That is obviously one person's managerial experience speaking and is entirely a valid thing to say (since it's his experience). The key is that U.S. businesses of all sizes want H-1B visas because the economics make sense, but does that make it right?
The paradox to me is that it feels like we are saying as a country that when knowledge workers become too pricey, then we need a way to lower the cost and market rates of IT jobs. Isn't the market supposed to bare this out? IT systems and IT labor can be costly. Skilled systems require skilled jobs that attract higher-paying salaries. ...
Apparently it's this technology mecca, or at least that's what 20 start ups are willing to tell you about the seemingly pretty Colorado town. They are willing to fly 100 developers for a free trip to interview for potential developer jobs, see the town and soak in the Rocky Mountain glory. It appears to be for 3 days, from October 27 through the 31st.
David Fouts, Kennebunkport, ME, took early retirement from IBM, where he was an engineer, and then forged a new career as an artist. Along the way, he discovered that some habits from his first career are hard to leave behind. So, instead of fighting the past, he has carried disciplines from the office into the studio. Unlike his previous office, his studio is just outside his back door.
Organized data-stealing gangs "go to the call centers, the Web development companies, the content development companies, the business partners, the people who pick up the backup tapes," Sartin said. "They say ... if you hate your boss and you're in financial straits, we're your solution. Give us access to your customers. Better yet, give us your data."
Patients need to know that doctors are prescribing particular drugs for sound medical reasons — not because drug companies have bought their doctors’ loyalty. The companies certainly spend large amounts of money plying doctors with gifts, hosting them at plush resorts where drug products are promoted, and paying them to deliver or attend lectures or for consulting or research. Some of the payments are for legitimate services, others look like improper inducements, and all have a potential to influence a doctor’s prescribing habits.
Two former Goldman Sachs executives hired by Thain are likely to do even better. Merrill's head of global trading, Thomas Montag, who joined in August, has already received a $39m bonus. Together with stock options accelerated by a buyout, he could end the year with $76m. The bank's head of strategy, Peter Kraus, was given a $95m package including bonuses and stock awards to replace his generous compensation at Goldman when he joined in May, according to figures obtained by Bloomberg News. ...
Thain, 53, is a leading fundraiser for the Republican presidential candidate John McCain. A doctor's son, he is an amateur beekeeper who used to keep hives in his back garden. He bought a two-bedroom apartment on New York's Park Avenue two years ago which had an asking price of $27.5m. He was hired by Merrill to steady the ship after huge losses on the credit markets which were run up under the leadership of ousted chief executive Stan O'Neal. ...
Defenders of Wall Street's controversial pay packages generally argue that although bankers do well during good times, they hold insecure jobs which are vulnerable during downturns. "What we do see is that when times get tough, people lose their jobs — and that's the ultimate in pay cuts," said Hall.
The meltdown in the markets comes as pensions are being eliminated. The burden is increasingly on individuals to manage their own 401(k) plans and invest in the market. In 1980, 60 percent of workers were covered by defined-benefit pension plans and just 17 percent relied on defined-contribution plans, such as a 401(k), according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. By 2004, the numbers had changed dramatically: 11 percent of workers were covered by defined-benefit plans and 61 percent were covered by defined-contribution plans.
''I think what this catastrophe in the financial markets highlights is how vulnerable this approach to retirement makes people,'' said Alicia Munnell, director of the center. ''Their welfare depends on market gyrations. They can be very responsible and still end up being hurt.'' ...
Cherie Miller, 55, of Crawfordville, Fla., retired a month ago after 35 years in a secretarial job at Florida State University. But she will start a new job next week, working in an elementary school cafeteria, to make ends meet. Her pension pays about $1,200 a month. But because she's too young for Medicare, and because her husband Robert, 57, is a self-employed golf course equipment repairman, she needs to spend about $1,100 monthly for health insurance. ''That insurance is so high that I'm going to have to continue to work just so I have insurance,'' she said. ''And just the way the stock market is going right now, it's kind of scary.''
The late 20th century saw an Internet boom, bubble and bust. Some people made money; many people lost money, but that dot-com bubble left us with an Internet highway system that helped Microsoft, I.B.M. and Google to spearhead the I.T. revolution.
