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Big banking execs on Wall Street might have noticed a slight pinch in their cash bonuses last year, but that doesn't mean those clever business minds didn't find a way to make up for it through other financial channels.

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President Barack Obama finally might be digging in his executive heels over the Gulf oil blowout. The White House has announced the president will address the nation Tuesday night about the spill and is expected to outline a plan that would force BP to create a multibillion-dollar escrow account to compensate those affected.

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Let us stop to collectively mourn a new figure from The New York Times: Chief executives in the United States' largest publicly traded companies found that their compensation dropped 15 percent in 2009, hitting bourgeois rock bottom at a measly $9.53 million yearly average.

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The Israeli government, according to The Wall Street Journal, has agreed to pay about $105 million to compensate the United Nations for an incident that resulted in the killing of a UN driver and the destruction of two U schools and a World Food Program warehouse during Israel's attack on Gaza in 2009.

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It would seem imprudent, given the government's recent and unprecedented bailout of companies such as insurance giant AIG, for the likes of AIG to even entertain the idea of hefty executive payouts.

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President Bush, commenting Thursday in Jerusalem, spoke out in favor of the creation of an independent Palestinian state. He followed that strong suggestion with another: financial compensation for Palestinian refugees forced to leave their homes in areas that are now part of Israel.

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CEOs of the largest 15 oil companies averaged $32.7 million in compensation in 2005. This sum is more than twice the amount paid out to CEOs at other "large U.S. firms." More on the study released by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy here. Oink, oink! (via huffpo)

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