Business Experts Warn Microsoft Investors Not To Approve A Major Payday For Its CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella CREDIT: AP The large pay package Microsoft is offering to CEO Satya Nadella is too generous, advisers from a leading investment advisory firm say. Nadella is set to earn over $90 million in salary and stock options for fiscal year 2014, according to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a company that advises large, influential shareholders on how to vote and … [Read more...]

Social Safety Net Programs Kept Tens Of Millions Out Of Poverty

The official poverty rate was essentially unchanged at 15.1 percent in 2012, and alternative measures show that safety net programs like food stamps, unemployment insurance, Social Security, and tax credits for the working poor keep tens of millions of Americans out of poverty each year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The official poverty statistics are based solely on income and do not … [Read more...]

How Taxpayer Money Meant To Help Farmers Ends Up With Wall Street

Much of the roughly $59 billion taxpayers spent on crop insurance programs over the past decade ends up with financial companies rather than farmers. The 18 insurance companies that participate in the federal crop insurance program banked $10 billion in profit over the past decade and have made money on the program every year save two in the past 20. Those insurance companies receive taxpayer … [Read more...]

Michigan Governor: Detroit Bankruptcy Is A Good Thing For The City

CREDIT: AP Detroit’s bankruptcy is a good thing for the city’s improvement, according to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R). On a trade mission to China and Japan, the governor is looking to put a positive spin on the crisis that threatens to leave 30,000 current and former city workers without the retirement security their contract with the city is supposed to guarantee. The trip is part … [Read more...]

Using Austerity To Cure Economies Is Like Using Leeches To Cure Disease

Economists have been underestimating the harm caused by pulling back on government spending, according to new work from economists Òscar Jordà and Alan Taylor. The new work, published in September by the National Bureau of Economic Research, confirms what austerity opponents have long argued: “expansionary austerity” is a myth, and while cutting spending hurts weak economies far more … [Read more...]

Three Infuriating Facts About Wall Street CEOs Five Years After The Crisis

Five years ago this week, the investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. declared bankruptcy and triggered the financial collapse that brought us the Great Recession. Things have turned out quite well for former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld and four other industry executives whose work contributed substantially to the cycle of subprime lending and financial swindling that caused the crisis. … [Read more...]

Kansas Anti-Poverty Task Force Recommends Stronger Families, Weaker Safety Net

The Kansas government’s campaign against child poverty will rely on reducing Kansans’ access to safety net programs and redoubling state efforts to encourage old school family values, according to a report from Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) Task Force on Reducing Childhood Poverty. Of the nine specific ideas listed as “Recommendations” in the report, three involve … [Read more...]

Tax Reform Advocates Make Their Case At Tax-Evading FedEx

A legislative listening tour meant to make the case for comprehensive tax reform will stop on Monday at a giant corporation that’s paid a 4.2 percent tax rate on over $9 billion in profits over the past five years. The tax reform tour, which is the brainchild of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-CA), features a mix of … [Read more...]

Bank of America Pays $39 Million To Settle Gender Discrimination Case

Bank of America will pay $39 million to settle claims it discriminated against women in its investment advice division, the company announced Friday evening. It is the bank’s second major settlement over employee discrimination claims in two weeks. The money will be divvied up between roughly 4,800 women who worked at Bank of America and its subsidiary Merrill Lynch from 2007 onward. The … [Read more...]

Three Signs Of The Havoc The Bankruptcy Process Is Wreaking On Detroit

Since Detroit declared bankruptcy in July, the legal process has been rapid. Judge Stephen Rhodes recently moved up the start date of the hearing to determine the city’s eligibility for bankruptcy from late October to September 18, which means it will have taken just 90 days to go from the initial filing to the crucial eligibility hearing. Here are three of the strangest stories indicating … [Read more...]

Europe Finally Emerges From Record-Long Recession

The record 18-month recession is officially over in the Eurozone, as growth in France and Germany overwhelmed ongoing contractions elsewhere in the area during the second quarter of the year. Data released Wednesday show that as a whole, the 17 economies that use the euro expanded by 0.3 percent from April to June. Germany recorded 0.7 percent GDP growth and France notched a 0.5 percent growth … [Read more...]

New Fraud Evidence Shows Trillions Of Dollars In Mortgages Have No Owner

Thanks to forged documents, banks can’t prove that they own trillions of dollars in mortgages, according to recently unsealed court documents relating to a lawsuit the government decided to settle out of court for $95 million in 2012. The evidence gathered by Lynn Szymoniak, a Florida resident who fought off a wrongful foreclosure after three years of legal wrangling, could invalidate … [Read more...]

Detroit Emergency Manager: ‘The City Was Dumb, Lazy, Happy, And Rich’

Detroit is solely responsible for its current situation because “the city was dumb, lazy, happy, and rich” for many years, according to emergency manager Kevyn Orr. The unelected lawyer’s explanation for the city’s insolvency ignores the national and regional forces at play over decades. In reality, the city was battered by large socioeconomic forces it could hardly influence, according to the … [Read more...]

Past City Bankruptcies Show There Is No Blueprint For Detroit Retirees

Even with a half-dozen municipal bankruptcies from the past 15 years as a guide, there is no clear precedent to steer expectations among Detroit’s retirees as the Motor City’s bankruptcy filing proceeds. Cate Long, the municipal financing expert for Reuters, reviewed six insolvent cities around the country and found they don’t provide much of a road map. Despite being less than one thirtieth the … [Read more...]

Administration Used Dramatically Inflated Statistics To Defend Mortgage Fraud Efforts

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder The Obama administration’s yearlong investigative push on mortgage fraud produced just one fifth of the criminal charges and identified just one quarter of the victims claimed by Attorney General Eric Holder in a 2012 speech, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) announced late Friday. The news that the administration radically overstated its prosecutorial … [Read more...]

Congressman Fear Mongers On Minimum Wage: ‘You Guys Wanna Pay $20 For A Hamburger?’

Bringing the minimum wage back up to the buying power it had in 1968 would more than quadruple the price of fast food, according to Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). When a constituent asked Mullin for his take on the push to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour at an Afton, Oklahoma town hall meeting last Thursday, Mullin responded with a question of his own: “You guys wanna pay $20 for a … [Read more...]

Austerity Has Now Shrunk The Greek Economy By A Quarter Since 2008

Greece’s economy contracted at an annual rate of 4.6 percent from April to June, according to data released early Monday. Together with first quarter GDP, the numbers mean the Greek economy is shrinking at a 5.1 percent rate so far in 2013. All told, the austerity-plagued country’s output is now 23 percent smaller than it was at the beginning of 2008, Reuters noted. That massive, ongoing … [Read more...]

Investigation Of Banks’ Role In Price Rigging Escalates With New Subpoenas

Regulators have ordered an aluminum company to preserve three years of documents that may be relevant to an investigation into price rigging in the markets for metals, Reuters reported Monday. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) subpoena is the latest signal of heightened regulatory scrutiny of financial firms’ role in the physical commodities markets, three weeks after a New York … [Read more...]