Archive for the ‘pay’ Category

Government To Have Bigger Role in All American Lives; Obama Seeks to Increase Oversight of Executive Pay

March 21, 2009

The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.

By STEPHEN LABATON
The New York Times
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The outlines of the plan are expected to be unveiled this week in preparation for President Obama’s first foreign summit meeting in early April.

Increasing oversight of executive pay has been under consideration for some time, but the decision was made in recent days as public fury over bonuses has spilled into the regulatory effort.

Related:
Financial Advice, Recovery, Trumped by Obama, Congress, Media, Polls 

Wall Street Journal: “Geithner Incapacitated;” President Voices Support

The officials said that the administration was still debating the details of its plan, including how broadly it should be applied and how far it could range beyond simple reporting requirements. Depending on the outcome of the discussions, the administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation.

One proposal could impose greater requirements on the boards of companies to tie executive compensation more closely to corporate performance and to take other steps to assure that outsize bonuses are not paid before meeting financial goals.

The new rules will cover all financial institutions, including those not now covered by any pay rules because they are not receiving federal bailout money. Officials say the rules could also be applied more broadly to publicly traded companies, which already report about some executive pay practices to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last month, as part of the stimulus package, Congress barred top executives at large banks getting rescue money from receiving bonuses exceeding one-third of their annual pay.

Beyond the pay rules, officials said the regulatory plan is expected to call for a broad new role for the Federal Reserve to oversee large companies, including major hedge funds, whose problems could pose risks to the entire financial system.

It will propose that many kinds of derivatives and other exotic financial instruments that contributed to the crisis be traded on exchanges or through clearinghouses so they are more transparent and can be more tightly regulated. And to protect consumers, it will call for federal standards for mortgage lenders beyond what the Federal Reserve adopted last year, as well as more aggressive enforcement of the mortgage rules.

The plan is being put together in advance of the meeting of the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations in London, an annual event that is expected to be dominated by the global financial crisis and discussions about better oversight of large financial companies whose problems could threaten to undermine international markets.

An important part of the plan still under debate is how to regulate the shadow banking system that Wall Street firms use to package and trade mortgage-backed securities, the so-called toxic assets held by many banks and blamed for the credit crisis.

Officials said the plan would also call for increasing the levels of capital that financial institutions need to hold to absorb possible losses. But in a sign of the fragility of the economic system officials said the administration would emphasize that those heightened standards should not be imposed now because they could discourage more lending. Rather, they would be put in place after the economy began to rebound.

“The argument some are making is that they don’t want to be stepping on the gas pedal and the brake at the same time,” said Morris Goldstein, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former top official at the International Monetary Fund.

Administration officials are also debating how tightly to supervise hedge funds. A broad consensus has emerged among regulators and administration officials that hedge funds must be registered and more closely monitored, probably by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But officials have not decided how much the funds will have to disclose about their investments and trading practices.

A central aspect of the plan, which has already been announced by the administration, would give the government greater authority to take over and resolve problems at large, troubled companies that are not now regulated by Washington, like insurance companies and hedge funds.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/0
3/22/us/politics/22regulate.htm
l?_r=1&hp

NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/

Bankers Press Case Against Punitive Tax 

Obama, Geithner, Congress Squandering Confidence Needed For Recovery

Bonus backlash hits Wall Street

American Democracy With Checks and Balances is Broken; Media, Congress Failing

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

 Obama Spending, Tax Plans Likely Out The Window As CBO Predicts Much More Debt

Obama: Why Are We Saving Geithner and His Incestuous Relationship With Wall Street?

Finance, one of America’s great industries, being destroyed by Congress during crisis?

For Cuomo, AIG, Financial Crisis Is His Political Moment

 Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/21/liveblogging-the-lexington
-ky-tea-party/

Bankers Press Case Against Punitive Tax

March 21, 2009

An alarmed banking industry looked for friends in Washington yesterday as it tried to head off severe congressional restrictions on compensation, fearful that a wave of popular anger about vast paydays will result in permanent damage to the industry.

After a week of unexpected setbacks for an industry accustomed to deference, bank executives said they were now racing to convince Congress and the Obama administration that imposing punitive taxes on bonuses would unfairly punish thousands of people for the sins of a few. Executives also argued that hitting banks would hurt the broader economy.

By Binyamin Appelbaum
The Washington Post

“We are working in every appropriate way with policymakers in Washington, and with other financial institutions and industry associations, to come to agreement on a constructive industry compensation system that is good for the company, the financial system and the country,” Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit said in a memo sent to employees.

The stakes are especially high because the Treasury Department is moving ahead with a critical initiative that involves persuading private investors to buy troubled assets from banks. The administration, which could unveil more details of this plan as early as Monday, is deeply worried that investors will be afraid to participate, Treasury officials say.

