Archive for January, 2010

Wage and Benefit Growth Hits Historic Low

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Wage and benefit costs, both before and after adjusting for inflation, grew more slowly in 2009 than in any year since the U.S. government began tracking data in 1982, as double-digit unemployment weakened workers’ ability to command higher pay.In the past 12 months, the cost of wages and benefits received by workers other than those employed by the federal government rose 1.5%, according to the Labor Department’s employment cost index. In the same period, consumer prices rose 2.7%.

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Tech Executive Compensation Turning Around

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Published in Internet Evolution January 29, 2010 by Michael Singer

Perhaps it’s a sign of a turnaround or perhaps just a sign of renewed confidence in the marketplace, but executive compensation is expected to make a comeback in 2010, according to data published this week by Equilar.

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Wall Street Toughens Rules on Clawbacks

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Banks and securities firms are toughening rules that give them power to seize pay from employees whose bets or other actions blow up later. But they still mightn’t be tough enough. Known as clawback provisions, such internal rules used to cover just top executives or fraud.

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Ailing Banks Favor Salaries Over Shareholders

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Published in The New York Times January 27, 2010 by Eric Dash

Finding the winners on Wall Street is usually as simple as looking at pay. Rarely are bankers who lose money paid as generously as those who make it.  But this year is unusual. A handful of big banks that are struggling in the postbailout world are, by some measures, the industry’s most magnanimous employers.

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Paying Big Bonuses Exposes Wall Street’s CEO Succession Failure

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Published in Bloomberg January 27, 2010 by Lisa Kassenaar

Eight days before Christmas, Kenneth D. Lewis took the stage for his last public act as chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. Hundreds of his workers watched from red velvet seats in Charlotte, North Carolina’s McGlohon Theater, a former Baptist church with tall stained-glass windows and a Byzantine dome.

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Can Financial Firms Get Executives to Give Back Pay?

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Published in Time January 27, 2010 by Stephen Gandel

In the past few months, a number of financial firms have instituted or beefed up rules that would allow them to force employees to return year-end bonuses. So-called clawbacks would be triggered by subsequently discovered misconduct and some firms say they may even apply in cases where employees made trades that looked profitable at first, but go sour.

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SEC To Scrutinize Executive-Compensation Disclosures

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The Securities and Exchange Commission will be on the lookout for clear analysis from companies in this year’s proxy statements about how their board directors and senior executives are compensated, including the use of performance targets, a senior SEC staffer said Friday.

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IRS Peers Into Executive Compensation

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Published in ABC News January 23, 2010 by Kim Dixon
As the Obama Administration seeks backing for a tax on banks’ lucrative pay packages, the Internal Revenue Service has been stepping up its oversight of executive pay through its auditing and other powers.  President Barack Obama needs the U.S. Congress to help him pass the 10-year $90 billion tax on bank executive compensation, but the tax agency had already been bearing down on lavish pay and perks across industries on several fronts.

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Wall Street’s Pay Shift Augurs Ill for Stockholders

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The move by big banks and securities firms to dole out more stock and less cash to employees could help counter political anger about Wall Street’s pay culture. But shareholders likely will likely pay for it for years.

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Banks stung by criticism over pay despite recent changes

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Wall Street banks thought they had made big concessions to populist anger over large year-end bonuses. On Tuesday, Citigroup said its compensation pool for 2009 had shrunk 20 percent from the prior year. On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley announced its top executives would receive 75 percent of their pay in deferred compensation.

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