Private Pension Issues
The Super Rich Are Out of
Sight (December 27, 2002)
The most recent US census shows that income
inequality in the US has widened, but the census doesn’t even count the
thousands of people making over one million dollars a year into its
figures. Census officials claim their computers can’t handle such large
A Tale of a Broker, His
Clients And the End of the Bubble Era (December 27, 2002)
When friendships can’t survive money loss in
the stock boom-gone-bust: personal stories about ordinary Americans who
lost a lot in the bubble inflation like Mr. Randall’s (a Merrill
Lynch & Co. broker ) not only clients but also friends.
Reducing Retiree Health Plans (December 23, 2002)
Family Foundation conducted a survey along with Hewitt Associates, a
consulting firm. The study is based on a survey of 435 private companies
with 1,000 or more employees that now offer retiree health benefits. For
the next three years, 95 percent of large employers surveyed plan to
continue offering health insurance to retirees now in company-sponsored
22 percent of companies surveyed said they are likely to eliminate such
coverage to future retirees, primarily new and recent hires.
Gap in Pay Divides Pilots From
Other United Unions (December 19, 2002)
The United Airlines pilots seem to have lost the most in the airline's
bankruptcy filing. But they fought for special compensation. Indeed
pilots persuaded United to make large contributions to a tax-deferred
trust fund for their retirement. Furthermore, that shows the gap between
the pilots' and the mechanics' compensation packages. Because pilots have
the most attractive provisions, tension increases in the 4 main labor
groups: pilots, flight attendants, machinists and nonunion ground workers.
United Puts Pressure on
Unions (December 18, 2002)
United Airlines will fall under Section 1113 of the bankruptcy code, which
allows companies to cancel work contracts that impede its return to
financial health. Spokesmen from both flight attendants' or pilots' unions
are not surprised by the decision but are fighting for more employees’
It May Be Time to Plumb Your Pension's
Depths (December 15, 2002)
The new Bush administration rules would make it
easier for companies to switch to another type of pension plan that would
shrink their pension liabilities. Unfortunately, millions and millions of
employees don't have a clue what's going to happen to them. Indeed, if the
Treasury really wants to help American employees, they've got to make
regulations that will force employers to” disclose this stuff in
eighth-grade language “ as said an I.B.M. accountant and the lead
plaintiff in a pending suit against the company's pension conversion.
says cash-balance pensions are OK (December 12, 2002)
a 75-page document, the US Treasury Department said that so-called
cash-balance pension plans do not discriminate against older workers.
Companies have been abandoning traditional pensions in favor of less
expensive cash-balance and 401(k) plans. They argue that cash-balance
plans are a better fit for today's workers. Older workers will suffer.
Proposes Rules on Some Pensions (December 10, 2002)
The Bush administration proposed regulations seen as an effort to
avoid age-discrimination. Cash-balance pensions have been the target of
age-discrimination complaints. For example, 800 claims of age
discrimination have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission over conversions to cash balance plans.
I.B.M. Will Move Faster to
Fill Its Pension Fund Gap (December 5, 2002)
Some good news in the IBM pensions’ issue: IBM
planes to put $3 billion in cash and stock in its United States pension
fund this year. The company's United States pension funds represent about
two-thirds of I.B.M.'s worldwide pension obligations. Once, a company
decides to face the pension gap while there is still time to deal with it.
Plan Ties Foreign Aid to Free Market and Civic Rule (November 25, 2002)
The Bush administration has proposed
a new foreign aid plan that would make aid conditional on a
country’s commitment to “curbing corruption, spending more on
education and following free market economic principles.” Bush describes
the plan as “a key element in maintaining American influence in the
world.” (New York Times)
Workday for Pitt and the SEC (November 7, 2002)
The SEC faces a record enforcement caseload stemming from
the collapse of Enron and WorldCom Inc. The
commission's staff has been demoralized by Pitt’s behavior. He failed to
inform the other commissioners about Webster's ties to a Washington
company that is under investigation for possible fraud.
Raises Retirees' Health Premiums (November 5, 2002)
GM spent $4.2 billion last year on health care,
and most of those covered are retirees or their spouses. The firm will
substantially increase premiums next January.
S.E.C. Orders Investigation Into
Webster Appointment (October 31, 2002)
An investigation has been ordered against William
H. Webster, recently appointed head of a new board overseeing the
accounting profession, after Mr. Webster's disclosure that he told the
Security and Exchange Commission chairman, Harvey L. Pitt, that he had
headed the auditing committee of a company facing fraud accusations.