The Treasury plan would include three primary components, drawing on resources from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve and private investors, officials say.

Congress remained at a fever pitch, with several members issuing new demands that various companies rescind various bonuses. Long-simmering anger about lavish paydays on Wall Street has erupted since the disclosure last weekend that American International Group, bailed out by the government, still had paid $165 million in new bonuses to the company’s most troubled division.

But there were signs that others in official Washington were more sympathetic to industry concerns. Two of the nation’s senior banking regulators indicated in speeches that compensation should be tied to performance, the point of bonuses.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said banks should structure compensation to reflect contributions to a company’s health and profitability. He said problems arose when employees were rewarded for short-term results that created long-term risks.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-d
yn/content/article/2009/03/20/AR20
09032003737.html?hpid=topnews

Read the rest:
President, Treasury, Congress “undermining efforts to shore up the economy”

Obama, Geithner, Congress Squandering Confidence Needed For Recovery

Federal Government Takes Over American Life

February 10, 2009

Your doctor will have to do things the fed’s way.

Wall Street money makers can’t get big bonuses unless the fed agrees.

The Census will be run from the White House so that the party in power and the fed can redraw congressional districts.

Pork spending?  A leading lawmaker isn’t ashamed of his role because he says nobody cares.
Schumer Says Americans Don’t Care About Pork Spending

Which means he doesn’t care about us.

This sounds like a bad novel.  A nightmare.  Orwell’s 1984?

No. 

Obama’s 2009.

So now we know the answer to Senator Arlen Specter’s question “Why the rush?”

Specter says, “We have not followed regular congressional order on the stimulus….Now we need clarification on just where the government will meddle….”

Senator Chuck Grassley asked this week, “Aren’t we going to look before we leap?”

The answer is no.

This morning on the Fox News Channel it was obvious that neither Republicans or Democrats had the slightest idea of the line items in the stimulus.  And they vote today.

Our government is broken down …. and being hijacked….

Time’s up.  Barack says so.

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02
/10/why-obama-wants-control-of-th
e-census/

Stimulus: Barack Ran the Clock; Pelosi Found the Pork; Media Got Amnesia

Stimulus Makes Sure Feds Watch Your Doctor’s Medical Solutions For You 

“Good” thrown after “bad” debt; But it’ll work; Wanna bet?

 Stimulus: A long way from the best it could possibly be

Obama Agenda Crystal Clear

 Obama, Dems Want It All and Socialism Now

Obama ‘Absolutely Right’ on Executive Pay; NY Mogul Needs No Pay At All

February 5, 2009

The good news is that Donald Trump agrees 100% with President Obama’s idea to limit executive pay and bonuses.

Obama 
Associated Press

At the same time, Trump is doing what Trump loves to do: he is making millions by taking advantage of the situation.

Trump may save about $600 million on the cost of a golf resort planned for northeast Scotland as a result of the pound’s collapse against the dollar and as builders cut prices.

The rich keep getting richer.

Trump, like many in the big money club, would gladly work for no pay.  They make money the old fashioned way….

Related:
CNN:
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/0
2/05/2009-02-05_and_the_rich_keep_gettin
g_richer_trump_s.html

New York Daily News:
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009
/02/05/2009-02-05_and_the_rich_kee
p_getting_richer_trump_s.html

 

Donald Trump holds a driver. Photo: AP

Obama administration to issue executive pay limits

February 4, 2009

The Obama administration plans to limit pay to $500,000 a year for executives of government-assisted financial institutions in a new get-tough approach to bankers and Wall Street, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

Obama plans to announce the new limits with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the White House on Wednesday.

By Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press Writer

“If the taxpayers are helping you, then you’ve got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with “NBC Nightly News“.

An administration official familiar with the new restrictions said the most restrictive limits would apply only to struggling large firms that receive “exceptional assistance” in the future. Healthy banks that receive government infusions of capital would have more leeway.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/
ap_on_go_co/bailout_executive_pay

Vietnam Workers Strike, Claim Abuse By Chinese Bosses

January 4, 2009

Nearly 4,000 workers at a Taiwanese footwear plant in Vietnam have gone on strike to protest alleged ill-treatment by their bosses, state media reported Sunday.

AFP
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The workers, mostly women, said managers from mainland China had beaten and humiliated employees at the Sun Jade company in Thanh Hoa province, according to the Thanh Nien daily.

Thanh Nien and other newspapers said the workers had also reported being denied sick leave and days off for deaths in the family, and were often docked an entire month’s pay if they failed to show up.

