Peabody, at Taxpayer Expense, Pays Out Millions in Executive Bonuses

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dave Roberts for Vox:Two recent items from the news are likely to add fuel to the Peabody-hating fire.Item 1: Peabody is heading into bankruptcy, workers are getting screwed, and executives are profitingThis week, Peabody signaled that it is likely to file for bankruptcy.It’s not a huge surprise; the company has not been doing well. After a peak share price of $1,079 in 2011 (during the heady market for metallurgical coal), its stock has fallen, and fallen, and fallen, all the way to $2.19 a share.Naturally, Peabody has been laying off lots of workers — more than 20 percent of its global workforce between 2012 and 2015.But that’s not all it’s been doing.You see, Peabody made promises to its US workers. In exchange for doing the dangerous, unhealthy work of mining coal, they would have pensions and health benefits for life.But those obligations are expensive, especially with employees’ propensity to develop black lung. Peabody needed a way to get them off the books.So in 2007, Peabody created a new entity, Patriot Coal. Reporter Alec MacGillis tells the story in the New Republic:[Peabody] transferred to [Patriot] 13 percent of its coal reserves. It also transferred to it about 40 percent of its health care liabilities—the obligations for 8,400 former Peabody employees. A year later, Patriot Coal was loaded up with even more liabilities when it acquired Magnum Coal, an offshoot of the country’s second-largest mining company, Arch Coal. This left Patriot with responsibility for another 2,300 retirees, and, by last year, total liabilities of $1.37 billion.Eventually Patriot Coal was larded up with more than $3 billion in liabilities from Peabody and Arch, representing 22,000 miners, retirees, and spouses.“Oddly, for a 5-year-old company,” labor journalist Mike Elk wrote, “Patriot wound up with nearly three times as many retirees as active employees, more than 90 percent of whom never worked for the company.”Can you guess what happened next?Yup, Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy in 2012. And it wasted no time asking a bankruptcy judge to let it jettison all those health care liabilities. (The judge said yes, just as she said yes two weeks prior when Patriot asked for permission to pay their executives almost $7 million in “retention bonuses.”)Patriot had no loyalty to these retirees, of course. For the most part, they’d never even worked for Patriot. According to a 2013 story in the Wall Street Journal, “90 percent of retirees listed as Patriot’s obligation today never worked for Patriot, but were once employed by Peabody or Arch.”What about Peabody? Doesn’t it have any loyalty to the workers who gave it so much of their lives? The Wall Street Journal asked:A spokesman for Peabody, the nation’s largest coal company by production, said Peabody has lived up to its obligations. “This is a matter solely between the union and Patriot Coal,” the spokesman said.Damn, that’s cold.(The coal employee pension funds have since sued Peabody and Arch, accusing them of designing Patriot to fail as a way of escaping their obligations.)Ditching its obligations to workers — “restructuring,” in the antiseptic language of corporate law — didn’t save Patriot. It filed for bankruptcy again in 2015. Its efforts to escape its liabilities are ongoing.Dumping liabilities onto Patriot didn’t save Peabody either, which is now on the verge of going under itself. It currently has hundreds of millions in unfunded liabilities, which are likely to be jettisoned in some future deal between a corporate restructuring lawyer and a bankruptcy judge.But have no fear! The Peabody executives who oversaw all those mergers and big bets on metallurgical coal — and the subsequent destruction of virtually all the company’s value — are in no danger. In fact, they’re doing great.This 2015 report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reveals that the top five Peabody executives pulled down about $27 million in compensation in 2011, when the stock was at its peak.In 2014, after the company’s stockholders had lost $16 billion in value, thousands of workers had been laid off and Peabody was headed for bankruptcy, they pulled down about … $25 million.To atone for his sins, the compensation of Boyce, the CEO, was reduced from $10 million in 2011 to $11 million in 2014.(The, er, disjunct between corporate performance and executive compensation is a familiar tale in US coal these days.)So that’s the first item regarding Peabody’s enduring status as the Worst. Now here’s the second.Item 2: Peabody has been heavily subsidized by federal taxpayersTurns out US taxpayers are helping to pay for all this.According to a new report from Greenpeace, based on Department of Interior data obtained via FOIA, Peabody relies heavily on coal mined from federal land. In fact, the three biggest US coal companies all rely heavily on it.coal corporate welfare(Greenpeace)Here’s the thing about coal on federal land: For decades, the US public has been letting coal companies mine it for dirt cheap, well beneath market rates. Over time that adds up to a lot of foregone revenue.In his 2014 piece on coal leasing, Brad Plumer wrote about a study by Tom Sanzillo of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis that “argued that the federal government had foregone as much as $28.9 billion in revenue over the past 30 years by getting below-market value for its coal in these non-competitive auctions.”And that’s to say nothing of the social costs imposed by the coal thus mined. Consider this statistic from a previous Greenpeace report:A ton of publicly owned coal leased during the Obama administration will, on average, cause damages estimated at between $22 and $237, using the federal government’s social cost of carbon estimates — yet the average price per ton for those coal leases was only $1.03.This amounts to the American people subsidizing their own suffering.How your taxes ended up enriching coal executives who are betraying their workers Peabody, at Taxpayer Expense, Pays Out Millions in Executive Bonuseslast_img read more

