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OPINION
September 7, 2012
Re "No way to run a corporation," Opinion, Sept. 2 Over the last two decades, as Lynn Stout insightfully details, corporations have been ever more inclined to run amok. The federal government's complicity in abetting this lamentable trend should not be so surprising. Legislators are simply appeasing their patrons. It's the common person who demands that corporations provide the ever-more impossible. They want prices on consumer products kept low without undesirable cost-cutting strategies such as outsourcing jobs, compromising safety, degrading the environment and so on. The catch is that pure capitalism requires both constantly expanding markets and limitless resources.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
April 28, 2014 | Marc Lifsher
The pace of lawmaking is speeding up at the Capitol. With legislators back from spring break, rallies are in full swing on the Capitol steps; lobbyists of all stripes are packing the ornate hearing rooms and overflow crowds are watching television feeds in hallways. "There's definitely a push to get bills moving," said Sarah Swanbeck of California Common Cause, a government reform lobby. "You can feel the pressure. " Friday is the deadline for bills to get a first hearing.
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BUSINESS
October 28, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Now that the Supreme Court has endowed corporations with the right to have their voices heard via unrestrained spending on political campaigns (in the Citizens United decision of 2010), there aren't many frontiers left to test the idea that corporations are "persons. " But one test is heading our way with the speed of a freight train. This is the claim that corporations can have a religious conscience -- more to the point, that they can impose their own religious beliefs on their employees.  The issue is raised by three corporations' challenges to Obamacare, specifically its requirement that employer health plans cover a wide range of contraceptives.
NEWS
April 26, 2014 | By Jon Healey
Some California lawmakers worry that California is losing too many businesses to other states. State Sens. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) evidently worry that we're not losing enough. DeSaulnier and Hancock are the authors of SB 1372 , a measure that purportedly addresses one of the most talked-about (and, Democrats hope, politically fertile) problems with the U.S. economy: income inequality. Specifically, they take aim at the compensation packages that publicly traded corporations give their chief executive officers.
OPINION
September 12, 2012
Re "Tax planning? Or tax cheating?," Opinion, Sept. 7 The subheadline ("Laws that encourage corporate tax havens are bad for America") suggests an indictment against tax law and those who wrote it. But Edward D. Kleinbard's argument is really against those (Republicans and businesspeople) who take full legal advantage of the law. A valid case can be made that the law should be different; unfortunately, Kleinbard goes after the corporations that are governed by the law, calling them tax cheats.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Corporations are increasingly spying on nonprofit groups they view as potential threats with little fear of retribution, according to a new report by a corporate watchdog group. The large companies employ former Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, FBI, military and police officers to monitor and in some cases infiltrate groups that have been critical of them, according to the report by Essential Information, which was founded by Ralph Nader in the 1980s. "Many different types of nonprofits have been targeted with espionage, including environmental, anti-war, public interest, consumer, food safety, pesticide reform, nursing-home reform, gun control, social justice, animal rights and arms control groups," the report said.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
Corporations do not have a right to "personal privacy," the Supreme Court ruled unanimously, at least when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act and the release of documents held by the government. Last year's ruling giving companies a free-speech right to spend money on campaign ads prompted liberal critics to say the court's conservatives were biased in favor of corporate rights. While not alluding to the criticism, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took a scalpel to a corporate-rights claim from AT&T Inc. that its "personal privacy" deserves to be protected.
OPINION
January 22, 2011
In a case that could erect new barriers to public access to government information, the Supreme Court this week was asked to hold that corporations have a right to "personal privacy. " Fortunately, justices from across the ideological spectrum appeared skeptical that such a counterintuitive concept could be found either in the law or in a dictionary. At issue is whether the Federal Communications Commission will release information about AT&T under the Freedom of Information Act. That law provides several exemptions, including one for trade secrets and another for information that "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" ?
OPINION
April 28, 2003
So President Bush thinks that tax cuts that will most benefit those with the most money (such as corporations) will create more jobs and stimulate the economy (April 25). Why not just dispense with the middleman and allow corporations to tax us directly? Bill Entz Granada Hills
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Some major U.S. corporations that support climate science in their public relations materials actively work to derail regulations and laws addressing global warming through lobbying, campaign donations and support of various advocacy groups, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental and scientific integrity group. The multinational oil giant, ConocoPhillips, for instance, said on its website in 2011 that it “recognizes” that human activity is leading to climate change, the view supported by the overwhelming majority of scientific research.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
Last year, Los Angeles entertainment giant AEG weathered a major corporate shake-up, endured a six-month trial spotlighting its role in the last days of Michael Jackson and fell short in its efforts to bring L.A. a pro football team. Even so, the company - owner of Staples Center, L.A. Live and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team - seems to be on the rebound. Although AEG has taken a decidedly low profile in Southern California in recent months, the company has seen most of its worldwide operations surge.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers has been named head of Warner Bros. corporate communications, replacing longtime studio executive Sue Fleishman.  Myers, who served as White House press secretary during President Clinton's first term, will begin work at Burbank-based Warner Bros. on Sept. 2.  Fleishman, who had worked at Warner Bros. for nine years, stepped down from her post this week. She oversaw communications for Warner Bros. during a two-year corporate succession race that ended in January 2013 with the announcement that Kevin Tsujihara would succeed   Barry Meyer as chief executive and chairman of Hollywood's biggest movie studio.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
The average American would have to fork over an extra $1,259 in state and federal income taxes this year to make up for the revenue lost because of offshore tax havens used by corporations and wealthy individuals, according to a new report. U.S. companies will use offshore tax havens to avoid paying an estimated $110 billion in taxes this year, according to the analysis by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Wealthy people will circumvent about $74 billion in taxes. The report underscores the controversial issue of major companies using elaborate maneuvers to sidestep taxes, often by stowing income in overseas subsidiaries set up primarily for tax purposes.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 2014 | By Meg James and Ryan Faughnder
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.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
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.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
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.
NEWS
September 25, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
Undisclosed political money is playing an outsize role in the 2012 election cycle. But as some political donors are seeking to hide their identities, a new study has found that at least one set of contributors - corporations - is increasingly opting for transparency when it comes to their political spending. The study, released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, examined the top 200 companies in the S&P 500 and found that that almost 60% of them are disclosing at least some of their political activity.
NEWS
October 29, 2011 | By Melanie Mason
Faced with the option of limitless political spending in a post-Citizens United world, corporations are increasingly choosing to disclose, and in some cases limit, their giving, according to a study released Friday. The report , created by the Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, evaluated companies using numerous criteria, including board oversight of political giving, disclosure practices and restrictions on political spending.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
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)
NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Jon Healey
The Supreme Court took up the question Tuesday of whether for-profit corporations had the right to exercise a religion, and the answer seemed clear from the justices' questions: closely held corporations do. That bodes well for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, the companies challenging the Obama administration's requirement that their health insurance plans cover contraception. But that may not be the deciding factor in the case. Just as important are whether the federal government can show a compelling interest in providing easy access to contraception, and whether the mandate is the least-restrictive way to promote that interest.
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