Businesses behaving well and badly (and other links)

I’ve been pretty scathing of the way CEOs make out like bandits regardless of their performance. So I must give Wells Fargo credit for socking it to the CEO ($41 million from his compensation packet) over the current scandal about bank employees opening unwanted accounts for consumers. I’m sure CEO John Stumpf’s salary is humongous, but $41 mill? That’s gotta hurt.

•AT&T is dropping one data-gathering program that required users pay to keep information private. And the FCC has released its new, not-yet-imposed restrictions on how internet service providers handle our data.

•On the downside, Comcast has allegedly bilked Washington State consumers with a deceptive service plan, which the company denies. And the company continues to insist that its data caps mean people who use less data pay less, even though they don’t.

•Speaking of cultural appropriation, here’s a case in the food world: a Nashville restaurant taking credit for creating hot chicken which has been around in the black community for quite a while.

•So the US government asked Yahoo to search all of Yahoo mail for a particular term tied to a security investigation. Yahoo, according to the linked Reuters article, wrote a tool to do exactly that. Yahoo disagrees.

•You’ve probably heard about Mylan, the company that makes epipens, has hiked the price in recent years. A Medicaid official says they’ve also misclassified the product so that Medicaid pays them more (if it were properly classified, Mylan would pay Medicaid a higher rebate on purchases). And is the $465 million to settle that issue enough of a penalty?

•A new lawsuit charges that United Health’s co-pays are higher than what the company pays for prescription drugs — so rather than covering some of the drug’s costs, the copays are just extra profit for the insurer.

•Airbnb claims that it’s no more responsible for bad hosts using its services (in this case, hosts who don’t comply with San Francisco rental-registration laws) than eBay is for sellers offering bootleg or phony merchandise. Experts interviewed at the link aren’t sure whose side the law is on. In Philadelphia, a judge has ordered UberX and Lyft to shut down, but they’re just ignoring him.

•I can’t see why someone who bilks consumers with fake cheese shouldn’t get a jail sentence instead of community prison.

•Americans believe self-driving cars are safer, but they’re not sure they want one.

•Like Slacktivist, I’ve often wondered how much of the hostility to financier George Soros is because he’s an international Jewish banker, a long-time bogeyman of the far right.

•A year ago a federal appeals court ruled that while the NCAA can’t stop student athletes profiting from playing, there were limits on what students could receive. The Supreme Court has declined to hear the case.

•Donald Trump has never released his taxes (the news about his billion-dollar write off came from a leak). But that doesn’t stop one talking head saying that he’s been more honest than Clinton.


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Filed under economics, Politics

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