Real lawyers weigh in on reality TV’s lawyers

first_img Real lawyers weigh in on reality TV’s lawyers Florida litigators pull no punches in reviewing Roy Black’s new show ‘The Law Firm’ Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The camera pans a sleek high rise in Los Angeles, then zooms in to the glitzy interior of “The Law Firm,” where a dozen young trial lawyers gather in the conference room nervously clutching their briefcases.In strides Roy Black with the confident air of a top-notch Florida lawyer with national notoriety for successfully defending William Kennedy Smith on rape charges and offering legal analysis for NBC and CNN on high-profile cases like Scott Peterson and Kobe Bryant. His Web site brags that he got the highest score on the Florida bar exam in 1970, after graduating from the University of Miami, where he teaches a workshop in criminal evidence.Smart, effective, media-savvy Black is the managing partner of “The Law Firm” that airs Thursday nights at 9 on NBC.Real lawyers try real cases with real plaintiffs and real defendants, with real witnesses, before real retired California judges. The outcomes are final, legal, and binding for the parties.Like any managing partner, Black has the power to fire those who fall down on the job.“I don’t care what law school you went to or what your GPA was,” Black tells this polished collection of competitive, type-A personalities he personally selected to vie for $250,000 in cash and proud recognition from Black as “the finest young trial lawyer” in the firm.What matters, Black says, is “how you can perform under pressure and stress in the courtroom.”At the end of each of eight episodes, Black will kick two lawyers out of the firm until only the very best trial lawyer wins.Black said he agreed to do the unscripted series after he talked to Emmy Award-winning producer David Kelley (“Ally McBeal”and “L.A. Law”) and NBC President Jeff Zucker.“Both assured me it would be a program that would highlight how hard lawyers work preparing a case and show the behind-the-scenes, as well as the courtroom performances,” Black said.“Generally, this turned out to be true. Of course, this is television, so they needed entertainment, tension, and drama, as well. Usually, trials contain all of that in spades, but they also wanted to show the tensions that develop between the lawyers while working on the case. So purists may balk at some scenes,” Black said.“After spending over 35 years doing this, it doesn’t seem far off the mark.. . . I think it works.”Does this show — described by the Palm Beach Post as “essentially ‘The Practice’ minus the soap opera-y personal stories and Lindsay Dole’s incessant whining” and the Los Angles Times as “‘People’s Court’ meets ‘The Apprentice’” — succeed in making lawyers look good? Does it work?The Florida Bar News asked a couple of experienced Florida trial lawyers to watch the first July 28 episode and share their honest thoughts.“I am a big fan of Roy Black, but not a fan of ‘reality shows.’ With those two predispositions, I sat down to watch the first show of ‘The Law Firm.’ I remain a big fan of Roy Black,” commented David Rothman, a Miami trial attorney and member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors.Bill Corry, a Tallahassee trial attorney on the board of directors of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, agreed with Black’s premise that the public has little understanding of the time and energy required for trial work.“They see the glamour and the big verdicts. They think lawyers are just rich and don’t have to do much to hoodwink the stupid jury. They hear about runaway verdicts and too many lawsuits and so much propaganda the insurance industry tries to spread,” Corry said. “So, yes, I think it probably helped to improve the image of lawyers. Those young attorneys work very hard.”Corry’s biggest disappointment was not seeing enough of Black, who introduces the lawyers to their cases in the beginning of the hour, slips into the courtroom to hear closing arguments, and then evaluates their performances at the end using the Socratic method, complete with jabbing index finger for emphasis—not unlike the mock trials and critiques Black uses with his UM students.“I think Roy Black came across as dignified. He is a very fine attorney, and I was hoping he would be more involved in the dynamics,” Corry said.As Black says, “This show was designed to showcase the lawyers, not be an infomercial for me.”Feedback Black has received from legal colleagues so far is that “it was fun to watch, but most advised me not to quit my day job. Some, of course, wanted to know if The Donald gave me hair advice (fortunately not) nor did he agree to loan me any money,” Black said.In the first episode, Black divides the dozen lawyers into four teams of three to handle both plaintiffs’ and defendants’ sides of two cases:One involves a woman whose small dog had his leg gnawed off by her flamboyant next-door neighbor’s pair of huge mastiffs.The other is about a man with a flashing light on his dash who stops a woman who cut him off in traffic, demands to see her driver’s license, and chastises her about her driving skills. She thinks he’s a cop, but later finds out he’s really the county coroner.They may not be big cases, but they are important to the clients, Black tells the young trial lawyers.“I’d better see real commitment and passion in representing these clients — or you’re gone!” Black bellows.What the viewer sees watching “The Law Firm” are behind-the-scenes strategy sniping, personality clashes, and stressed-out deadline pressure to prepare for trial.“The lawyers work up to 20 hours a day concentrating on the case, tracking down evidence and witnesses, working on legal memos, preparing arguments—the type of work the public rarely sees and is generally unaware of,” Black said. “They argue over strategy, which witnesses to use, how to handle the judge and jury, all of which can result in heated discussions, just like lawyers and law firms do.”In the dog case, the maimed pooch hobbles up to the bar on three legs. The coroner/cop wannabe case is dissected before a stern arbitrator with the personality of Nurse Ratchet.Rothman was not impressed with the skills of most of the young lawyers chosen for the show.“Based solely upon their ‘performance’ in this one episode, with one, maybe two, exceptions, I would have fired all of the young lawyers who appeared in the show. Some, because they are lousy lawyers, some because they are rotten human beings, and all because they can’t act a lick,” Rothman said.“Roy Black, however, was terrific as the managing partner. One scary thought: One of these young lawyers is actually going to win $250,000 at the end of the show. I have seen better lawyering from third-year law students.”Corry wasn’t as harsh on the attorneys as he was on the quality of the cases.“I would have hated to be those attorneys and have those fact scenarios assigned,” Corry said. “A three-legged dog getting through a fence and a traffic stop by a coroner? I can’t imagine a firm in Tallahassee taking either case.”What was realistic, Corry said, was the inability of the lawyers to control their witness, the mastiff dog owner who just took off with a colorful narrative on the witness stand, and the frustration of the lawyer trying to deal with the rude arbitrator in the coroner case.As Black tells Kelly Chang, the L.A. lawyer booted from the first show because she allowed the arbitrator to run roughshod over her opening statement with a barrage of interruptions: “Great trial lawyers get judges to listen to them.”And Jason Adams, of Ventura, California, was the second lawyer to be told: “The verdict is in: You are out!” because he made the rookie blunder of objecting when the mastiff dog owner, on the other side of the case, made an outrageous comment about the three-legged dog: “You could cut all its legs off and it’d still be a menace to society!”“Great lawyers have good instincts,” Black said. “You couldn’t see a major blunder and take advantage of it.”Even with all of his years of experience as a trial lawyer, Corry said he “relearned to not be so quick to object.”Corry will watch the show again, especially interested “to see if Roy Black is more involved the second time. I’d like to see a case that’s more difficult that would generate significant damages.”Keep watching. Black promises the cases get progressively more difficult, including “a wrongful death involving murder” at the end of the series.Who does Black think the best audience is for his new show?“Good question. If you like David Kelley shows and highlights from Court TV, you will love the show,’’ Black said.“If you want plastic surgery, eating bugs, or celebrity appearances, this show is not for you.” Real lawyers weigh in on reality TV’s lawyers August 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Extend Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Until May 8

