The U.S. Attorney's office had until today to indict IBM's Robert Moffat (pictured), Intel executive Rajiv Goel, McKinsey executive Rajiv Goel, and senior executive at New Castle Funds, Mark Kurland. Today the government asked for 30 more days within which to file the indictments.
As always, it could mean the parties are discussing a plea agreement, or it could mean that the government is trying to get its indictment totally in order or decide not to bring one at all. Moffat's attorney, Kerry Lawrence, told The New York Times on Tuesday that his client was "engaged in discussions" with the government but that he was not cooperating.
One-quarter of top executives at major U.S. companies had gains in their supplemental executive retirement-savings plans in 2008, even as employees had sizable losses in the companies' retirement accounts, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The gains in executive retirement accounts often stemmed from guaranteed fixed returns on executive-savings plans.
The disparity underscores a fact of life in America's corporate-pay scene. It's not just bigger paychecks that have led to a growing wage gap—it's the different levels of risk that executives and rank-and-file employees face in their retirement plans. That difference rarely has been more evident than the past year, when 50 million employees lost a total of at least $1 trillion in their 401(k) plans, according to the Center on Retirement Research at Boston College.
I sure am glad the recession is now over and we are all restored again. Yes, it might have taken a few RA's to recover the bucks but I feel good knowing all the CEO's pay is safe now, as well as our trust fund. Kathi (sarcasm off)
I've never started a chain e-mail but I'm starting this one. Go to this site. https://huffingtonpost.causecast.org/ and start Christmas shopping.
Each item is meant for those in need. And since the people in whose name you give the gift will immediately be notified via an eCard, these "pay it forward presents" are perfect last-minute gifts. Plus, your gift is tax-deductible. So buy it before the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, and you can write it off on this year's taxes. Among the items available at the store:
- A $10 box of nails that will help Habitat for Humanity build a home for a low-income family.
- $10 also buys 20 bags of groceries for hungry families (via Feeding America).
- A $25 care package (valued at $75) to be sent to a U.S. soldier (via the USO).
- $100 buys a share of a newly-dug well that will provide water for a family of five for 20 years (via Charity Water).
Here it is again: https://huffingtonpost.causecast.org/, This site is for last minute gifts that keep giving back, and forward too. PLEASE PASS ON TO YOUR EMAIL LIST
Oh, and while you're at it (if you've read my glassdoor.com comment), skip over to jobvent.com and check out the IBM reviews there, then post one of your own. I did, and I also posted on on glassdoor.com when IBM laid me off in February. Here's a few choice reviews from jobvent that you might wish to comment on so the authors know someone's listening.
Later, after having received my checks, when the 15% pay cut was announced, I fully expected to be hit, as others I knew that had opted in the lawsuit were hit. (They were also made non-exempt) For reasons that I'll never know, I was NOT hit with the 15% pay cut, nor was I made non-exempt. There were a few others in my department that had opted in, received approximately as much money as I did, and did not have their pay cut either. I also knew a guy who did not opt in the Rosenburg lawsuit, therefore he did not receive any money, and he suffered the pay cut.
When the checks arrived, they had been cut by IBM as they had IBM's address of 1701 North Street, Endicott NY on them. So IBM definitely knew I had opted in the lawsuit. Also, my manager eventually told me that he had received a list of names in his department that had received money from the lawsuit. I was an IT Specialist in Global Services. -Retired-
The problem is the strategy is short sighted and doesn't account for the degradation of service as more skilled workers are replaced by cheap warm bodies. I work in ITD, and right now the group think at the upper management level is that the art of IT support can be boiled down to a set of canned procedures and by mandating compliance and awareness outages can be reduced to zero. This general dumbing down of their business offerings will pay dividends when customers start to realize the IBM brand is a costly but empty shell. Like they say, 'You can get better service, but you can't pay more!' -IBM Tool-
As noted earlier, IBM will know if you opt in. Trying to determine how much you might receive from the pamphlet notifying you of the case is impossible. I had no idea what amount I would get. Imagine my surprise when two checks arrived for a total of $12K. Please do not assume this suit will yield an amount like that. It could more, it could be less. I was not notified of this new suit, so I have no idea what the second suit is about. I'm only relating what happened to me with the IBM vs Rosenburg Overtime lawsuit.
My advice is to go ahead and opt in. The reason IBM cut many people's pay was because if they did not make those effected non-exempt the problem the lawsuit was based upon still existed. Of course, IBM then said since you're all non-exempt now, we're cutting your pay by 15%. That, they did NOT have to do, but you know IBM..... -Anonymous-
To -Retired- : I also opted into that lawsuit. The other sheep on my team did not for fear of retaliation. My manager targeted me and one other opted in person for the first round of ra's. I know the manager knew I opted in. The company gave them that list to help them target people. After I left the company and got another job the checks came. It was bitter sweet to me. The sheep that stayed went through hell with 15% pay cuts and were eventually all ra'd anyway and got no money. Good for them. -Gone_in_07-
Alliance reply: Actually, it is relevant to IBM. IBM Endicott announced to its site employees that they were building a plant in China that would be making thin-film technology circuit cards (SOTA). The employees would be housed in work camps and work at the new IBM facility 12-16 hour days. They would be paid $30.00 per month.....PER MONTH. Their pay would be sent to their families. That project was begun around the year 2000; in Shanghai, China. Believe it.
Message 2 = Some advice to those of you who want to challenge your PBC rating. Choose the path where peers review, DO NOT let your 2nd line run the review. What the 2nd line will do is coordinate with HR and the 1st line to justify the rating. I went thru this last January before getting tagged in the March RA. My previous manager was dumb enough to leave his calendar open so I was able to see all the materials they were sharing between themselves and HR (I could have reported the lack of care with confidential data). What really ticked me off was the 2nd line went to people who did not provide any feedback to me during the year (not part of the Career Point assessment). The 2nd line did not even contact the people who had given me tremendous feedback via the CP process. So what I learned is the 2nd line will do what it takes to back up the 1st lines rating. When this happens, make sure the resume is ready as you'll soon be moved out. -Incognito-
Being in the support center, they constantly are hammering us about the metric's. They want you make the customer believe their issues can be resolved by updating firmware. If R&D were given the proper resources and time, we wouldn't be supporting equipment that was pushed out the door to beat HP and Dell to the market. Instead we have pissed off long time customers who have vowed to never buy another Blade Server from IBM.
More and more of the IBM system admins on critical accounts are being sent to IBM India or Argentina. 2 different countries on 2 different continents can speak a total of 6 phrases in english combined. These are the people who are directly supporting IBM's customers. I am told they are doing this because they can hire 3 admins in Argentina for same pay of 1 in the US. It is a matter of time before ALL of IBM is overseas, leaving only the top 10 in Endicott in the US. </rant> -getting hosed-
What makes it all the more hypocritical is that Mr. Lieberman claims to want health care reform. And way back in September, the senator was publicly championing a Medicare buy-in. In an interview with The Connecticut Post, he said he had been refining his views on health care for many years and was “very focused on a group post-50, or maybe more like post-55” whose members should be able to buy Medicare if they lacked insurance. This week, when there actually seemed to be a compromise on health care that did not focus on Mr. Lieberman, he announced that he would block the package if the Democrats included a terrible idea — allowing people between 55 and 65 to buy Medicare. ...
Mr. Lieberman has taken more than $1 million from the (insurance) industry over his Senate career. In his 2006 re-election campaign, he ranked second in the Senate in contributions from the industry. He doesn’t seem to have forgotten that.
Yes, the filibuster-imposed need to get votes from “centrist” senators has led to a bill that falls a long way short of ideal. Worse, some of those senators seem motivated largely by a desire to protect the interests of insurance companies — with the possible exception of Mr. Lieberman, who seems motivated by sheer spite.
But let’s all take a deep breath, and consider just how much good this bill would do, if passed — and how much better it would be than anything that seemed possible just a few years ago. With all its flaws, the Senate health bill would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, greatly improving the lives of millions. Getting this bill would be much, much better than watching health care reform fail.
At its core, the bill would do two things. First, it would prohibit discrimination by insurance companies on the basis of medical condition or history: Americans could no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or have their insurance canceled when they get sick. Second, the bill would provide substantial financial aid to those who don’t get insurance through their employers, as well as tax breaks for small employers that do provide insurance. All of this would be paid for in large part with the first serious effort ever to rein in rising health care costs.
The result would be a huge increase in the availability and affordability of health insurance, with more than 30 million Americans gaining coverage, and premiums for lower-income and lower-middle-income Americans falling dramatically. That’s an immense change from where we were just a few years ago: remember, not long ago the Bush administration and its allies in Congress successfully blocked even a modest expansion of health care for children. ...
Look, I understand the anger here: supporting this weakened bill feels like giving in to blackmail — because it is. Or to use an even more accurate metaphor suggested by Ezra Klein of The Washington Post, we’re paying a ransom to hostage-takers. Some of us, including a majority of senators, really, really want to cover the uninsured; but to make that happen we need the votes of a handful of senators who see failure of reform as an acceptable outcome, and demand a steep price for their support. ...
