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BUSINESS
January 22, 2014 | Walter Hamilton
From an office tower overlooking the sumptuous Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach, Mohamed El-Erian sat atop a massive treasure trove of wealth as chief executive of Pimco. Soft-spoken and cerebral, El-Erian presided over a financial juggernaut that rose to become one of the biggest and most influential investment firms in the world. His ubiquitous appearances on cable news shows could sway financial markets in a split second. On Tuesday, El-Erian unexpectedly announced his resignation as CEO. Pimco offered no explanation for the departure, sparking conjecture on Wall Street about whether the current challenges at the investment giant played a role.
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BUSINESS
January 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
Mohamed El-Erian unexpectedly resigned from his post as chief executive and co-chief investment officer of global investment management firm Pimco on Tuesday, the firm said in a statement. El-Erian will leave the firm in March and will remain a member of parent company Allianz's international executive committee. He will also serve as an advisor on global economic and policy issues. William H. Gross will continue to serve as chief investment officer, the firm said in a statement.  "I have been extremely honored and fortunate to work alongside Bill Gross, who is one of the very best investors in the world," El-Erian said in a statement.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California's huge pension fund reported a 16.2% return on its investments in 2013 - its best results in more than a decade. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, which provides benefits to about 1.7 million state and local government workers, retirees and their dependents, said its total investments were worth $282.6 billion as of Friday, the highest ever. Better known as CalPERS, the country's biggest public pension fund was especially helped by the stock market's best year since 1997.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- The California Public Employee's Retirement System, the nation's biggest government pension, reported a 16.2% return on its investments for 2013. It was the best calendar year performance in 11 years for the $281-billion CalPERS, which provides benefits to about 1.7 million state and local government workers, retirees and their dependents. "A 16.2% rate of return is really good," said Marcia Fritz, a Sacramento pension reform activist. "They are in it for the long haul.
SPORTS
January 7, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
General Manager Jerry Dipoto called the Angels' recent signing of Mark Mulder to a minor league deal a potential “win-win” situation for the team and the 36-year-old left-hander, who hasn't pitched since 2009 and hasn't won a big league game since 2006. “The way the contract is structured, he has to make the big league club to earn anything and to start games to get into the dollars available to him,” Dipoto said of a deal that would pay Mulder $1 million if he makes the team and up to $6 million if he pitches a full season.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2014 | By Shan Li
Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens thinks his long bet on natural gas is finally paying off. The legendary oilman has long declared it his mission to wean America off its addiction to foreign oil. He co-founded an Orange County company that builds natural gas stations around the country and sank billions into wind turbines. Pickens' gambles have not always paid off. He lost an estimated $150 million of his personal fortune in wind farming, and admits that he was a couple of decades early into natural gas. But he thinks the time has come for natural gas to shake up the energy industry.
OPINION
December 25, 2013 | By Alan Benson, Krishna Esteva and Frank Levy
Smack in the middle of the holiday rush, college applications are due - anxious weeks for high school seniors and their families. To heighten the anxiety, no month passes without a critic proclaiming that college is a pedantic waste of money, while opinion polls show a rising fraction of the public doubts the value of a college education. Yet many studies find that college still outperforms other investments, at least for the typical student. Any student trying to make sense of this confusion should recognize that investing in a college education differs from other investments in two important respects.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to tighten the rules for who can vote in neighborhood council elections after complaints that an overly broad definition of community stakeholder had allowed outsiders to manipulate results. The new rules mark an ongoing attempt to refine the neighborhood governance system, struck in the late 1990s after the San Fernando Valley secession movement to give residents a stronger voice in city politics. Previously, anyone could vote in a neighborhood council race just by displaying a receipt for a latte from around the corner, as proof of having a vested interest in a community - a "Starbucks stakeholder.
OPINION
December 10, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Federal regulators are expected to give final approval this week to the so-called Volcker Rule, which bars banks from making risky investments with the insured deposits they're holding for customers. To protect against having to bail out depositors in the event of a giant bank failure, it makes sense to set clear limits on what banks can do with the assets that the federal government guarantees. But the contention surrounding the Volcker Rule illustrates how hard it is for regulators to translate simple concepts into real and effective rules.
BUSINESS
December 8, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
NEW YORK - The painting once hung in the Cleveland Museum of Art. And there was no shortage of people who wanted it in the crowded Christie's auction room. The artwork, "Women Reaching for the Moon," is a blur of a woman in a red dress. It was painted by Rufino Tamayo, the famed Mexican creator of abstract works that combine European and Latino influ- ences. Though bidding started at $500,000, it quickly reached $1 million. The standing-room-only crowd murmured as auctioneer Adrian Meyer parried with the remaining bidders, and workers wheeled in rows of extra chairs.
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