"Of the top 100 Swiss companies, 49 give shareholders a consulting vote on the pay of executives. A few other countries, including the United States and Germany, have introduced advisory "say on pay" votes in response to the anger over inequality and corporate excess that drove the Occupy Wall Street movement. Britain is also planning to implement rules in late 2013 that will give shareholders a binding vote on pay and "exit payments" at least every three years. Minder's initiative goes further, forcing all listed companies to have binding votes on compensation for company managers and directors, and ban golden handshakes and parachutes. It would also ban bonus payments to managers if their companies are taken over, and impose severe penalties — including possible jail sentences and fines — for breaches of these new rules."
Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today: [Daily Beast]
"As America teeters on a cliff, Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe."
IMF Economists are suggesting that The Chicago Plan, first proposed in 1936 as a way to avoid another Great Depression, is the answer to our current economic woes. [more inside]
The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a new paper analyzing 138 years of economic history in 14 advanced economies, which proves that high levels of private debt cause severe recessions. (Via) Bonus SLYT: Money As Debt (1hr)
Hartwick College, a small school in New York's Catskills, is the beneficiary of a trust that “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.”
Patsy Campbell has been fighting her foreclosure in Florida courts for the past 25 years. She has not made a mortgage payment since 1985 while foiling the efforts of several banks to evict her from her home in Okeechobee, Florida.
Last week, economist Simon Johnson (his blog; previously on MeFi) spoke at the Roosevelt Institute about the failure to regulate the financial industry, and the doomsday cycle of our economy (via).
Amid the financial headlines (about new banking reforms, more bank failures, the need for more lending by the fat-cats, the question of whether a European-style bonus-tax might be possible here, and the shrinking of the middle class), on PBS yesterday Bill Moyers wondered, in an in-depth segment (with organizers from here and here), whether a new wave of populist economic activism is perhaps, despite all odds, beginning to make a dent after all.
Looks like Paul Volker is attempting to bring some sanity back to the U.S. banking industry, as adviser to the Obama administration. But is anybody listening?
Dating A Banker Anonymous Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships. Via
Have we jumped over all the hurdles in our ongoing economic fiasco? Probably not, the next hurdle is Credit Cards. [more inside]
America's for sale. Just ask Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. With the U.S. economy in shambles, Paulson just spent four days touring the Middle East, hat in hand, looking for investors to bail us out. Specifically, on Monday, Paulson met with heads of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world's largest "sovereign wealth fund" with roughly $875 billion in assets, and encouraged them to buy American businesses. Mortgaging America by Eric J. Weiner (LA Times Op Ed) [more inside]
Argentina Didn't Fall on Its Own. (Single-page, printer-friendly version here.) I don't normally read long articles on economic subjects, but this one is riveting, because it links Argentina's collapse to larger issues of how the world of money works today.
"The time has come to do our mea culpa," Hans-Joerg Rudloff, chairman of the executive committee at Barclays Capital, said at a conference of bank and brokerage executives in London a few months ago. "Argentina obviously stands as much as Enron" in showing that "things have been done and said by our industry which were realized at the time to be wrong, to be self-serving."
...It is like "a bizarre AA program in which you remove booze from the homes of people who are reducing the amount they drink and put it into the homes of people who are drinking more every day," Pettis said. "This is probably not the best way to reduce drunkenness."
Post a great earnings quarter then cut jobs and send them to India. Nice job Bank of AMERICA
Reality check from Swiss Re and UNEP "The increasing frequency of severe climatic events...has the potential to stress insurers, reinsurers and banks to the point of impaired viability or even insolvency." "Climate Change and the Financial Services Industry", a UNEP report supported by 295 banks and insurance and investment companies around the world. The report concludes that, worldwide, loses from Climate related disasters are doubling every decade . NOAA generally concurs. Dr. Bob Gagosian, Director of Woods Hole, has even worse news. Should we take the scientific mainstream seriously? Or is it all "Junk Science"according to the industry funded Steve Milloy or the CEI, or even a New Age Pagan Conspiracy? Play on little humans......play on.....