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Food for Thought

- Some of the rich are hurting, too. The top 5 American banks Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, and HSBC Bank, lost a combined total of $587 billion just on derivatives in 2008.

- The City of Gold, Dubai, is cancelling 1 500 work visas per day, and 53% of current construction projects, worth $582 billion are on hold.

- Warren Buffet had to make do with just $175 000 in pay for 2008, the same as the year before. He also lost $25 billion in net worth as it plunged from $62 billion to just $37 billion. How do they get by!

- Banks can recoup some of their losses through the usual immigrant practice of sending money home, by charging foreign exchange and service fees for the transfer, which amount to $2 billion per year.

- The AIG bonuses of $220 million for running their company into the ground are well publicized, but Canada’s Nortel beats that story. After laying off 1100 employees, they sought, and got, bankruptcy protection so they didn’t have to pay them severance packages, but just a couple of weeks later, they awarded themselves $45 million in bonuses, 8 senior executives taking home $7.3 million collectively. Not bad for failing, wonder what they would have got for succeeding!

- Manulife’s retiring CEO pulled in $13.25 million for 2008 (down From $17 million in 2007) and $12.6 million for 2009 even though he will retire in May
John Ayers


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