Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Who needs a blind trust?

Category : Stocks

Despite all the press, only a handful of legislators actually have one. The story behind a much-discussed, but little used, financial planning tool.

Excerpt from: Who needs a blind trust?

Post to Twitter

German legislators and a democracy group file lawsuits in a constitutional court seeking to challenge the country participation in the eurozone’s ESM bailout fund and the fiscal compact, laws for which were approved on Friday (I, II). President…

Category : World News

German legislators and a democracy group file lawsuits in a constitutional court seeking to challenge the country participation in the eurozone’s ESM bailout fund and the fiscal compact, laws for which were approved on Friday (I, II). President Joachim Gauck has said he would delay passage of the measure pending any lawsuits. 9 comments!

Originally posted here: German legislators and a democracy group file lawsuits in a constitutional court seeking to challenge the country participation in the eurozone’s ESM bailout fund and the fiscal compact, laws for which were approved on Friday (I, II). President…

Post to Twitter

‘If executive pay halved, it would still be generous’ – Pro-Business Against Greed

Category : Business

The former chief executive of Greggs tells why he has pledged to use his retirement to fight excessive boardroom pay

I am the founder of Pro-Business Against Greed. I was managing director of a public company, Greggs the bakers, for 24 years. I believe in taking a long-term view – building a business for the benefit of consumers, employees and shareholders – and being of benefit to society as a whole. For me, this is the moral and sensible justification for business’s existence in our civilisation. Unfortunately, this view of business has been largely undermined by the growth in excessive rewards and greed – the “because I’m worth it” attitude.

It is essential that our politicians and legislators bear down on these excesses – through encouragement, threat and legislation. We must have binding, forward-looking votes on remuneration at AGMs. As an absolute minimum, these should take place every three years. There must be appropriate regulation to ensure companies have external, independent members on their remuneration committees (university vice-chancellors, for example, would have the ability and common sense to be excellent candidates). There should also be regulation encouraging simplicity and transparency in pay packages.

I believe chief executives’ and senior bankers’ pay is too high and must be reduced. If their packages halved in value over the next few years, they would still be generous. There should be three elements of remuneration: basic pay for doing a good job – the sort of good job one would expect of the average chief executive – an annual bonus up to a maximum of 100% of salary for a truly exceptional performance, and grants of shares to match an individual’s investment in shares, made out of their bonus. To encourage long-termism, these shares should vest over between seven and 15 years, and not be saleable until three years after they have retired or left the company.

Politicians and legislators, as well as company boards and investors. must keep up the pressure if we are to reduce this gross inequity which has grown up in our society.

Legislators Seek to Continue Foreclosure Prevention Program

Category : World News

A critical foreclosure defense program will be lost unless legislators pass a bill to restore funding. Learn more about the program and how it helps struggling homeowners stay in their homes.

See the original post: Legislators Seek to Continue Foreclosure Prevention Program

Post to Twitter

Greek parliament approves debt-swap law

Category : World News

Legislators must now debate further austerity cuts required to get an additional $172bn in loans to avoid bankruptcy.

Follow this link: Greek parliament approves debt-swap law

Post to Twitter

Occupy movement targets corporate interest group with ties to legislators

Category : Business

Protest planned against the American Legislative Exchange Council, which critics say has undue influence on US lawmakers

Co-ordinated protests are planned in some 60 cities later this month against a right wing group which activists say has an unfair hand in writing state legislation that favours corporate interests.

Working under the banner Shut Down the Corporations, activists plan to target corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) with nationwide protests on 29 February.

Organisers say Alec, a nonprofit free-market policy group whose membership includes some 2,000 state legislators, wields undue influence by drafting legislation beneficial to its corporate members, which in some cases is then used as a model for legislation in states across America.

The nationwide protest is being co-ordinated by Occupy Portland, with activists across the country due to take part – including from Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland.

“We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people,” reads a statement on Shut Down the Corporations’ website.

David Osborn, from Occupy Portland, said “non-violent direct action” was being encouraged, including protests, rallies and sit-ins.

“In different places it’s going to look really different,” he said. “In some places it’s going to be more of a rally, or a protest outside a corporation that’s involved with Alec, whether that’s Bank of America, or Pfizer, Altria, or whatever. In other places, and certainly here in Portland, it’s going to take more of the form of civil disobedience or direct action, where people will be doing a sit-in or other creative things to disrupt business as usual.”

Alec was founded in September 1973 as a “nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers”. The organisation, which counts the conservative billionaire Koch brothers among its financial backers, has a membership some of the largest companies in America.

One of the better known examples of Alec’s influence can be found in Arizona’s SB 1070 bill. The legislation, seen as one of the strictest anti-illegal immigrant laws in America’s history and criticised by Barack Obama, was modelled on Alec’s “No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act”, which had been approved by an Alec task force made up, in part, of prison companies that stood to benefit from the act being passed.

Democratic lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin are seeking to introduce the Alec Accountability Act in their states, which would require Alec to register as a lobbying organisation and subsequently disclose its financiers.

Mark Pocan, a Democratic member of the Wisconsin state assembly who is gunning for Congress in in Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, is behind the proposed Wisconsin legislation.

“Alec is like a giant corporate dating service [for] lonely legislators and their special interest corporate allies,” Pocan told the Guardian. “Alec operates best when it operates in the shadows. Once people find out that it’s really nothing but a front for corporate special interests you start to know that the ideas they put forward aren’t in the public good.”

Occupy Wall Street has been involved in planning the February 29 protests, which will take place in New York on the day, said Ed Needham, who acts as a spokesman for the group.

“People really see it as an incredible example of the type of corrosive relationship between money and politics,” he said.

“It’s really to shine a focus on what Alec is and how it’s very much an instrument of the corporations in terms of buying off state and federal legislators and crafting legislation that is strictly within the 1% interest.”

Last year the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation magazine published a leak of more than 800 pieces of Alec’s model legislation, which can be found on the Alec Exposed website. The list includes legislation that Alec Exposed and Shut Down the Corporations say was used to draft anti-Labour legislation in Wisconsin and the controversial Arizona immigration law.

Kaitlyn Buss, director of communications at Alec, said the protests were “not embarrassing in the slightest”.

“Alec feels that we understand that not everyone agrees with the principles that were founded on, which is to promote free markets, limited government and federalism throughout American government,” she said. “We fully respect the right and expression of those who are protesting but it’s not going to distract us from what our mission is.”

Buss said legislation that originates with Alec is “brought to us by state legislatures” and then “approved by their legislative board of directors”.

“What we do value is the energy and the job creation of the private sector and argue very strongly that they should be part of conversation of what our laws are, what our regulations are,” she said.

“Most of these regulations end up very strongly affecting the private sector of our economy, so Alec, as we promote free markets and limited government, it all works together that we value the private sector, but the actual legislation is very legislative driven.”

Alec’s website says that “each year, close to 1,000 bills, based at least in part on Alec model legislation, are introduced in the states.

“Of these, an average of 20 percent become law.”