The top 25 hedge fund managers earn more than all kindergarten teachers in U.S. combined. "'Last year turned out to be the worst one for this elite group of investors since the stock market meltdown of 2008,' Institutional Investors' Stephen Taub writes, adding, 'How bad was it?' apparently without irony." [more inside]
And yet, despite this grave injustice, the state does not accept any responsibility for the damage suffered by one of its citizens. The bureaucratic response appears to be that nobody did anything intentionally wrong, thus the state has no responsibility. This is nonsensical. Explain that position to Mr. Ford and his family. Facts are stubborn things, they do not go away. The Louisiana prosecutor who helped send Glenn Ford to prison for 30 years, for a murder he did not commit, apologizes at length and slams the state for refusing to pay compensation after Ford was finally freed in 2014. [Note: autoplaying video] [more inside]
Canada, long considered a "global outlier" on compensation for thalidomide survivors, has announced new lump sum compensation payments. [more inside]
"In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation… well, some men find that hard to swallow." [more inside]
Legacies of British Slave-ownership, which went live on February 27, 2013, tracks what became of the twenty million pounds set aside to compensate British slave owners in the Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies (1833). Users have a variety of search options that can yield results according to individuals, businesses, countries, and so on. The site tracks compensated owners through their contributions to the arts, politics, entrepreneurship, and governance; some owners have extensive biographical notes. A number of the site's revelations about slave-owning families and the extent of their compensation have already attracted comment. [more inside]
The Incentive Bubble (ungated pdf) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside]
"He doesn’t leave anything on the table, does he?" John Hammergren is the CEO of McKesson, a major healthcare system and pharmaceutical provider. He earned $145 million last year, not including an employer-contributed $13 million to his executive pension plan (the employee pension plan was shuttered in 1997, before Hammergren's tenure began), unlimited personal use of a corporate private jet, car and chauffeur, and other perks like a lifetime personal assistant and office and financial counselor. In his ten years with McKesson, Hammergren has earned over $500 million. The Daily Beast dives into the extraordinary compensation of the 0.01%. If you're so inclined, the EDGAR filing has the excruciating detail, including bits like this: [more inside]
A Terrible Legacy More than 60,000 Americans were sterilised, many against their will, as part of a eugenics movement that finished in 1979, aimed at keeping the poor and mentally ill from having children. Now, decades on, one state is considering compensation.
Much has been made of the ethics of bloggers who receive compensation -- usually in the form of demo units and trial versions of products -- in exchange for reviewing those products, often with the implicit understanding that the review is a positive one. These questions prompted an FTC investigation, and last fall the agency revised their formal guidelines governing endorsements and testimonials to include bloggers or other "word-of-mouth" marketers. The Interactive Agency Bureau maintains that the guidelines are unconstitutional, and is calling for the FTC to rescind the rules as they apply to bloggers and other online outlets. The latest casualty? An intern at TechCrunch asked for a MacBook Air in exchange for a post. In the wake of this revelation, TechCrunch fired the intern and issued a formal apology. To his credit, the intern has posted his own mea culpa.
Amy's uncle started abusing her when she was four years old. Depictions of her abuse are "one of the most popular and readily available kiddie porn videos on the Internet." Her lawyer has a novel - and apparently successful - strategy for recovering compensation: use the theory of joint liability to sue everyone with a copy of the video.
Netflix's awesome vacation policy -- famous for crowdsourcing, Netflix is now making waves with its employee handbook. (via fs)
The Consultative Group on the Past released its long awaited report today, discussing strategies to build trust and dialogue between communities and heal wounds in Northern Ireland. Part of the strategy was compensation and inquiries to be funded jointly by the British and Irish governments, to the tune of £300K. The report's presentation was interrupted by deeply angry protesters. Some were upset at the idea of financial compensation for the loss of human life. Some were incensed that families of paramilitary members killed in the Troubles were to receive equal compensation to bystanders caught in the crossfire. Some comments on the report from public figures, and from the Program Director of Amnesty International's NI office.
