Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 29, 2012
It’s been amazing to me to hear that many who have followed this issue – or even had some passing familiarity with the story – have been so blatantly ignorant of the abuses and frauds perpetrated by the corporate executives of the Hostess Corporation. Frankly, those who demonized the unfortunate demise of this iconic American enterprise blamed unions, and completely overlooked corporate malfeasance. However, this enterprise, which, in the course of their operations, once treated their employees well, was miserably raped by greedy and incompetent executives. Why they have not been charged with theft or fraud is beyond my comprehension.
Hostess Maneuver Deprived Pension
- Updated December 9, 2012, 8:03 p.m. ET
Hostess Brands Inc. said it used wages that were supposed to help fund employee pensions for the company’s operations as it sank toward bankruptcy.
After nearly 22 years at Hostess, former forklift operator Craig Davis is pondering his future on the front porch of his home in Emporia, Kan.
It isn’t clear how many of the Irving, Texas, company’s workers were affected by the move or how much money never wound up in their pension plans as promised.
After the company said in August 2011 that it would stop making pension contributions, the foregone wages weren’t put toward the pension. Nor were they restored.
After nearly 22 years at Hostess, former forklift operator Craig Davis is pondering his future on the front porch of his home in Emporia, Kansas. Ryan Nicholson for The Wall Street Journal
The maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Wonder Bread filed for bankruptcy protection in January and shut down last month following a strike by one of the unions representing Hostess workers. A judge is overseeing the sale of company assets.
Gregory Rayburn, Hostess’s chief executive officer, said in an interview it is “terrible” that employee wages earmarked for the pension were steered elsewhere by the company.
“I think it’s like a lot of things in this case,” he added. “It’s not a good situation to have.”
Mr. Rayburn became chief executive in March and learned about the issue shortly before the company shut down, he said. “Whatever the circumstances were, whatever those decisions were, I wasn’t there,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Hostess’s previous top executive, Brian Driscoll, declined to comment.
Hostess hasn’t previously acknowledged that the foregone wages went toward its operations.
The maneuver probably doesn’t violate federal law because the money Hostess failed to put into the pension didn’t come directly from employees, experts said.
“It’s what lawyers call betrayal without remedy,” said James P. Baker, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP who specializes in employee benefits and isn’t involved in the Hostess case. “It’s sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately.”
The decision to cease pension contributions angered many employees. After the bankruptcy filing, Hostess tangled with Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, business, crime, fraud, greed, ho's, Hostess, Hostess Brands, incompetence, investigation, liars, pension, Rayburn, retirement, Teamster, theft, Twinkie, Twinkies, Wall Street Journal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 20, 2012
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, the real “Welfare Mothers” are found to be…
First Posted: 01/10/12 01:03 PM ET Updated: 01/10/12 06:17 PM ET
At a time when the federal government is starved for cash — and facing layoffs and cuts in services across the board — more and more corporations are sidestepping their traditional tax rate and keeping millions of dollars for themselves.
The number of U.S. corporations structuring their businesses in such a way that they can avoid higher taxes has skyrocketed in the past quarter century, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In 1986, about 24 percent of corporations were what’s known as nontaxable businesses — meaning the companies themselves pay no federal income taxes — instead passing on the earnings to individual investors to pay taxes on. By 2008, these businesses accounted for about 69 percent of all corporations, a designation that can save companies hundreds of millions of dollars in a single year
Advocates for the business community have expressed frustration with the country’s 35 percent corporate income tax rate, calling it unreasonably high. In practice, though, it’s common for big businesses to pay much less, thanks to a cornucopia of tax-code loopholes and exemptions won by lobbyists.
The issue of corporate tax participation has become especially pressing in recent years, as the country struggles to manage its ballooning deficits. Corporate taxes for non-financial companies have fallen more than 13 percent since 2007, according to Bloomberg. At the same time, the national debt grew to $15.23 trillion from $9.13 trillion — a number larger than the economy itself.
