Taxing a small group to finance a public project is the wrong approach.
THE pending resignation of Aubrey McClendon as chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy comes amid a federal investigation of $840 million in personal loans to the only CEO the company has known since its inception in 1989.
The combination of the investigation and the precipitous drop in the price of natural gas thanks to a boom in supply pushed the company to lose 43 percent of its market value last year.
A shareholder revolt by Carl Icahn and O. Mason Hawkins changed the board of directors enough to force McClendon out.
The company posted $1 billion in losses in the first three quarters of the year (fourth quarter results are pending) and its debt rose to $16 billion.
Despite the lousy financial results and the federal investigation, Bloomberg News reported that McClendon's severance package includes $34 million in accelerated vesting of restricted stock that he was awarded previously, and about $12 million in cash severance and benefits.
Goodness. Just another case where a board of directors failed to do its job and let a charismatic CEO walk all over it.
The first duty of boards is to make sure the boss puts the organization ahead of his personal finances.
WORRIED that polar bears face extinction, writer Zac Unger moved to Churchill in Canada, where polar bears outnumber people, to write a book about the bruins.
What he found was not what he expected, he told NPR.
"There are far more polar bears alive today than there were 40 years ago," Unger said, adding: "In 1973, there was a global hunting ban. So once hunting was dramatically reduced, the population exploded.
"This is not to say that global warming is not real or is not a problem for the polar bears. But polar bear populations are large, and the truth is that we can't look at it as a monolithic population that is all going one way or another."
That's encouraging. By the way, Unger's book is titled, "Never Look A Polar Bear In The Eye."