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Crossing the Borders

Borders Bookstore has filed for bankruptcy and closed 225 stores, putting 6,000 employees out of work. The company is in debt and doesn’t have enough assets to pay off its creditors.

But that didn’t stop the CEO from asking the bankruptcy judge for $8.3 million in executive bonuses, including $1.7 million for himself. That’s on top of the 87% raise he gave himself last year, even though employee raises have been frozen for several years.

Rewarding failure, one CEO at a time.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    When I was growing up, the rich practiced philanthropy. The Philadelphia Orchestra is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy which shows that these CEOs with their huge salaries and bonuses are not using the money for philanthropy.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink
  2. Patricia wrote:

    The arts are an interesting problem. They were long supported by (and were a symbol of belonging to) whatever “ruling class” ruled. Beautiful cities, states and nations were the visible evidence of wealth and power.

    So, through the nineteenth century, as the middle class came into its own, “The Arts” continued to be supported as evidence of superior nations, states and cities. There are still vestiges of that when you attend an opera or symphony in a large metropolitan area. However, the twentieth century became the “triumph of the common man”. So profoundly represented by A. Copeland’s “Fanfare for … “.

    By the end of the 20th Century, “The Common Man” was no longer the enlightened man of liberal thought, but “Dumb and Dumber”. A unified social identity was gone and the fractured remains positioned other (and possibly cheaper to produce) interests as indicators of “having arrived” in our society. I can’t help but think that the virtual dismemberment of public education helped create this fragmented social identity and as an offshoot of that — the lack of interest (or perceived benefit) of supporting the arts in any way. Plus of course, the obvious fact that “artists” of all disciplines have a dangerous habit of thinking for themselves and in ways that are outside the pattern of “normal” 🙂

    And, of course, there is the real problem of showing profit from the intangible benefits of “Art”!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
  3. Patricia wrote:

    Forgive the rant. We just were entertained by a very talented boy’s choir from another country. They were here as an exchange program, and choirs from our country were touring their country in return. I happened to overhear another person commenting that “It must be hard for our students over there. They can’t possibly compete with what we heard here tonight.”

    Of course, budget cuts are decimating arts, language, and cultural studies programs in our schools right now. And those programs were already greatly reduced in funding. And the problem becomes even worse when we consider “hard” studies and their funding cuts. All this while we pat ouselves on our backs for our exceptionalism! Of course, we are exceptional — we just don’t discuss what we are really exceptional at 🙂

    O.K. I’ll shut up now! Thanks for keeping really interesting information within reach!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink
  4. Sammy wrote:

    I personally know someone who is part owner of a small company. The company has had real financial troubles the past few years, in part due to a high debt ratio and in part due to the economy. Actually the latter showed the former to be very bad managerial planning. This person recently increased his own pay 150% while cutting not one, not two, but five employee benefits.

    Monday, April 18, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink