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Morning Splash

| October 12, 2010
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  • First things first: The Giants win the NLDS! Philly here we come.
  • Children’s Hospital Oakland Nurses have begun a three-day strike. From NBC Bay Area:

    Since May, the hospital and it’s unionized workers have been haggling over a contract that includes a pay freeze and increased health care costs to the nurses. In the last contract, nurses got pay increases, which the hospital administration says it can no longer afford. The hospital has lost $69 million in the last four years. There is a plan to get back in the black by 2012, but it requires concessions from it’s nurses.

    Duelling press releases from the nurses’ union and the hospital

  • California Watch has flagged a Sacramento News & Review article from last week that claims hundreds of millions of dollars in investments by the UC Regents’ investment committee have created serious conflicts of interest on the part of committee members.
  • …while education is taking a beating, this investigation reveals that some members of the board of regents have benefited from the placement of hundreds of millions of university dollars into investments, private deals and publicly held enterprises with significant ties to their own personal business activities. Conflicts of interest have arisen because some members of the regents’ investment committee, individuals who are also Wall Street heavy hitters, modified long-standing UC investment policies. Specifically, they steered away from investing in more traditional instruments, such as blue-chip stocks and bonds, toward largely unregulated and risky “alternative” investments, such as private equity and private real-estate deals.

    The investigation, which was undertaken by several publications, including the Berkeley Daily Planet, looks at the activities of two regents in particular: financiers Paul Wachter and Richard C. Blum, the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

  • The Chronicle reports that some Bay Area officals are defying federal policy by refusing to clear-cut shrubs and trees around levees. Their reasoning: excessive cost and a belief that ecosystems would be endangered.
  • Glass Lewis, a company that provides research to institutional investors, has proclaimed Yahoo’s Carol Bartz the most overpaid CEO of an S&P 500 firm.” To determine whether the company is paying too much,” writes Bloomberg, “Glass Lewis weighs metrics including stock price, operating cash flow and growth in per-share earnings.” This qualifies as a lot worse press for Bartz than her interview in May’s Esquire. That piece opened with: “One year into her role as CEO of Yahoo!, Bartz has proven herself to be aggressive, foulmouthed, and utterly likable. But she still has to prove she can fix Yahoo!”

    Yeah. I worked as a freelancer for Yahoo! when Bartz first got the gig, and her companywide emails did come across as refreshingly candid and absent of the obligatory gloss that typically suffuses CEO-to-huddled-masses communications. But on the other hand, if you’re a Yahoo! investor, who really cares?

    You can request the full Glass Lewis report on overpaid corporate chieftains here.

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