Company and local trade union officials could not be reached for comment. Rpeports said it was the plant’s third strike since June.

Last year, as Vietnam was hit by double-digit inflation and an economic slowdown, workers downed tools at hundreds of factories, demanding better pay and conditions.

The Lao Dong daily estimated there were 775 strikes nationwide, mostly in the industrial south, compared to 541 the previous year.

Industrial unrest could flare up again before the Tet lunar New Year in late January, a time when workers often ask for extra pay and time off to visit their families.

Despite Economy, Russian Leader Pledges to Continue Social Programs

December 24, 2008

Russia‘s financial crisis may slow development but won’t derail state social programs, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday amid new warnings that the government next year would face its first budget deficit in a decade.

Medvedev said hard currency accumulated during an eight-year economic boom driven by high oil revenues would help soften the impact of the crisis, but unemployment may rise from the current 6 percent.

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer

“We naturally may lose the tempo of growth,” Medvedev said in televised remarks broadcast by all Russian television stations. “Crisis is crisis. But we must not lose any of our social achievements. I mean wages, real incomes and pensions.”

Medvedev said the nation was in a difficult economic situation, but assured it was not in danger of defaulting and was not planning to denominate the currency. The ruble’s rate, however, would become “a bit more flexible” to reflect the economic situation, he said.

The ruble fell Wednesday to its lowest level ever against the euro as the Central Bank again eased its support for the currency. In late afternoon, the ruble was trading at 40.2 against the euro and 28.7 to the dollar.

It was the second currency depreciation this week, and the 10th since Nov. 11 when the Central Bank began backing off its support. The ruble has fallen about 11 percent in the past six weeks.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081224/ap_on_bi_ge/e
u_russia_budget;_ylt=AiFbYNI_zY21wcFXo18GdqhvaA8F

U.N.: Mexico Will Cut Emissions 10% By 2050 If U.S., Japan Pay

December 12, 2008

If you are an American you heard this right: Mexico will go to work on cleaning up its factories that produce tons of pollution if you pay.  But this won’t happen soon…

To improve the quality of the environment, China, Russia and everyone else have offered to limit the industries of the U.S., Japan and Canada — and give them the bill to pay “emerging economies” to have cleaner industries….

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Developing countries upbraided rich nations at U.N. climate talks Thursday, saying they were refusing to act boldly enough to stop global warming. Mexico sought to prod others into action by becoming the first developing country to announce a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

As 145 environment ministers and other leaders gathered for the final phase of the two-week talks, delegates from poor countries made emotional pleas to rich countries to take the lead in cutting the heat-trapping gases that their factories have pumped into the air since the Industrial Revolution.

By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer

Former U.S. vice president Al Gore, right, receives an Honorary ... 
Former U.S. vice president Al Gore, right, receives an Honorary Doctorate from Professor Bronislaw Marciniak, left, at the Poznan University, Poland, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. Gore is in Poland to participate in the UN climate change conference in Poznan where more than 10, 000 delegates from 186 governments, businesses and environmental groups meet to agree on a new climate treaty in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Countries like the United States, Canada and Japan have resisted deep emissions cuts without similar sacrifice from the developing world. They argue that unilateral action on their part would harm their economies, and would not solve the crisis if industrializing countries like China and India keep spewing out ever more carbon dioxide.

The attitude of the rich countries “borders on the immoral and is counterproductive,” said John Ashe, Antigua’s ambassador to the U.N., speaking on behalf of 130 developing countries plus China.

Mexico DF City.jpg

Above: Mexico City sparkles on a rare clear evening conceded that “our negotiations are by far not progressing fast enough. We are not making any progress on crucial issues.”

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel

“If industrialized countries carry on playing games with words in an attempt to shirk their responsibilities, we will become a laughing stock,” Gabriel said.

To spur global collective action, Mexico’s environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira, announced his country’s plan to cut 2002 greenhouse gas emission levels by 50 percent by 2050. Still, he said Mexico’s goal of using solar power, wind and other clean technologies could only be reached with financial and technological help from wealthier nations.

The Mexican plan includes establishing a cap-and-trade system that would set emissions limits on certain sectors, such as cement, electricity and oil refining, which account for the vast majority of its emissions. Companies that reduce their emissions below those limits could sell their unused allowances on the international carbon market.

The move makes Mexico the only developing country to set a voluntary national target below current levels, said Antonio Hill, senior policy adviser for Oxfam. South Korea has said it would announce an emissions cap next year, and South Africa has a detailed plan to peak emissions in 2025.