The early 21st century saw a boom, bubble and now a bust around financial services. But I fear all it will leave behind are a bunch of empty Florida condos that never should have been built, used private jets that the wealthy can no longer afford and dead derivative contracts that no one can understand.
Worse, we borrowed the money for this bubble from China, and now we have to pay it back — with interest and without any lasting benefit.
Yes, this bailout is necessary. This is a credit crisis, and credit crises involve a breakdown in confidence that leads to no one lending to anyone. You don’t fool around with a credit crisis. You have to overwhelm it with capital. Unfortunately, some people who don’t deserve it will be rescued. But, more importantly, those who had nothing to do with it will be spared devastation. You have to save the system.
But that is not the point of this column. The point is, we don’t just need a bailout. We need a buildup. We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering not just financial engineering. We need to get back to a world where people are able to realize the American Dream — a house with a yard — because they have built something with their hands, not because they got a “liar loan” from an underregulated bank with no money down and nothing to pay for two years. The American Dream is an aspiration, not an entitlement.
But the failures that have landed us in the mess we are in today are not mainly structural. To assert that they are masks deeper failings and sets false terms for the upcoming debate on regulatory reform. Under a law passed in 1994, for example, the Federal Reserve was obligated to regulate banks and nonbank lenders to curb unfair, deceptive and predatory lending. Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, ignored his responsibility, even as junk mortgage lending proliferated in plain sight.
Mr. Greenspan later said the law defined “unfair” and “deceptive” too vaguely. If so, he should have asked Congress for clarification. Instead, he did nothing — and the Republican-led Congress did not question him. When Ben Bernanke took over as Fed chairman in early 2006, the negligence continued. It was not until mid-2007, after the housing bubble had begun to burst, that federal regulators offered guidelines for subprime lending. The systematic dismantling of laws that called for regulation also contributed to the current crisis.
In 1995, Congress passed a law that restricted the ability of investors to sue companies, securities firms and accounting firms for misstatements and pie-in-the-sky projections. That helped inflate the dot-com bubble and contributed to the Enron debacle. It also engendered a sense of impunity that helped to foster the excessive risk-taking so prevalent in the mortgage mess.
Then, in 1999, Congress dismantled the Glass- Steagall Act, a pillar of the New Deal, which separated commercial and investment banking. That enormous change was undertaken with no thought or effort — or desire — to regulate the world that it would help to create. Now we know that an entire “shadow banking system” has grown up, without rules or transparency, but with the ability to topple the financial system itself.
You might think of a latter-day Lenin or Fidel Castro, but you would be far afield. Instead, you should be thinking of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the rapidly disintegrating United States of America, right here and now. ...
The current negativity occurred because of wild, casino-type operations of big finance players, creating liabilities way beyond anything we could have reasonably expected. This looks a lot like theft on a spectacular scale — of our wallets, our peace of mind, our futures. Second, according to what I hear from my betters in the world of finance, the most serious problems are not with the bundles of subprime mortgages themselves — a large but not lethal quantum as far as I can tell — but with derivatives contracts tied to subprime and other dicey debt. These contracts are superficially an attempt to “insure” against risks of default, hence the name “credit-default swaps.” In fact, they are an immense wager — which anyone with lots of money or borrowing ability can enter — about how mortgage-backed bonds, leveraged loan bonds, student loan bonds, credit card bonds and the like will perform.
These wagers entail amounts many times larger than the total of subprime loans. In fact, there are roughly $62 trillion in credit-default swap derivatives out there, compared with about $1 trillion of subprime mortgages. These derivatives are “weapons of financial mass destruction,” in the prophetic words of Warren E. Buffett. (Apparently believing that the worst is over, at least for one big investment bank, Mr. Buffett is now investing in Goldman Sachs.) ...
The people whose conduct got us into this catastrophe have not only taken our money, hopes and peace of mind, but they apparently also want a trillion or so more dollars to put into their Wall Street Buddy System Fund. This may be the most dangerous attack on the law in my lifetime. What anarchists even dared consider this plan? Thank heaven that minds more devoted to the Constitution on Capitol Hill are questioning this shocking request.