4-Day Strike Is Set At GE Plant (October 30, 2002)
General Electric's 2500 employees plan to begin a
four-day strike on pension issues, if the retirees must pay increased
amounts for health care.
Seniors Face Higher Medicare Rates for 2003 (October 18, 2002)
40 million beneficiaries will pay higher premiums and deductibles next
year, on top of a slim cost-of-living adjustment for 2003. But the 1.4%
cost-of-living adjustment announced will be far outstripped by growing
prescription drug costs.
if Heads Roll, Mistrust Will Live On (October 6, 2002)
article is sending a strong message to corporate
leaders that they must regain America’s public’s trust in the business
Hints Ex-Enron Accounting Chief Had Role in Fraud (October 4, 2002)
Mr. Causey was not charged with any crime before.
But now he is suspected of false representations to Enron's board about
dealings with a pair of off-balance-sheet partnerships.
Chief Hedges on Accounting Regulator (October 4, 2002)
Chairman Pitt is trying to circumvent the
Sarbanes legislation by making certain that the board does not include any
reform-minded persons : the choice of
Biggs for the new executing board chief is being re-evaluated.
Ralph Nader Takes on Wall Street (October 3, 2002)
Mr Nader is calling for greater regulation and
enforcement of the securities industry.
for older workers (October 2, 2003)
The AARP Magazine just released a list of 15 companies chosen for their
friendliness to workers over 50 in the United States. The survey covered
different categories such as recruiting, wages, corporate culture, and
Sees Continuing Role at AOL (October 1, 2002)
In the financial meltdown of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case is
fighting for his job. However, financial shenanigans may push him out the executive door.
Crossing Chairman Denies Inside Information (October 1, 2002)
Gary Winnick (Global Crossing Chairman) said he
was not informed about the company's deteriorating financial condition.
Was he coming into the office at all?
a Broker's Notes, Trouble for Salomon (September 22, 2002)
L. Spartis was a broker at Salomon Smith Barney.
His notes, which fill seven spiral notebooks and three calendars, detail
the daily conversations Salomon had with clients and with other employees
from 1997 to 2001.Is it an other dangerous matter for WorldCom justice’s
Land of the Free, Home of the
Perk (September 22, 2002)
New York is a home for the perks. Especially when perks are given to
former executive chiefs. It can quickly become another disgraceful tale.
Charity, Where Does a C.E.O. End and a Company Start ?(September 22, 2002)
Corporate charity is becoming more dubious for
non-profits. The smell of corruption can spill over onto the non-profits
when the industry chief gets indicted.
struggle (September 22, 2002)
The gap between executive and worker pensions has
become downright obscene. “When Hugh McColl retired as BofA's chief
executive officer in 2001, he was guaranteed a pension of about $2.4
million per year, plus other benefits. Louise LaMuth retired from BofA in
1970 after working at the bank in San Francisco for more than 20 years.
She receives a monthly pension check for $47. 57.’’ What else to
Investors Want More Advice ( September 22, 2002)
Many employees want more information about their
401 (k) plans. Unfortunately,
scandals everywhere involving deceptive accounting practices, it is more
difficult than ever to make a good choice of stocks.
Reducing Retirement Health Benefits, Study Finds (September 16, 2002)
Employers have begun to reduce their
“contributions” to retired workers medical benefits, even though the
high cost of US medical care outstrips what Medicare pays even now.
And a Washington-based consultant firm says that employers will
reduce their benefits even more in the years ahead.
Is it time for a cap on health care charges?
retirement dreams fade (September 12, 2002)
More and more people worry that they will not
being able to retire before age 60. We can find two huge explanations :
life expectancy is longer and the pension amounts may be lower.
Pensions After Halliburton Deal (September 11, 2002)
In an astonishing chronicle of cynical management, Halliburton bought
Dresser Industries and Dresser-Rand, Inc. and then sold them off to
Trying retirement early
(September 11, 2002)
If you’re worried about your job future at the
company, the early-retirement plan may well be your most palatable option.
Unfortunately, the truth is that most people cannot afford to retire early
because it is a huge financial challenge ( inflation, Social Security
Chiefs Are Retaining Extra Benefits in Retirement (September 11, 2002)
The institution of giving some extra benefits to the executive is
increasing. Protecting these shareholders implicate a higher level of the
total amounts too even though the workers are not.
