richest people, according to Nota Bene Global.
  • Airbnb-style luxury villa rentals cost between $87,000 and $174,000 per week.

Airbnb has changed the way many people travel, including billionaires.

Just ask Anthony Lassman, cofounder of London-based, luxury travel- and lifestyle-management company Nota Bene Global. Lassman and his wife Elaine have been offering tailor-made, travel-planning services to the ultra-high net worth crowd since launching Nota Bene in 2005.

“Ten to $20 million is the starting wealth [of our clients],” Lassman told Business Insider. “Some of them I know are worth between $1.5 to $8 billion,” he said.

For billionaires, the relative cost of a trip to Bali is like buying a candy bar. But that doesn’t mean they’re flippant about how they spend their money.

Lassman says his clients “will pay it if they believe it’s something very, very, extraordinary.”

That’s why more than ever, Lassman is putting his millionaire and billionaire clientele into private rented villas – a type of Airbnb for billionaires – noting that the privacy and true relaxation is worth the extremely high prices.

Luxury vacation rentals in destinations like Greece and Italy typically cost between $87,155 to $174,349 per week.

For Lassman, whose company previews all the villas before offering them as an option to his clients, it’s all about the quality. “Nobody wants their money to be taken for granted. Nobody wants to feel you’re just billing them for huge sums of money without being able to justify it.”

Ahead, a look at a few truly stunning, remote villas that you won’t find on Airbnb – and that only the super rich can afford to rent out.


Italian Lakes Villa: around $105,847 per week.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

The Italian Lakes Villa is located in Tremezzo, Italy near Lake Como.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

Its dining room offers stunning views.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

A pool in the back yard is surrounded by mountains and the lake.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

Mykonos Villa: around $174,349 per week.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

This villa is on the Greek island of Mykonos

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

Lassman noted the popularity of Greek villa rentals.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

“The finest villas, and [most] interest in villa rentals at the moment [are] the Greek Islands. [We rent] the top houses on the Greek islands. [We have] the very best on Mykonos,” said Lassman.

source
Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

Lassman also noted the growing popularity of Mykonos: “Although, Mykonos is becoming a little too trendy and exploited.” He’s been suggesting his clients visit an entirely private island, or the island of Antiparos.

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Mykonos Villa
source
Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

They also book at the Porto Cheli Villa, located in the Peloponnese for around $105,831 per week.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

The Ithaca Villa, located in the Ionian Sea near Greece is around $122,010 per week.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

Tuscan Villa: around $87,155 per week.

You probably won't find these vacation rentals on Airbnb.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

The backyard of the villa is almost as stunning as the front.

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Photo courtesy of Nota Bene Global

We tried loaded fries from major fast-food chains to see who does it best — and the winner is shocking

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Many fast-food chains have some form of loaded fries on the menu.
  • We ranked loaded fries from the major chains that offer them.
  • Amazingly, Taco Bell was found to have the best loaded fries, despite only just launching french fries in January.

Loaded fries are the very definition of decadence.

Strips of fried potato topped with copious unhealthy, yet delicious, additions like cheese, bacon, chili, beef, or gravy – the breadth of options is limited only by the scope of the imagination.

But as with any fast-food item, there’s a fine line to walk between decadence and disgusting. Too much cheese, and they can become a soggy morass; too many toppings, and a gilded lily can become a gilded mess.

Most fast-food chains have offered some form of loaded fries over the years as a limited item, and a handful have them on the menu permanently. Of the six fries we tried from four chains – Arby’s, Shake Shack, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s – only one was a limited item.

Six cheese-slathered, bacon-filled orders of loaded fries later, we managed to rank them from worst to best – and the results were pretty surprising.


6. Wendy’s Baconator Fries

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

With the Baconator fries, a fork is 85% necessary. The topping coverage is lackluster, and lots of bare fries are unearthed just below the surface. Wendy’s fries are typically on the floppy side anyway, so the heat and moisture of cheese and condensation building in their little fries greenhouse play only a partial factor in their sogginess.


