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Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Gets $10 Million in Stock, No Cash Bonus

One of the big American companies that has already repaid its bailout funds has still not awarded cash bonuses to some of its top executives opting instead to give them shares and stocks.  Wells Fargo gave its CEO approximately $10 million in stock a statement that was released recently said.  Some of the other top officials at Wells Fargo received shares worth approximately $5 million each.

A company spokesman said part of the problem was the fact that other firms are actively recruiting their top talent and they needed to do something to retain their best people.

“Wells Fargo executives, at all levels, are being increasingly and aggressively recruited by competitors,” said the head of the board’s human resources committee in a statement. “A key to retaining that talent for the long- term is to compensate our senior leaders competitively.”

Although Wells Fargo has repaid the money they received in bailout funds, they are still giving away stock in spite of the fact that many other top business leaders are saying cash bonuses are the way to retain quality people.

AT&T Parts With Tiger Woods as Scandal Refuses to ‘Simmer Over’

The world’s top rate golfer is facing more companies backing away from financial ties as AT&T has cut their business relationship off with Tiger Woods bringing the number of companies that has cut ties with him to three. The latest parting of ways comes after Woods partial admission to marital infidelities.

In a statement released by AT&T company spokesman wished was well by reiterated the fact that they would end their relationship with him after signing a multiyear deal at February that would place the AT&T logo on what’s his golf bag among other endorsements. One expert in the field of media relations is amazed that the number of companies that are parting ways with woods seems to be picking up speed,

“It’s like this is a snowball rolling and picking up speed,” Brad Adgate, head of research at New York advertising company Horizon Media Inc., said  in a recent interview. “I thought that now things would simmer over.”

There are some companies however that are standing by the golfer like Nike and Upper Deck.

20 million-plus collect unemployment checks in ‘09

This past twelve months was the year in which over 20 million Americans collected unemployment insurance and the national unemployment level reached 10%. Even though the pace of people applying for unemployment insurance benefits has dropped in recent months, experts tell us that that is no indication that the overall unemployment picture is getting that much better.  In fact they are saying that the rate of long-term unemployment continues to grow.

Companies will be hesitant to hire workers until they are absolutely sure that the economic recovery is sustainable.  In fact government officials are expecting that the unemployment rate will fall to 9% but remain that way for much of 2010. One expert said that while fewer people are getting laid off, fewer people are able to find work and that is essentially the problem.

There are also close to 5 million people receiving extended unemployment insurance benefits that are due to run out at the end of February. One of the other alarming statistics states that for every job available in the United States at the present time there are six applicants looking for work.

Tax showdown ahead on health reform

Democrats in both the house and senate are clear on the fact that they want health care reform.  When they return in January there won’t be any problem on some of the big ticket items that both want but one of the bigger areas where there could be some trouble is taxes.

Although the House and Senate both have provisions that would tax houses that have higher incomes to pay for these reforms, the two sides would go about it differently.  The House would impose a surtax on households making over $500,000 a year that would help to pay for some of the health-care reforms. On the other side of that issue the Senate would impose a tax on Medicare on individuals that make over $200,000 a year.  There are still other people who think employer related health insurance plans should be taxed to help cover the cost of the new reforms.  Taxes is shaping up to be one of the bones of contention of the new health reform.  Many of the new proposals won’t take effect until later in the decade like 2013.

Jobless claims fall to 17-month low

Finally there was some good news on the economic front recently with a number of people applying for unemployment insurance falling to a 17 month low.  There were around 432,000 people who started the process to claim unemployment for the week ending Boxing Day, and that number was down 22,000 from the week’s revised estimates.

Some experts had predicted the number of claims to go up during the Christmas season and the news that they actually went down was welcomed among many experts.

“It’s encouraging to see that we’re continuing to move in the right direction toward 400,000 claims,” said an economic analyst at Wells Fargo. “We’re certainly off the highs we saw earlier this year.”

An analysis of the number of people filing for unemployment insurance benefits has seen the numbers steadily declining since March and this is of course good news for the economy.  However, there is the danger that the good numbers are merely representative of people falling off the normal unemployment rolls and onto extended benefits. Congress passed legislation last week to extend the unemployment benefits.