Pa. Treasurer Urges Stricter
Oversight of Local Pensions (August 27, 2002)
Barbara Hafer, Chair of PSERS board, calls for
more detailed and current information on the “status of municipal
pension funds.” Pennsylvania’s record of upholding pensions is strong,
consistently outperforming benchmarks and fully funding all pension
American seniors rack up debt like
never before (August 24, 2002)
Once known for their thrift, older Americans are
piling on debt — filing for bankruptcy in record numbers and
jeopardizing retirement dreams. Many live on little more than Social
Security. A sluggish stock market and painfully low interest rates pinch
returns on their CDs, bank accounts and stock investments. Tapped out,
many in this new generation of seniors turn to credit cards to finance
medical bills, expensive prescription drugs and comfortable lifestyles.
Scandal at-a-glance (August 22, 2002)
Here is a summary of people who contributed to
the Enron scandal. Take a look at the financial and political aftermaths.
Getting Going: Rethink Retirement
Money Strategies During Retirement Years (August 18, 2002)
Throw away old financial notions, for they will
serve you no longer as a retiree. Rethink
ways to look at your assets and focus less on shrinking your portfolio’s
Public Pensions Come UP Short as
Stocks' Swoon Drain Funds (August 16, 2002)
Wavering stock market is main culprit for more
than half of all public pension plans that are underfunded.
Other statistics show that pension systems catering to teachers,
firefighters, and municipal employees may well be up to 75% underfunded.
Street scandals at a glance (August 14, 2002)
Here are the companies that have dominated the headlines and planted doubts about
the integrity of corporate America.
Officials of 14 States Pledge
Protection of Pension Assets (August 13, 2002)
Fourteen individual states are joining arms together to fight corporate
corruption and, “bring a renewed faith in the financial marketplace.”
Representatives from these states agree protecting pensions is a
New Jersey Plans to Sue
Companies Over Losses to Pension Funds (August 7, 2002)
Several states file suits to recover pension
losses. New Jersey sues its major companies for mismanagement and
misleading accounting practices, which costs the states’ retirement
system more than $1billion. The New York State Common Retirement Fund
plans to sue WorldCom for the loss of $112 billion fund.
The way forward for
pension provision (August 5, 2002)
The article considers a new proposal of a universally protected pension
scheme proposed by the Pensions Reform Group.
The Great Retirement
Scare (August 2, 2002)
Relying on the investment returns for retirement could threaten the well
being of older people. However, the author claims that it is wrong, and
the market can and will secure the retirement.
Labor to Press for Changes in Corporate
Governance (July 30, 2002)
A.F.L.-C.I.O President John Sweeney,
hopes to seal the loopholes of big business.
He spoke of laying a heavy hand on corporate criminals, comparing
today’s new mongrels as yesteryears’ robber barons. Sweeney will continue to represent unions and the thousands
who lost their jobs from the bankrupt corporations of Enron, World Com,
and Anderson Consulting.
Market Veterans Say Stay Put: Don't Let the Bear
Scare You (July 29, 2002)
As edgy as everyone seems with downturns in the
market, veteran brokers are confident that staying put, and not selling is
the best move for investors to make.
With low buying prices, now is a better time than ever to buy they
claim. And the brokers will collect commissions.
Broken System? Tweak It, They Say (July 28,
In light of all the embarrassing debacles that
have hit Wall Street, the U.S. House and Senate have responded swiftly,
approving a new regulation package on big business corporations.
The future, however, does not look as promising for more
regulation. With elections around the corner, are these regulations real
or a hall of mirrors?
Wall Street Waves are a Riptide to Some, a
Ripple to Others (July28, 2002)
People all over New York region, from rich to middle class to poor are
worrying about the stock market; the middle class, however, carries the brunt of the depressed
Pension Funds in New Jersey Face Shortfall (July
State pensions in New Jersey face troubling times to
come. One billion dollars is the estimated payment NJ owes to its
pensioners by year's end. How
will NJ pay its debt and how does former Governor Christie
Whitman’s poor pension financing play a role in the state’s current pension
Firms Upgrade Retirement Plans Amid Clamor
for Greater Choice (July 25, 2002)
Firms, including Verizon Communication Inc. and
Ford Motor Co., are revamping retirement plans to give employees better
options. For more solid returns, firms plan to diversify workers’ 401K
Bush Bids to Regain Economic Initiative (July
The Bush Administration is ready to to focus on pensions as its next big
Wall St. Damage Ripples Across the Population
(July 21, 2002)
Dow falling more than 1360 points is the worst
loss since the October crash of 1987. Dipping numbers spark fear all over
America from families in New York to Houston, people are worried about
retirement money depreciating in value in the depressed economy.
