Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour.

Average Japanese CEO Earns One-Sixth As Much As American CEOs

“Last year, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) responded to news that AIG executives — who were bailed out with tens of billions of dollars from American taxpayers — were due to receive $165 million in bonuses by saying that they should “follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.” While committing ritual suicide is a rather extreme “example” to be learned from Japanese society, a more appropriate lesson is how the Japanese structure their pay incentives for corporate executives. “

Walmart spends millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours fighting $7,000 fine for worker death.

“The New York Times reported today that Walmart is spending millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours fighting a $7,000 fine assessed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a Walmart employee was trampled to death by a crowd at a store on Long Island. Though the company has taken steps to address the problems that led to the unfortunate incident, it is continuing to resist the fine because it feels that “the government is improperly trying to define ‘crowd trampling’ as an occupational hazard that retailers must take action to prevent”.”

NOT SATIRE: Insurer revoked leukemia patient’s coverage because it claimed she underpaid her premium by a penny.

“One of the worst abuses of the private health insurance industry is the practice of denying claims to pay for necessary care or revoking the coverage of policyholders for frivolous reasons. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that a leukemia patient — a single mother of two teenage boys — had her coverage revoked after her penny-pinching insurance company, Discover Benefits, claimed that she had underpaid her premium.”

What Can the Fed Do About Unemployment?

“Today, The Washington Post’s Neil Irwin reports that the Federal Reserve — concerned about the sustained high level of unemployment and the general stall-out in the recovery — is considering taking steps to bolster growth. Irwin summarizes the “modest” possible measures.”

With Income Gap at 80-Year High, Solutions Remain Elusive

“A new report shows that the income gap between rich and poor in America is at an eight-decade high — the largest differential since the period immediately preceding the Great Depression. And economists fear that the education and job-creation programs that could bridge this gap are lacking in the recessionary economy.”

Solar-Powered Plane Flies for 26 Hours

“The experimental airplane was powered overnight by energy collected from the sun during a day.”

Transocean Is a Driller That Tends to Test the Rules

“Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, has pursued profits while testing local laws, and kept up questionable ties in Myanmar, Iran and Syria.”

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