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On eve of individual bankruptcy, U.S. companies shower execs with bonuses



FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania

By Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli

(Reuters) – Almost a 3rd of more than 40 big providers seeking U.S. bankruptcy defense in the course of the coronavirus pandemic awarded bonuses to executives within just a thirty day period of filing their situations, in accordance to a Reuters evaluation of securities filings and courtroom data.

Beneath a 2005 personal bankruptcy legislation, organizations are banned, with number of exceptions, from having to pay executives retention bonuses although in personal bankruptcy. But the corporations seized on a loophole by granting payouts before submitting.

6 of the 14 companies that authorised bonuses in a thirty day period of their filings cited enterprise problems executives faced for the duration of the pandemic in justifying the compensation.

Even more firms paid out bonuses in the half-calendar year time period right before their bankruptcies. 30-two of the 45 companies Reuters examined accredited or paid out bonuses inside of 6 months of submitting. Just about half approved payouts inside of two months.

Eight companies, together with J.C. Penney Co Inc and Hertz Global Holdings Inc, authorised bonuses as few as five times in advance of searching for individual bankruptcy protection. Hello-Crush Inc, a provider of sand for oil-and-gasoline fracking, compensated executive bonuses two days right before its July 12 filing.

J.C. Penney – pressured to temporarily near its 846 section shops and furlough about 78,000 of its 85,000 workers as the pandemic spread – authorised almost $10 million in payouts just ahead of its May well 15 filing. On Wednesday, the firm explained it would completely near 152 stores and lay off 1,000 employees.

The organization declined to remark for this story but stated in an earlier statement that the bonuses aimed to keep a “talented management team” that experienced built development on a turnaround just before the pandemic.

The other organizations declined to remark or did not reply. In filings, quite a few explained financial turmoil experienced rendered traditional payment designs obsolete or that executives finding bonuses experienced forfeited other compensation.

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Team in March quickly closed all of its 67 stores and in April furloughed far more than 11,000 personnel. The corporation paid $4 million in bonuses to Chairman and Chief Executive Geoffroy van Raemdonck in February and extra than $4 million to other executives in the months right before its Could 7 individual bankruptcy filing, court docket information exhibit. Neiman Marcus drew scrutiny this week on a prepare it proposed following filing for personal bankruptcy to shell out further bonuses to executives. The corporation declined to comment.

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Hertz – which not long ago terminated more than 14,000 workers – paid out senior executives bonuses of $1.5 million days before its Could 22 bankruptcy, in portion to recognize the uncertainty they faced from the pandemic’s influence on journey, the business explained in a filing.

Whiting Petroleum Corp bestowed $14.6 million in further compensation to executives days prior to its April 1 bankruptcy. Shale pioneer Chesapeake Strength Corp awarded $25 million to executives and lower-stage workforce in May possibly, about eight weeks prior to filing bankruptcy. The two cited fallout from the pandemic and a Saudi-Russian oil price tag war, which they claimed rendered their incentive plans ineffective.

Reuters reviewed economical disclosures and court docket information from 45 organizations that filed for personal bankruptcy in between March 11, the working day the Globe Wellness Corporation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and July 15. Working with a databases presented by BankruptcyData, a division of New Era Analysis Inc, Reuters reviewed corporations with publicly trade inventory or credit card debt and much more than $50 million in liabilities.

These kinds of bonuses have prolonged spurred objections that businesses are enriching executives when slicing jobs, stiffing lenders and wiping out inventory traders. In March, collectors sued previous Toys ‘R’ Us executives and directors, accusing them of misdeeds that bundled spending administration bonuses days in advance of its 2017 individual bankruptcy. The retailer liquidated in 2018, terminating far more than 31,000 men and women.

A lawyer for the executives and directors reported the bonuses were being justified, given the extra do the job and tension on management, and that Toys ‘R’ Us had hoped to continue to be in business soon after restructuring.

In June, congressional Democrats responded to the pandemic-induced wave of bankruptcies by introducing legislation that would improve creditors’ rights to claw again bonuses. The bill – the hottest iteration of a proposal that has very long unsuccessful to get traction – faces slender prospective buyers in a Republican-controlled Senate, a Democratic aide reported.

Companies paying out pre-bankruptcy bonuses know they would experience scrutiny in court docket on compensation proposed soon after their filings, reported Clifford J. White III, director of the U.S. Trustee System, a Justice Section division charged with monitoring bankruptcy proceedings. But the trustees have no electricity to halt bonuses paid out even days ahead of a company’s individual bankruptcy filing, he said, enabling firms to “escape the transparency and courtroom critique.”