Crisis Looms As Many to Come Short (July 19, 2002)
Recent severe stock market losses threaten the
incomes of older Americans who put money into 401 (k) plans and other
instruments for retirement. Too
many persons were put at tremendous risk that they had no capacity to
assess. Will those who
entered false information onto to the accounting books get off free?
G.M. Profit Doubles, but Worries on Pensions
Hurt Stock (July 17, 2002)
though General Motor’s profit doubled in the second quarter, its stock
went down. The company faces the dilemma of how much money to invest in
its pension system to provide payments to 400,000 retirees.
Calif Pension Funds Sue WorldCom, Invest
Banks, Seek $318M (July16, 2002)
is under pressure facing a joint lawsuit filled in the Los Angeles County
Superior Court on behalf of the California State Teachers' Retirement
System and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association.
The Secrets of Plan E (July 15, 2002)
Pensioners in California fall into a trap of
corrupt policy. Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association’s
Plan E has left pensioners who were expecting to receive half of their
salary – now only receiving pennies in comparison.
A Stocks' Slide Is Playing Havoc With Older
Americans' Dreams (July14, 2002)
the 1990’s the Dow was going up and more people put their money into the
market with the hope to retire early. However, the current “economic
hangover” of the 1990’s coerces people to retire later. Retirees
now are looking for a job to survive.
Pension, health care funds
may see shortfall (July 11, 2002)
Major US corporations with defined benefit pensions
and health programs for retirees in national union contracts have failed
to assure the integrity of these obligations. The steel makers want the public—the government—to bail
them out; others firms mask the current situation by painting rosy
pictures of a future market recovery.
Stumble Forces New Thinking on Retirement (July 9, 2002)
Market fluctuations are painful for retirees. According to a report of the
University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, $672 billion of
retiree’s wealth was wiped out by the market downturns in the last two
Offer Safety, at a Price (July 7, 2002)
Variable annuities are risk free mutual funds. Investing money into
variable annuities, an investor cannot withdraw them for 7 to 10 years
without a penalty of up to 20 per cent. The protection and stability of
future returns increases the price of variable annuities.
At Annuity University,
Agents Learn How to Pitch to Seniors (July 2, 2002)
Experts claim that annuities are not suitable and risky for older
investors. However, those Mr. Clark, are in the business of teaching seminars
on how to persuade
seniors to buy annuities -- seems a bit disturbing.
pension policy that has turned gold to dust (July 1, 2002)
The latest research from the Association of
Consulting Actuaries, based on the survey of 3,000 pension schemes with 7
million members, revealed that retirees need “a very different pension
world.” According to the
research fewer than four out of ten pension schemes are open to new
members. Almost half of the pension schemes are going to shut down, and 14
per cent of the existing pension schemes are closed to new members.
vs. Bonds: A Risk Scoreboard (June 30, 2002)
The risk to earn the highest return could be
reduced if money is invested in an array of different asset classes. A new
study by Moody’s Investors Service reveals that a basic portfolio has to
be diversified, and an investor has to consider the risk and returns of
one asset class in correlation to the risk and returns of another.
Lies My C.F.O. Told Me, Act
XIII (June 30, 2002)
WorldCom has been charged with overstating profits by $4 billion dollars.
The House and the Senate are going to pass a bill that will prevent future
accounting malpractice. One of the possible remedies is the periodic
changing of auditing firms. Both companies and auditors, however, strongly oppose the
Capitalists Actually Bring Down Capitalism? (June 30, 2002)
The false accounting practices of Enron and
WorldCom are causing investors to lose their confidence in the market.
Meanwhile, accounting firms claim they are trying to strengthen auditing regulations.
However, investors do not need substantial changes to justify their
confidence in the market. “People will forget Enron and WorldCom, and it
will all happen again”.
Does It Cost the Wealthy Too
Much to Die? (June 30, 2002)
The Money Flows In. The Value
Keeps Falling (June 30, 2002)
Republicans in the Senate, with presidential
support, are ready to abolish the estate tax. Even though wealthy
taxpayers whose estates amounted to $2.5 million are offended by the
estate tax, the elimination of the estate tax could hurts the estate-planning
industry and charitable giving.
