With no settlement in sight after almost a year and a half of mediation with Larry Nassar survivors, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is suing its insurance carriers, accusing them of stalling the process. 



a sign on the side of a road: The Olympic rings are seen, in Tokyo.


© Jae C. Hong, AP
The Olympic rings are seen, in Tokyo.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in a Colorado district court and obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the USOPC claims that 11 insurance companies have not met their contractual obligations and “failed to honor their promises to the USOPC.”

“This lawsuit seeks to have a court resolve the issues related to the insurers’ obligations, as part of our efforts to achieve a fair resolution for the victims and survivors,” board chair Susanne Lyons said Friday.

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“We feel additional work needs to be done to get to a place of settlement,” she added.

Olympic champions Simone Biles and Aly Raisman are among more than 500 girls and young women who have sued USA Gymnastics and the USOPC, saying they were sexually abused by Nassar, their coach or someone else affiliated with the sport. The lawsuits were put on hold when USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in December 2018, and the federation must reach a settlement with survivors as part of its plan to emerge from the proceedings.

If it doesn’t, the bankruptcy case could be dismissed and the lawsuits would resume.

In its lawsuit against its insurance carriers, the USOPC continued to deny legal responsibility for Nassar’s abuse, saying he was not an employee and had no direct relationship with the USOPC. Nassar was the longtime team physician for both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, but did work as a Team USA physician at several Olympic Games. 

“The expansion is still far from complete,” Powell said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics, a group of corporate and academic economists. “Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth.”

Powell noted that the economic recovery has slowed in recent months compared with its rapid improvement in May and June. Incomes fell in August. And job growth weakened in September, slowing to just 661,000, less than half the gains of 1.5 million in August and 1.8 million in September. The economy has recovered only slightly more than half the 22 million jobs that were lost in March and April.

“A prolonged slowing in the pace of improvement over time could trigger typical recessionary dynamics, as weakness feeds on weakness,” he said.

During a question-and-answer session with economists, Powell noted that the pandemic recession has disproportionately harmed in-person service industries, especially restaurants, bars, hotels, travel companies, movie theaters and other entertainment venues. The heavy damage to those industries has left millions of people unemployed, likely for an extended period, until they are either finally recalled to their previous jobs or switch to new careers.

“The right thing to do and the smart thing to do in the long run is to support those people as they return to their old jobs or find new jobs,” the chairman said.

In recent months, in speeches and in testimony to Congress, Powell has repeatedly urged lawmakers to enact an additional economic aid package. Fed chairs typically avoid inserting themselves into policy debates, but Powell has stressed that the Fed can only lend money to help spur growth.

Actual spending — further

It’s been said before, but it is worth saying again: diversity pays — but not in terms of checking boxes and tokenism. In a new report from the UCLA-based Center for Scholars and Storytellers titled “Beyond Checking A Box: A Lack of Authentically Inclusive Representation Has Costs at the Box Office”, researchers found that bringing authentic diversity to film improves financial performance at the box office while a lack of diversity can result in losses for studios.

Films like the Latino-fronted Pixar animated pic Coco, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther and Warner Bros’ Crazy Rich Asians proved that racially diverse casts can bring in highly profitable grosses at the box office, according to UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report produced by a group of UCLA researchers including Darnell Hunt, dean of the College’s division of social sciences. However, when it comes to writing and directing jobs, underrepresented voices still have quite a way to go.

The report which was published today analyzed 109 movies from 2016 to 2019 and found that movie studios can expect to lose up to $130 million per film when their offerings lack authentic diversity in their storytelling. Researchers found that large-budget films (a budget of $159 million or more) are subject to a significant cost in the opening weekend box office for a lack of diversity.

They estimate a $159 million movie will lose $32.2 million, approximately 20% of the its budget, in first weekend box office, with a potential total loss of $130 million, 82% of its budget. For a $78 million budget movie will lose $13.8 million in its opening weekend for a lack of diversity, with a potential total loss of $55.2 million, 71% of its budget.

“We asked, what is the cost of lacking diversity? Hollywood is a business, and no business wants

(Bloomberg) — Legal & General Group Plc’s investment arm will vote against certain senior appointments at FTSE 100 and S&P 500 companies if they fail to include ethnic minorities on their board.

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The asset manager wants to see at least one Black, Asian or other ethnic minority on the board at major U.K. and U.S. firms by January 2022, according to the newsletter from Legal & General Investment Management. If there isn’t any such representation, L&G will vote against appointments to chair the board and nomination committee.

“The horrifying killing of George Floyd and so many others has led many institutional investors to think much more seriously about structural racism and inequality,” LGIM wrote. “We believe asset managers must go further. Now is the time for action.”

As the U.K.’s biggest money manager with around 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.6 trillion) of assets, Legal & General’s warnings carry some heft. The firm owns stakes in many of the biggest U.K. and U.S. firms and has previously vowed to vote against companies that lacked women on boards.



graphical user interface: Boardroom Bias


© Bloomberg
Boardroom Bias

Floyd’s death prompted collective demands for action from the financial world, with Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. vowing to elevate Black executives. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has required more bias training; JPMorgan Chase & Co. has expanded its mentoring programs; and Bank of America Corp. has pledged money to fight inequality.

The L&G letter was first reported by The Times.

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