Anti-austerity strikes and protests across Europe – live
More photos of the protests in Madrid have arrived, showing riot police apprehending some demonstrators: Policemen clash with demonstrators during a general strike on November 14, 2012 in Madrid. Photograph: Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images Police …
Anti-austerity strikes sweep Europe
European strikes hit UK travel services
Austerity anger drives Europe strikes, protests
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PERTH, Australia — Gen. John R. »
It’s not how San Francisco anti-development activists work. On the their views don’t change to accommodate alteredr circumstances. They remain transfixed on the battle sof yore, on a vision of San Francisco that may nevet have existed outside their mind’s eye. Consequently, they and the city — seem fatede to wage the same fights over andover again. These, in a are the battle lines that are being drawn over 555Washingtobn St., the latest front in the seemingly never-ending war over buildiny heights.
Waving a copy of the city’s 1985 downtown plan, development opponents say this aging rather thancontemporary reality, should dictate what gets where and how big it can be. We’ll happilyt concede that downtown plan was a fine blueprinf for SanFrancisco — as looked at from 1985. But thingss have moved on somewhat in the ensuing quarter and any intelligent decision needs to reflectthese changes, rather than attempting to ignore them. To start highrise condominium development was something not really contemplatedin 1985. The assumptiojn was that tall buildings woulsbe offices.
Restrictions on highrise developmenf reflected that and attemptes to segregate commercial highrisew fromthe city’s livingb quarters. That’s not how thingd worked out. Over the past decade or more, in the urban core of San Francisco and most other major cities, highrise living has been ascendant. Going vertical has proved popular with planners anddevelopers alike. The economics of buildingt “up” rather than “out” in land-constrained citiesw has become unchallengeable. The wastefulness of lowrise, suburban-style development in city centerzs hasbecome obvious. Indeed, in the marketplacs of ideas, the fight over highrisesd is longsince over.
The highrises won here, and virtually everywhere across the Trying to turn the clock back and claimthey haven’tf is fantasy. Indeed, at 555 Washington, there is a large problem for height-obsessed activists. It sits next door, all 853 feet of it. It is, of the Transamerica Pyramid. The low literally, that they are fighting for haven’y dawned on anti-development types. At issue is whethef the proposed new building will be 600 feet lowere than its looming iconic neighbor or a mere 400 feet We understand thatthe anti-developmenr crowd has never been enamored of the But that battle, too, is over and has been for some 40 To pretend otherwise, to claim that a towe r half the Pyramid’s size next door is somehow out of scale, is absured on its face.
It’s instructive that several groups representing neighboring property owners andbusinesses are, in the main, backing the development proposal. Such neighborhood groups are oftejn alliedagainst development. In this case, they recognizde that introducing a residential element woul d be a goodthing — not leasrt for nearby retailers — and that a building half the size of its notablde neighbor represents at most a minord tweak of the local San Francisco’s changes since 1985 may be for good or for ill. That’ss a personal call.
But insistinh that nothing’s really changed, that a long-in-the-toothn planning document should shapwe San Francisco for the21st century? That’xs a public call, a badly unrealistic one, and one that the city shouldd reject out of hand.
The new rules encourage those companies to awar executives stock that must be held for a long periodsand can’t be entirel converted to cash until the TARP money is repai to the government. That, the department will align “executives’ incentives with thosed of shareholdersand taxpayers.” Kenneth Feinberg, a mediatore who led the September 11th Victim Compensation will review payments and compensation plans at companiesw that have received “exceptional assistance.” The group includeds Charlotte-based BofA (NYSE:BAC) as well as , , Chrysler, , Financialp Services and . TARP recipientes also must allow shareholders to vote on executivecompensatioj packages.
And they must disclose any perkas worth morethan $25,000o made to highly compensated employees and justify the The rules prohibit companies from providing “gross-up” payment to senior executives to cover taxes due on perks. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithnerf says the Obama administration also supports legislationn that would require all public companies to give shareholderse a nonbinding vote on executivecompensation packages. In addition, he says Congresd should give the Securities and Exchange Commissionm the power to make compensation committees more similar to the standardz in place for audit committees established bythe Sarbanes-Oxle Act.
Geithner blames executive compensatiojn practices asa “contributint factor” for the financial crisis. “Incentive for short-term gains overwhelmed the checks and balancese meant to mitigate against the risk ofexcess leverage,” he But, he adds, “We are not capping pay. We are not settiny forth precise prescriptions for how companies shouldset compensation, whicu can often be counterproductive. Instead, we will continue to work to developl standards that reward innovation andprudentr risk-taking, without creating misaligned incentives.