A new report on retirement accounts by the
Investment Company Institute reveals that mutual funds lost 4 per cent of
their value. However, declining stock prices did not affect the balance of
portfolios; stocks remain the largest investment holdings.
Hero in 1994 Is Now a Bitter Retiree (June 30, 2002)
Arlene Beckles, a New York Police hero in 1994,
is presently fighting for the larger pension.
She retired in 2000 with an ordinary disability pension after being
suspended from the Police Department for calling in sick too often.
Her lawyer is appealing to the courts for a line-of-duty disability
New York: Comeback (After a
Lag) Kid (June 29, 2002)
Mr. Ehrenhalt, an economist retired from the federal Bureau of Labor
Statistics, studied the New York City economy through half a century. He
explains that the city’s economy will continue to suffer in the
short-term, but it will recover in the longer run. “We have a record of
going through tough times and coming back stronger then ever”.
Pension Funds Won't Change Strategies
After WorldCom (June 29, 2002)
Even though the California Public Employees
Retirement System lost $235 million in WorldCom shares and about $330
million in WorldCom bonds, it is only about 0.4% of the fund’s total
assets of $150 billion. Their managers say they have no immediate plans to
change strategies, the public portfolios are well-diversified, and none of
the losses will affect fund ability to pay pensions.
Bonuses Once Meant to
Retain Talent Now Risk Outrage (June 29, 2002)
WorldCom repeats Enron’s collapse?
WorldCom is enduring an inquiry into its accounting practices and
faces bankruptcy. Top managers are being paid high bonuses even when
thousands of workers are being laid off.
collapse cost state pension funds millions (June 27, 2002)
The WorldCom confession that it wrongfully listed $3.9 billion as capital
expenses in 2001 and 2002 sharply affected the NY State Pension fund.
Since WorldCom duped NY trustees into buying their supposedly profitable
stock, NY State Comptroller Carl McCall is considering legal action.
If the State Comptroller can’t make informed decisions, then how
can anyone make a good decision on stock choices?
Who will pay? WorldCom
executives and directors? Or
NY State pension holders?
denies accounting problems (June 27, 2002)
GM executives strongly refute the claim that
their company is subject to an accounting investigation. According to an
industry analyst, the size of the GM pension deficit could increase by $8
billion. Moreover, the GM balance sheet could be cut by healthcare
obligations by $3.8 billion.
The Nest-Egg Blues (June
In the article, experts discuss the flaws of the retirement
portfolios of older people. There are recommendations how to balance your
portfolio to be financially independent in the future.
Home-Based Businesses Add
Income and Life (June 23, 2002)
The “Earnest Test,” a governmental punishment for making
extra money after retirement, i.e. the more money you earn, the more money
that is subtracted from your Social Security checks, did not provide any
incentives for old people to have a part time job or run one’s own
business. However, it was revisited, and now retirees can earn money
without reducing Social Security benefits.
Prominent Wall Street Figure Convicted of Fraud
(June 10, 2002)
Alan Bond, who is an graduate of Harvard Business
School, was convicted of fraud for cheating pension funds. It is three
counts of investment advisory fraud and three counts of wire fraud, which
is the maximum is 55 years of the prison term.
Whose Money is it Anyway? (June 9, 2002)
Employee-employer joint administration is what is
needed to prevent future pension abuse. The structure needs to be amended
and employees need more security, instead of what appears to be consistent
Numbers of American Women Face Retirement Financially Insecure (June 2,
A real story about a 76-year-old woman, who faces
financial problems and struggles to survive with a total income of $1,000
but with no pension coverage from her ex-husband. Old women are more
financially insecure not only because they earn less and save less, but
also because their retirement rate is based on lower earnings.
we afford to repeal the estate tax? (May 30, 2002)
In June Senate Republicans are going to bring up
an amendment to permanently repeal the estate tax, which will benefit only
the wealthiest 2% of Americans with estate more than $2 million. However,
it will eliminate vital funds for education, health and social security
programs for the rest. The author argues that people can and ought to
overcome the unfair pressure of the wealthiest.
Salary Grows, So Does a Gender Gap (May
Even though women may be coming home
with larger paychecks, study results show that when it comes to bringing
wages of $1 million, men still outnumber women, just as they did
Stanley Hails Bermuda Vote, but Employees Cry Deception
Survey: Pension Plans, Foundations Saw
Modest 1Q Returns
(May 13, 2002)
Stanley Works said shareholders had approved to become a Bermuda company,
but that employees and retirees complained about the outcome, saying
managers had misled them about how the votes would be counted.
