In brief: Activists claim Apple iPhone workers exposed to toxic chemicals
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple’s labor practices are under attack by two activist groups who contend the company makes its iPhones with a hazardous mix of chemicals that threaten the health of factory workers assembling the devices in China.
The campaign began Wednesday with an online petition put together by China Labor Watch, a longtime Apple critic, and Green America, an environmental protection group.
If enough consumers sign the “Bad Apple” petition, the two groups hope to pressure the company into abandoning the use of two chemicals, benzene and n-hexane, in the production of the iPhone, Apple’s top-selling product.
Benzene is a carcinogen that can cause leukemia if not handled properly and n-hexane has been linked to nerve damage.
Sachs trader to pay for deceit
NEW YORK – A once high-flying Goldman Sachs trader dubbed “Fabulous Fab” was ordered Wednesday to pay more than $825,000 in one of the prominent cases stemming from the mortgage meltdown that helped spark the Great Recession.
Ruling in a civil case that regulators called a symbol of “Wall Street greed,” U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest decided Fabrice Tourre should pay a $650,000 penalty and give up more than $175,000 of his $1.5 million-plus bonus for 2007.
The SEC said Tourre, a French-born Stanford University graduate who became a Goldman vice president, duped institutional investors about subprime mortgage securities that he knew were fated to sour.
His deceit paved the way for a valued Goldman hedge fund client, Paulson & Co. Inc., to cash in by betting against the investment, the SEC said. While the investors lost close to $1 billion, Paulson – headed by billionaire John A. Paulson – made $1 billion, and Goldman garnered millions of dollars in fees.
Citi CEO paid $17.6 million
NEW YORK – Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat was paid $17.6 million last year, his first full year on the job.
That’s an increase of almost 42 percent from his $12.4 million compensation package in 2012, when he was promoted to the position of CEO in October, replacing Vikram Pandit. Before getting the top job at Citi, Corbat was in charge of the bank’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Pfizer: Vaccine meets goal
TRENTON, N.J. – Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday that its blockbuster vaccine against pneumonia, blood and other infections met its goal of preventing illness in vulnerable elderly patients in a huge study required by U.S. regulators.
The New York-based company’s Prevnar 13 protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease, which can cause painful children’s ear infections, pneumonia and life-threatening bloodstream infections.
The study found that compared to study participants getting a dummy shot, those getting the vaccine had about 46 percent fewer cases of pneumonia and about 75 percent fewer cases of invasive pneumococcal disease such as bloodstream infections.
The top-selling vaccine in history, Prevnar 13 brings Pfizer $4 billion in annual revenue. Launched at the end of 2009, it’s now on sale in more than 120 countries.
In the U.S., it’s approved for children from 6 weeks to 17 years old and for adults aged 50 and older. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to use the vaccine in the 65-and-up group, but required a large study to verify it actually prevented illness in them.