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Up Front


"This election is the evil of two lessers."--Michael Moore, iconoclastic filmmaker and author, in an Oct. 30 speech at Yale UniversityEDITED BY LARRY LIGHTReturn to top


DERYCK MAUGHAN'S FORTUNES are improving at Salomon Brothers. Solly is enjoying a good year, and CEO Maughan stands to earn around $10 million in performance-linked pay, say sources at the firm. That's up from a mere $1 million last year, when counterparts such as Merrill Lynch's Daniel Tully were making easily five times that.

A year ago, many on Wall Street figured Maughan's days were numbered amid depressed earnings and a talent exodus. That's not the talk anymore. The continued bull market, which has benefited all securities firms, is a help. For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, on which Salomon bases pay, profits were $847 million, vs. $78 million for the 1995 period. (The strong 1996 showing comes despite a 58% earnings dip in the most recent quarter, thanks to the July market dive, among other things.) But analysts say Maughan deserves partial credit. "He's overcome the internal problems there," says independent Wall Street analyst Perrin Long.

Maughan's pay won't be officially disclosed until next spring. The firm would neither confirm nor deny the $10 million pay number. Maughan earned $8.1 million in 1992 (his first year in the top spot), $3 million in '93, and $1 million each in '94 and '95.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHTReturn to top


THE HOTTEST NEW POLITICAL action committee is devoted to backing black conservatives. Formed in January, 1995, by radio talk-show host and GOP Presidential contender Alan Keyes, Black America's PAC is the biggest among PACs that opened for business in this election cycle. So far, BAMPAC has pulled in $1.3 million, making it No.28 among the 4,000 PACs. Says Executive Director Alvin Williams: "We knew BAMPAC would take off; we didn't know it would be so soon."

Oddly, it has donated a total of just $3,500 to only three House candidates. That's because BAMPAC is focused on spending to build its war chest. From July through September, 80% of its outlays, or $156,000, went to direct-mail solicitations. It seeks to double its 40,000-member mailing list in two years by tapping into the nation's growing number of black conservatives.

But the small amount in direct contributions may be deceiving. The group says that it has benefited freshman Representative J.C. Watts Jr. (R-Okla.) and Teresa Doggett, who is challenging a House Democrat in Texas, by asking BAMPAC contributors to give independently to those Republicans. So far, that has meant an extra $36,800 for Watts and $34,000 for Doggett. This election-law loophole, called "bundling," gets around the legal donation limits for a PAC--$5,000 per candidate per election.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT By Mary Beth ReganReturn to top


AT&T KEEPS DIGGING ITSELF deeper into a hole with Wall Street. Telecom analysts are brimming with questions for the newly named, and barely known, president, John Walter. AT&T, though, has decided to postpone its long-scheduled Nov. 19 analysts meeting until sometime early next year. "That's frightening," says UBS Securities analyst Linda Meltzer of the delay.

After AT&T CEO Robert Allen named Walter as his heir apparent on Oct. 23, dismay over his lack of telecom experience pushed AT&T's already battered stock down more than four bucks, to 35 1/4, on Oct. 30. That shaved some $6.4 billion from shareholders' equity.

AT&T says Walter, the former chairman of printing company R.R. Donnelley & Sons, wants to really learn the business first, and Nov. 19 doesn't give him enough time. "He wants to play an integral role in any analysts meeting," says an AT&T spokesperson.

Eager to dispel the uncertainty surrounding him, analysts are reluctant to give him a grace period, even though they concede Walter would have a tough time speaking so soon. Says Morgan Stanley's Stephanie Comfort: "If they were confident enough about Walter to choose him, they should be confident enough to have him meet with us."EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT By Catherine ArnstReturn to top

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