A Sampler of stories appearing on the Intertubes this fine morning:
- Lehman's Top 50 employees Paid nearly $700M Just Before It Collapsed
Walter Hamilton, Andrew Tangel and Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times Exclusive: Less than a year before the 2008 collapse of Lehman Bros. plunged the global economy into a terrifying free fall, the Wall Street firm awarded nearly $700 million to 50 of its highest-paid employees, according to internal documents reviewed by The Times.
..."The numbers are shocking but consistent with the fact that in some ways Wall Street has been run as a casino for extracting money from the real economy and using it to pay extraordinary high levels of compensation — one might say obscenely high — to a small number of people," said Lisa Donner, executive director of the advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform.
- Spain In "Crisis Of Huge Proportions" After S&P Downgrade
(REUTERS) - Spain's sickly economy faces a "crisis of huge proportions", a minister said on Friday, as unemployment hit its highest level in almost two decades and Standard and Poor's downgraded the government's debt by two notches.
Unemployment shot up to 24 percent in the first quarter, one of the worst jobless figures in the developed world. Retail sales slumped for the twenty-first consecutive month as a recession cuts into consumer spending.
"The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government ... Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions," Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said in a radio interview.
- Data Harvesting At Google Not A Rogue Act
David Streitfeld, New York Times: SAN FRANCISCO — Google’s harvesting of e-mails, passwords and other sensitive personal information from unsuspecting households in the United States and around the world was neither a mistake nor the work of a rogue engineer, as the company long maintained, but a program that supervisors knew about, according to new details from the full text of a regulatory report.
...The so-called payload data was secretly collected between 2007 and 2010 as part of Street View, a project to photograph streetscapes over much of the civilized world...
...Google says the data collection was legal. But when regulators asked to see what had been collected, Google refused, the report says, saying it might break privacy and wiretapping laws if it shared the material.
A Google spokeswoman said Saturday that the company had much stricter privacy controls than it used to, in part because of the Street View controversy. She expressed the hope that with the release of the full report, “we can now put this matter behind us.”
- White House Correspondent's Dinner 'Shameful Display Of Whoredom'
(Hamilton Nolan, Gawker:) ...Do you know who knows that the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner is a shameful display of whoredom that makes the "average American" ... continue to disregard the findings of any ostensibly neutral journalistic outlet in favor of their own ideology of choice, because they have a fully solidified belief that the "mainstream media" is little more than a bunch of ball-lapping lapdogs to whoever's in power?
Everyone. Everyone knows this. Even the members of the media who attend the White House Whores Despondence Dinner know this, deep down, whether they admit it openly or lie defensively ... and no, it does not matter, because they are professionals who would never be compromised by the fact that they just spent their favorite evening of the year joshing playfully with the powerful officials they are supposed to be afflicting and reveling in their close proximity to the celebrities that they wish they were.
- 4-Week-Old Puppy Rescued After Being Stuck In Drain Pipe
(Daily Mail UK) Wrapped up in a towel, this four-week-old puppy was saved after more than 12 hours stuck underground in a drain pipe. Rescue workers had to dig a 16-foot hole in the ground to free the puppy, which became trapped in Detroit, Michigan.
The owner said that the Puggle-Daschund mix became stuck after crawling into the basement drain pipe and venturing more than 15 [feet]...When the puppy had not emerged from the pipe the next morning, the worried owner called in the Michigan Humane Society, plumbers and a local excavation company.
A rescue party used their hands, shovels and a digger to free the little dog.