According to a recent analysis of nearly 300 Fortune 500 companies by the Citizens for Tax Justice, the average company was paying just 18.3 percent in taxes — a little more than half the official rate. And by using techniques like industry subsidies, stock option packages, and moving assets overseas where they can’t be taxed, 30 companies mentioned in the report — including Wells Fargo, Verizon, Boeing and General Electric — didn’t pay a cent in federal taxes in 2008, 2009 or 2010, the report found.
The phenomenon affects state income taxes as well as federal. Last month, another study from the Center for Tax Justice found that corporate tax avoidance had cost states a combined $42.7 billion between 2008 and 2010 — a period when budget shortfalls forced states to cut spending for health care, public schools and care for the elderly and disabled.
More Firms Enjoy Tax-Free Status
January 10, 2012
By JOHN D. MCKINNON
StoneMor Partners LP, the publicly traded firm that specializes in running cemeteries, expects to see handsome profits in coming years as baby boomers age and die. But unlike its largest rivals, its corporate tax bill from the federal government will be zero.
StoneMor is among the many businesses organized so they don’t pay a penny in federal corporate income tax. And yet such firms don’t employ an army of accountants to shield profits in complex tax shelters. Their enviable tax position is perfectly legal and has been encouraged by Congress and state governments. Known as Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Citizens for Tax Justice, Corporate tax, corporation, General Electric, Internal Revenue Service, John McKinnon, tax, United States, Wall Street Journal, Wells Fargo | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Bob Dylan says plagiarism charges made by “wussies and pussies”
By Chris Francescani
U.S. musician Bob Dylan (R) performs on the second day of the Hop Farm Music Festival in Paddock Wood, Kent June 30, 2012. Credit: Reuters/ Ki Price
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bob Dylan has angrily responded to charges he plagiarized some of his lyrics, calling critics “wussies and pussies” and saying musical appropriation is “part of the folk tradition.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine for its Friday edition, the influential singer-songwriter made his first public comments on the accusations, saying that in folk and jazz music “quotation is a rich and enriching tradition.”
“Everyone else can do it but not me,” he complained. “There are different rules for me.”
Rolling Stone released excerpts of the interview on Wednesday and Reuters obtained a complete transcript.
In 2003, the Wall Street Journal reported that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: believer, betrayal, Bob Dylan, Dylan, Jesus, Judas, legend, Living Legend, LORD, Love and Theft, musician, New York Times, news, pussies, Reuters, Rolling Stone, Sean Wilentz, Wall Street Journal, wussies | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 9, 2012
Just in the case we need reminding.
And often, we do.
As Samuel Johnson once wrote, “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
Johnson: Rambler #2 (March 24, 1750)
January 9, 2009, 12:04 PM ET
Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record
By WSJ Staff
President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.
His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton‘s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.
Here’s a look at job creation under each president since the Labor Department started keeping payroll records in 1939. The counts are based on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Bill Clinton, data, Department of Labor, economy, employment, facts, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, jobs, John F Kennedy, news, Presidents, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, statistics, Wall Street Journal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 24, 2012
The revolution will not be televised.
It will be handheld.
Because the future is now.
FCC Is Expected to Vote to Open Up Spectrum, Easing Patient Monitoring and Making Product Development Less Risky
Hospitals are getting ready to cut the cord.
In place of knots of wires stuck to patients to monitor their blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level and body temperature, doctors and the companies that supply them hope to use Band-Aid-like sensors to accomplish the same task wirelessly.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday to open up spectrum for wireless medical devices, raising the possibility of easier hospital-patient monitoring, fewer tubes in emergency rooms, and more remote monitoring at home.
The shift will make it easier to track patients’ conditions, improving the odds that health problems will be caught before they become an emergency, analysts and clinicians say.
While wireless technology has boomed for phones and computing, it has been slower to take hold in the medical sphere. Hospitals have Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Apple, communications, Darrell M. West, FCC, Federal Communications Commission, Food and Drug Administration, General Electric, George Washington University Hospital, handheld, iphone, Medical device, mobilephone, news, Philips, smartphone, Technology, Wall Street Journal, WiFi, wireless | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In fact, it’s being done now.
