Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Despite Occupy Protests, UC Regents Raise Administrators’ Salaries; The Fed Secretly Helped Big Banks Make Big Bucks in Recession

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Hundreds of Occupy protesters temporarily shut down the UC Regents videoconference meeting yesterday, forcing regents to move to another room, where they promptly voted to raise top administrator salaries by as much as 20 percent, The Bay Citizen reports. Protesters have been demonstrating against the regents, alleging mismanagement of UC, and have criticized the regents for doling out raises to top campus officials while repeatedly hiking student tuition. UC President Mark Yudof defended the raises, as he has done in the past, arguing that they are necessary to attract and retain top talent.

2. The US Federal Reserve secretly loaned more than a trillion dollars to big banks during the height of the Great Recession, enabling the financial institutions to become larger than ever, Bloomberg News reports. Bloomberg sued the Fed to gain access to the secret loan documents. The Fed loans were in addition to the $700 billion federal bailout approved by Congress, also known as TARP. And because the secret loans from the Fed carried low interest rates, the big banks made huge profits from the program by then loaning the same money out at higher interest rates.

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3. A strong majority of Californians — 58 percent — say they agree with the reasons behind the Occupy movement, the Chron reports, citing a new Field Poll. In addition, 46 percent said they personally identify with the movement. But the poll also revealed that support for the Occupy movement is divided along party lines — not by income. Democrats, regardless of wealth, tend to support it, while Republicans of all income brackets oppose it.

4. Occupy Oakland protesters say they plan to return to City Hall plaza today to establish an around-the-clock vigil without tents, the Chron reports. Occupy Oakland has lost steam since Mayor Jean Quan ordered police to clear the plaza early last week and is looking to regain momentum.

5. American Airlines, the third largest airline, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of high fuel and employee costs, AP reports. American is the last of the major US airlines to enter bankruptcy.

6. And the California crab season is finally underway after seafood processors agreed to raise the price they pay to fishermen, the Chron reports. The season was delayed because of the price dispute.

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