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inequality (7)

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Why CEO Pay Is So High (And Going Higher)

The numbers are in on 2014 CEO compensation, and as the old Seinfeld joke goes, they are real and they are spectacular. CEO pay is also controversial as the income gap widens in America.

The average S&P 500 company CEO made 373 times the salary of the average production and non-supervisory worker in 2014, up from 331 times in 2013, according to the AFL-CIO.

Why is CEO pay rising sharply, and how are CEO pay packages structured to maximize executive compensation? Here are the basics you need to know to understand the big numbers behind the CEO headlines.

1. How much do CEOs get paid?

The average pay package last year was $22.6 million, up from $20.7 million in 2013,…

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Among other things, I’m known to be a “reductionist.”  In my line of work you must be good at pinpointing what to focus on – that is, the major underlying truths and problems in a situation. I then become obsessive about solving or fixing whatever they may be. This combination is what perhaps has lead to my success over the years and is why I’ve chosen to be so outspoken about shareholder activism, corporate governance issues, and the current economic state of America. Currently, I believe that the facts “reduce” to one indisputable truth which is that we must change our system of selecting CEOs in order to stay competitive and get us out of an extremely dangerous financial situation. With exceptions, I believe that too many companies in this country are terribly run and there’s no system in place to hold the CEOs and Boards of these inadequately managed companies accountable. There are numerous challenges we are facing today whether it be monetary policy, unemployment, income…

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10 Basic Laws of Economics

Jeffrey Dorfman's recent column in Forbes ("10 Essential Truths Liberals Need to Learn") is not a partisan attack on liberals. It is a clear-cut summary of some basic laws of economics that hold no matter what your political beliefs happen to be. Unfortunately, too many Republicans, Democrats, and bureaucrats are guilty of ignoring these laws. In my experience, it's also true that too many investors fail to understand these fundamental truths. I've only listed the laws here; for an explanation of each be sure to read the whole thing: (HT:…

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Interesting today was the Janice Yellen addressed the distribution of wealth and the effect that Fed policy has has on income inequality. Mentioning the Koch brothers at least three (3) times and that continuance of same not only affects taxpayers ability to influence democracy but can affect social stability. This is the first time I've EVER heard any Fed member address this and it will be interesting to see if such "speak" continues going forward.

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Throwback Thursday Reads

  • On this day in 1965: In a boardroom on Cove St. in New Bedford, MA, a young, crew-cut Warren Buffett takes control of decrepit textile maker Berkshire Hathaway Inc., whose stock closes that day at $18 a share. Over the next thirty-three years, the stock price rises to $84,000 a share.  Source: Roger Lowenstein, Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist (Random House, New York, 1995), p. 130. Courtesy of JasonZweig
  • GS, MS and others revised their GDP # to a negative after today's poor construction spending numbers.  A negative GDP print has many wondering if we are, in fact, in a recession.  A recession as defined by the Fed is two consecutive GDP reports. 
  • The weak U.S. recovery has nothing to do…

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What The 1% Don't Want You To Know

Hello Koch brothers, they're talking about you. It's no longer Gordon Gecko. Now it's Gordon Gecko's kids who inherited that wealth. Dynastic fortunes tend to take an ever-growing share of national wealth. You have a situation (now) where dynasties come increasingly more dominant of the top of the economic spectrum

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Roubini: The Instability of Inequality

This from Nouriel Roubini @ Project Syndicate "Unless the relative economic roles of the market and the state are rebalanced, the protests of 2011 will become more severe, with social and political instability eventually harming long-term economic growth and welfare"

 

NEW YORK – This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets: the Arab Spring; riots in London; Israel’s middle-class protests against high housing prices and an inflationary squeeze on living standards; protesting Chilean students; the destruction in Germany of the expensive cars of “fat cats”; India’s movement against corruption;…

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