Why Apple tablet may not be the gadget of the future

Even though there is a segment of gadget lovers that are waiting with baited breath for the Apple tablet to be unveiled, experts in the field are saying that it won’t take the tech world by storm the way the iPod did.

Tablet computers are not something new and even Apple had a previous gadget that had a five-year lifespan but failed to make a lasting impression on the world of information technology.  Other companies that have attempted to bring similar devices into the marketplace have met with the same fate because generally smart phones are the choice of most consumers.

According to spokesman from the Apple company, the new tablet will be able to run all the applications of an iPod or smart phone but be better suited to reading e-books.

Still some people who are experts in the gadget field remain skeptical.

“The Apple tablet will have a beautiful user interface, it will have a pleasing aesthetic and will be marketed well,” said a senior research analyst . “But at the end of the day, we’re still talking about a smart phone with a bigger screen.”

More employers to boost hiring in 2010

There may be some good news for the nation’s unemployed oming in 2010 as a new report says that up to 20% of the nation’s employers are seeking to hire a new full-time people in the new year. One expert in the employment field had this to say:

“There have been many signs over the past few months that point to the healing of the U.S. economy, especially the continued decrease in the number of jobs lost per month.”

And the statistics seem to point towards a cautious optimism from employers since many of them have no plans to further decrease the number of employees they have and 11% of the employers surveyed said that they actually plan to add a number of part-time jobs as well.

Two of the areas that will see hiring in the new year are information technology and financial services.  However, there are a number of firms that will even hire in the manufacturing industry according to the survey. Even though the jobs will be full-time many of the employers are seeing the need for freelancers and contractors to keep the costs down.

GMAC may receive 3rd round of bailout funds

A published report is stating that GMAC is close to receiving a third round of bailout money from the federal government.  Citing people that are familiar with the case, the Wall Street Journal has reported that GMAC is close to asking for additional billions of dollars on top of the money they have already received which also totals in the billions.

According to people who are close to the situation, the additional money will allow GMAC to continue on with its home lending unit which will otherwise be close to bankruptcy without the federal aid.

“As we have previously stated, GMAC has been conducting a strategic review of its business and evaluating options to address the challenges at ResCap and the mortgage operations,” said a GMAC spokeswoman . “Critical objectives in the process would be to take actions that position GMAC for improved financial performance and to repay the U.S. government.”

Even though GMAC was placed under various stress tests by the federal government they continued to lose billions of dollars in the first months of 2009.

Madoff moved back to prison cell

The Federal Bureau Bureau of prisons has confirmed that convicted swindler Bernie made off has been moved back to his cell after being in the prison infirmary for the past 10 days.  He is currently serving his sentence at a prison in North Carolina according to the Federal Bureau of prisons.

He was transferred on December 18 after complaining of dizziness to the prison infirmary where he was subsequently treated for hypertension. After his initial transfer during the summer rumors swirled around the media that he in fact had terminal cancer although this proved not to be the case.

In August the Bureau of prisons released a statement denying the report that the convicted swindler had a terminal disease and just as recently as last week they released another statement backing that up.  Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 counts related to the Ponzi scheme that he was the mastermind of and was sentenced to 150 years in prison last March. He was sentenced in New York and subsequently transferred to a medium security prison shortly afterwards.

GM recalls 22,000 Corvettes

The national Highway Safety Administration has said that General Motors will be recalling 22,000 Corvette cars because of leaking roofs.  The recalls involve cars built between 2005 at 2007 and stem from a problem with the adhesive that was used to seal the removable roof to the frame of the car.

According to the national Highway safety administration a safety problem could be present with the defective part.

“If there is a complete separation, the roof panel may detach from the vehicle,” a statement read. “If this were to occur while the vehicle was being driven, it could strike a following vehicle and cause injury and/or property damage.”

For those with the affected automobiles, they will be instructed to go to the dealerships where a new part will be installed to correct the problem. GM is wasting no time with the looming recall as they expect it to begin next month and people who think that their cars might be affected can follow the link in this story to find out more about where to go.