“This” refers to the current credit panic. The Masters of the Universe is a phrase from that book referring to ambitious young men (there were no women) who, starting with the 1980s, began racking up millions every year — millions! — in performance bonuses at investment banks like Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. The first three no longer exist. The fourth is about to be absorbed by Bank of America. The last two are being converted into plain-vanilla Our Town banks with A.T.M.’s in the lobby and, instead of Masters of the Universe, marginally adult female cashiers with wages in the mid-three figures per week, stocked with bags of exploding dye to hand the robbers along with the cash. American investment banking, the entire industry, sank without a trace in the last few days. ...
Shed no tears for the Masters of the Universe, however, not that your correspondent actually thought you might. Most of the young Masters already have their own personal nut free and clear. “Nut” is the term for the amount of money you need salted away in weather-proof investments in order to generate enough interest to live comfortably in Greenwich on Round Hill Road, Pecksland Road or Field Point Road in a house built before the First World War in an enchanting European style, preferably made of stone featuring the odd turret, with a minimum of five acres around it and big enough to be called a manor. Every Master of the Universe knows the number.
Outsourcing. This is a touchy subject. The best financial technology systems are the ones that are flexible, robust and secure, and that have an interface and user capability where you don’t need a programmer to perform every what-if scenario. A good financial business intelligence system would have been able to alert its users that things were getting mighty shaky in a world built on splintered financial instruments traded in the dark. Outsourcing works best when you can precisely define what operations you want to hand over to an outsourcer, and then you don’t make a whole lot of changes in those definitions. I think Wall Street’s infatuation with outsourcing led it to save a lot of IT dollars and lose its ability to build new IT systems for new financial environments. Dumb move.
“Although this legislation represents an improvement over the initial blank check sought by the Administration, it is still a bare framework that contains too few measures for real accountability. It ultimately lays the costs of the greed, bad decisions, and lack of oversight on Wall Street squarely on the shoulders of taxpayers in Colorado and the nation. ...
“Just as importantly, this legislation does nothing to begin the fundamental reform that is needed to fix the broken financial system that led us to this crisis. Washington is painfully slow to make fundamental reforms except in times of extreme duress and real public outrage. For this debacle to count for something good, I believe it must lead to real, deep, durable reforms to the laws governing our markets, financial institutions, and their regulation.
George H.W. Bush warned us about “voodoo economics” in 1980, but the ideologues clamped a gag on him and put him on the Gipper’s ticket. For much of the time since then, the madmen of the right have carried the day. They were freed of their remaining few restraints with the ascendance of George W. Bush in 2000.
These were the reckless clowns who led us into the foolish multitrillion-dollar debacle in Iraq and who crafted tax policies that enormously benefited millionaires and billionaires while at the same time ran up staggering amounts of government debt. This is the crowd that contributed mightily to the greatest disparities in wealth in the U.S. since the gilded age.
This was the crowd that cut the cords of corporate and financial regulations and in myriad other ways gleefully hacked away at the best interests of the United States. Now we’re looking into the abyss. ...
He should have said that he, along with his irresponsible Republican colleagues and their running buddies in the corporate and financial sectors, put the entire economy in danger. John McCain and his economic main man, Phil (“this is a mental recession”) Gramm, were right there running with them. Credit markets have frozen almost solid, banks are toppling like dominoes and brokerage houses are vanishing like props in a magic act. And who was one of the paramount leaders of the manic anti-regulatory charge that led to this sorry state of affairs? None other than Mr. Gramm himself, a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
Where is Mr. Gramm now? Would you believe that he’s the vice chairman of UBS Securities, the investment banking arm of the Swiss bank UBS? Of course you would. A New York Times article last spring noted that the “elite private bankers” of UBS “built a lucrative business in recent years by discreetly tending the fortunes of American millionaires and billionaires.”
Toadying to the rich while sabotaging the interests of working people was always Mr. Gramm’s specialty. He was considered a likely choice to be treasury secretary in a McCain administration until he made his impolitic “mental recession” comment. He also said the U.S. was a “nation of whiners.” ...
The inescapable disconnect between rhetoric and reality is often stark. Senator McCain has been ranting recently about the excessive pay and “bloated golden parachutes” of failed corporate executives. And yet one of his closest advisers on economic matters is Carly Fiorina, who was forced out as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. Her golden parachute was an estimated $42 million.