Tourists walk through heavy fog over Tiananmen Square in Beijing ...
Tourists walk through heavy fog over Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2007. China warned its heavy dependence on coal to fuel its fast-growing economy made it difficult to control greenhouse gas emissions, but said fighting global warming remained imperative.(AFP/File/Teh Eng Koon)

“It’s a very significant step because a major emerging economy is saying that it will put a limit on its emissions for key sectors which account for the majority of its emissions,” said Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Officials at the talks in Poland are working on a new worldwide treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It is supposed to be concluded next December in Copenhagen, Denmark, and would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Environmentalists have also sharply criticized the rich countries, saying they have done too little to battle global warming. But many developing countries, including Brazil, China, South Africa, and now Mexico, have won praise for taking strong steps in fighting climate change.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081211/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_poland_climate_talks_7

Obama Has Hired, Used as Advisors, At Least 20 Harvard Classmates

December 5, 2008

As Barack Obama puts together his administration, more than 20 Harvard Law School classmates dot the ranks of his transition team — solidifying the Crimson connection as his most enduring, yet least-known, personal network.

By Carrie Budoff Brown
Politico

Eyeing the presidency as a freshman senator, Obama turned to his classmates first for their high-level contacts, and then to help raise campaign cash. Now, they’re putting their day jobs on the backburner to help their friend build a government.

“If you think about the progression of the president-elect’s national career, initially he didn’t have a national network of people who he could call on,” said Cassandra Butts, general counsel for the transition. “The Harvard group was helpful on that front — helping him make introductions on policy, political and financial fronts.”

Harvard University

Besides Butts, other top Harvard grads around Obama include Chris Lu, who will serve as Obama’s liaison with Cabinet departments; Tom Perrelli, who works on the Justice Department transition team; and Julius Genachowski and Michael Froman, who sit on the 12-member Transition Advisory Board.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/16224

Mumbai Terror Survivor Bought Cheap and Promised Pay “Dead or Alive” By Pakistan Handlers

December 3, 2008

The only gunman captured during the terror attack on Mumbai says he was promised that his impoverished family would get $1,250 if he died fighting for militant Islam, security officials said Wednesday.

The captive, 21-year-old Ajmal Amir Kasab, is from Faridkot village in the Punjab region of Pakistan, according to the two Indian officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details gleaned during a week of interrogation.

By RAMOLA TALWAR BADAM, Associated Press Writer

FILE  INDIA OUT. CREDIT MANDATORY  ...

Kasab was arrested hours after the three-day rampage began the night of Nov. 26. Photographs of the young man walking calmly through Mumbai‘s main train station — assault rifle in hand — have made him a symbol of the attacks that killed 171 people, including 26 foreigners.

India has blamed the banned Pakistan-based extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the carnage. But in an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, expressed skepticism that the man in custody is a Pakistani citizen.

According to the Indian security officials, Kasab was a day laborer, like one of his brothers, before joining Lashkar. He recounted being told that if he was “shaheed” — or “martyred” — his family would receive 100,000 Pakistani rupees, or about $1,250, they said.

Kasab said that he and the nine gunmen killed during the attack were hand-picked for the Mumbai rampage after intensive Lashkar training, the officials said.

Related:
What We Know About Mumbai Terrorists: Mad Dogs Off The Leash

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081203/ap_on_re_as
/as_india_shooting_gunman

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A former Defense Department official said Wednesday that American intelligence agencies had determined that former officers from Pakistan’s Army and its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped train the Mumbai attackers.

From The New York Times
By ERIC SCHMITT and SOMINI SENGUPTA

But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that no specific links had been uncovered yet between the terrorists and the Pakistani government.

His disclosure came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held meetings with Indian leaders in New Delhi and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with their Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad, in a two-pronged effort to pressure Pakistan to cooperate fully in the effort to track down those responsible for the bloody attacks in Mumbai last week.

Also on Wednesday, a “fully functional” bomb was found and defused at a major Mumbai train station that had reopened days earlier, the Mumbai authorities announced. The discovery raised terrifying questions about why the authorities had failed to find it all this time.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people marched through Mumbai, both mourning the at least 173 dead and protesting the failures of Indian politicians and security services to protect citizens.

Ms. Rice strove to balance demands on both countries. She said that Pakistan had a “special responsibility” to cooperate with India and help prevent attacks in the future, here and elsewhere. At the same time, she warned India against hasty reaction that would yield what she called “unintended consequences.”

“The response of the Pakistani government should be one of cooperation and of action,” she said at an evening news conference in New Delhi with her Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee. “Any response needs to be judged by its effectiveness in prevention and also by not creating other unintended consequences or difficulties.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/world/asia/04india.html?_r=1&hp

This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with a “Versace” logo carrying an automatic weapon as he enters a train station in Mumbai, late November 26. The man, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, is being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.(AFP/NDTV/File)