Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another data dump

So many links, so little time.

From Felix Salmon:
That's the kind of performance Bill Ackman can only dream of. In 2007 he raised $2 billion for a hedge fund, Pershing Square IV, dedicated to going long Target; today, in the wake of a 40% plunge in January, that fund has dwindled to just $210 million.

From Huffington Post:
"Hear yourself, ma'am. Hear yourself," Woodall told the woman. "You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, 'When do I decide I'm going to take care of me?'"

Large portions of the crowd responded enthusiastically to the congressman's barb, with some giving him a standing ovation, underscoring the fierce divisions within the electorate.

William Robert Woodall III, who goes by "Rob," doesn't appear to have been referring literally to himself, but rather speaking figuratively. It's a good thing, because financial records show the 41-year-old congressman has done very little to take care of himself in his retirement. Woodall's 2009 financial disclosure forms, filed with the House of Representatives, show that his two largest IRAs have between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of assets, hardly the type of nest egg that would be able to cover the health care costs associated with aging absent government health care.

Woodall was chief of staff to former Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.), a job taxpayers shelled out more than $100,000 a year for in 2002, rising to more than $150,000 in 2009, plus gold-plated health and retirement benefits. Woodall, who has taken his former boss's seat, now makes $174,000 a year with generous benefits.

From Yahoo:
While some NFL players are spending the enforced offseason in workouts with their teammates and others (like Minnesota's Ray Edwards(notes) and Baltimore's Tom Zbikowski(notes)) are spending it in the boxing ring, third-year safety David Bruton(notes) of the Denver Broncos has set himself on a different path — he's spending the lockout as a substitute teacher at his old high school in Ohio, teaching social studies and credit recovery (yes, they have those classes for teenagers now) for the not-so princely sum of $90 per day.

From WSJ:

Could someone please explain to business writers that hearing about a ten percent jump in ingredients doesn't mean anything to us unless you tell us how much of the retail price goes for ingredients (from Businessweek):
Surging ingredient costs are putting restaurant margins under increasing pressure. World food prices rose to almost a record in April as grain costs advanced, leading to price hikes for basics like eggs, meat and sugar. Dairy Queen, which also debuted a smaller milkshake this month, expects its ice cream costs to jump more than 10 percent this year.

Nathan Myhrvold: Egotistical patent troll, or the lowest form of life on Earth?

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