"If the pension is getting deeper into trouble and the executives are getting richer, there's something wrong with that picture," said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif. Miller requested the report as part of an examination of the troubles facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal pension plan insurer. The PBGC, which insures pension plans covering 44 million people, warned this month that it has a deficit of nearly $22 billion.
"With the unemployment rate over 10%, companies that undertake mass layoffs shouldn't need to hire foreign guest workers when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs," said Grassley, in a statement yesterday. ...
Grassley and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) introduced the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009 earlier this year (S.887) that would set a number of restrictions on H-1B use, including the so-called 50-50 provision that would prohibit any firm with more than 50 workers from having more than half workforce on H-1B or L-1 visas. That provision is aimed at Indian outsourcing firms. The legislation also sets higher salary standards for visa workers as well as anti-fraud provisions.
But that's no excuse for anything!! IBM turned a deaf ear and blind eye to everything during "Engagement". Once the deal was signed, that horrific pile of dung was thrown over the fence into Service Delivery's (ITD's) lap. It was impossible to find someone on the IBM Engagement Team to inquire as to why IT service delivery had to be delivered the way the contract specified it would be. The boys and girls on the Engagement Team were long gone. (Not because they were RA'd mind you, but rather they had been assigned to another new deal.) They never returned phone calls, or answered Lotus Notes. And believe me, they knew full well what a piece of crap the deal they promised to the customer was. All they wanted was the customer to sign the deal. After that, all the completely unrealistic promises they placed into the SO contract became Steady State's problem.
Is there anything I am missing or other suggestions?
Prior to the financial crisis, our study and others had concluded that the current baby-boom cohort of near retirees were surprisingly well-prepared for retirement compared with similarly aged households over the past quarter century. Unless there is a strong recovery of asset values in the next few years, that favorable assessment is no longer true.
“There has been a change in the last couple of months,” says Mr Dunmore. “Before, even if people did not like where they were, it was safer to stay because they did not want to move and find themselves in a ‘first-in, first-out’ scenario. But now people sense that it has got a bit easier.” “Experienced hires from other consulting firms” emerged as the most likely source of recruitment during 2009, according to a survey carried out by Top-Consultant.com, a recruitment website. Experienced hires from industry, government and other public sector bodies came next with MBA finalists and university leavers bringing up the rear. ...
PwC, the professional services firm, says it is keen to make better use of networking and referrals from its own staff in other areas to attract experienced recruits. “We want to build our own talent bank rather than rely on head-hunters and agencies,” says Marcus Robinson, consulting partner.
A bright spot for graduate would-be consultants is the return of the large accounting firms to the consultancy field. PwC sold its management consulting business to IBM in 2002 but is now rebuilding a presence in the sector. It has launched a graduate recruitment programme, signing up 42 graduates this year, rising to a planned 150 in 2010. It expects to double the size of its 1,400-strong consultancy team within four to five years.
“We never got out of the business of advice,” says Mr Robinson. “A couple of years ago we started thinking about consultancy. The partners have taken a small hit to invest in recruitment.”
When Boeing downsized its Dreamliner project, a commercial jetliner to replace its aging 767, it expanded its traditional outsourcing to include not just parts, but both design and construction of major aircraft sections, including the wings. The idea was to have its suppliers share the risks by becoming partners in the project. But the Dreamliner is now two years behind schedule. Boeing’s CEO told a New York Times reporter that the company lost control of the process by farming out more design and production work than ever and not keeping close tabs on suppliers. The resulting delays caused financial difficulties for Vought Aircraft, manufacturer of the new fuselage, so Boeing bought the plant that made it from Vought. Major suppliers to the Dreamliner project include one Italian and three Japanese companies. ...
The Duke Offshoring Research Network reported that the number of U.S. companies engaging in offshoring has more than doubled from 2005 to 2008, and few intend to return activities to the United States. The Duke report claims the two reasons for the increasing rate of globalization are speed to market and a domestic shortage of engineering talent. It omits mention of cost savings. Those conducting the NAE study wondered whether offshoring is negatively affecting the public perception of engineering and, if so, whether it has led to fewer talented U.S. students choosing to pursue engineering careers. Their conclusion, once again, was that data are too sparse to either confirm or allay these concerns.
Unite claimed last month that HP was removing pay and pension benefits, including a performance bonus scheme worth up to £2,000 and a final salary pension scheme.
This is wishful thinking. True, the Chinese market is huge and growing fast. By 2009, China was second only to the U.S. in computer sales, with a larger proportion of first-time buyers. It already had more cell-phone users. And excluding SUVs, last year Chinese consumers bought as many cars as Americans (as recently as 2006, Americans bought twice as many)....
But the larger explanation for Chinese frugality is that the nation is oriented to production, not consumption. China wants to become the world's preeminent producer nation. It also wants to take the lead in the production of advanced technologies. The U.S. would like to retain the lead, but our economy is oriented to consumption rather than production.
Deep down inside the cerebral cortex of our national consciousness we assume that the basic purpose of an economy is to provide more opportunities to consume. We grudgingly support government efforts to rebuild our infrastructure. We want our companies to invest in new equipment and technologies but also want them to pay generous dividends. We approve of government investments in basic research and development, but mainly for the purpose of making the nation more secure through advanced military technologies. (We regard spillovers to the private sector as incidental.)
China's industrial and technological policy is unapologetically direct. It especially wants America's know-how, and the best way to capture knowhow is to get it firsthand. So China continues to condition many sales by U.S. and foreign companies on production in China -- often in joint ventures with Chinese companies.
American firms are now helping China build a "smart" infrastructure, tackle pollution with clean technologies, develop a new generation of photovoltaics and wind turbines, find new applications for nanotechologies, and build commercial jets and jet engines. GM recently announced it was planning to make a new subcompact in China designed and developed primarily by the Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center, a joint venture between GM and SAIC Motor in Shanghai. General Electric is producing wind turbine components in China. Earlier this month, Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar announced it will be moving its solar panel production to China. ...
The dirty little secret on both sides of the Pacific is that both America and China are capable of producing far more than their own consumers are capable of buying. In the U.S., the root of the problem is a growing share of total income going to the richest Americans, leaving the middle class with relatively less purchasing power unless they go deep into debt. Inequality is also widening in China, but the problem there is a declining share of the fruits of economic growth going to average Chinese and an increasing share going to capital investment. Both societies are threatened by the disconnect between production and consumption. In China, the threat is civil unrest. In the U.S., it's a prolonged jobs and earnings recession that, when combined with widening inequality, could create political backlash.
Obviously there are a legion of complicating factors involved in anyone's decision. Sherrill St. Germain, a financial planner in Hollis, N.H. with a lot experience in the field, says the big issue for many clients is losing group health insurance. "That's the thing that keeps them stuck," she says. "That's the deal-breaker." Say what you will about healthcare reform: The present system is a huge drag on economic mobility and entrepreneurship. But even if you can surmount all the other complications involved in escaping your current situation, how much money would you need to have saved up to make it a viable idea?
The current estimation is 6 people for every job and that is a number that looms larger for higher paying jobs. I am training through free classes offered by the NYS DOL, but feel it is merely marking time and that it will not increase my chances of finding work, I am not a part of anything any more. Yes I have friends and family. But most do not get it about this unemployment thing and keep asking if I have found anything yet. Mostly you are on your own and it is a lonely place to be even with the most positive thoughts.
I do try to remain positive and find joy where I can in the simple things of life. But I would rather be working and I am often spinning in a whirlwind of disbelief while at the same time maintaining a brave front for others whose worry although based on caring is only adding more stress to an already stretched mindset. I know I will survive this. I simply needed to "talk" to an empathetic arena of perhaps like minded others. Thanks. -RA'ed July 09-
The off-shore workers get the task done, then report back to the US contact. The US contact then goes and reports to the customer and closed out the problem and change tickets. All the while, the customer thinks they are begin a good corporate citizen and keeping work in the US and IBM lines their pockets with more cash from the cheap labor!!!!). It's disgusting. There is no such thing as t ruth anymore. It's all how they can manipulate things and make it appear they are keeping to the contacts. -dun-4-
Hey UKIBMer, like you I jumped the ship and got a nice pay rise. I am guessing Brendon is having to bring in the ESP as they are losing good people. For reference when I left it cost IBM UK ?20m rev and ?8m profit, as I had a nice deal in the pipeline that I was 80% certain of winning - the person who took it over mucked it up. This is clear evidence that Palmisano is failing to provide shareholder value. He has driven down costs, but has failed to align the business with the market. If you want evidence, then ask why Apple's capitalisation is now higher than than IBM's. Palmisano has failed IBM's shareholders by failing to invest in IBM's employees and IBM's technology - I'd be as bold as to suggest IBM needs a new CEO. -Big Z-
The drug trend is distinctly at odds with the direction of the Consumer Price Index, which has fallen by 1.3 percent in the last year. Drug makers say they have valid business reasons for the price increases. Critics say the industry is trying to establish a higher price base before Congress passes legislation that tries to curb drug spending in coming years.
Now come the price increases. As Duff Wilson reported in The Times on Monday, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of prescription drugs by about 9 percent in the past year. That appears to be the highest annual increase since 1992. The industry contends that it must raise prices to finance research on new drugs, and that may hold some truth given the dearth of promising new drugs in the pipelines of major manufacturers. But the increases also look designed to establish a higher price base before reform bills, if passed, try to reduce drug spending.
Using the private insurance industry to achieve universal coverage would require that all financially able U.S. residents or their employers purchase health insurance. Americans unable to afford health insurance, the poorest and potentially the sickest among us, would be covered by the government—most likely by incorporating them into a public insurance system, although a government subsidy (in all or in part) could be used instead to purchase private insurance coverage. If, as seems likely, a current or future public insurance program is used for this purpose, then this construct amounts to a massive preemptive bailout of health insurers. These private entities would profit by adding relatively healthy young people to their rolls, while potentially bankrupting the public systems that are charged with paying for the care of these unprofitable patients.
Health insurance as a commodity is particularly unsuited to the so-called “wisdom of the market.” Private insurers are dutybound to maximize profits for their shareholders, and profits are best achieved by minimizing risk through cherry-picking the healthiest enrollees and denying payment for services whenever possible (1). These goals are clearly not in the best interest of individuals seeking reliable health insurance coverage, enrollees who require ongoing or complicated care, or the taxpayers subsidizing care for those denied coverage.
Furthermore, health care reimbursement funneled through a private insurance industry does not necessarily lead to improved health. Thirty-one percent of United States health spending goes toward bureaucracy (2). Such remarkable inefficiency is directly attributable to the overhead and profit of the health insurance industry (3) and wasted clerical time, as providers must deal with a multitude of different insurers and health plans.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page predicts that the legislation will lead to “deteriorating service.” Business groups warn that Washington bureaucrats will invade “the privacy of the examination room,” that we are on the road to rationed care and that patients will lose the “freedom to choose their own doctor.”
All dire — but also wrong. Those forecasts date not from this year, but from the battle over Medicare in the early 1960s. I pulled them from newspaper archives and other accounts.
Yet this year those same accusations are being recycled in an attempt to discredit the health reform proposals now before Congress. The heirs of those who opposed Medicare are conjuring the same bogeymen — only this time they claim to be protecting Medicare. Indeed, these same arguments we hear today against health reform were used even earlier, to attack President Franklin Roosevelt’s call for Social Security. It was denounced as a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and add to Americans’ tax burden so as to kill jobs.
Daniel Reed, a Republican representative from New York, predicted that with Social Security, Americans would come to feel “the lash of the dictator.” Senator Daniel Hastings, a Delaware Republican, declared that Social Security would “end the progress of a great country.” John Taber, a Republican representative from New York, went further and said of Social Security: “Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers.” ...
Similar, ferocious hyperbole was unleashed on the proposal for Medicare. President John Kennedy and later President Lyndon Johnson pushed for a government health program for the elderly, but conservatives bitterly denounced the proposal as socialism, as a plan for bureaucrats to make medical decisions, as a means to ration health care. The American Medical Association was vehement, with Dr. Donovan Ward, the head of the A.M.A. in 1965, declaring that “a deterioration in the quality of care is inescapable.” The president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons went further and suggested that for doctors to cooperate with Medicare would be “complicity in evil.”
The Wall Street Journal warned darkly in editorials in 1965 that Medicare amounted to “politicking with a nation’s health.” It quoted a British surgeon as saying that in Britain, government health care was “crumbling to utter ruin” and suggested that the United States might be heading in the same direction.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
"If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist," Sanders told Bloomberg News last week."We should end the concentration of ownership that has resulted in just four huge financial institutions holding half the mortgages in America, controlling two-thirds of the credit cards, and amassing 40 percent of all deposits," Sanders said, citing Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. "We should break them up so they are no longer in a position to bring down the entire economy."
Their complaints in private conversations with the company and at analyst meetings show how anger over its big-money culture is spilling into the ranks of investors who typically shy away from debates over Wall Street pay. One frustration: Despite record net income and compensation at Goldman as markets rebound and the firm outmuscles weakened rivals for business, analysts expect its 2009 earnings per share to be 22% lower than in 2007 and roughly equal to its 2006 earnings, according to Thomson Financial. ...
Some major Goldman shareholders also are concerned about a little-noticed change in the company's financial statements that increased the firm's total head count by adding temporary employees and consultants. The change reduced per-employee compensation, making it look like Goldman employees earn less than they actually do. The figure is a lightning rod for criticism of Goldman because its staff is on pace to earn about $717,000 apiece for 2009. Excluding temporary employees and consultants would increase compensation per employee to about $775,000. ...
In October 2008, Goldman received $10 billion from the U.S. government as one of the first nine recipients of taxpayer-funded capital injections under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Goldman repaid the money in June but continues to benefit from government help. For instance, it has the ability to borrow from the Federal Reserve. Goldman and other firms won that access after Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed and was sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
“Banks aren’t lending to small business. We should establish a fund to lend TARP money directly to small- and medium-sized businesses at commercial rates, managed by the community banks left out of the Wall Street bailout, with the banks taking first-dollar risk,” Trumka said in prepared remarks before a conference hosted by the Economic Policy Institute on Tuesday. "If small businesses can get credit, they will create jobs. And we need jobs now.”
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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