April 12, 2014 |
CBS has "The Big Bang Theory" and its boss has an astronomical paycheck. Leslie Moonves, the network's chief executive, was awarded a $66.9-million compensation package last year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday. That was up nearly 8% from the $62.2-million package he got in 2012, a year that also kept Moonves in a rarefied group of the nation's most handsomely compensated corporate executives. Moonves was paid $3.5 million in salary and received a $28.5-million bonus.
April 6, 2014 |
The stock market is hitting new highs - just as corporate profit growth is slowing to a crawl. Rising earnings helped drive share prices to a series of record peaks in the last few years. But that dynamic could be tested this week when companies such as Alcoa Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. begin releasing first-quarter results. Quarterly profits are expected to drop for just the second time in four years. The decline would be relatively small: 1.2% for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, according to FactSet Research Systems.
April 3, 2014 |
On Sept. 9, 2010, years of lax maintenance by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced itself by leveling a neighborhood in San Bruno, just south of the San Francisco city line. Eight people were killed in the gas pipeline blast; 58 others were injured, and 38 homes were destroyed. You can take that as the baseline case for what it takes to get the federal government's attention. Earlier this week, federal prosecutors in San Francisco unveiled a 12-count felony indictment of the company for knowingly violating federal pipeline safety laws.
April 1, 2014 |
Forget about jazz; the true indigenous American art form is the tax dodge. Today brings us (courtesy of Sen. Carl Levin's subcommittee on investigations) an impressively elegant example from Caterpillar Inc. Elegant and lucrative too: Levin's committee says Cat's maneuver has saved it $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. On the downside, the company had to pay PricewaterhouseCoopers, which cooked up the dodge as Caterpillar's tax consultant and also approved it as Caterpillar's corporate auditing firm (this is known as one hand shaking the other)
March 26, 2014 |
The documentary gods are smiling on us this week. One of the real knockout docs of 2013 is back in town. That would be "Big Men," an astonishing look inside the world of oil capitalism in the West African nations of Ghana and Nigeria. The film took director Rachel Boynton seven years to make and was worth every minute. Boynton's last film was the excellent "Our Brand Is Crisis," and she specializes in the kind of insider access filmmakers only dream about. In this compelling doc, she offers an incisive look at how the enormous wealth oil creates subverts the morality of individuals, corporations, even entire countries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 |
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.