Executive pay gets a boost at Home Depot
According to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, Home Depot executives received increases in compensation after the company’s first annual sales gain in several years.
CEO Frank Blake earned about $10.5 million last year, up by about $500,000, according to the article. Compensation packages of other top executives rose $100,000 or more.
In Canada, concern over housing market
Canadian economists have expressed concerns about a correction in the housing market north of the U.S. border, where record borrowing, low interest rates and eager home buyers have created a building boom over the last several years.
An article in the Wall Street Journal quoted David Madani, Canada economist at Capital Economics, predicting a 25% drop in home prices over the next three years because of the ratio of house prices to disposable income in Canada. Others worried how long interest rates — and mortgage payments — would remain low.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, home prices rose 8.8% in February compared with the year before. Both the Canadian government and the central bank are taking measures to cool off the market, according to the article, by eliminating risky lending practices that could laden consumers with unmanageable debt. The Canadian government backs most mortgages, and lending standards are generally tighter than those of the United States before the housing meltdown.
Paul Menard: Heir apparent?
Paul Menard, a NASCAR driver who also happens to be the son of Menards founder John Menard, reflected on his racing career and strict upbringing in an interview with USA Today.
Although his father has yet to name a successor to his 250-plus chain of home improvement stores, the self-made billionaire assigned the younger Menard a variety of store-related jobs as he was growing up, from managing flight plans for the company’s corporate jets to building endcaps and stapling receipts to rebate forms.
Two years ago, Paul Menard said he spent his Christmas vacation driving a forklift around a Menards distribution center in Chicago, “learning the ropes.” He also holds a seat on the board of directors at Menards.
For now, Paul Menard is content to drive the bright yellow No. 27 Chevrolet bearing the company logo. He is now ranked fifth on the NASCAR circuit. "We’re a racing family," he told USA Today. "[You’re] expected to run well. You did your job. If you don’t, it’s, ‘What the hell you doing?’ "