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The Company Beat: July 18, 2010 - July 24, 2010

'Pay czar' calls out banks for excessive pay

The government's "pay czar" announced Friday that 17 companies benefiting from federal bailout funds handed out $1.6 billion in excess executive compensation at the height of the financial crisis. Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's special master for compensation, examined executives earning more than $500,000 at the 419 firms that received taxpayer assistance. Out of the 17 companies he found were egregious in their compensation, 11 have paid back the assistance received from taxpayers.

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 23, 2010; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Executive compensation  
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SEC to bond issuers: Forget the ratings agencies for now

Signals were getting crossed this week with bond issuers needing to use ratings from Moody's, Fitch and S&P to register new asset-backed securities -- as required by the SEC -- and the ratings agencies refusing to let them use those opinions. The agencies are worried about added liability from the just-passed financial overhaul. On Thursday afternoon, the SEC stepped in with a solution: the issuers don't have to use the ratings for the next six months.

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 22, 2010; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Is the financial overhaul law wreaking havoc on asset-backed securities?

Something odd is happening in the asset-backed securities market. The three biggest ratings agencies -- Moody's, Fitch, and S&P -- are telling clients that because of rules in the financial regulatory bill introducing new liability for the agencies, issuers can't use the agencies' opinions in documents registering new bonds, even though the law requires such ratings to be cited.

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 22, 2010; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Financial regulation  
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Financial regulation winners and losers

On the occasion of the financial regulatory bill becoming law Wednesday, I thought I'd repost this handy cheat sheet of which industries won and lost in this legislation. The bottom line: the bill defers more to regulators than it actually...

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 21, 2010; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Financial regulation  
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Sen. Levin continues fight against tax havens

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has waged a long fight against tax havens, and this week he renews the charge with a new campaign called Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse. The group released a report this week estimating that...

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 21, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Obama and CEOs: Reading the tea leaves

President Obama signed the financial regulatory bill into law this morning, and observers have been poring over the ceremony invitation list to see which banking CEOs are in favor, and which ones aren't.

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 21, 2010; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Financial regulation  
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Conservative economist Marty Feldstein goes after tax expenditures

On Tuesday's Wall Street Journal op-ed page, former Reagan economic adviser Marty Feldstein comes out against targeted tax breaks, also known among budgeteers as "tax expenditures." It's estimated the U.S. government will effectively spend $1 trillion handing out various tax...

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 20, 2010; 7:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tax expenditures  
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UPS vs. FedEx on the Hill

What's the number one, all-day, all-night lobbying priority for FedEx these days? It's 230 words in a spending bill for the Federal Aviation Administration that has drawn the shipping companies UPS and FedEx into a knock-down-drag-out lobbying fight with one another. The provision would make it easier for FedEx truck drivers to unionize, and as The Hill reported yesterday, the Senate could vote this week on a final version of the bill.

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 20, 2010; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  FedEx , Labor , UPS  
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"Pay czar" Ken Feinberg talks oil compensation fund

Ken Feinberg has become the go-to specialist in Washington for mediating between business and the public interest. There's his work acting as "pay czar" overseeing compensation of top executives at the firms that received the most assistance from the...

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 19, 2010; 7:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Private equity: Not out of the woods with carried interest yet

There was a moment last month when it seemed like lawmakers were poised to pass a major tax hike on the earnings of some of the country's wealthiest financiers at private equity and venture capital firms, who critics say are...

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  July 19, 2010; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Carried interest  
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