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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

On the plus side, they do manage to retain heat for a fair amount of time. But they do not live up to the storied Baconator name, for all its grease and glory. There’s nothing to temper the extreme richness of cheese and bacon – at least a Baconator has ketchup.


5. Shake Shack Cheese Fries

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Shake Shack’s cheese fries are decadent at best and wanton at worst. The cheese tastes like a fancy version of that nacho cheese that comes out of a pump – that’s a good thing in this instance. It’s velvety smooth, rich, and kind of buttery.


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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Once poured, however, the cheese loses heat faster than a new Taylor Swift single. It coagulates into a less-than-appetizing, lukewarm, cheesy sludge with the consistency and hold of spackle. Let’s not put on airs – it’s still liquid cheese on top of french fries, so I’ll still eat it.


4. Wendy’s Chili Cheese Fries

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The chili cheese fries are much soggier, but they have much more going on than the Baconator fries. Bacon and cheese can only get so far – and with the stewy, tomato-based chili, you tangentially get that necessary acidic note to cut through the cheese. Plus, the ground beef in the chili is pretty good, too. I like the combo of beef and fries – it just sits right with my soul.


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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

And while this may sound – and assuredly is – completely absurd, it almost feels healthy because beans are in the equation. Just barely. Please allow me my blissful ignorance as I chow down on a heap of soggy cheesy chili fries.


3. Shake Shack Bacon Cheese Fries

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The better-burger chain’s bacon fries are even more messily opulent. The main issue with Shake Shack’s loaded fries is this: they don’t travel well in the slightest. They’re best enjoyed fresh and at the restaurant; the to-go option means cheese in a cup and rapidly cooling fries in the chain’s poorly designed takeout bags.


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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

But obviously, cheese fries with bacon are superior to cheese fries without bacon. And Shake Shack’s bacon is no slouch – it’s really thick applewood-smoked bacon that’s equally as delicious crumbled.


2. Arby’s Loaded Fries

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

A fork is 100% necessary here; this is essentially a curly fry casserole.

Bacon, liquid cheese, shredded cheese, and a ranch-like sauce are layered onto a massive tangle of curly fries. The topping saturation is a huge plus – often, loaded fries are just mounds of french fries with toppings plopped on top, leaving an arid bedrock of topping-less potato.


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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

But here, attention is paid to the construction, making for a cheesy and bacon experience throughout. If anything, more fries are needed to balance out the huge amounts of cheese and sauce.


1. Taco Bell Nacho Fries Supreme

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Taco Bell has done a fantastic job shoehorning french fries into its Tex-Mex theme, and the loaded fries are no different. The chain’s new seasoned fries make for a great foundation on which to lay what are essentially nacho ingredients: cheese sauce, taco beef, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.


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What I find most successful is that the fries are already seasoned, so they aren’t just bland sticks of potato and topping coverage doesn’t matter as much. That being said, the topping-to-french-fry ratio is well balanced. There’s a tiny bit of spice, too, which is nice. If Wendy’s chili were spicier, the chili cheese fries would be more exciting, but alas. These are by far the most satisfying loaded fries of the bunch.

The 13 coolest car keys in the world

  • Many manufacturers create brilliantly designed keys to add to the experience of driving their cars.
  • Key wristbands, mobile apps, and touchscreen keys are just a few of the innovative ways carmakers are improving keys

The excitement around innovative car exteriors often overshadows smaller details like a car key. But from simple, sleek key fobs to high-tech designs that ditch the physical key all-together, car makers are constantly trying to create keys as innovative and well-designed as the cars themselves.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite key designs:

Business Insider’s Aaron Brown wrote a previous version of this article.


Tesla’s Model S key is shaped like a mini-Model S, and has an option to pull the car forward and backward remotely, without anyone in the car.


This Ferrari key is simple and classic, and all you have to do is slip it into your pocket to drive off.

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Business Insider/Cadie Thompson

McLaren’s carbon fiber key makes it ultra-light, with only three buttons adding to the simple lightweight design.


Aston Martin’s key fob is topped with crystal. It doesn’t offer any special features, but the elegant design makes it stand out from other car keys.