Hannah Poling is a nine year old girl with mild to moderate symptoms of autism, which developed three months after she received vaccinations. The Department of Health and Human Services announced that her family will receive a settlement from the vaccine compensation fund. Autism activists are encouraged, but the DHHS officials insist they are not admitting a link between autism and vaccines and maintain that for most, vaccines are safe. Rather, they say, the series of vaccines Hannah received exacerbated an underlying mitochondrial condition, causing the symptoms of autism. [more inside]
Hummer Ad strikes all the wrong notes. Tofu-eater feels insecure upon seeing an unrepentant meat-muncher, goes buys a Hummer to 'Restore the balance' (previous tagline: 'Restore your manhood'.) Somehow the ad agency forgot that you're supposed to get the message of "Feeling Down on Yourself? Buy Our Product, Show it Off, You'll Feel Better!" across subtly, not explicitly.
The SEC has proposed new rules [pdf] to drastically increase requirements on executive compensation disclosure. You can read a summary of the proposal in the SEC's press release, as well as statements from Chairman Cox and Commissioner Atkin. [more inside]
£45 GBP lost to "compo" in Liverpool - Insurance fraud rife in UK A man who tried to sue a local council after he soiled his trousers tops a list of spurious public liability claims which cost UK local government and insurance companies an estimated £250m each year, reports the UK Guardian. Publishers of said report, Zurich Municipal are tackling the growing issue of fraudulent insurance claims. They found that "Only 16% of adults questioned said that they would contact the police if they knew someone had submitted a fraudulent claim against a council." Knowsley [Liverpool] Metropolitan Council "saw its claims from slips and trips soar ... to £5m annually." - for a borough of 111,000 adults that's an impressive £45 GBP per person per year. Among other factors, Zurich blames the "claims farmers" decried here by our Citizens Advice Bureau but also intriguingly says they are "continuing our campaign to combat school arson through initiatives such as our school theatre programme, ACT...."
"The Bush administration intervened to argue that their claims should be dismissed" I seriously can't believe it. This is Brechtian. Something has to be missing. This can't be my government.
Celebrities take large payments from charities. The LA Times (reg reqd) is reporting that celebrities have received enormous payments for making appearances at celebrity benefits, including David Schwimmer, Cher, Gerald Ford, and others. To me, it's a shocking new low, but maybe I shouldn't be surprised.
Help Jack Welch buy a newspaper Papers filed in the divorce of former General Electric chief Jack Welch contend that GE agreed to provide the executive enormous perks for life: access to corporate aircraft, use of a Manhattan apartment, Knicks floor-level seats, satellite TV at his four homes...plus costs... from wine and food to laundry, toiletries and newspapers, certain dining bills at the restaurant Jean Georges. Good for him: but hasn't executive compensation reached a bizarre detachment from actual performance? (sorry, AFL-CIO link)?Unless of course you're a woman (Businessweek.com link, conservative-safe)
It's no surprise that the Sept 11 Compensation Fund will cover gay partners of victims. [nytimes link] It's easy to be generous: Of the 2,800-plus who died, the Fund has found only "22 known gay surviving partners." Never mind that the Windows on the World waiters alone should have made that number four times higher, based on the "one in ten" formula for estimating the size of a gay population, one would expect almost 300 gay victims on Sept 11. Of course, not all the gay victims would necessarily be uncloseted or have a life partner, but still -- only 22? No wonder the fund is so generous to cut checks for this tiny minority. But does this unintended survey suggest NYC may not be as queer as everyone thinks? In any case, why were so few of gays employed at the WTC?
Has one of terrorism's former poster children, Qaddafi, finally turned over a new leaf? At last some genuinely good news from the Middle East. Libya's offer to pay $2,7-billion in compensation to the families of the victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland seems to indicate so. Although the Libyans are almost certainly motivated by their desire to end sanctions against them as a 'state sponsor of terrorism,' this is a hopefully a declaration of 'mea culpa' from the 'colonel' and maybe a sign of better things to come from others in the region that still think that there is something to be gained from blowing up so-called 'infidels' in civilian aircraft.
Victims' families of Sept. 11 attack to get average of $1.5 million. Will this include the families of those who are still listed as missing instead of dead? Is the compensation structure fair? Should the families have to give up most of their rights to sue (and who would they be able to sue)?