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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Bloomberg's editor-in-chief apologizes for spying, Virgin America prepares for an IPO, and more
Richard Branson's Virgin America is going public.
Richard Branson's Virgin America is going public. Bob Riha, Jr./Virgin America via Getty Images

1. BLOOMBERG EDITOR-IN-CHIEF APOLOGIZES FOR SNOOPING ON BANKS
"Our reporters should not have access to any data considered proprietary. I am sorry they did. The error is inexcusable," Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg's editor-in-chief, wrote in an op-ed for his publication this morning. Winkler also clarified exactly what his reporters had access to via clients' Bloomberg terminal accounts. They were able to view log-in histories, and the date the log-in was created, along with "high-level types of user functions on an aggregated basis." However, "at no time did reporters have access to trading, portfolio, monitor, blotter or other related systems," Winkler said. "Nor did they have access to clients' messages to one another. They couldn't see the stories that clients were reading or the securities clients might be looking at." [Bloomberg]

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2. STRUGGLING VIRGIN AMERICA PREPS FOR IPO
After losing $45 million last quarter, and $26 million the quarter before — making for a total of $645 million in losses since 2007 — Virgin America is cancelling orders for jets and restructuring its balance sheets, in preparation for a possible IPO. Chief Executive David Cush says the airline's investors recently agreed to convert $290 million of $800 million in debt into equity when the company goes public. [Wall Street Journal]

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3. BIG RETAILERS JOIN BANGLADESH SAFETY PLAN
In the wake of the tragic collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 people, H&M, C&A of the Netherlands, and Inditex, owner of Zara, have signed a new plan requiring retailers to pay for building improvements and fire safety. It also requires retailers to cut ties with factories that refuse to make necessary safety improvements. [New York Times]

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4. COMPENSATION STUDY FINDS PUBLIC UNIVERSITY HEADS ARE MAKING BIG BUCKS
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual compensation report, a handful of public university presidents are receiving paychecks of over $2 million. Graham B. Spanier, the president of Pennsylvania State University who was forced out last year after the Jerry Sandusky story exploded, was paid $2.9 million in 2011-12, including $1.2 million in severance pay and $1.2 million in deferred compensation. "The fact that Graham Spanier turns out to be the highest paid president in the country says something about the nature of compensation packages for people who leave under a cloud," said Chronicle reporter Jack Stripling. [New York Times]

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5. LOW GAS PRICES LEADS TO UPTICK IN RETAIL SPENDING
After a 0.5 percent drop in retail spending in March, sales inched back up 0.1 percent in April. The boost in buying came from lower gas prices, along with rising home and stock values. Nine out of 13 major categories showed gains, with clothing stores leading with 1.2 percent more sales. Economists are adjusting previous forecasts that spending would slow down in the second quarter.[Bloomberg]

Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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