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Extend Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Until May 8 Press Release,  Public Health Governor’s Stay-at-Home AmendmentHealth Secretary’s Stay-at-Home AmendmentStay-at-Home GuidanceGovernor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that the statewide stay-at-home orders issued on April 1 to protect Pennsylvanians and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will be extended until Friday, May 8 at 12:01 AM. The initial order was set to expire on April 30.“It is clear that our early and aggressive efforts to mitigate this spread of this highly contagious and deadly virus are working. While we begin to seek ways to move forward, it’s imperative that we continue to take strong precautions to protect Pennsylvanians and ensure that our health care system is not overwhelmed,” Wolf said. “I am so proud of this commonwealth and the resilience of my fellow Pennsylvanians, and I urge you to continue to stay calm and stay home so that we can all stay safe.”“We are starting to see a downward trend in the number of positive cases throughout the state, which is definitely encouraging,” Dr. Levine said. “We need to proceed carefully to make sure the strides we’ve made in combatting this virus continue to move forward. Extending our statewide order until May 8 will ensure that we don’t overwhelm our health system, while helping our economy to recover.”Non-life-sustaining physical business closures remain in effect and all life-sustaining businesses and state services will continue.Individuals are permitted to leave their residences for tasks essential to maintaining health and safety.Stay-at-home guidance is available as a PDF here.Wolf recommended that Pennsylvanians continue to wear masks when leaving the house for life-sustaining reasons. Dr. Levine recently signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.At this time, law enforcement will continue to focus on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement.Read the governor’s amendment as a PDF here.Read the Secretary of Health’s amendment as a PDF here.For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: this information in Spanish.center_img April 20, 2020last_img read more