(May 8, 2002)
Investments returns grow in pension plans, foundations and
endowments in the first quarter, but the results were still below what
they needed to be, according to a survey conducted by Mercer Investment
Wrong Payouts Are Uncovered
in Pension Plan (May 8, 2002)
It has been discovered by the Labor Department
inspector that more than 20% of cash balance pension plans violated the
law by not supplying workers with all of the benefits expected. Thirteen
plans were underpaying workers by $17 million a year.
BBC Launches Google Powered Search
Engine (May 6, 2002)
The Great 401 (k) Hoax
BBC launched a “ family friendly” search engine powered by google,
intended for UK searchers’ who were frustrated over results geared
toward American websites and advertisers. We’re proud that Global Action
on Aging’s website shows up prominently on this listing of those “
judged to be the best of what they do.”
Is the economy really recovering? What are we to believe when the stories
that appear in the media are contrasting stories? The following article
was taken from The Employment Project. Please contact them for any further
information at: 130 Mac Douglas St, Apt D, New York, NY; 10012, Telephone
(212) 533-6945, Fax (212) 5336973, or at email@example.com.
Judge Ends Enron
Executives' Control of Employee Pensions
(April 20, 2002)
The Labor Department was granted a
request from the Judge controlling the Enron’s bankruptcy case to take
out the company’s executives as trustees of employees pension plans and
to appoint an independent manager.
Retirees Almost Force a Change in Pay (April 28,2002)
Retired workers of the phone giant
company Verizon Communications Inc. came close to demanding a change in
pay. They wanted the company to stop including income generated by its
pension plan in its formula for setting executive pay.
Enron Pensions Still Under Old
Management (March 5, 2002)
Enron retirement plans are stills under
old management; despite an agreement to replace Enron’s pension plans
with an independent official.
in Iowa, Urges Patience in War Effort and Reform of Pension Plans
(March 2, 2002)
In Iowa, President Bush talked about terrorism. Also, President Bush
expressed deep concerns about pension plan abuse, “ We need to make sure
that workers don't lose everything if their company were to fail, he
said". (GAA will publish a critique of his suggestions in these
Says Enron May Owe More in Pensions (February 27, 2002)
If the pension benefits of Enron Corp. that manipulated its employee stock
ownership plan is found to be illegal, the pension plan could then owe
millions more dollars to participants with the public picking up the tab.
a Business Scandal Became a National Spectacle
(February 17, 2002)
The Enron scandal can be easily translated into the language of the greed
of corporate bosses and the losses suffered by ordinary individuals.
"It's a case where the rich guy took the upside and stuffed the poor
guy with the downside," said Paul McCulley, chief economist at Pimco,
an investment firm.
It Beat Profit Forecast, I.B.M. Said Little About Sale of a Unit
(February 15, 2002)
Letter from GAA Subscriber:
This article in today's 2-15-02, New York Times, sec C1, is reflective of
the stealth, manipulation and inherent dishonesty, being displayed by so
many of our Corporate executives. All awhile, they expect the employees to
trust them with handling their retirement futures, and the public to buy
and hold their stock?
Paid Some, Not All, Deferred Compensation ( February 13, 2002)
While midlevel and high-level executives who were still working at Enron
in late November received deferred salaries and bonuses just before the
December 2nd bankruptcy filing, employees who had retired or
recently left the company were denied such payments.
Were Answered at Board's Investigation (February 13, 2002)
Mr. Kenneth L. Lay cited his Fifth
Amendment right before the Senate committee against self-incrimination,
even though he had just four weeks before his decision to decline to
testify, answered questions from lawyers investigating partnerships that
ultimately brought the company to its knees.
