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I watched the interview on Tuesday, and I would like to know why Caruso-Cabrera did not ask this question: IBM has laid off 10,000 employees so far this year, while hiring 50,000 overseas. What can you do to get IBM to participate in job growth, and not job destruction, in the United States ?
The more I think about this, the more disturbed and angry I become. The topic of the day on Power Lunch was job creation. So they have on a woman who is on the board of directors at IBM. IBM has done as much as any company in the United States to destroy U.S. jobs in 2009. Not only are they offshoring jobs (10,000 U.S. jobs shed, 50,000 foreign workers hired, net gain 40,000), but they help other companies outsource (read: offshore) jobs too. Heck, they even applied for a patent for software to help companies offshore jobs !!! I'd be willing to bet that IBM is directly or indirectly involved in 50,000 to 100,000 (or more) U.S. employees becoming unemployed this year. As I've said before, IBM and other companies are using this recession as a smoke screen to shed older, expensive U.S. workers and replace them with young, foreign, cheap labor.
Then 1992 hit, and IBM started its slide into the abyss. I'm NOT grateful to IBM for anything past 1992. After that year, they can kiss my ass. I too will never forgive or forget. I take a lot of delight in the Moffat scandal because he soiled IBM's reputation like he did. I take every opportunity I get to tell non-IBM'er how bad IBM is as a company to work for. I make damn sure my college age kids understand how bad IBM sucks, as I NEVER want them to even THINK about applying for a job there.
I've been screwed and I know it. My kind of paybacks won't do much damage to IBM, but at the very least I'm not sitting idle and doing nothing. It's good therapy for my soul.
Moffat "denies that he provided material nonpublic information" on IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc and Advanced Micro Devices Inc, his lawyers said in papers filed in Manhattan federal court. ...
Moffat's lawyers said their client "admits that in January 2009 IBM was conducting preliminary due diligence concerning Sun, denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief to the truth of allegations that Sun provided IBM with its Q2 2009 earnings results in advance of a January 27, 2009 announcement." Moffat was one of several IBM executives involved in performing preliminary due diligence on Sun in January, the court document said. It said Moffat "admits that Chiesi and he communicated from time to time during early 2009."
If businesses want fired-up, dedicated employees today, they must act boldly. And bold may not be cheap. Real progress on engagement all but requires more investment in people. What’s more, merely papering over the employer-employee disconnect with a few token programs is unlikely to solve the problem. Instead, what’s needed is a fundamental renewal of the relationship between firm and worker—a connection currently marred by mistrust and anxiety at many companies. ...
Firms are overly focused on rewards and punishments, says Dan Pink, author of the new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Companies “should move past their outdated reliance on carrots and sticks,” Pink says. “That was fine for simple, routine 20th-century tasks. But for creative, conceptual 21st-century work, companies are much better off ensuring that people have ample amounts of autonomy and that their individual efforts are hitched to a larger purpose.” ...
That point dovetails with one employee priority today—trustworthy leadership. A recent report by staffing firm Randstad asked 2,200 American employees about traits of their ideal employer. Nearly three-fourths said their dream employer “has an active leadership who serves the company [not themselves],” up from 58 percent last year. ...
In addition, organizations in the Watson Wyatt study failed to recognize the way employees—in particular top performers—prize job security. Job security was cited as a reason for joining an organization by 37 percent of top-performing employees. That made it the second-ranking reason after “nature of work” for top performers. Thirty-three percent of employees overall mentioned job security, putting it in a tie for second place. Security didn’t make the top-five list for employers when they were asked why employees join an organization.
That's a perfect expression of today's corporate ethic as practiced by chief executive officers. With bloody ruthlessness, CEOs constantly sacrifice workers in the name of global competitiveness, but the chiefs never seem to join in the sacrifice. We've recently been given another example of this disparity in a report on corporate pensions by the Government Accountability Office.
The GAO found that four of the largest corporate bankruptcies of the last 10 years were disastrous for the employees' pension funds. Prior to their bankruptcies, United Airlines, US Airways, Polaroid, and Reliance Insurance had underfunded their employees' retirement plans by $11 billion – money essentially stolen from the workers. The corporations then abandoned any responsibility for the pensions, turning the obligation over to the federal government under a program that pays only a fraction of what is owed to the employees.
But guess which employees did not suffer any cut at all in their retirement money? Right – the four CEOs. Indeed, as they were underfunding and axing the workers' pension plans, the four chieftains quietly pocketed a total of nearly $50 million in retirement pay for themselves.
Bob Newhart's joke has become a nightmare for millions of workers. It’s time for congress to tie CEO pensions to the value of their employees' retirement funds.
The benefits-bolstering sounds benevolent, but the moves aren't all altruistic. "There is a need to motivate and engage people," says Fred Crandall, a Watson Wyatt senior consultant. A decent benefits plan helps retain staffers who are considered valuable. Even in a down economy, "There is always a market for high-quality talent," Crandall says. As the economy recovers, such benefits will help to keep workers on board. "When you start coming out of a recession, people remember how they were treated," he says. "Some people who feel like they've been given a raw deal will jump ship."
Alliance reply: Severance pay as part of the separation package is not guaranteed. They are also "at will employees". RA packages have included severance; but remember, IBM can change these packages at any time. If people want to end the guessing games they need a union contract that management must follow.
He said Aetna's decision comes from a system that encourages insurers to drive away sicker members -- a strategy not unique to one insurer. "They're running a business, and their obligation is a very singular one: to increase shareholder profits." ...
It's not unusual for executives to promise that profitability will take priority over membership growth. Some of Aetna's competitors are taking similar steps in 2010 and have done so in the past. Angela Braly, WellPoint's president and CEO, told investors and analysts in 2008 that the company "would not sacrifice profitability for membership." She was referring to some insurers "buying membership" by reducing prices to boost overall growth. ...
Gibbs said simply raising prices probably would not get Aetna what it wants. That actually tends to result in sick people who are more "desperate" for coverage to keep it, and healthier groups to drop it. Instead, Aetna might change benefit designs, scaling back prescription drug coverage, for example, which sicker populations tend to value but healthier ones don't notice as much. "There's a rule of thumb out there that 20% to 25% of the people account for 75% to 80% of health care costs," he said. "Avoiding that segment is probably the quickest route to making a lot of money."
From 2005 to 2008, Medicare Advantage insurers reported $27 billion in expenses unrelated to care, according to the report released by committee, which looked at 34 such insurers. It also pointed to millions spent on executive compensation and company retreats in Hawaii, Cancun, Mexico and other exotic locales. Health insurers Aetna Inc, Cigna Corp, Coventry Health Care Inc and WellPoint Inc were among those surveyed by the committee.
The short answer -- subject to Senate revisions -- is that those without employer-provided insurance would have more options for buying coverage, but if they are younger than 55, their money would go to a private insurer, no matter what. Rates would be more competitive than what they are offered now, but possibly less so than under a "public option." And if they are between 55 and 64, they might be able to buy into Medicare early, though at what prices remains to be seen. ...
The nonprofit status of the proposed plans would not necessarily guarantee low costs -- many private insurers today are technically nonprofit. Nor would the plans' nationwide scope and oversight by the OPM guarantee better rates -- premiums for the federal employee benefit plans, which serve 8 million people (including the members of Congress), increased by nearly 9 percent this year. "I don't know what it does beyond provide some political cover for somebody," said Robert Berenson of the Urban Institute. "It'll be the same insurance companies applying to the national exchange as would be in the state exchange.
One by one, Congressional leaders who said they would not support a bill without a public option have come to the conclusion that, on second (or third or fourth) thought, they actually will. Leaving aside what this does to the already tattered trust the public has in their representatives, is a progressively watered-down public option preferable to a Medicare expansion combined with a national non-profit insurance plan similar to the one offered to federal employees, regulated by the Office of Personnel Management?
To provide political cover to senators who want to tell their constituents that the intent behind a robust public option lives on, the emerging Senate bill makes Medicare available to younger folk (age 55), and lets people who aren't covered by their employers buy in to a system that's similar to the plan that federal employees now have, where the federal government's Office of Personnel Management selects from among private insurers.
But we still end up with a system that's based on private insurers that have no incentive whatsoever to control their costs or the costs of pharmaceutical companies and medical providers. If you think the federal employee benefit plan is an answer to this, think again. Its premiums increased nearly 9 percent this year. And if you think an expanded Medicare is the answer, you're smoking medical marijuana. The Senate bill allows an independent commission to hold back Medicare costs only if Medicare spending is rising faster than total health spending. So if health spending is soaring because private insurers have no incentive to control it, we're all out of luck. Medicare explodes as well.
A system based on private insurers won't control costs because private insurers barely compete against each other. According to data from the American Medical Association, only a handful of insurers dominate most states. In 9 states, 2 insurance companies control 85 percent or more of the market. In Arkansas, home to Senator Blanche Lincoln, who doesn't dare cross Big Insurance, the Blue Cross plan controls almost 70 percent of the market; most of the rest is United Healthcare. These data, by the way, are from 2005 and 2006. Since then, private insurers have been consolidating like mad across the country. At this rate by 2014, when the new health bill kicks in and 30 million more Americans buy health insurance, Big Insurance will be really Big.
In light of all this, you'd think the insurance industry would be subject to the antitrust laws, so the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission could prevent it from combining into one or two national behemoths that suck every health dollar out of our pockets (as well as the pockets of companies paying part of the cost of their employees' health insurance). But no. Remarkably, the Senate bill still keeps Big Insurance safe from competition by preserving its privileged exemption from the antitrust laws.
STATUS QUO IS UNSUSTAINABLE. More than 46 million Americans have no insurance, and millions more have such poor coverage that a severe illness threatens bankruptcy. Small employers are dropping coverage because of the cost. Those lucky enough to have insurance are struggling with higher premiums and co-payments, and worry that if they are laid off they could lose coverage. Without reform, that bad situation will only get worse. The Commonwealth Fund, a respected research organization, warned that the average premium for family coverage in employer-sponsored policies would almost double in the coming decade, from about $12,300 in 2008 to $23,800 in 2020, with part paid by workers and part by employers. Premiums are also soaring for individuals who buy their own coverage directly.
BUT A TRILLION DOLLARS? Both the House and Senate bills would cover more than 30 million of the uninsured, and fully pay for it — in part by raising taxes (either on wealthy Americans or high-premium health plans and certain manufacturers and insurers) and in part by cutting payments to health care providers and private plans that serve Medicare patients.
A trillion dollars is still a lot of money, but it needs to be put in some perspective. Extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy would very likely cost $4 trillion over the next decade. And the Medicare prescription drug benefit, passed by a Republican-dominated Congress, is expected to cost at least $700 billion over the next decade. Unlike this health care reform, it became law with no offsetting cuts and very little provision to pay for it.
"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.
Goldman's compensation and benefit pool is on track to top $20 billion this year, a record that would be equivalent to nearly $800,000 per employee. The payout comes just a year after Wall Street's failed gamble on real estate and other high-flying assets backfired, roiling stock markets and throwing the U.S. into recession.
The idea is nice and simple. It is intended to encourage banks to retain cash, perhaps as a buffer against hard times. This makes a pleasant change from the depressing use of taxpayers’ money for the same purpose, which seems to be the current policy.
Already people have started looking for loopholes. No doubt Goldman Sachs has its tax avoidance scheme in place, as it always seems to be mysteriously one step ahead of governments in these matters. (Goldman has announced that it plans to reward its top executives around the globe in stock rather than cash.) But I suspect that the Inland Revenue, Britain’s tax authority, will jump very heavily on anyone trying to use clumsy ploys to avoid the tax, like redefining employment as partnerships or nominal relocation of place of work. ...
Perhaps by dropping big bonuses in favor of big salaries there will be less incentive for traders to bet your money on that game of pitch-and-toss. Once they’ve reached their target for the year they can relax knowing that they won’t get fired and that there’s no further upside for them. Possible net result: Less risk-taking, simpler and safer products. Perhaps banking will become a smaller business, and as boring as it used to be.
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling levied the one-time tax and said he will raise income taxes after elections next year. The tax applies to discretionary payments of more than 25,000 pounds (about $41,000) and will be paid by the banks. ...
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase combined will hand out $29.7 billion in 2009 bonuses, up 60% from last year, according to analysts' estimates. The three banks repaid aid received last year and aren't under the review of U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing compensation at seven companies. ...
A U.S. bonus tax is a "great idea" that is justified by the taxpayer-funded bailouts, says Clyde Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute. "Goldman Sachs and the others may be making tons of money, but they wouldn't be making anything without the bailout, which saved them."
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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