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Economy Briefs: Bank of America CEO got sixfold raise last year
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — The CEO of Bank of America Corp. was paid $7.5 million last year - six times what he got in 2010, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing out Wednesday.
The bank says Brian Moynihan's pay package for 2011 included a salary of $950,000, a $6.1 million stock award and about $420,000 worth of use of company aircraft and tax and financial advice.
Bank of America stock plunged 58 percent in 2011. The bank struggled with lawsuits from investors who had bought securities backed by problematic mortgage loans.
The AP uses a calculation that isolates the value a company's board places on the CEO's total pay package. The figure includes salary, bonuses, incentives, perks and the estimated value of stock options and awards.
Toyota to raise production, add 400 jobs in Canada
DETROIT — Toyota says it will invest $80 million in a Canadian factory to build more RAV-4 small sport utility vehicles.
The investment in Woodstock, Ontario, near Toronto will create 400 jobs early next year. The company plans to raise the plant's output from 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles per year.
Toyota says it is optimistic that North American sales are rebounding.
RAV-4 sales in the U.S. are down 5 percent through February at nearly 22,500. But many industry analysts are predicting that U.S. auto sales will rebound this year to more than 14 million vehicles. Last year's sales were only 12.8 million.
The Woodstock factory and plants in nearby Cambridge, Ontario, employ about 6,500 workers.
Tax on take-out favorites proves hard to digest
LONDON — The British government's intention to tax the humble Cornish pasty, a regional savory snack much beloved by workers and students, has opened a new front in the country's never-ending class war.
Finance Minister George Osborne last week announced he would close a loophole which allowed some fresh-baked takeaway items - including pies, sausage rolls and pasties - to escape the 20 percent sales tax.
The move, however, caused a media storm, with tabloid headlines portraying the new tax as an attack by the Conservative-led government on working-class life.
"I can't remember the last time I bought a pasty in Greggs," Mr. Osborne told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, referring to a snack shop chain.
"That kind of sums it up," responded Labor Party lawmaker John Mann, a former union official.
So, at a news conference Wednesday, ostensibly to discuss the upcoming London Olympics, Prime Minister David Cameron was compelled to pledge allegiance to the pasty, a mixture of meat and vegetables in a pastry crust typical of southwestern England.
"I am a pasty eater myself," he declared to reporters.
Mr. Cameron said he last ate one in Leeds, though not at a Greggs. "I have a feeling I opted for the large one, and very good it was, too," the Oxford-educated prime minister said.
Greggs bakeries, a purveyor of fast-food, including 140 million sausage rolls per year, saw its shares slump 5.5 percent on news of the new tax.
Italy seizes $1.5 billion in Gadhafi family assets
ROME — Italian tax police say they have seized $1.5 billion in assets from the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's family and associates, including shares in Italy's biggest bank.
The assets were frozen last year to comply with U.N. resolutions when Gadhafi's forces were attacking civilians in Libya.
The assets include a 1.256 percent share of Italian bank Unicredit, 1.5 percent of Juventus soccer team and 0.58 percent of energy giant Eni S.p.A.
Tax police Lt. Col. Gavino Putzo told Sky TG24 television on Wednesday that the assets also included a Rome apartment, land on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria and two motorcycles.
Italian authorities said officials in The Hague, where the International Criminal Court is investigating matters related to Libya, had requested the seizure.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
By Michael P. Orsi
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