It way, way, way, way, way, way cheaper than petroleum, and burns clean too!
If you want to see the future, look at Interstate Commerce.
And, here’s another good side to natural gas as a fuel – because it burns cleaner, the engines last exceedingly longer! So now, your 100,000+ mile vehicle becomes a 200,000+ mile vehicle!
Shale Gas Set to Reshape Trucking
Updated May 23, 2012, 4:23 p.m. ET
Rising diesel costs, last year, forced Waste Management Inc. WM +0.91% to charge customers an extra $169 million, just to keep its garbage trucks fueled. This year, the nation’s biggest trash hauler has a new defensive strategy: it is buying trucks that will run on cheaper natural gas.
In fact, the company says 80% of the trucks it purchases during the next five years will be fueled by natural gas. Though the vehicles cost about $30,000 more than conventional diesel models, each will save $27,000-a-year or more in fuel, says Eric Woods, head of fleet logistics for Waste Management. By 2017, the company expects to burn more natural gas than diesel.
“The economics favoring natural gas are overwhelming,” says Scott Perry, vice president of procurement at Ryder Systems Inc., R +2.31% one of the nation’s largest truck-leasing companies and a transporter of goods for the grocery, automotive, electronics and retail industries.
The shale gas revolution, which cut the price of natural gas to about $2.70 a million British Thermal Units in the past year, already has shaken up the utility industry, which is switching to natural gas from coal in a big way. Vast Amounts of natural gas in shale rock formations have been unlocked by improved drilling techniques, making the fuel cheap and plentiful across the U.S.
Now the shale-gas boom is rippling through transportation. Never before has Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: British thermal unit, business, Chevrolet Express, CNG, Compressed natural gas, Cummins, Energy, energy independence, FedEx, Green, highway, internal combustion engine, Interstate Commerce, Liquefied natural gas, Liquified Natual Gas, LNG, NatGas, Natural gas, Natural gas vehicle, Navistar, Navistar International, news, Oil and Gas, Ryder, Shale gas, Staples Inc, T. Boone Pickens, transportation, trucking, trucks, United Parcel Service, United States, UPS, Wall Street Journal, Waste Management | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 10, 2012
Give particular attention to this sentence, which is found later in the article: “Bank executives, including Dimon, have argued for weaker rules and broader exemptions.”
Give attention also to the last paragraph of the second story: “Of course, this loss only goes to show how weak the Volcker Rule is: Dimon is adamant, and probably correct, in saying that Iksil’s bets were Volcker-compliant, despite the fact that they clearly violate the spirit of the rule. Now that we’ve entered election season, Congress isn’t going to step in to tighten things up — but maybe the SEC will pay more attention to Occupy’s letter, now. JP Morgan more or less invented risk management. If they can’t do it, no bank can. And no sensible regulator can ever trust the banks to self-regulate.”
Is there any remaining argument against deregulating banks?
Is there any remaining argument against re-instituting the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated Banks, Insurance & Wall Street and forbade them from commingling in each others’ businesses)?
Ahead of the Greek financial crisis – in which Goldman Sachs had a direct and unscrupulous role by hiding sales of financial vehicles from Greek, European & American regulators – German chancellor Angela Merkel said this at a March 5, 2010 press conference in Berlin with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, (ref: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a26n.U6qS6cU):
“Credit-default swaps, where you insure your neighbor’s house just to destroy it and make money from it, that’s exactly what we have to curb.”
Now, I wouldn’t expect you or the average reader to be knowledgeable about these things. Honestly, most folks aren’t. But that’s not a condemnation of you, dear reader. Rather, it is a statement acknowledging that banks, bankers, Wall Street types, and Insurance firms do not want to be regulated, and would rather operate free-willy-nilly – without any rules. You and I must abide by rules. Why shouldn’t they? And as they have consistently demonstrated, they cannot be trusted to do the right thing.
For additional information on Goldman Sachs involvement in the Greek Debt Crisis, I refer you to this 02/08/2010 news item from German news magazine, Der Spiegel: “Greek Debt Crisis How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt,” By Beat Balzli.
