David Yanofsky of QZ.com identifies nine S&P 500 companies with more cash in hand and short term securities than the cash-strapped U.S. government. GE alone has three times as much as the Treasury has available now. Jack Lew take note.
Wyoming, Florida, and Indiana rank among the ten best states for taxes on business, while companies in states like New York, New Jersey, and California must struggle with the worst tax codes in the country, according to the newest edition of the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.
CEOs at companies ranging from Honeywell to JetBlue Airways said that a prolonged shutdown of the U.S. government has the potential to jeopardize the economic rebound, according to a report from Bloomberg. In addition CNNMoney reports that more than a dozen Wall Street bank chiefs warned President Obama at the White House that the financial system would suffer if the shutdown and debt limit aren't resolved.
Those of us in the private sector know that the U.S. still has not fully recovered from the weak real estate market and general economic malaise that started in the recession of 2008.
Recently Trader Joe’s had to tell its associates that it had to revise its health benefits in the wake of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). CEOs who face similar challenges in having a straight conversation on healthcare with their “crew members” (employees) should take note.
California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a bill that will gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $8/hour to $10/hour by 2016, saying it is a long overdue measure to raise the income of working families. Yet earlier in September Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray, also a Democrat, vetoed a City Council bill that would require large retailers [read Wal-Mart] in the city to pay higher wages, a measure that had drawn national attention. Gray called the bill a "job-killer," saying it would result in the loss of thousands of jobs in Washington. So who’s right?
The SEC has just proposed a rule that will require all public companies to report the ratio between the total pay of the CEO and the median pay of all other employees (excluding the CEO). Some of the unintended consequences --particularly for employment-- will be severe.
Grumbling about corporate boards -- about long-tenured directors too cozy with management, for example -- may be inevitable among investors, but new research by a young accounting scholar suggests surprisingly that at least one aspect of corporate organization suits Wall Street fine. Company performance actually rises with board tenure—but only up to a point--indicating there’s a tradeoff between knowledge and entrenchment.
Since he announced his intention to step down as CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer has triggered a world wide betting game as to who will succeed him. Microsoft’s board has appointed a special committee to help decide if the next chief executive will be an insider like Julie Larson-Green, or the prodigal Stephen Elop of Nokia. (Ladbrokes, the London betting agents give Elop a 5 to 1 advantage.) But the central issue of concern is what the company needs to do to transform since it lost its dominate position in computing. Microsoft once ruled the tech world. Now it’s one player among many. Will the new CEO have his or her options foreclosed?
Why are business leaders –even those who consider themselves of high integrity--prone to ethical missteps? What can organizations do to protect themselves from possible lapses? And don’t kid yourself by thinking, “It can’t happen to me.”