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Aston Martin

Maserati’s key is sleek and modern, with the ability to lock, unlock, and pop the trunk of the car. The key itself flips out like a switchblade, adding a fun twist to the classic key.


Koenigsegg’s shield fob doesn’t have any special features either, but it certainly makes a powerful statement, much like the car itself.

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Koenigsegg

The Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX7 watch doubles as a car key for the Aston Marin DB9 and DBS models.


In similar fashion, the Jaguar F-Pace Activity Key is a wristband that allows you to lock and unlock your car by holding it up to the Jaguar badge on the rear of the car.

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Jaguar

The waterproof wristband is optional, and runs for about $400.


This aluminum Pagani key also is multi-functional, doubling as a car key and USB drive.

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YouTube/Alaatin61

BMW 7-series’ key has a full color touch screen. It has options to lock and unlock the car, pop open the trunk, and panic.

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BMW

The key also allows you to toggle the lights, control the climate, view your fuel range. The key even allows you to park the car remotely.


Some cars don’t even require physical keys anymore — Volvo now has a smartphone app that has all the same options as a traditional key.

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Volvo Car Group

Tesla Model 3 cars don’t even have a key fob. The cars are accessed with the Tesla app.

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

All of the new high-tech, digital keys make this classic-looking Ferrari key even more stunning. All of the functional keys are hidden on the back, so the simple design can grab your attention.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Here are the laws that student gun-control activists from Parkland actually want to pass

David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and survivor of the February 14 shooting that took place at that school.

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David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and survivor of the February 14 shooting that took place at that school.
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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

  • The national conversation about guns in America has been hijacked in recent days by a controversy between a Fox News host and David Hogg, one of the student leaders of the gun-control movement that erupted following February’s mass shooting at a high school in Florida.
  • Ingraham and Hogg traded barbs this week after the TV pundit personally attacked Hogg for complaining about not getting accepted into a few universities.
  • But amid the feud, the debate over guns in America rages on.
  • Here’s what Hogg and other gun control activists are trying to achieve.

The controversy between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and a 17-year-old Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist whom she mocked on Twitter continues to make headlines.

On Wednesday, Ingraham tweeted a link to a news article about David Hogg having received rejection letters from several California schools and said he “whines about it.”

Hogg picked up on Ingraham’s comments, tweeting “Soooo @IngrahamAngle what are your biggest advertisers…Asking for a friend. #BoycottIngramAdverts.”

Although Ingraham later issued an apology to Hogg, the damage was already done. So far, a dozen companies have withdrawn their advertisements from Ingraham’s show.

But amid the feud, the debate over guns in America rages on.

Earlier this week, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed in The New York Times urging a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Meanwhile, the Never Again movement, a gun control advocacy group formed by Hogg and fellow Parkland shooting survivors, continues its push for stricter gun laws.

Here’s exactly what they’re pushing for:


Ban “assault weapons”

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Gun control activists, particularly those who attended the “March for Our Lives” rallies in cities across the US on March 24, frequently talk about banning assault weapons.

They often point to the fact that assault weapons like AR-15-style rifles were used in the deadly mass shootings in Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Connecticut, and Texas.

But how such a proposal would actually work – and which types of gun would be included in the ban – is a lot more complicated than it seems.

The National Rifle Association and many gun rights activists believe that an assault weapons ban is a catch-all attempt to confiscate most commonly owned firearms.

But David Hogg insists the Never Again Movement “is not trying to take away your guns.”

“We’re trying to take back our lives,” he told The Outline, a digital media outlet. “Just as much as you have a right to own a weapon, we have a right to liberty, we have the right to peace, and we have the right to live.”


Prohibit high-capacity magazines

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The second legislative goal the “March for Our Lives” protestors want to accomplish is implementing a limitation on the number of bullets a firearm can hold.

Though it’s unclear what exactly that limitation would be, high-capacity magazines are typically defined as those that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

On Friday, for instance, lawmakers in Vermont passed a gun control law that banned high-capacity magazines. It defined “high-capacity” as more than 15 rounds for handguns and more than 10 rounds for all other firearms.


Close background-check loopholes

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

There is currently no federal law mandating that buyers pass a background check when purchasing a firearm online or at a gun show from a private, unlicensed seller.

The gun control activists from Parkland and supporters of the “March for Our Lives” wants to change that by requiring a background check “on every gun sale, no exceptions.”

It’s worth nothing that some states have laws requiring background checks for purchases from private, unlicensed dealers.


Additional proposals

During an interview with The Outline, Hogg said that policymakers need to define which individuals with a mental illness should and should not be able to buy a gun.

But he also outlined three other specific solutions he believes will help reduce gun violence:

  • Slap a 10% tax on all firearms sales
  • Raise the minimum federal age of gun ownership and possession to 21
  • Increase spending for mental healthcare programs

Currently, federal law prohibits federally licensed dealers from selling a handgun to anyone under 21, but individuals older than 18 are still allowed to purchase a long gun or rifle.

Federal law also states that all sales of shotguns and rifles by manufacturers, producers, and importers are subject to an 11% excise tax. Handgun sales are taxed at 10%.

Some gun control advocates have previously proposed taxing sales of bullets or levying additional taxes on gun sales to fund gun violence prevention research and treat gunshot victims.

I tested a $73,000 Cadillac XTS V-Sport sedan — here’s the verdict

Throwback!

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Throwback!
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Matthew DeBord/BI

  • The Cadillac XTS V-Sport is a somewhat retro sedan that still has performance cred.
  • It is big, comfy, and has a large trunk – but it also has a powerful V6, twin-turbo engine.
  • The Cadillac Cue infotainment system and the Bose audio setup make for blissful highway cruising.

The Business Insider Transportation team is fortunate in that we get to road test some extremely exciting cars.

But humans are diverse in their desires, and spine-tingling performance isn’t always what we’re looking for. Sometimes, we’re looking for a ride that’s just easy in the old backbone.

My backbone is no longer exactly young, and over the past few years, whenever an old-school, all-American freeway-cruising machine has landed in my driveway, I’ve quietly rejoiced.

This happened again last year when Cadillac loaned me a nice, big XTS V-Sport sedan.

It was so, so soothing. Here’s why:


You can tell you’re in for something special when your 2018 Cadillac XTS Platinum V-Sport sedan with all-wheel-drive arrives on a Stone Gray Metallic pain job and …

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Matthew DeBord/BI

… with a Maple Sugar interior, with Jet Black accents. Maple sugar!

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Matthew DeBord/BI

The Caddy came well-equipped. This trim level has a base price of $71,695, with just about everything already included. Out tester stickered at just over $73,000 thanks largely to a compact spare tire that added $350.

Throwback!

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Matthew DeBord/BI

Without all the V-Sport goodies, the XTS comes in at about $46,000.


The XTS shares a platform with the Chevy Impala and the Buick LaCrosse. I sampled the LaCrosse in 2016 and really dug it.

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Read the review.


The XTS’s styling is large without being titanic and favors suave lines over bold gestures. “Dare greatly” is Caddy’s current tag line, but the XTS dares gently.

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The general idea here is straightforward and classically Cadillac: a sedan with luxury appointments, a large back seat, a huge trunk, and decent power. A BMW-level ultimate driving machine this is not.

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By the way, if you’re wondering about that charming brick house in the background …

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… it’s part of the history of New Jersey, the American War of Independence, and George Washington. I hadn’t visited before.

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The deal with the XTS is that it’s basically a front-wheel-drive platform that can be adapted to all-wheel-drive.

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The AWD system did get some mild snow testing in New Jersey, and it performed well.


The V-Sport upgrade involves mainly the engine. The non-V XTS has a 304-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. But the XTS V-Sport harbors a 410-horsepower twin-turbocharged version of the same V6 mill. That’s a big bump.

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Those extra ponies aren’t a boon for the MPGs. The XTS V-Sport manages 16 mpg city/23 highway/18 combined.


The trunk is vast.

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As is the back seat. Look at that legroom!