Labor Dept., Workforce Restructuring in Progress
(February 12, 2002)
The Bush administration has asked major agencies to complete workforce
restructuring plans so that the government can figure out staffing
requirements for the next few years. It is too early to say how reshaping
their staff will play out but administration has promised to keep up. To
make the change slightly easier, Labor Secretary Elaine L Chao has said
that the department will offer early retirement to qualified employees
from March 1 through September 30.
to Seek Retirement Plan Control At Enron (February 11, 2002)
After about 20.000 Enron Corp.
workers and retirees lost more than $1 billion in the company’s
energy-trade bankruptcy, the Labor Department announced yesterday that it
is seeking to remove officials who oversee the company’s retirement
plans and replace them with independent experts.
of Enron Will Not Testify Before Congress (February 11, 2002) After
Mr. Lay refused to appear voluntarily, lawmakers issued subpoenas, and he
is still expected to appear on Tuesday 12th before the Senate Commerce
Committee. But, Mr. Lay's spokeswoman, Kelly Kimberly, said, "Under
the instructions of counsel, Mr. Lay will exercise his Fifth Amendment
rights at the hearing Tuesday" exercising his right to avoid
incriminating himself in the accounting and pension 401(K) scandal that
has impoverished hundreds of former workers. Is there a way to find out
how many Employers got hurt by Lay?
Testimony Clashes (February 8, 2002)
former CEO told Congress yesterday, February 07 that when he resigned from
the company he did not realize that the company was in any financial
threat, while the company's onetime chief financial officer, and three
other senior executives cited their Fifth Amendment protection against
self-incrimination and refused to answer questions.
Enron CFO Fastow refuses to testify ( February 7, 2002)
Andrew Fastow, a former Enron chief financial officer who collected $ 30
million for keeping company debt off book said today, “ On the advice of
my counsel I respectfully decline to answer the questions” invoking his
Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination and refusing to testify to
House Opposes Stock Cap (February 7, 2002)
The Bush administration does not see anything wrong with the nation’s
private retirement system. It is thought that Bush's reform proposals
strike a balance between the needs of employees and employers and will
restore safety and confidence to the nation's retirement savings system.
It would require that workers be free after three years to sell stock
contributed to their accounts by their employers, and make employers
responsible for losses by employees when their accounts are frozen for
Lawyer Says Company Ignored Alarm (February 7, 2002)
A senior lawyer of Enron Corporation said the company overlooked his alarm
more then a year ago about the corporation’s approval of supposedly
arm’s-length deal with partnerships managed by Enron insiders.
Shares Plunge on growing Worries of a Cash Squeeze
(February 6, 2002)
Wall Street grew increasingly nervous yesterday about the prospect of a
cash squeeze at Tyco International, after losing access to the commercial
paper market. So far this year, Tyco's stock has dropped about 50 percent,
along with concerns that the company uses aggressive accounting practices
to inflate its growth rate and profits.
a Watchdog Is Not Always Fully Awake (February 6, 2002)
In the case of the Enron Corporation, Calpers, the California, giant
pension fund, with assets of about $144 billion, was the watchdog that did
not bark. Records show that Calpers was alerted by its advisers in
December 2000 about the serious conflicts inherent in one of a web of
private partnerships set up by Enron's chief financial officer, Andrew S.
Fastow. But Calpers did not publicize its concerns that Mr. Fastow could
not protect both parties' interests between the partnership and Enron, it
simply declined to invest in the troublesome partnership, LJM3, and kept
silent, continuing to reap profits.Why?
Enron chairman ordered to testify (February 5, 2002)
Mr. Kenneth Lay was called today, February 5, 2002 to appear before
Congress, after the Senate issued a subpoena.
But even if he did appear, congressional officials are very
unlikely to get much information out of Mr. Lay, since he would most
likely refer to his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent so as not to
chief will be forced to testify (February 5, 2002)
Yesterday, February 4, the Enron scandal exploded into political
warfare after Congress confirmed its aim to subpoena Enron’s former
chief executive Kenneth Lay. Congress accused Enron executives of “
corporation corruption” and suggested someone may end up going to jail. Senator
Ernest Hollings, the Democratic chairman of the Senate commerce committee,
accused President Bush of being in Enron's pocket, and creating a
"culture of government corruption".
Chooses Head of Faith-Based Office (February 1, 2002)
President Bush has chosen an advocate for the aging who once worked with
Mother Teresa to head his revamped effort to provide federal funds to
religious charities. Mr. Jim Towey worked with Mother
Teresa's ministry for more than 10 years and latter founded the advocacy
group Aging With Dignity. The appointment does not remove objections based
on us constitutional guarantees to keep church and state separate.
Seeks New Rules On Pensions (February 1, 2002)
President Bush proposed giving workers greater freedom to diversify their
company retirement accounts. Workers would be permitted to sell company
stock after three years, and pursue other investment options, while
companies would be encouraged to make outside financial advice available
to employees, at a fee charged to the 401k. Employees who have worked hard
and saved all their lives should not have to risk losing everything if
their company fails," said President Bush. But aging advocates
believe that President Bush leaves the fundamental problems untouched.
