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One leading candidate is Ginni Rometty, who has overseen IBM’s sales effort for more than a year. Before that, she headed global business services where she spearheaded the integration of PwC Consulting, the company’s second-largest acquisition and a key step in shifting its strategic focus to services. “She’s really a ‘Let’s just get it done’ person, but not in an abrasive manner,” said John Chen, CEO of Sybase Inc., a database software maker that partners with IBM. “One time we went and met with her, she sat there and spent the time going through details. A lot of top-level people would just expect their staff to summarize.”
Another possibility is Rod Adkins, also 51, who heads IBM’s hardware group and supply chain. Adkins, who is black, is a member of the company’s technology team, which oversees IBM’s technical strategy. “He’s very much the young engineer who made it,” Rahmani said. “And very well-regarded technically. A great product visionary.” ...
Bob Moffat, a former senior vice president who led the mainframe, storage and server businesses, was considered a frontrunner until he was arrested in October for leaking insider information to an outside consultant. He resigned, pleaded guilty and faces up to six months in prison. Adkins, who then headed the semiconductor unit, took on Moffat’s duties as well. “Before I left, it was all about Ginni and Bob Moffat,” Rahmani said. “Now of course, no one talks about Bob that way.”
Americans increasingly are working longer, but Friery is part of a significant countertrend: older Americans who lose their jobs and can't find replacements, forcing them into early retirement. The unemployment statistics are grim for those over 55. The typical duration of joblessness is nearly 30% longer than for younger workers, and half of those who lose their jobs are still looking for work six months later.
A former 31-year IBM veteran, Moffat admitted in court in March that in 2008 he leaked information to Chiesi about IBM, Lenovo Group Ltd. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. He said he told Chiesi about disappointing sales of IBM servers, a pending restructuring at AMD and earnings at Lenovo. Moffat said he learned the information because he served as a non-voting member of Lenovo’s board and because he knew that IBM had been asked by AMD to use a license as part of its restructuring. ...
At IBM, the world’s largest computer-services company, Moffat oversaw the personal-computer business and helped sell that unit. Before his arrest, he was among the candidates to succeed Sam Palmisano as chief executive officer, according to people familiar with IBM’s thinking.
Reading between the lines, these facilities appear to be U.S.-based data centers or server farms. Exact job titles and salary levels were not published by IBM, but expect a fair number of systems administration, storage specialist and data center operator positions. My guess is that they are mostly lower- to midlevel positions based on the description from the company ("The facility will be operational in the fall of 2010, and by the end of 2012 should be fully staffed with a variety of IT positions ranging from entry level up to experienced professional"). Remember, salaries in the Midwest outside of Chicago are generally lower than those paid on the coasts and in larger Southern cities. ...
This is good PR for IBM, which gets to say, "Hey, see, we like American workers. We still hire here!" But does it make up for the 10,000 North American jobs lost at IBM in 2009? Hardly.
The company refuses to tell the media how many U.S.-based employees it has anymore or to even acknowledge when it has laid off workers, so take this announcement with a grain of salt. Let's be honest here: IBM likes to tell you how many employees it has when it makes the company look good. But if you're in one of these cities in the Midwest and you need a data center gig, there are some opportunities here.
That's along with an addition $28 million in state tax incentives. And while officials continued to tout the promise of a needed economic boost to the sagging local economy, at least one council member - and several citizens who spoke at the public hearing - cautioned about offering too much, too soon to Columbia's newest corporate citizen.
But Conrad said IBM has been cutting positions in the United States and sending those positions to India and other countries. Conrad said IBM has eliminated 14,000 jobs across the country in just the past year and a half. “There are thousands of people losing jobs,” Conrad said, “then there’s a lot of glitter and hoopla over job creation in another location. That’s just contradictory.” ...
Yesterday, Conrad circulated an e-mail with the subject line “Reality Check” that contends that when IBM opened a service delivery center last year in Dubuque, Iowa, employees who were going to be displaced at other IBM facilities — in what IBM called “resource action” — had been told they could keep their jobs if they moved to Dubuque. Other published reports and information on Conrad’s website claim that IBM has a history of pulling up stakes after meeting tax break requirements to look in other states for another hefty incentive package.
300 miles away the people of Dubuque, Iowa have been at bat for about a year with the technology company and IBM made similar promises to both communities including: 1300 jobs for Dubuque and 800 for Columbia, competitive salaries, community involvement and help for local schools. Dubuque city officials say, so far, IBM's filled about two-thirds of the 1300 jobs.
David Heiar from Dubuque Economic Development said, "The commitment from IBM was that the average jobs, and this includes some of the benefits, would be in the $45,000 range but many of the recent college grads who are coming here are probably more in the $32,000 range $30 to $35,000." "A lot of them were seeing it probably as their first jobs and I think when they first announced it was like boy there's gonna be all these high paying jobs and I think there was a little over inflation of that," said Dubuque Remax employee Greg Adams
"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.
Much reporting on opposition to the Obama administration portrays it as a sort of populist uprising. Yet the antics of the socialism-and-death-panels crowd are only part of the story of anti-Obamaism, and arguably the less important part. If you really want to know what’s going on, watch the corporations.
How can you do that? Follow the money — donations by corporate political action committees.
Look, for example, at the campaign contributions of commercial banks — traditionally Republican-leaning, but only mildly so. So far this year, according to The Washington Post, 63 percent of spending by banks’ corporate PACs has gone to Republicans, up from 53 percent last year. Securities and investment firms, traditionally Democratic-leaning, are now giving more money to Republicans. And oil and gas companies, always Republican-leaning, have gone all out, bestowing 76 percent of their largess on the G.O.P.
These are extraordinary numbers given the normal tendency of corporate money to flow to the party in power. Corporate America, however, really, truly hates the current administration. Wall Street, for example, is in “a state of bitter, seething, hysterical fury” toward the president, writes John Heilemann of New York magazine. What’s going on?
One answer is taxes — not so much on corporations themselves as on the people who run them. The Obama administration plans to raise tax rates on upper brackets back to Clinton-era levels. Furthermore, health reform will in part be paid for with surtaxes on high-income individuals. All this will amount to a significant financial hit to C.E.O.’s, investment bankers and other masters of the universe. Now, don’t cry for these people: they’ll still be doing extremely well, and by and large they’ll be paying little more as a percentage of their income than they did in the 1990s. Yet the fact that the tax increases they’re facing are reasonable doesn’t stop them from being very, very angry. ...
So what President Obama and his party now face isn’t just, or even mainly, an opposition grounded in right-wing populism. For grass-roots anger is being channeled and exploited by corporate interests, which will be the big winners if the G.O.P. does well in November. If this sounds familiar, it should: it’s the same formula the right has been using for a generation. Use identity politics to whip up the base; then, when the election is over, give priority to the concerns of your corporate donors. Run as the candidate of “real Americans,” not those soft-on-terror East coast liberals; then, once you’ve won, declare that you have a mandate to privatize Social Security. It comes as no surprise to learn that American Crossroads, a new organization whose goal is to deploy large amounts of corporate cash on behalf of Republican candidates, is the brainchild of none other than Karl Rove.
The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 will do no such thing. First, it doesn't do enough to rein in Wall Street. It doesn't end "too big to fail" banks, doesn't create a Glass-Steagall style firewall between commercial and investment banking, keeps taxpayers on the hook for future bailouts, and leaves open dangerous loopholes in the regulation of derivatives. And we can expect more loopholes to be inserted as the bill heads to conference committee. In D.C., crafting a bill without them would be like baking bread without yeast. Though you can't see them, they're what makes a Washington bill rise.
There's a reason a longtime investment banker, speaking to the New York Times, said of his colleagues' reaction to the new bill, "If you talk to anyone privately, there's a sigh of relief." Don't expect a similar reaction on Main Street. Despite its name, this bill will not be restoring financial stability to the tens of millions of hardworking Americans whose lives have been turned upside down by the economic crisis. ...
And, as Laura Bassett reported on HuffPost, many workers who have managed to hold onto their jobs are increasingly doing so only by accepting less pay and taking on a higher share of their health care costs. "My company didn't eliminate my job, they just eliminated my salary," wrote marketing director Mike Cheaure in an email. "I was back at work as a freelancer the next day working at 1/4 the pay and no benefits." The experience has made him very familiar with the new reality. "For us, the American Dream is gone," he said. "Now it's just getting by." ...
And what about that recent surge in consumer spending that spawned talk of "green shoots" and "recovery?" Turns out, there was a surge in spending -- but almost exclusively by the rich. As the LA Times' Don Lee put it, the "little-noticed reality" behind the "encouraging numbers" was that "much of the new spending has come not from America's broad middle class but from a small slice of affluent people at the top." In fact, according to the Labor Department, the richest 20 percent of American households accounted for 40 percent of all spending.
As the Washington Post reported last week, "lavish fringe benefits" are back at the top end of corporate America, including "country club dues, chauffeured drivers, personal financial planning services, home security systems and parking." Of the 29 biggest public companies that took taxpayer money, around one in three decided to funnel some of it to its chief executive. As the Post's Tomoeh Murakami Tse dryly put it: "Those raises contrast with the belt-tightening that many Americans have experienced during the recession." Nell Minow, co-founder of the Corporate Library, put it more directly: "Marie Antoinette could fit into this crowd without missing a beat." ...
Objections that were, no doubt, the end product of the mother of all lobbying campaigns by every sector of the financial industry. Of course, the line between Senator, staffer and lobbyist is pretty blurry these days. A joint report released by SEIU, the Campaign for America's Future, and the Public Accountability Initiative found that the finance industry has 70 former members of Congress and 940 former federal employees on its lobbying payroll. This includes 33 chiefs of staff, 54 staffers of the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee (or of a current member of those committees), and 28 legislative directors. Five of Senate Banking Committee chair Chris Dodd's former staffers are now working as banking lobbyists, as are eight former staffers for Banking Committee powerhouses Richard Shelby and Chuck Schumer. And the revolving door spins both ways. As Arthur Delaney reported on HuffPost, 18 percent of current House Financial Services committee staffers used to work on K Street. All told, the financial industry has spent nearly $600 million on lobbying since the collapse of Bear Stearns in March of 2008 -- almost a million dollars a day.
Our banking structure remains unchanged, the rules will be tweaked at the margins, and the incentive and belief system that lies behind reckless risk-taking has only become more dangerous. (The back story, if you can still stomach it, is in 13 Bankers). ...
Legal authority against market manipulation would be greatly strengthened and there would be more protection for whistleblowers. And the kind of transaction that Goldman entered into with Greece -- a swap transaction with the goal of reducing measured debt levels, effectively deceiving current and future investors, would become more clearly illegal. All of this is entirely reasonable and responsible -- and completely opposed by the most powerful people on Wall Street.
But after months and months, the financial regulatory reform bill is staggering out of the senate as a hodgepodge of compromises, loopholes, and fiendishly convoluted amendments. It reads like something that bankers, operators, and speculators themselves patched together to avoid reform.
That's because it largely is. This bill drew industry lobbyists like road kill draws vultures. Not just a lot of lobbyists, but the "connected ones" – those high-salaried K-Streeters who have insider access because... well, because they are insiders.
A recent report written by the Public Accountability Institute, reveals that the six biggest Wall Street banks alone hired 243 lobbyists who previously held top positions in government, including 54 former staffers to the Senate and House committees now handling the reform bill. Titled, "Big Bank Takeover," the report notes that 16 of these Congress-to-K-Street, revolving-door lobbyists come from the staff of former-Sen. Trent Lott, who previously was the Republican Leader of the Senate, and former-Rep. Dick Gephardt, who previously was the Democratic leader in the House. And, just to put the icing on this rich cake, both Lott and Gephardt are also now lobbying for the banks.
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