*Now here’s a generous boss. It seems appropriate to follow up this week’s Straight Talk with an item about Clive Palmer. The Australian mining magnate has had a very good year: A nickel refinery he bought for $10 million earned him $200 million in profits. So he decided to throw one heck of a “thank you” party for his 750 employees. The festivities included an all-expenses-paid holiday trip to Fiji. His top 50 employees also got a brand-new Mercedes sedan. “These people have made a lot of money for me this year,” he said, “and I thought I’d give some of it back.” As our friends Down Under would say, “Good O!”
*Now, this is way beyond generous. In case you missed the news, in the two years since Lehman Brothers was forced into bankruptcy, the lawyers, consultants and other experts handling the disposition of assets have collected… are you ready for this?… more than $1 billion in fees. Maybe crime doesn’t pay; but bankruptcy sure does.
*I learned a new word. No, it’s not a curse word because of the item above. The word is “psephology.” According to Merriam-Webster, it’s pronounced "see-FAH-luh-jee". And it means the scientific study of elections. My new word was very useful last month. And I’m sure I’ll have many more occasions to use it between now and November 2012.
*Each job cost us how much? A new study by the Mercatus Center, one of my favorite think tanks, reports that, “Each job that President Obama claims to have created with his stimulus plan works out to have cost taxpayers $282,000.” That should make all of us want to swear a bit.