Again, history suggests the answer. Whereas flawed social insurance programs have tended to get better over time, the story of health reform suggests that rejecting an imperfect deal in the hope of eventually getting something better is a recipe for getting nothing at all. Not to put too fine a point on it, America would be in much better shape today if Democrats had cut a deal on health care with Richard Nixon, or if Bill Clinton had cut a deal with moderate Republicans back when they still existed. ...
Beyond that, we need to take on the way the Senate works. The filibuster, and the need for 60 votes to end debate, aren’t in the Constitution. They’re a Senate tradition, and that same tradition said that the threat of filibusters should be used sparingly. Well, Republicans have already trashed the second part of the tradition: look at a list of cloture motions over time, and you’ll see that since the G.O.P. lost control of Congress it has pursued obstructionism on a literally unprecedented scale. So it’s time to revise the rules. But that’s for later. Right now, let’s pass the bill that’s on the table.
After all, Democrats won big last year, running on a platform that put health reform front and center. In any other advanced democracy this would have given them the mandate and the ability to make major changes. But the need for 60 votes to cut off Senate debate and end a filibuster — a requirement that appears nowhere in the Constitution, but is simply a self-imposed rule — turned what should have been a straightforward piece of legislating into a nail-biter. And it gave a handful of wavering senators extraordinary power to shape the bill. ...
The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the 1960s, she finds, “extended-debate-related problems” — threatened or actual filibusters — affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the minority, it soared to 70 percent.
Some conservatives argue that the Senate’s rules didn’t stop former President George W. Bush from getting things done. But this is misleading, on two levels.
First, Bush-era Democrats weren’t nearly as determined to frustrate the majority party, at any cost, as Obama-era Republicans. Certainly, Democrats never did anything like what Republicans did last week: G.O.P. senators held up spending for the Defense Department — which was on the verge of running out of money — in an attempt to delay action on health care.
More important, however, Mr. Bush was a buy-now-pay-later president. He pushed through big tax cuts, but never tried to pass spending cuts to make up for the revenue loss. He rushed the nation into war, but never asked Congress to pay for it. He added an expensive drug benefit to Medicare, but left it completely unfunded. Yes, he had legislative victories; but he didn’t show that Congress can make hard choices and act responsibly, because he never asked it to.
"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.
But he’s a rare case. Just how rare was demonstrated by what happened last Friday in the House of Representatives, when — with the meltdown caused by a runaway financial system still fresh in our minds, and the mass unemployment that meltdown caused still very much in evidence — every single Republican and 27 Democrats voted against a quite modest effort to rein in Wall Street excesses.
A few months ago, at a meeting of Goldman’s in-house leadership program, known as the Pine Street Group, the bank’s image came up. The group of 30-odd people wrestled with questions like how to talk to family members about Goldman and its role in the financial world. Another question that came up was what to do if someone at a cocktail party started criticizing Goldman. Mr. van Praag, who ran the meeting, suggested that the executives should explain how Goldman made its money. But another Goldman executive offered a different answer: change the subject.
But what if the public understood the whole story? How is it that the banks are now having one of their most profitable years ever? Given that there is not much lending going on, and that the newly increased credit card fees have only just begun to flow into bank coffers, where is all that money coming from?
It is coming from proprietary trading. "Prop trading" is the kind of betting with the bank balance sheet that was made illegal for commercial banks back during the Great Depression, when the FDIC and deposit insurance was created. The price of having the federal government guarantee bank deposits was separating the lending and depositary functions of commercial banking from trading and risk activities of investment banking. Thus, in 1935, the commercial bank J.P. Morgan & Company was separated from the investment firm Morgan Stanley.
But this separation was undone in 1999 to facilitate the creation of the megabanks that we have today. However, while the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 ended the separation of activities, FDIC deposit insurance remained in place. And this year, the elite of the financial world--JP, Citi, Wells, BofA, Goldman and Morgan Stanley--have finally emerged for what they are: Gigantic hedge funds backed up by the full faith and credit of the United States of America. Wall Street bankers making big bets with our money, content in the knowledge that if they win their bets, they will pocket the cash. And if they lose, we will all pick up the mess.
But it really does get better. So exactly how did they make all that money this year? Well, the trade of the moment has been the U.S. dollar carry trade. A foreign currency carry trade is simple in concept. Borrow money where interest rates are low, and invest where interest rates are high. Or simply stated: Short the U.S. dollar. Buy the currency of a country where interest rates are higher. The beauty part is that by continually assuring the world that U.S. interest rates will remain near zero for the foreseeable future, the Federal Reserve has assured traders that they can keep the trade in place for some time.
So the Wall Street elite, just months removed from their near-death experience, are now making a fortune shorting the U.S. dollar. One year ago, faced with the greatest financial panic in generations, the American people swallowed hard and bailed out the banks. Today, the banks have moved on, and are tearing down the currency of the nation that saved them. But it is nothing personal. It is strictly business.