Defunding those agencies was one way to stop the killer bureaucrats; another was to stuff them full of business-friendly personnel who would go easy on regulated. The signature conservative regulatory idea became "voluntary enforcement", because everyone now knew that efficient markets regulated themselves. Bad practices or tainted products drove away consumers; therefore firms had an incentive to behave, an incentive far more powerful than some top-down scheme in which big brother told them what to do.
Whether people ever truly believed this nonsense or not, its application over the years makes up the basic story of conservative governance as I tell it in my book, The Wrecking Crew. This is the philosophy by which conservatives gutted the EPA and the Labor Department, turned over the Interior Department and the FDA to the industries they were supposed to regulate, let the CEO of Enron advise the vice president on energy policy, and generally came to regard business, not the public, as government's "customer" (a word that crops up with disturbing frequency in conservative regulatory history).
But it is only now, as we watch the financial system crumble around us, that we can really see the devastating consequences of this folly. It turns out the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which was responsible for regulating investment banks, did a significant part of its job through a voluntary program which firms could participate in or not as they saw fit. As the New York Times told the story on Saturday, this system had--of course--been pushed for by the investment banks themselves, who wanted it in order to avoid the stricter rules from European governments that they would otherwise have had to obey. ...
As you watch the world crumble, try taking your Armageddon with this sprinkling of irony: Over the last three decades, business has got virtually everything it wanted, and its doomsday scenario from the 1970s has come true because of it. The regulators have indeed killed the regulated--not by intrusive meddling but by doing nothing, by taking a nap while the financial sector puffed up the bubble and blew itself to pieces.
All this said, critics of the bailout have reason to be furious. It is profoundly unfair that working-class American families lose their homes, their jobs, their savings, while plutocrats who caused the problem get rescued.
If the Congressional critics of the bailout want to do some lasting good, they should come back in January — after approving the bailout now — with a series of tough measures to improve governance and inject more fairness in the economy. A starting point would be to remove tax subsidies on executive pay and allow courts to restructure mortgages as they do other kinds of debt. The Institute for Policy Studies in Washington estimates that U.S. taxpayers every year provide more than $20 billion in tax subsidies for executive pay.
Among the strongest critics of inflated executive pay have been Warren Buffett and the late management guru, Peter Drucker, who argued that C.E.O. salaries should peak at no more than 20 or 25 times those of the average worker. (Last year, C.E.O.’s got an average of 344 times the wages of the typical worker.)
The truth is that with the complicity of boards of directors, C.E.O.’s hijack shareholder wealth in ways that are unconscionable. As The Wall Street Journal reported in June, if Eugene Isenberg, the 78-year-old C.E.O. of Nabors Industries, were to drop dead one of these days, his estate would be entitled to a “severance payment” of at least $263 million — more than the firm’s first-quarter net earnings.
IBM assumed this would be a pay decrease. They are now ramping plans to get more folks into the regions centers (Fishkill - Boulder) and off shore ASAP.. The money wont last, but please stick them for what ever you can get! Pay down your debts so when you do get axed, which you will, your in better shape that you are today.
Much more grumbling on the PM's I have posted that they would be screwed more than a year ago. This has come to fruition. All 300 of the contractors were axed. They are using freshers from India to do the PM work. These guys are PMI - PMP, but most lack common IT experience (Picture the paper MCSE - Same thing) IBM is pushing to the same model as TCS (TaTa) where they will have a skeleton staff on US soil with the core team in low cost GR's.. sad but true. TCS is eating ibm's lunch.. they cannot compete cost wise and customers don't care anymore.. if they can save 50% by going offshore.. they will.
The good news is some companies are actually insisting on US based jobs.. lets hope that more and more boards become patriotic and realize that they are on screwing the US by offshoring all of their work. Killing off the middle class of America, thru offshoring, will have a negative effect.. lets hope the boards of these companies realize that.
Good luck to all.. especially the 08A family.. your targeted and forced attrition / corporate snipers have you in their sites. SDM's are being target in the near future as well. Cringley's 350,000 job loss was accurate!... ibm has been back peddling and redoing the plan because of all of the attention. as long as you realize ibm is no longer a career, but a sweatshop to gain experience, your fine. Don't bleed blue... unless you can get a union contract in place. -ExIBM'er-
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