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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Greed at a glance

Too Much
toomuchonline.org
 
The Great Recession has been hard on American higher ed. Faculty have lost jobs, students opportunities. But not everyone on campus is feeling the pain. 
Compensation for major college football coaches has actually increased faster than corporate CEO pay since 2007. Leading the pack: Alabama head coach Nick Saban, now pulling in $5.5 million a year. Colleges are even paying coaches a fortune not to coach. The University of Tennessee last month fired a head coach who still had four years left on his contract. Tennessee's athletic department, to pay off the cash still owed the coach and his assistants, will now not be making $18 million in contributions to the university, money that had been slated for academic scholarships. The overall pay scene, says North American Association of Sports Economists president Raymond Sauer, has become “shameful.”
Activists at the Other 98% are launching a new media blitz against taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil. One ad that may soon grace your TV screen opens dramatically with a power suit declaring, “Here at Exxon we hate your children.” Continues the smug speaker: “We all know the climate crisis will rip their world apart. But we don’t care, because it’s making us rich.” Just who might that “us” include? How about Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson. The oil colossus revealed last week that Tillerson will see his salary jump to $2.72 million come January 1. Also headed in CEO Tillerson's direction: a $4.59 million bonus and a stock award worth $19.6 million, at Exxon’s share price last week. The total package: just under $27 million. In 2011, Tillerson pocketed $25.2 million . . .
The mega yacht Octopus cost billionaire Paul Allen $200 million to build back in 2003. The boat stretches 416 feel, plenty long enough, non-billionaires might assume, to carry any toy a mega yacht owner might ever need. But billionaires have needs the rest of us simply can’t fathom. Enter the “support yacht,” the “floating garage” that many of our uber now have trailing alongside their megas. The Dutch boatmaker Amels is currently hawking a new “Rolls Royce” support yacht that runs 220 feet and can even land a helicopter. Most mega yachts, of course, can also land helicopters. So why do billionaires need a separate support boat with its own heliport? Mega yacht owners, explains CNBC’s Robert Frank, don't like having to take in all the deck pillows whenever a helicopter lands.

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