Today's Takeaway: Big Ideas to Fix the Economy: Cap CEO Pay

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Ideas to Fix the Economy: Cap CEO Pay; Desiree Cooper on 'The Help'; Deadly String of Attacks Rattles Iraqis and Families of American Troops; Government Revises GDP Numbers for the Worse; Behind the Scenes of U.S. Counter-Intelligence; 'Super Committee' Considers Military Budget Cuts; Art Theft: From the Mona Lisa to Picasso's Tete de Feme; Federal Reserve Finds Increased Criticism on the Right; Random House to Publish Seven Rare Dr. Seuss Stories

Top of the Hour: Sarkozy and Merkel Address European Debt, Morning Headlines

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy rejected both the expansion of a European bail-out fund and the creation of Euro-bonds to help end the debt crisis. An economic advisor to the German government says it was a mistake not to take action. European markets are down again this morning.


Big Ideas to Fix the Economy: Cap CEO Pay

This week we’ve been asking listeners to suggest ideas on how to fix the economy. So far we’ve talked about raising inflation and boosting housing prices. Today we're talking about capping the total compensation that CEOs earn — including salary, benefits and bonuses — at $5 million. Any additional money would go back to the company, hopefully creating more jobs. Who would step up to do this? Perhaps Warren Buffett, in light of his recent op-ed for The New York Times.

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Desiree Cooper on 'The Help'

The film adaptation of “The Help” has been out since last week, and reviews are mixed. Some say the film depicts the lives of African-American domestic workers with too much levity. Discussions abound about the movie's treatment of the sensitive relationship between white women and black domestic servants — many of them negative.

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Deadly Attacks Rattle Iraqis and Families of American Troops

Monday was the deadliest day of the year in Iraq. Insurgents waged 42 coordinated attacks across the country, leaving almost 100 civilians and security forces dead, and hundreds injured. The attacks came ahead of America’s planned withdrawal from Iraq. Can Iraqis handle their own security and should America focus on our own problems here at home? 


Government Revises GDP Numbers for the Worse

Last April the Federal Reserve said that Gross Domestic Product numbers had inched up a respectable 1.8 percent. It was a bright spot in the midst of a bleak economy. The White House touted the news as encouraging, and stocks went up. Now, after a dizzying few weeks of bad news about the economy, the government has revised its numbers, saying the economy really only expanded by 0.4 percent. What happened, and what does this say about the government's understanding of the economy?


Eric Schmitt on 'The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against al-Qaeda'

In their new book, "Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against al-Qaeda," New York Times reporters Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker provide an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of U.S. counter-intelligence, and how national security efforts against terrorism have evolved in the almost ten years since 9/11.


Top of the Hour: Panetta Warns Against defense Cuts, Morning Headlines

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said deep cuts in the defense budget would hollow out the U.S. military and "terribly weaken our ability to respond to threats from the world." Speaking alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Panetta said the Pentagon is prepared to make $350 billion in cuts over the next decade. The problem, he says, are the $500 billion cuts that are triggered if Congress can't reach a deal to lower the deficit.


'Super Committee' Considers Military Budget Cuts

Tasked with fixing the nation’s economic problems, the bipartisan "super committee" of twelve Congressional members may be leading some politically sacred cows to slaughter. In the halls of Congress, there is now discussion of making cuts in defense, intelligence and military spending, including pensions for retirees with 20 years of military service. Is Congress really ready to change the course of our military spending, or, is this just another bargaining tactic?

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Art Theft: From the Mona Lisa to Picasso's Tete de Feme

In the past month and a half, a $200,000 Picasso sketch titled "Tete de Femme" was stolen from a San Francisco gallery, a $350,000 Fernand Léger was lifted from a New York gallery, and eleven paintings valued at $387,000 were stolen from a gallery in Toronto. High profile arts heists are on the rise around the world and, according to the FBI, the international black market for art and cultural property is now worth $6 billion annually. How does one go about stealing a great work of art, and how did art become such a commodity?


Federal Reserve Finds Increased Criticism on the Right

Texas governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry is not backing down from his threat against Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. At an event in Iowa on Monday, Perry said that it would be treason if the Fed were to print more money. The Federal Reserve is no stranger from receiving criticism, but where left-wing politicians were formerly it's biggest critics, more recently conservatives like Ron Paul have been lashing out against the Fed.

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European Leaders Try to Solve Debt Crisis

European shares have fallen today after a meeting between French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to calm investors' fears that the debt crisis could spread. The two leaders agreed that more economic integration is needed between the countries in the Eurozone during a meeting yesterday.


Random House to Publish Seven Rare Dr. Seuss Stories

Dr. Seuss fans, rejoice. This fall, seven rare Seuss stories, which were previously printed in Redbook, will be published in book form. The stories — which he wrote between 1950 and 1951 — have fantastically Seussian titles: "The Bippolo Seed," "Zinniga-Zanniga," "Tadd and Todd," and "Gustav the Goldfish." The compilation is called "The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss," and Random House is publishing it in late September.

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Schools Open in Tornado-Stricken Joplin, Missouri

It hasn’t even been three full months since the devastating tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri. The tornado ravaged the city, leaving more than 150 people dead and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. Joplin’s school system was hit especially hard. Six buildings were destroyed and another seven suffered significant damage. But unbelievably enough, the district is meeting its goal of starting school on time as classes start today in Joplin.