JPMorgan Chase acknowledges $2 billion trading loss and ‘many errors’
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 10, 6:05 PM
JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, said Thursday that it lost $2 billion in the past six weeks in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the company takes with its own money.
The company’s stock plunged almost 7 percent in after-hours trading after the loss was announced. Other bank stocks, including Citigroup and Bank of America, suffered heavy losses as well.
“The portfolio has proved to be riskier, more volatile and less effective as an economic hedge than we thought,” CEO Jamie Dimon told reporters. “There were many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment.”
The trading loss is an embarrassment for a bank that came through the 2008 financial crisis in much better health than its peers. It kept clear of risky investments that hurt many other banks.
The loss came in a portfolio of the complex financial instruments known as derivatives, and in a division of JPMorgan designed to help control its exposure to risk in the financial markets and invest excess money in its corporate treasury.
Bloomberg News reported in April that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $2 billion, Bank of America, CDS, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, credit default swaps, Der Spiegel, deregulation, Dimon, Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase, List of trading losses, London, Morgan Stanley, news, regulation, Thursday, United States, USA, Volcker Rule, Wall Street, Wall Street Journal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 23, 2012
What would it be like if you could to to your clinician’s office, and within a few minutes have a complete analysis of your blood done to detect whatever bug might be growing in there simply by the DNA of the organism?
It’s being doing now.
But why is there resistance to progress?
The Wireless Revolution Hits Medicine
• Updated April 16, 2012, 11:42 a.m. ET
Eric Topol talks about the upheaval that’s coming as the digitization of health care meets the smartphone
By RON WINSLOW
After 14 years as chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, Eric Topol moved to La Jolla, Calif., in 2006 to become director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, which was established to apply genetic discoveries to personalized medicine. Three years later, he helped launch the West Wireless Health Institute, for which he is vice chairman and which is investigating use of wireless technology in the delivery of health care.
The convergence of these two fields—genomics, marked by the rapidly plummeting cost of sequencing a person’s entire genetic code, and wireless, with its flurry of innovative health-care apps—led Dr. Topol to write “The Creative Destruction of Medicine,” a book that offers an illuminating perspective on the coming digitization of health care. It’s also a reminder that while medicine is one of the globe’s premier drivers of innovation, it is also a conservative culture that now finds itself buffeted by transformational change.
The Wall Street Journal’s Ron Winslow discussed the implications with Dr. Topol. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation:
WSJ: Let’s start with the title. “Creative Destruction” is a provocative term. What needs to be destroyed?
DIGITAL DOCTOR Eric Topol advocates the transformative power of technology like the MinIon, a disposable device being developed to sequence parts of an individual’s DNA; a mobile patient monitor enabled by an iPhone app; the Zio patch, worn above the heart to check for irregular heartbeats; and a contact lens embedded with a chip to measure eye pressure for people with or at risk of glaucoma.
DR. TOPOL: There are two levels. One is that in medicine, everything we do essentially is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: American Medical Association, Cleveland Clinic, digital, digital divide, DNA, Eric Topol, FaceTime, health, healthcare, iphone, La Jolla, medicine, Nucleic acid sequence, nurses, patients, physicians, RON WINSLOW, smartphone, Wall Street Journal, West Wireless Health Institute | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I may take a different tack than some bloggers, and I have only in extreme cases (translate: virtually never) blocked, deleted or censored comments.
The reason why is rather simple.
And it is, that often, the comment says more about the commenter than the topic.
Sure, some folks have written nasty, vile & vitriolic commentary upon some entries posted here, but fortunately, they are the exception, rather than the rule.
Even if a topic is hotly debated, discourse should be civil, though the bane of many forums is that remarks upon them are not.
Regarding disagreement, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was a man of towering intellect and stature – who in addition to being an English journalist by profession, was a respected man of letters, novelist, essayist, author & poet who also produced works on philosophy, social and literary criticism – had several thoughts on disagreement and quarrels, among others.
He once wrote that Read the rest of this entry »
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