In London and Paris, the logic behind the tax is that governments ought to get a cut from bank bonuses, because a large part of the payouts stem from activity that wouldn't have occurred if the governments hadn't bailed out the banking industry. ...
Ms. Lagarde said the tax was primarily aimed at persuading bank executives to refrain from paying high bonuses on 2009 earnings and, instead, to beef up their capital reserves. The tax will be an "incentive to apply discipline and moderation in the payment of 2010 bonuses," she said.
And so to the Senate. Senate Finance Committee Chair Chris Dodd put out a remarkably strong reform measure. The bank lobby made it clear that was a non-starter, so Dodd decided to begin a "bipartisan" process in the Finance Committee - think Max Baucus redux -- searching for the elusive Republican moderate. Meanwhile Blue Dog and New Dem Democrats - Bayh, Warner, Bennet and others - are openly casting about for ways to weaken the proposed agency to protect consumers from bank gouging. And we have yet to hear from Joe Lieberman, still focused on torpedoing health care, who no doubt will weigh in with his inimitable combination of pious corruption and treacherous venom. ...
Voters are furious at a bailout that has provided the bankers that ran the economy off the cliff with record bonuses, while millions remain unemployed. Their fury is stoked as bankers gouge them with credit card and overdraft fees, obscene interest rates, and whatever else they can invent to soak their customers. Americans aren't interested in an incomprehensible debate about clearinghouses for derivatives. We want heads to roll. We don't want regulation; we want shackles on bankers so they don't screw us again. And every poll shows that anger goes across party, race, region and religion. ...
Why not put forth a strong bill built around simple principles? We will protect consumers from being gouged by big banks. We will insure that no bank is too big to fail, and force each to create "living wills" to prove it. We will shut down the backroom gambling in derivatives and exotica that caused the crash. And we'll tax the big banks to pay for the costs. Then rally 50-55 Democratic Senators, representing 80% of the country's population, to support the bill. Hold a public event and draw the damn line. You are either with this or with the banking lobby. Bring it to the floor. Challenge the Republicans and the New Dems and the montebanks to filibuster against it. Force a vote on cloture. Name names. Who stands with Americans and who stands with the big banks? Force a vote regularly going into the electoral campaign. ...
This isn't a game. The banks must be curbed if we are to build a new economy that works for most Americans. As finance was deregulated beginning with Reagan, we've experienced a series of financial crisis - with ever greater frequency and severity. Now the big banks are emerging more concentrated than ever, with an explicit promise that they are too big to fail - meaning that they are free to gamble with taxpayers standing by to cover their losses. This is a poisonous stew. We simply can't afford to let the banks dilute the reforms, or let those too conservative or too corrupt to stand in the way. Make the stakes clear. Take the debate out of the back rooms. Draw the damn line.
The IRS, an arm of the Treasury Department, has changed a number of rules during the financial crisis to reduce the tax burden on financial firms. The rule changed Friday also was altered last fall by the Bush administration to encourage mergers, letting Wells Fargo cut billions of dollars from its tax bill by buying the ailing Wachovia. "The government is consciously forfeiting future tax revenues. It's another form of assistance, maybe not as obvious as direct assistance but certainly another form," said Robert Willens, an expert on tax accounting who runs a firm of the same name. "I've been doing taxes for almost 40 years, and I've never seen anything like this, where the IRS and Treasury acted unilaterally on so many fronts."
Letting the tax disappear entirely will be even more devastating and will cost upwards of a trillion dollars in lost revenue; revenue that supports vital public systems -- including transportation and energy infrastructure, education and healthcare -- that are the foundation of our broad-based prosperity and economic stability. This is why I believe we must do more and strengthen this levy, which is our county's only tax on inherited wealth and applies to less than 1 percent of American families. The estate tax raises substantial revenue from those with the greatest capacity to pay.
If abolished or weakened, there are only three ways to make up the resulting shortfall: cut spending, raise taxes on the middle class, or pile it on to the national debt and leave it to our children and grandchildren who will inherit the consequences of the decisions we make now. This why I and thousands of other wealthy individuals have joined a campaign led by United for a Fair Economy to call on Congress to strengthen the estate tax.
A common, and misguided, criticism of the estate tax is that individuals who work hard and save their money should be entitled to pass on the fruits of that labor to their family. I am not against working hard, saving money, or taking care of your family. However we must acknowledge that the person who accumulates wealth in this country was not able to do that independently. The simple fact of living in America, a country with stable markets and unparalleled opportunity fueled in part by government investment in technology and research (something my family has plenty of firsthand experience of), provide an irreplaceable foundation for success and have created a society which makes it possible for some men, women and their children to live an elegant life.
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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