With the door open to more abuse.
Crossing Lockdown Stopped Workers From Protecting Pensions (January 31,
Global Crossing Ltd. prevented its workers from selling company shares,
for a total of four weeks during December and January, during a time of
uncertainty. Since this
practice is still legal it has been bringing up new concerns. Such 401(k)
freezes can be harmful to workers investments in the fund. With such plans
in a lockdown when a company is in a precarious state, it raises "a
real question of fiduciary responsibility," said Lois Berney, editor
of DC Plan Investing. These Lockdowns have already caught the eyes of
Congress, which is expected to review its use during meetings on
Directors Backed Moving Debt Off Books (January 31,2002)
Enron’s investigation is focused on whether Enron hid debt and inflated
its profits by using the private partnerships run by its chief financial
officer. This investigation, while expensive may produce measures to
present such highly questionable practices in the future. It is identified
that members of Enron Corp’s board of directors received briefings in
the past about controversial partnership whose losses initiated Enron’s
bankruptcy, according to the minutes, which cover four meeting in 1997 and
1999, and other three meetings of finance in 2000, it does not cover every
board meetings and it does not include documents that are attached to the
summaries of the board's actions.
Workers Gather to Share Plight (January 30, 2002)
Workers gathered to draw attention to the financial problems and to fight
for better oversight of corporate accounting practices, this morning,
January 30. Many affected by Enron’s turbulence have lost their life
long saving, no longer have health insurance and are faced with troubles
of finding new employment.
Admits Error in Lobbying Costs (January 30, 2002)
Enron confesses to having failed to reveal some of the lobbying expenses
to Congrees last year as it headed for bankruptcy. Enron’s spokes woman
said ``We are reviewing those fees and will respond in writing to the
Secretary of the Senate''.
Names Stephen Cooper Interim Chief During Bankruptcy
(January 29, 2002)
Mr. Stephen Cooper has been chosen as interim CEO and chief restructuring
officer to guide Enron’s company through its bankruptcy along with its
investigations into the collapse.
Way: Pay Packages Foster Spin, Not Results (January 27, 2002)
Even though the stocks dropped one group of shareholders came out of the
fall ahead of others. Management board members and top executive managed
to sell millions of dollars of shares before the drop of the stocks.
Enron Scandal Grazes Another Bush in Florida (January 27, 2002)
The Enron outrage is starting to touch another Bush:
Florida’s governor Jeb Bush. Florida's state pension fund lost
$335 million from its Enron holdings. Florida is also home to thousands of
Enron investors and retired employees, who have seen their Enron shares
become worthless. Mr. Bush has sidestepped this political minefield,
avoiding, at least for sometime, any negative association with Enron. Mr.
Bush particularly has been able to stay clear of the enormous damage to
the state employees' pension fund. As governor, Mr. Bush is one of the
fund's three trustees; it brings questions about whether or not Mr. Bush
had any specific connections with Enron. Investigations may reveal the
Effort Seen in Shredding Data on Enron's Audits
(January 24, 2002)
The Chairman James C. Greenwood of the Arthur Andersen’s Houston office
said that a group of people working at Andersen collaborated in the
destruction of documents related to the Enron Corporation. Mr. David
Duncan the lead partner on Enron’s account was soon fired after being
accused of planning the destruction of Enron documents knowing of a
governmental financial investigation. But investigators are
skeptical and want to look into why the firm waited more than two weeks
after Enron disclosed the S.E.C. investigation to order the shredding
to Look at Employee Risks, but Experts Say Solutions Won't Be Easy
(January 11, 2002)
Many Enron employees lost their retirement savings because the
savings were tied up almost exclusively in company securities. President
Bush asks his Administration to look at ways “ to make sure that people
are not exposed to losing their life savings as a result of a
Orders Review of Pension Rules (January 11, 2002)
Enron bankruptcy sheds light on potential problems in the
nation’s pension system. President Bush ordered his economic team to
review pension rules that could put other workers and pensioners at risk.
Try to Make Hay of Enron Fall As Lieberman Calls Hearings on Collapse
(January 3, 2002)
At the new congressional-election this year Sen. Joseph Lieberman
announced that the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee later this month,
will hold hearings into Enron's collapse. It will focus on the sudden
collapse and what might have been prevented. But Democrats believe further
exposure can only embarrass Republicans. Who benefited mightily from
Enron’s campaign donations.