As military contractors fight budget cuts, they get a friendly face on the Senate Armed Services Committee
Last year, we told you about how former Lockheed Martin executive Ann Sauer had been hired to be the top Republican staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sauer got $1.6 million from Lockheed, including a buyout, before being hired by Sen. John McCain to come back to Capitol Hill, where she had previously worked as a staffer. Watchdogs cried foul.
With McCain stepping down as ranking member of the committee, Sauer left the job on the Armed Services Committee earlier this year and now works as a federal budget expert for hire.
Her replacement? Another former Hill staffer who went to work with large military contractors — including Lockheed.
John Bonsell, the new staff director for the Republicans on the committee, spent five years as a lobbyist for military contractors such as Boeing, GE Aviation, BAE Systems, and SAIC. He made $276,400 in 2011, his final year as a lobbyist, a disclosure form shows. Bonsell did not respond to our requests for comment.
Bonsell takes the Armed Services Committee job at an especially fraught time for military contractors: the industry has been fighting — so far unsuccessfully — budget cuts that kicked in under sequestration last month.
Before working as a lobbyist, Bonsell had a two-decade career in the Army including a stint as chief of concepts and doctrine on the Army staff at the Pentagon. After that, he became a legislative assistant to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., in 2001.
After five years as a lobbyist, Bonsell rejoined Inhofe’s staff in 2012 as legislative director. Earlier this year, when Inhofe took over from McCain as ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, he hired Bonsell to be staff director.
Asked if Bonsell’s previous role as a lobbyist for industry players presents any conflict, Inhofe spokeswoman Donelle Harder said the senator views that work as a plus.
“Due to his 20 plus years of service in the U.S. Army and his post-retirement career, Sen. Inhofe finds John Bonsell uniquely qualified to understand the perspective of both the government and the private sector as the committee works to address unprecedented challenges with the future of our national defense,” she wrote in an email.
Inhofe has said that his top priority is to avoid military budget cuts.
Expressing regret over the turn of the events which unfolded since the collapse the Saradha Group, Mamata Banerjee urged the affected people to stay calm while the government made efforts to help them
The West Bengal government on Wednesday said that it would set up a Rs500 crore relief fund for the investors allegedly duped by the Saradha group and that none including Trinamool Congress MPs would be spared if found guilty.
“The government will set up a Rs500 crore relief fund for the affected small and medium investors of Saradha group. Their names will be recommended by the commission of inquiry which has been set up,” chief minister Mamata Banerjee told media persons.
The chief minister also said that none of players involved in the incident including Trinamool MPs would be spared if found guilty.
Obliquely referring to TMC MPs Kunal Ghosh who had recently resigned as the CEO of the Saradha Media group, which had owned a TV news channel and party MP Srinjoy Bose, editor of a Bengali daily, Banerjee said, “One journalist is being targeted... There are so many journalists ... there is no use of identifying one channel and one newspaper.
“If any MP of Trinamool Congress has committed an offence, the law will take its own course,” she said, accusing the CPM of politicking over a people’s issue.
“How many CPM MPs have stashed their money and with how much did they run their party? And, a news channel identifying others will be exposed.
“Iswar and Allah know who has kept money for how many days. The government has no data,” she said.
Banerjee said, out of Rs500 crore, Rs150 crore would be raised by imposing tax on tobacco products. The balance would be garnered without burdening the people.
She said that the affected investors were also urged to give the details of their investments to the commission to be headed by former CJ of the Allahabad High Court Shyamal Sen.
Expressing regret over the turn of the events which unfolded since the collapse the Saradha Group, the chief minister urged the affected people to stay calm while the government made efforts to help them.
“Forget that it is your problem or my problem, it is the people’s problem,” she added.
A strong showing from the retail franchise propelled Axis Bank’s net profit and net interest income for the quarter ended 31 March 2013
Axis Bank reported net interest income (NII) for Q4FY13 at Rs2,665 crore against Rs2,146 crore for the same period last year. The bank recorded a net interest margin (NIM) of 3.70% in Q4FY13. Its operating profit for Q4FY13 37% year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs2,800 crore from Rs2,038 crores in Q4FY12.
Consequently, the net profit for the quarter ended March 2013 grew 22% y-o-y to Rs1,555 crore from Rs1,277 crore. The results were driven by the strong growth of its retail franchise. Savings bank deposits grew 23% y-o-y. The main business segments driving fee growth during the quarter were treasury and DCM, which grew 41% y-o-y, followed by retail banking which grew 32% y-o-y.
Current Account-Savings Account (CASA) and retail term deposits now constitute 68% of total deposits. Daily Average CASA for Q4 FY13 constituted 37% of total deposits. The bank’s total deposits as on 31 March 2013 stood at Rs2,52,614 crore when compared to Rs2,20,104 crore for the same period last year.
During the quarter, the bank raised equity capital through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) and a preferential allotment to promoters aggregating Rs5,537 crore to support future growth. The shareholders’ funds of the bank grew 45% y-o-y and stood at Rs33,108 crore as on 31 March 2013.
However, more worryingly was the bank’s non performing assets which deteriorated a bit. Its net non-performing assets (nNPA) stood at 0.32% of the net customers’ assets for the March 2013 quarter when compared to 0.25% of the net customers’ assets for the same period last year. Its gross non-performing assets (gNPA) stood at 1.06% of the gross customers’ assets when compared to 0.94% for the corresponding previous period. The bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) was 17% as on 31 March 2013. The Tier-I capital adequacy ratio was 12.23% as on 31 March 2013, compared to 9.45% as on 31 March 2012.
During Q4FY13, Axis Bank added 160 branches and 882 automated teller machines (ATMs) to its network across the country and at the end of 31 March 2013, had a network of 1,947 domestic branches and extension counters and 11,245 ATMs situated in 1,263 cities and towns, compared to 1,622 domestic branches and extension counters, and 9,924 ATMs situated in 1,050 cities and towns last year.
The board of directors has proposed a dividend of Rs18 per share.
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