Take stock – February 28, 2011

Wells Fargo & Co. says that it is being investigated by several government agencies for its foreclosure practices and is likely to face enforcement actions.

Wells Fargo investigated

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo & Co. says that it is being investigated by several government agencies for its foreclosure practices and is likely to face enforcement actions.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the San Francisco based bank said the investigations focus on whether the bank violated fair-lending laws and whether it followed proper procedures with its foreclosure affidavits. The company noted that the enforcement actions could include monetary penalties. The bank also said seven class-action and several individual-borrower actions have been filed against it. The actions generally claim that Wells Fargo submitted fraudulent affidavits or other documents to foreclose on homes.


Marathon Oil CEO’s pay jumps

HOUSTON — The CEO of Marathon Oil saw his compensation jump 34 per cent last year, to $8.8 million.

The bigger paycheque for President and CEO Clarence P. Cazalot Jr. came as net income for the big oil company rose 75 per cent to $2.57 billion last year, and it began work in the Kurdistan portion of Iraq. Revenue for the year rose 36 per cent to $72.2 billion.

Cazalot’s base salary stayed the same, at $1.4 million. But his bonus grew by $400,000, to $2.5 million. And the value of new options awarded during the year jumped to $4.7 million, from $2.8 million in 2009. Those options were granted almost a year ago, and Cazalot has to stay with the company for three years to get all of them. Marathon shares closed at $48.62 on Friday, near their high for the last 52 weeks of $50.56.

His compensation also included $7,336 for personal use of the corporate jet and $4,058 for physicals.


Alaska railroad wants money for bridge

JUNEAU, Alaska — A request by an Alaska railroad for state money to bridge the Tanana River at Salcha is facing questions about its necessity and usefulness. The bridge is part of a larger, $800 million Alaska Railroad Corp. project that will expand rail lines eastward to the Delta Junction. Eventually, proponents hope the rail line will link Alaska to Canada. The bridge will cost $44 million from the state. Last week, railroad president Christopher Aadnesen went before the House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs to argue for project funding. Aadnesen said a failure by the railroad to secure the bridge money would kill the idea of linking Alaska to Canada by rail. The railroad was also seeking permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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