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Matthew DeBord/BI

OK, I’ll be honest: there will be those who buy this Caddy so that they can put it into service … for a car service. Or as a budget limo.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

I don’t know if it’s fair to call that a knock. Some people, myself included, are fans of roomy four-doors with plush rides. For freeway-and-around-town duty, the XTS is a dandy set of wheels.

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It’s a Cadillac, in the venerable spirit of the brand.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

Let’s slip inside.

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A dual moonroof fills the interior with natural light.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

And the heated-and-cooled Maple Sugar leather seats get a touch of subtle Caddy branding.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

From the supportive but not too pliant driver’s seat, you see a pretty simple digital instrument cluster and get to lay hands on a leather-wrapped steering wheel with the usual buttons and knobs to control vehicle functions.

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That’s a nicely designed cluster.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

And it’s heated! This was a welcome feature as the temperature plunged in the Northeast.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

In an era of 10-speed automatic gearboxes, the XTS’s six-speed unit could seem antiquated, but it handles the car’s ample power quite well.

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Perfectly good cupholders.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

And even a smuggler’s box hidden behind the controls on the center stack. There’s wireless recharging in there, but I used the place to stash my phone out of sight. The XTS also has the usual USB/AUX ports.

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The Bose audio system is excellent.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

We named it our 2017 Audio System of the Year.


Infotainment is handled by Cadillac’s Cue system. From navigation to climate control, it’s very capable. The eight-inch touchscreen is backed up by voice commands and some haptic touch elements beneath.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

As with all GM vehicles, the XTS V-Sport has OnStar, complete with a 4G LTE wifi connection and easy-as-pie Bluetooth phone pairing. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can also be used. Our tester had a SiriusXM subscription, so I could gorge myself on the blues.


So what’s the final verdict on this fetching Caddy?

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Matthew DeBord/BI

I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of these. Well, maybe I’d spend a little less and get the Buick LaCrosse or the Chevy Impala. But then again, I wouldn’t have a Cadillac. Part of me wants that badge on the grille so I can pretend I’m Fast Eddie Felson in the “The Color of Money.”

We’re definitely not talking about a modern sedan here. The XTS V-Sport isn’t crisp-handling, nor is it breathtakingly quick, although with a 0-60 mph time of around 5.5 seconds, it isn’t at all slow. Its mission in life is to tool along the highway in a steady state of speed. The V-Sport treatment isn’t as aggressive as what you’d get in, say, the epic CTS-V, with its hulking V8 engine shared with the Corvette Z06.

But we are talking about a Cadillac that serves up the best of both worlds. While you wouldn’t want to take this thing out on a race track, with that gutsy twin-turbo six under the hood, you won’t feel even remotely underpowered on the highway. But better than that, you’re going to feel like Mr. Smooth motoring around town as you one-hand steer the XTS in and out of driveways, parking lots, and garages. You float like a great big supercool butterfly in this sucker, and you could care less about stinging like a bee.

Frankly, with Cadillac’s terrific Bose audio setup, there might be no better vehicle under $100,000 for driving around and listening to jazz and blues. The XTS V-Sport simply sets a marvelous mood.

Ok, true, you might consider this a bit of an old person’s car. But so what? Once you’re done blasting around in sports cars and hauling your family in a minivan, you might just want to settle into a set of wheels that’s largely mellow but with some extra oomph in reserve.

As we learned when we tested the Impala a few years back, a sedan of ample size and calm ride, when coupled with GM’s current suite of audio and infotainment features, is an appealing, rolling, high-tech platform. Mind you, the XTS V-Sport has a heads-up display, driver-assist features (such as parking assist, foward collision alert, and lane-departure warning, and a useful bird-eye-view camera setup), and adaptive cruise control, but it doesn’t do semi-self-driving. And that’s fine because it was such a pleasant car to drive all by myself that I didn’t miss the autonomous stuff.

Here’s the bottom line: The XTS V-Sport is a car in which you can set out on a drive of several hours and get some serious thinking done. It is a machine for meditation. A road-tripper that encourages contemplation.

No, it isn’t the snazziest Caddy in the stable. But it’s my new favorite.