Robert Anton Wilson, author of The Illuminatus Trilogy, a seminal series of novels for many of us of a certain age, has died at the age of 74.
As I was unable to find a single reference to his death in any of the 5 newspapers I read every day (I found out from Adam, who posted the news on his blog last night), let alone an obituary, I offer this personal remembrance (yes, I was lucky enough to meet him once) of a man who saw connections where we wouldn’t and, as Adam put it, “whose words entertained me, annoyed me and made me think.” I wrote this as a comment on Adam’s post and re-print it here in memoriam. I didn’t sugarcoat it because he wouldn’t have. Continue reading
David Cay Johnston, one of the best business reporters in the country, has a story in todays NYT that exposes the way the Bush Administration uses the IRS to unilaterally cut the taxes corporations might otherwise actually have to pay.
Top officials at the Internal Revenue Service are pushing agents to prematurely close audits of big companies with agreements to have them pay only a fraction of the additional taxes that could be collected, according to dozens of I.R.S. employees who say that the policy is costing the government billions of dollars a year.“It’s catch and release,” said Douglas R. Johnson, an I.R.S. auditor in Colorado for three decades who said he grew so frustrated at how large corporations were allowed to pay far less than what he thought they owed that he transferred to the agency’s small-business division. Continue reading
Talk about being torn. The Nardelli package has sparked a lawsuit by some investors of Home Depot.
A group of shareholders of Home Depot Inc. on Wednesday tried to block, at least for now, the world’s largest home improvement store chain from paying former Chief Executive Bob Nardelli any more of his $210 million severance package.
The request for a temporary restraining order was made in Fulton County Superior Court by the shareholders as part of a previously filed lawsuit alleging that the Atlanta-based company overpaid senior executives and backdated stock options in violation of their fiduciary duties.
The shareholders say if the restraining order is not granted, a trust should be imposed to prevent Nardelli from using for his own benefit the money from the severance package until the lawsuit is resolved.
So some of them are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more. That’s good, I guess, but I have to admit that when a CEO gouges his own company’s investors, I’m not entirely sure who to root for. Continue reading