Local Band Needs Community Votes To Win Competition

first_imgMy Brother’s Keeper is a bluegrass/ progressive acoustic band consisting of brothers Benjamin, 22, Titus, 19, and Joshua Luckhaupt, 24, all of St. Leon. The fourth member of the band is Wyatt Murray, 18, of Brookville.“Music is something that I have been having fun with and now something I would like to do full time,” Benjamin Luckhaupt said. “I know other members of the band would like to as well, so hopefully in five years, music can be a full time opportunity.”Winning the Safe Auto Competition would allow the band to gain more financial flexibility and national exposure, which could lead them one step closer to their dream.Anyone who wants to vote for the Brittany and the Brothers can visit the Safe Auto website. A St. Leon band is hoping community members can help them win a nationwide contest.A St. Leon band is asking for community support.The four members of My Brothers Keeper teamed up with local singer Brittany Gillstrap, 21, and entered Safe Auto’s Do the Jingle Competition.Contestants re-create or re-invent the famous Safe Auto Jingle. All video submissions are featured on the Safe Auto website.The band is currently in third place in the nationwide contest. If the band wins, they will receive $5,000 and a chance to appear in a future advertising campaign.Listen to the jingle by Brittany and the Brothers here>>last_img read more

Basketball: NBBF applauds FG’s intervention for injured D’Tigress star

first_imgRelatedPosts Serbia-based Nigerian basketballer slumps, dies after training NBBF celebrates Nigerian Arizona Women Basketball player of the Decade FIBA releases guidelines for basketball’s return The Nigeria Basketball Federationhas applauded the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare’s fatherly intervention toward sourcing  funds for injured D’Tigress player, Nkem Akaraiwe. NBBF President, Musa Kida in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday, described the 15,000 dollars intervention by the ministry Christmas gift which was well appreciated by the players, her fans and the federation. This was in addition to the 10,000 dollars earlier received from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta which was facilitated by the minister. Akaraiwe who was a member of the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup team tore her Anterior Cruciate Ligament at the Beach Games in Cape Verde and had found it difficult raising funds for the needed surgery. Kida said the gesture was a timely intervention and an indication that the Federal Government was responsive to the plight of its athletes. “This will continue to encourage more Nigerians to strive for glory while representing the nation. “We cannot thank the minister enough for coming through for one of our top basketball players who got injured on national duty. “We are really grateful and elated that finally Akaraiwe can go for the surgery, recover on time and get back to the court. “With enough funds raised, the First Bank Women Basketball Club’s player is expected to go for surgery in Dubai,” he said.Tags: BasketballChristmasD’TigressMusa KidaNBBFNkem Akaraiwelast_img read more

Swarangsri Daimary wins bronze at 3rd International Peace and Friendship Wushu Cup

first_imgGUWAHATI: Swarangsri Daimary of Assam Police, representing Indian Wushu team, won bronze medal at the 3rd International Peace and Friendship Wushu Cup held at Zehedam, Iran recently. She won the medal in below 60kg cetegory of Women’s Sanda event (Free Fighting). The Indian team bagged two Gold medals, one Silver as well as seven bronze medals. This is stated in a release of Wushu Association of Assam.Also Read: LOCAL SPORTSlast_img

