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UPI NewsTrack Business

Nov. 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM   |   Comments

Citigroup pays fired executives millions

NEW YORK, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. banking giant Citigroup said it would pay its recently fired Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit $6.65 million as a bonus for his work in 2012.

The bank said it would pay Pandit the bonus as part of his "incentive" pay, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The bank's board of directors announced Pandit resigned in October, but his sudden departure was orchestrated by Chairman Michael O'Neill, the Times said. His resignation was announced in conjunction with the ouster of Chief Operating Officer John Havens.

Pandit is scheduled to receive a stock and cash package worth $8.8 million, but he will lose out on retention pay, that a source said was worth $24 million.

Havens is expected to be given $6.8 million in incentive pay on top of a deferred stock and cash package worth $8.725 million. But he will also lose his retention pay, the Times said.

The bank named Michael Corbat as Pandit's replacement.


Foreclosure discounts gone in some markets

SEATTLE, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Price savings on purchases of foreclosed homes are disappearing in hot housing markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix, an Internet real estate firm said.

There was no difference in September between the price of a foreclosed home sale and a standard home sale, digital real estate firm Zillow said. Home buyers today "will get somewhat of a deal, depending on the market," Zillow's Chief Economist Stan Humphries said.

Times have changed in the housing market, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. Supplies of existing homes are shrinking as low interest rates attract buyers, and homeowners -- many of whom walked away from their homes when the properties' value fell below what they owed on their loans -- are now holding on to their properties, waiting for values to rise again.

Foreclosed homes still represent deals in many markets, such as Cleveland, where Zillow said prices for foreclosed homes averaged 25.8 percent below standard sales. The price difference in Pittsburgh was 27.4 percent in September. It was 20 percent or better in Cincinnati and Baltimore, the Times said.

With home supplies tight, investors who can afford to bid a little more than others are making it hard for first-time buyers to find a deal, said Gary Kruger, a real estate agent in Hemet, Calif.

"I have not had a successful person purchase a foreclosed home that was not an investor for months. Things are selling so quickly," he said.

Real estate agent Keith Lynam said the problem in Las Vegas is, "There is just zero inventory."


Groupon, stumbling; to lay off 80 workers

CHICAGO, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Groupon Inc., the Internet deal-making firm in Chicago, said it would lay off 80 sales staff after a disappointing third quarter.

In a statement, Groupon said it was laying off the workers because the company "announced several months ago it would be using technology to increase productivity through automation."

But the announcement came the same week company shares fell sharply due to its third-quarter report, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Groupon lost nearly $3 million in the quarter with revenue that did not meet expectations.

Revenues reached $568.6 million, which topped the third quarter of 2011, when revenue was $430 million. But analysts expected the firm to earn revenue of $591 million, MarketWatch reported.

The report drove down share values 29 percent Friday to $2.76 per share, a company low that is 86 percent off the $20 per share price when the firm launched its public debut in November 2011, MarketWatch said.


Police investigating Waffle House CEO

ATLANTA, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Police in Atlanta said they were investigating allegations that Waffle House Chief Executive Officer Joe Rogers sexually abused his assistant for nine years.

Detailed allegations were released, but the woman's name was withheld, CNN reported Saturday.

The woman, who withdrew a lawsuit against Rogers -- but is expected to re-file the suit -- accused her former boss of having her "perform sexual services," including "masturbating him" and having to watch him parade around nude.

The sexual harassment began soon after she was hired 2003, Rogers' accuser -- a single mother -- said.

She said stayed at her job until May 2012 because she could not find another position "of comparable pay ... and because her child's father abandoned them," the accuser told the police.

"I can tell you that this is an open and ongoing investigating," said Sgt. Gregory Lyon of the Atlanta Police Department.

Court documents have been sealed and both sides in the case have agreed not to discuss details with the media, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The Waffle House chain -- founded by the Rogers' father in 1955 -- has 1,500 restaurants. The firm has its headquarters in Norcross, Ga.

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