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December 21st, 2007
04:56 PM ET

Big Bonuses, Bad Business?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

High gas prices, slumping home sales and declining values and the whole sub-prime credit mess have combined to make 2007 a pretty tough year for a lot of people. The latest CNN poll shows 57% of Americans think the economy is already in a recession. But you wouldn't know it on Wall Street. Bonus checks at the big investment banking firms are up 14% this year. Four of the biggest investment banks alone - Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns - will pay out $30 billion in bonuses.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein will get $70 million, and Lehman Brothers' CEO Richard Fuld will get a $35 million stock bonus. Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack and Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne are forgoing their bonuses this year. But they'll probably be okay.

Mack got more than $40 million in stocks and options last year. Cayne received a bonus of more than $33 million.

Average Americans who invested in these banks paying out these big bonuses are probably scratching their heads. If they held stock in most of these companies, they saw values plunge up to 45%.

Here’s my question to you: Is it wrong for Wall Street to reward its employees with big bonuses this year?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Wall Street
December 21st, 2007
04:55 PM ET

Making a Choice in Iowa

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With just two weeks to go, a very large number of Democratic caucus goers in Iowa say they haven't decided who's going to get their vote. The debate has been largely about "experience"– which is what Senator Hillary Clinton argues she has on her side– versus "change" which is what Senator Barack Obama promises to bring to Washington. Also very much in the mix is John Edwards, who vows to do battle with the large corporations that have a stranglehold on the federal government. In fact recent polls in Iowa show Senator Edwards trailing Clinton and Obama by just a couple of percentage points, putting the three of them in a virtual dead-heat.

Iraq, health care and the economy have ranked as the top issues for Democrats in Iowa.

But with so many undecided voters this late in the race, something is clearly missing.

Here’s my question to you: In the closing days of the Iowa campaign what will cause undecided voters to finally make up their minds?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Iowa
December 21st, 2007
12:52 PM ET

Airline Glitches and Delays

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just in time for your holiday travels, a new report finds that airline "glitches" top "weather" and "congestion" as the leading cause of flight delays.

"USA Today" reports that crew shortages, excessive refueling and mechanical breakdowns are to blame for 23.8 million minutes of delays this year. And that number only goes through October. Airway congestion, on the other hand, accounted for a mere 23.3 million minutes.

The airlines are not disputing these numbers - the "USA Today" analysis sorted through data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. But they do claim that some of the delays attributed to them were due to bad weather earlier in the day.

But layoffs, strikes, and other labor problems that have plagued this industry for years probably had something to do with it too.

Here’s my question to you: Should the airlines be punished for flight delays, and if so, how?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized