From Pine View Farm

Bushonomics 0

Gas and oil prices jumped again to new highs Thursday as the dollar weakened, although crude’s advance was limited by fresh evidence of a U.S. economic slowdown.

At the pump, gas prices surged 2.1 cents overnight to a record national average of $3.267 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices are likely to rise much higher this spring; estimates range from about $3.50 a gallon in the Energy Department’s latest forecast to $3.75 or even $4 a gallon according to some analysts.

Remember that, at the start of the War in Iraq (which the Great Minds in the Current Federal Administration claimed would be paid for by Iraqi oil), oil was running at about $25 a barrel.

Meanwhile, CEOs take their toll:

Shareholders of Toll Brothers Inc. on Wednesday approved a controversial compensation plan designed to award bonuses to the chief executive even when the housing market is slumping.

The Horsham-based builder of luxury homes did not disclose how many votes came out in favor of the plan. But a shareholder activist group said executives disclosed at the shareholders meeting that it was at least 50 percent. Media were barred from attending the event.

CEO Robert Toll didn’t get a bonus for 2007 as the housing market slumped. But under the new CEO bonus plan, the company said, he would have received $6.56 million.

The CEO bonus plan “pays him simply for existing,” said Jennifer O’Dell, deputy director of corporate affairs for the Laborers’ International Union of North America, a union whose pension funds own at least 200,000 shares of Toll Brothers. “You should pay CEOs for performance.”


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