Syracuse dominates late to down Iona

first_img Published on September 9, 2017 at 9:14 pm Contact David: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (6-4) defeated Iona (2-7) Saturday afternoon in the Dartmouth tournament in Hanover, New Hampshire. After splitting the first two sets, 25-18, 17-25, the Orange were dominant, winning the final two sets, 25-14, 25-12.The Orange controlled every statistical category, notably besting the Gaels in aces (6-2) and digs (52-41). Anastasiya Gorelina (13 kills), Kendra Lukacs (11 kills) and Santita Ebangwese (11 kills) powered the Orange on the offensive end, along with Annie Bozzo (40 assists). SU also posted a hitting percentage of .342, more than doubling Iona.The two teams were knotted at six in the first set before SU began to pull away. Scoring nine of the next eleven points, Syracuse was able to separate itself from the Gaels, led by Lukacs with five kills.Iona came back in the second set, going on two separate 4-0 runs to pull away from the Orange. SU had its worst set of the match, posting a .214 hitting percentage with just 10 kills. Five different Gaels had a kill, helping their team win the set, 25-17.The next two sets Syracuse dominated. In two of its most impressive sets of the season, the Orange held its opponents to a combined 26 points in the final two sets. Early in the third set, SU won nine of ten points, setting the tone for a 25-14 win. SU used another run to win the fourth set, led by four kills from Gorelina. The Orange ended the match by scoring the 11 points in a row.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentslast_img read more

Former Chelsea’s Coach, Ray Wilkins, is Dead

first_imgThe football world was thrown into mourning Wednesday as news broke of the death of former Chelsea, Manchester United and England great Ray Wilkins, 61.Wilkins, who was also one-time assistant manager at Chelsea, died after suffering cardiac arrest.Wilkins’ death was confirmed by his former clubs Manchester United and Chelsea on their verified Twitter handles on Wednesday. The former midfielder was placed in an induced coma at St George’s Hospital in London, on Friday night after suffering a heart attack.“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Manchester United are with the family, friends and colleagues of our former midfielder Ray Wilkins, following his tragic passing,” United wrote on their handle.Chelsea added: “Everybody associated with Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the passing of our former player, captain and assistant coach, Ray Wilkins. Rest in peace, Ray, you will be dreadfully missed.”As a player with United, Wilkins won the FA Cup and Community Shield both in 1983.He was Chelsea Player of the Year in 1976 and 1977 and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2013.And as assistant manager at Chelsea, under Carlos Ancelotti, the Blues won the Premier League and the FA Cup in the 2009/2010 season.Wilkins won 84 caps for England between 1976 and 1986, playing in both the European Championships and the World Cup.The English FA, numerous English clubs and football personalities have expressed their grief at the passing of Wilkins.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Waris delighted with first goal

first_imgAbdul Majeed Waris has described his first international goal as a ‘great feeling’ after starring in Ghana’s 4-0 win over Sudan in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.The Black Stars striker, who scored in the 79th minute to make it 3-0 and bring up his first international goal, expressed his delight at the result and his own personal performance.“It [first goal for country] is a great feeling and the victory is good success for the nation,” Waris said after the game at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday.The win helped the Black Stars close the gap at the top in Group D, where they are now one point behind with three more matches to go in the second round stage of qualifying.“Everybody knows how important it is for Ghana to qualify for the World Cup. We will keep on working hard and do our best for the nation.”Waris played alongside Asamoah Gyan, who opened the scoring in the first half and the Spartak Moscow player has hailed his partnership with the Ghana captain. “He [Gyan] is a great partner and we talk to each other. Everybody will like to play with him and take part in that,” he said.last_img read more

Stephen Appiah calls for massive patronage ahead of Vodafone Unity match

first_imgElection 2016 Peace Ambassador and former captain of Black Stars Stephen Appiah has called on football fans to patronize the 2016 Vodafone Unity Games, slated for June this year.The games, which form part of Appiah’s plans to promote Peace and Unity before, during and after the 2016 General election would be played on June 8 in Kumasi and on June 11 in Accra.The first match of the Vodafone Unity Games will see the former inspirational skipper lead a team of former and current international football stars against Ghana Premier League Giants Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium before squaring off against the Black Stars in Accra three days later.Speaking at a press Soiree organized by Primeval Medi, the Organizers of the Vodafone Unity Games, the former Ghanaian International appealed to football fans to not to be left out of the historic event.“Some colleagues and friends from Africa and the other continents will join me to use football which is obviously the passion for this nation to clamor for peace”, he said. “I wish to invite you all to the two games that will be played in June at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium against Kotoko and Accra Sports Stadium against the Black Stars”, Appiah added.The election 2016 Peace Ambassador also thanked the headline sponsor of the games for partnering in promoting peace.Football icons such as William Gallas, Dwight Yorke, Patrick Kluyvert, Jay Jay Okocha, Nwako Kanu, Sol Campbell, George Boateng, Jermain Defoe, Simao and Emile Heskey will all play in the 2016 Vodafone Unity Games.  – Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more