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DODGING Reward Limitations

The 2005 laws expected executives and other company insiders to have a competing work offer in hand ahead of getting retention bonuses for the duration of personal bankruptcy, among other constraints. That compelled failing companies to devise new techniques to pay out the bonuses, according to some restructuring industry experts.

Soon after the 2008 economic crisis, providers usually proposed bonuses in personal bankruptcy court, casting them as incentive options with aims executives have to satisfy. Judges generally authorized the plans, ruling that the efficiency benchmarks set the compensation beyond the purview of the limitations on retention bonuses. The plans, however, sparked objections from Justice Department displays who known as them retention bonuses in disguise, frequently with effortless milestones.

Eventually, organizations identified they could steer clear of scrutiny completely by approving bonuses in advance of individual bankruptcy filings. Dozens of organizations have authorised these payouts in the very last 5 a long time, said Brian Cumberland, an government payment skilled at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal who advises organizations going through economical restructurings.

Providers argue the bonuses are important to retaining executives whose departures could torpedo their businesses, in the long run leaving much less funds for collectors and workforce. Now, some providers are bolstering those people arguments by contending that their company would not have cratered without having the economic turmoil of the pandemic.

The pre-individual bankruptcy payouts are required, businesses say, mainly because possible inventory awards are worthless and it would be unachievable for executives to meet business enterprise targets that had been crafted right before the economic crisis. The bonuses guarantee stability in leadership that is needed to keep faltering functions collectively, the companies contend.

Some experts argue the bonuses are hard to justify for executives who may possibly have several far better job possibilities in an economic disaster.

“With double-digit unemployment, it is a weird time to be spending out retention bonuses,” stated Adam Levitin, a professor specializing in individual bankruptcy at Georgetown University’s law university.

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Shut Retailers, Major BONUSES

J.C. Penney has not posted an once-a-year earnings given that 2010 as it has struggled to grapple with the shift to on the net procuring and opposition from price reduction vendors. The 118-year-aged chain, at several points, utilized extra than 200,000 people and operated 1,600 retailers, figures that have considering the fact that been slice much more than fifty percent.

On May possibly 10, J.C. Penney’s board permitted compensation variations that paid out leading executives, like CEO Jill Soltau, virtually $10 million. On May possibly 13, Soltau gained a $1.7 million extended-term incentive payment and a $4.5 million retention reward, court docket filings display.

The once-a-year pay of the company’s median personnel, a element-time hourly worker, was $11,482 in 2019, a firm filing shows.

J.C. Penney submitted for individual bankruptcy two days immediately after spending Soltau’s bonuses. At a hearing the future working day, a creditors’ lawyer argued the payouts were made to thwart courtroom evaluation. The payouts have been timed “so that they did not have to put it in entrance of you,” explained the lawyer, Kristopher Hansen, addressing U.S. Bankruptcy Choose David Jones.

Jones – who is also overseeing the Whiting Petroleum, Chesapeake Strength and Neiman Marcus scenarios – advised Reuters that these types of bonuses are “always a concern” in bankruptcy situations. “That said, the adversarial procedure requires that get-togethers place the issue just before me in advance of I can consider motion,” he extra, emphasizing he was speaking of typical dynamics applicable to any circumstance. “A comment created in passing by a law firm is not adequate.”

In its assertion earlier this 12 months, J.C. Penney reported the bonuses were being amid a collection of “tough, prudent decisions” taken to safeguard the firm’s upcoming.

Dennis Marten – a shareholder who stated he after worked at a J.C. Penney retail store – disagrees. He has appeared at courtroom hearings pleading for an investigation of the company’s management.

“Shame on her for possessing the gall to get that funds,” he claimed of Soltau.

(Reporting by Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli Enhancing by Brian Thevenot)

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Miguel Oliveira qualified eighth for the Japanese Grand Prix.



Miguel Oliveira qualified eighth for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM) qualified this Saturday in eighth position at the Japanese MotoGP Grand Prix, 16th of 20 races of the season, despite a last-minute crash.

The Portuguese from the Austrian brand set his best lap of 1.55.895 minutes, finishing 0.681 seconds behind fastest Spaniard Marc Marquez (Honda). France’s Johann Zarco (Ducati) was second with 0.208 seconds and South African Brad Binder (KTM) was third with 0.323 seconds.

“I had good speed and potential in the second quarter and on this particular lap. [a última], but I was on the floor in the ninth turn. It was a shame, but I have confidence in tomorrow (Sunday),” commented the Portuguese rider in statements released by the KTM team. “It was difficult to prepare for the race, but we’ll see.” [o que vai acontecer]”- concluded Miguel Oliveira.

