Money Minute: GM Weighs Victim Compensation in Recall

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Victims and the families of General Motors' faulty ignition switch will find out how much compensation they get.

General Motors' (GM) faulty ignition switch caused 13 deaths by GM's count and many others by the tally of lawyers and lawmakers. It also caused numerous injuries. On Monday the automaker is revealing how much it plans on compensating those victims. Kenneth Feinberg who consulted on payouts for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Boston marathon bombing and the BP (BP) oil spill has been hired by GM to work on a plan and will have the final say on the sum, which could be reach into billions of dollars. Those who take what's being offered would have to give up their right to sue the company. Compensation is likely to be offered for accidents that occurred before and after GM went bankrupt in 2009.

gm ignition switch recall compensation fund
Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesKenneth Feinberg, founder and managing partner of Feinberg Rozen.
On the heels of the Supreme Court ruling against Aereo, the streaming TV service is taking a break but says it isn't shutting down. The court decided Aereo was operating in breach of copyright law by retransmitting local TV signals via the Internet. The case goes back to a lower court and the company says it has decided to "map out its next steps." In the meantime, all subscribers will be refunded their last paid month of service. While the company is saying they aren't shutting down, analysts think the company will either have to close or radically change the way it does business.

On Wall Street last week, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) slipped 0.5 percent to close at 16,851, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied more than 0.5 percent and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 0.1 percent.

CEO pay has risen 725 percent since 1978 whereas the average employee's salary has risen 10 percent over the same time frame. The reason often cited for the high executive pay is that they add so much value to a company. Well, a new study contradicts this. The finding from the University of Cambridge, Purdue University and University of Utah is that the highest paid CEOs actually perform the worst. Companies that pay their execs in the top 10 percent tend to earn negative returns over the next few years, the study found. It also found that the longer an executive stays at the top, the worse it is for the company. The conclusion is that when execs earn excessively big paychecks they get overconfident and don't make the best decisions for a firm. There is bound to be a lot of debate about this one.

And finally, if you're in your 40s or 50s and have contemplated starting a new career, you are far from alone. A new survey finds that almost a third of people in that age range plan to change their careers in the next five years and 53 percent of them are confident they could successfully make the transition. What they're generally searching for is less stress and a better work-life balance. The survey also found that half of mid-lifers would quit their jobs tomorrow if money weren't a factor and 75 percent want to make their lives more meaningful.

-Produced by Karina Huber.

The 7 Best Things to Buy in July
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Money Minute: GM Weighs Victim Compensation in Recall
It's time to hit the thrift stores, consignment shops and furniture outlets. Now that most people have done their spring cleaning and renovating, their used furniture is on the market. That means a hefty supply, plus low prices since stores only have so much space. You can also find discounted new furniture in July, because the next year's models arrive in stores in early August. Don't be afraid to try to negotiate on prices. It often works.
Electronics -- computers and tablets specifically -- see decreases in price starting in early July. These prices continue to drop as the school year gets closer, and best way to stay on top of the hottest deals is to sign up for e-newsletters from retailers. Remember to take advantage of company and educational discounts that may be available to you, and to negotiate for free or discounted accessories.
Bottled water goes on sale throughout July as a lure to get you into stores. it also gets purchased more frequently throughout the summer -- the natural result of barbecue and picnic season, when people entertain and spend more time outdoors. So if you drink bottled water year-round, stock up now.
If you can manage, hold off purchasing your new grill until after the Fourth of July, when mark-downs approach 50 percent off. This applies to grilling accessories, too, including grill baskets and utensils. Also, check consignment shops and thrift stores. Many people buy new grills for the Fourth of July and donate or sell their old ones.
Speaking of grilling, among the hottest buys during July are condiments for burgers and hot dogs: mustard, ketchup, relish, sour cream, sauerkraut, mayonnaise and pickles, etc. Buy in bulk, and pair in-store specials with coupons for super-low prices on these summer must-haves.
If you're in the market for a sweet new pair of jeans, July is the best time to buy them. Few people buy jeans during one of the hottest months of the year, so retailers put them on sale to move them. Stores also get new jeans in the late summer in anticipation of fall shopping season, so they're eager to sell old ones to make room for new duds.
Formal suits are also seldom purchased during the middle of summer. Consequently, many suit retailers will hold sales to keep business moving. If you have an upcoming formal wedding to attend -- or if you simply need new suits for work and special occasions -- July is the best time to buy.
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