When it comes to California government, we should never let the
perfect be the enemy of the so-so. In that spirit, Gov. Jerry
Brown’s revised 2013-14 budget has a few things to praise.
It’s not built on blackmail — the appalling but successful
approach Brown took with a 2012-13 budget that would only work if
voters approved higher taxes, with schools taking a huge hit if
voters declined. The new spending plan doesn’t call for higher
taxes and, in places, reflects the fiscal prudence that the
governor has mostly shown since returning to his role as state
An activist fight over industrial conglomerate Timken Co. is
giving shareholders a somewhat rare chance to vote on splitting
the company up.
Activists Relational Investors have teamed up with pension giant
the California State Teachers Retirement System, or Calstrs, to
argue that Timken should split itself into two — a ball bearings
and a steel company. The duo is expected to release another
letter Wednesday pitching its case again for eliminating the
“conglomerate discount” at Timken. They argue a yes vote carries
In January, auditors with the California State Teachers’
Retirement System found that incentive payments were improperly
boosting pensions for 54 Yuba City school district employees by
more than $500,000.
When Gov. Jerry Brown talks about paying down the state’s “wall
of debt,” he doesn’t mention the state teachers’ retirement
system. And yet the towering $73 billion unfunded shortfall in
the state pension fund for teachers and administrators, the
California State Teachers’ Retirement System, makes Brown’s wall,
at about $30 billion, look like a picket fence.
Robert Iger, Walt Disney Co.’s chairman and chief executive, is
under attack on multiple fronts for his expanded power and
pay—though even his critics agree that Disney has generated
strong returns in the past three years.
California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Connecticut
Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, and other pension fund
representatives urged Hewlett-Packard Co. to address corporate
governance policy and board composition concerns in a conference
call with four directors of the company, said Ricardo Duran,
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