The Portuguese left the third row of the grid after falling just three minutes before the end of the session, marred by rain that caused a delay of more than an hour and had already forced the cancellation of the third free game. training session, at night. The fall of the Portuguese rider occurred in the third sector of the track, at a time when his results were improving. When 15 minutes of this second qualifying stage (Q2) ended, Oliveira finished in fourth place.

However, several riders were still halfway to the last lap and the Almada rider ended up being overtaken by Spaniards Jorge Martin (Ducati), Brad Binder and Aprilia Spaniards Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales.

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Pole position was won by Marc Marquez 1,071 days after he was the fastest in qualifying for the MotoGP World Championship, namely the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix.

“I am very pleased with the pole position. This morning I felt very strong on the wet track and decided to give it a try. This is very important for us and for the future. Tomorrow, on a dry surface, everything will be different. history,” said the Spanish rider, who has already become world champion eight times.

The rain that hit the Motegi track became a headache for the riders and the organization, which was forced to interrupt the Moto2 qualifying nine minutes before the end and cancel the third free practice in MotoGP.

Traffic on the track only resumed after more than an hour, and the wet track was the cause of several accidents, including that of a Portuguese KTM rider who slid off the pavement without physical consequences.

Johann Zarco’s Ducati was the fastest today, reaching 302 kilometers per hour, while Oliveira’s KTM lost 30 kilometers per hour in a straight line (the maximum speed achieved by the Portuguese was 270 kilometers per hour). Luca Marini’s Ducati was the slowest, reaching 255.9 kilometers per hour, leaving the Italian in 10th place.

Champion and championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) of France finished ninth behind Miguel Oliveira, while World Cup runner-up Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) of Italy finished 12th and last in the second quarter, bringing together the top 10 fastest in free practice and the top two in the first quarter.

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Already the Italian Enea Bastianini (Ducati), the winner of the previous stage in Aragon, remained in Q1, where he fell without physical consequences.

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Arapiraquense makes humorous videos to give Portuguese advice: “You learn and laugh” | alagoas



Arapiraquense makes humorous videos to give Portuguese advice: "You learn and laugh" |  alagoas

“You learn and you laugh” is how Erivaldo Amancio defines the Portuguese language content he offers online. Born in Arapiraque, Alagoas, he humorously gives advice and answers questions about the Portuguese language.

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Erivaldo has 767k followers on Instagram and over 17.5k followers on YouTube. It all started a year and a half ago when he got scolded in a comment on social media.

Because the swearing contained several grammatical errors, Erivaldo responded by posting a video teaching a “lesson” to the hater.

“It happened more than once. Some of these videos were posted on humorous Instagram profiles. It made me stand out,” he said.

A literature student at the Federal University of Alagoas (Ufal), Erivaldo wants to prepare even more for face-to-face classes when he is near the end of the course. He says the purpose of the profile is to encourage followers to seek out more knowledge.

“Tips on the web are just a seed, the fruit of which can be curiosity about objects,” he explained.

Through social media, Erivaldo responds to his followers’ doubts about the Portuguese language.

Erivaldo’s profile is also in demand by contestants and students preparing for Enem.

“[Os seguidores] it is said to be a very interesting way of learning. Many regret not learning from teachers who use humor in the classroom,” he said.

Watch the latest videos of g1 AL

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Who is the Portuguese that FIFA 23 has included in the list of potential stars?



Who is the Portuguese that FIFA 23 has included in the list of potential stars?

FIFA 23 is available September 30th, and EA Sports is starting to shed some light on some of the game’s oddities.

If you like to develop talent in Career Mode, you should have a list of young people at hand: these are the 20 players with the most growth potential, that is, those who can improve their general. Among them is a Portuguese.

Diogo Monteiro is one of the “hidden gems” of FIFA 23 for EA Sports. The 17-year-old centre-back who plays for Servette has general 54, but with a potential of 24 points, he could at best go up to 78.

Who is this young Portuguese? Despite his young age – born in 2005 – he already has some experience. Moreover, this season he played three matches for Servette with a total duration of 17 minutes, divided between the championship and the Swiss Cup.

Diogo Monteiro, the son of Portuguese, was born on Swiss soil and started training at Etoile Carouge, but arrived in Servette to play for the under-15 team. In the 2020/21 season, he made his debut in the first team at the age of 16 years and 37 days, having the status of the youngest representative of the Geneva club.

The central defender has made 33 appearances for the Portuguese youth teams, which he has represented since his youth. He is the captain of the 2005 generation, and it was with this status that he reached the European U-17 Championship played this year, in which Portugal reached the semi-finals, having been eliminated from France. Diogo Monteiro, by the way, worked every minute of the competition.

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He was recently called up by Rui Bento to the under-19 team.

Check out the respective gallery to see which players have the most growth potential in FIFA 23.

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