The Greenville News reported Tuesday that a circuit court judge has approved a settlement that would allow former South Financial Group chief executive Mack Whittle to keep most of his multimillion-dollar retirement package.
Judge Ned Miller ruled on the settlement of two lawsuits by company shareholders who were upset over former CEO Mack Whittle’s retirement package — worth as much as $18 million depending on the value of the company’s stock.
The settlement is “in all respects, fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of TSFG and its shareholders,” the judge said in his order, according to The News.
The settlement terms were reached between two shareholders and the Greenville, SC-based bank holding company earlier this year. Another group of shareholders subsequently raised concerns and sought to have the approval blocked. The judge denied those objections.
As part of the settlement, Whittle would contribute $250,000 to the company’s settlement effort by reducing the amount of the retirement benefit paid to him.
The suits were filed in the weeks after Whittle “stepped down” from South Financial, the company he began in 1986, but not before taking the lucrative golden parachute.
The suits alleged that South Financial’s board “improperly accelerated the retirement of and approved excessive compensation” for Whittle.
Whittle had originally been scheduled to retire by year-end, but that date was moved up to October 27, in order that South Financial might get $347 million in federal bailout money and Whittle would still be able to retain his lucrative buyout.
Whittle’s payout would have been in excess of federal guidelines if he’d not left the company before South Financial received the government money.
South Financial lost $569 million in 2008 and another $90 million during the first three months of this year.
Shares of South Financial closed Tuesday at $1.87.
Collexis Holdings’ myriad problems are starting to get a wider view.
Collexis was tabbed to be one of the first private tenants of Innovista, a project originally touted as a public-private enterprise, but which to date has sucked down more than $100 million in tax dollars while failing to get even a single private business to actually move in.
Here’s what the Policy Council wrote about Collexis’s financial condition:
Today Collexis appears in desperate straits. According to its most recent annual report, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last October, it lost $11.3 million for the year ended June 30, 2008, and the company’s auditors stated that they had substantial doubt as to Collexis’s ability to continue as a going concern.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the company has lost nearly $5.5 million, including almost $1.4 million for the three months ended March 31.
To meet short-term capital needs, Collexis recently sold nearly 40 million shares at 7 cents a share. That effort considerably diluted the company’s stock while netting it $2.7 million. Collexis’s stock, which sold for as much as $12 a share in 2007, currently trades for around 8 cents a share.
And here’s what the Policy Council probably couldn’t say regarding Collexis’s future: It seems increasingly unlikely the Columbia tech firm will stay afloat long enough to move into the foundering Innovista research campus.
One of the more tiring aspects of “blogdom” is the number of endlessly partisan blogs that see the world in black-and-white terms.
These relentlessly political entities view their side as all good and their opponents as all bad, either not recognizing or conveniently ignoring the fact that no one group has a monopoly on ideas, good and bad.
Take the blog Target 2010 – Blue State South Carolina. Its mission is simple:
“This blog will examine the continuing efforts of the Republican Party to build a firewall in South Carolina and other southern states to stem the tide of the Democratic revolution that is sweeping the country. This blog will also put forth ideas and strategies to begin winning the South for working class Americans of all races by electing progressive Democrats to state and local elected offices.”
This blog, like so many others of a partisan political nature, presupposes that the “enemy” is a monolithic entity determined, ultimately, to rend the fabric of South Carolina and America.
And certainly, there are just as many Republican Party-themed blogs that have the same us-against-them mentality (this one comes to mind), so the issue here is not divergence of opinion.
If Target 2010 – Blue State South Carolina had concentrated on the second sentence in its mission – putting forth ideas ideas and strategies to elect progressive Democrats to state and local elected offices – it would be easier to respect it, even if one disagreed with its purpose.
But by beginning with “… will examine the continuing efforts of the Republican Party to build a firewall in South Carolina and other southern states to stem the tide of the Democratic revolution that is sweeping the country” it seems apparent that any good ideas that might be generated are likely to be swamped by partisanship.
It’s unfortunate that given the potential inherent in new media for the genuine exchange of ideas among an ever-widening group of different people, so many political blogs on both sides of the spectrum have devolved into little more than tiny echo chambers.
A rare Confederate First National flag from 1861 is being put up for sale.
According to Heritage Auction Gallieries, noted flag authority Fonda S. Thompson dates the banner to the period July through November 1861.
“The flag is constructed in the pattern of the first flag approved for use by the Confederate Congress in 1861,” according to Heritage. “In July 1861 the flag officially had eleven stars, with the addition of Missouri bringing the number to twelve. With the addition of Kentucky in December, the official pattern would have included thirteen stars, thus very few twelve star flags were constructed, with only a handful of examples remaining.”
The flag is 67 inches on the hoist and 95-½ inches on the fly, and constructed of wool flannel with twelve wool stars, applied to both sides of the canton, according to Heritage.
Texas-based Heritage doesn’t detail the flag’s history, or what unit, if any, might have carried it during the War Between the States.
The flag is valued at between $25,000-$35,000, with a minimum bid of $12,500. Bidding runs through June 25.