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My latest posts, articles & citations.

The Wall Street Journal | Friday, October 11, 2002

Last year, John R. Stafford, chairman of pharmaceutical giant Wyeth, earned $1.8 million in salary. He also was awarded a $1.97 million bonus, restricted stock valued at $724,283 and 630,000 stock options.


That much shareholders can learn from glancing at the company's proxy.

The Wall Street Journal | Thursday, May 2, 2002

Some of America's biggest banks -- including Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Bank One Corp. -- hold billions of dollars in so-called janitors insurance on their present and former employees. But investors may have a hard time finding much information in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The Wall Street Journal | Thursday, April 25, 2002

How valuable is the business of managing what is known as "janitors insurance"?


One clue comes from a St. Louis court case, in which a financial-consulting firm won a $118 million jury verdict against Hartford Life Insurance Co., arguing that the insurance giant stole its method of administering these kinds of policies to smooth earnings.

The Wall Street Journal | Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Scott Mayo, 41 years old, is alive and well. But extremely unhappy with his former employer, CM Holdings Inc., which took out a life-insurance policy on him. When he dies, the company, for which he worked as a store manager in San Antonio until early 1990, hopes to receive $336,814.


Like many companies, his employer took out life insurance on its workers, with itself as beneficiary. This coverage -- often called "janitors insurance," or "corporate-owned life insurance," or COLI -- typically remains in force even when workers quit, retire or get fired.

The Wall Street Journal | Friday, April 19, 2002




Felipe M. Tillman loved music -- opera, jazz, country. He played keyboards and drums, sang and was choral director at his Tulsa, Okla., church. To make ends meet, he worked at record stores, where "he could be close to the music," says his brother Anthony Tillman. One of those jobs was a brief stint in the early 1990s at a Camelot Music store.

The Wall Street Journal | Thursday, February 7, 2002

Enron's bankruptcy may have wiped out most of the retirement savings of most of its workers. But one thing it didn't take away were the pensions of its most senior executives. Financial filings disclose that former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, for one, used a private partnership to protect millions of dollars worth of executive pension benefits.

The Wall Street Journal | Thursday, January 31, 2002

 


Rosel Patton, a 49-year-old switch engineer in Marlboro, Mass., doesn't realize it, but when she saves for retirement by contributing to her 401(k), she's also helping her company save money.


That's because her employer, Verizon Communications Inc., matches Ms. Patton's savings with Verizon stock. Thanks to little-known tax rules, any of a company's own stock in its retirement plans -- whether contributed by employees or by the company -- can trigger special tax breaks. For Verizon, that means tax breaks valued at as much as $30.5 million a year.

The Wall Street Journal | Wednesday, January 23, 2002

 


At a time when Enron Corp. was cutting back on its employee retirement plans to save money, executive benefits at the energy company kept getting richer.


Beginning in the 1990s, Enron joined many other U.S. companies in trimming its employee-pension and savings-plan benefits to cut costs. But throughout the same period, Enron also was continuing to offer a lavish set of pension and retirement plans for its top executives.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Sunday, May 2, 1999

Nobody knows how to throw a party like the electric industry -- especially for lawmakers.


From Las Vegas golf outings and January's $21,500 Electric Swamp Boogie, to quiet dinners and chartered flights for Razorback ballgames, the electric industry pulled out the stops to court legislators in the battle over deregulation.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Journalists are a pretty idiosyncratic bunch: Most of us have our own shorthand for note-taking, our own favored pens, notebooks, software and so on. I'm no different, and over the years I've built a pretty substantial set of apps, services and techniques to make work easier and to let me focus on what actually matters.


I also often find myself recommending one piece of software or another to other reporters. So I figured I'd start writing some of it down.

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