Solution: GEMCAP deployed a centralized risk and compliance analysis solution designed to identify and detect patterns of behavior. The solution accesses the IBM World Wide Expense Reimbursement (WWER) database and monitors all expenses submitted through the online WWER application. The architecture combines the analytical power of algorithmic and visual data mining to identify risk indicators for noncompliance.
Benefits: · Rapidly scans quarterly expense data, using sophisticated analysis to reveal patterns of error or abuse. Saves money by enabling IBM to stop losses through early detection. · Captures data from expense reports and online tools to calculate risk scores for IBM groups or processes, and flags units for additional training. · Links GEMCAP with more than 43,000 IBM expense approvers worldwide to continuously improve travel and expense management.
"If you infuse fun into the work environment, you will have more engaged employees, greater job satisfaction, increased productivity and a brighter place to be," says Stacy Sullivan, the chief culture officer of Google, who has a telling and rare title at a company often celebrated for its campus and perks. The tech giant offers its 23,000 employees perks like onsite daycare, dry-cleaning, oil changes and free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Google also hosts "TGIF" weekly staff meetings in which staffers can ask questions of the CEO. Perhaps most creative, Google's encouragement of the "20% project" -- employees use 20% of their work time on a project outside the scope of their jobs -- led to the creation of Gmail and Google Talk.
Other companies are also finding creative ways to increase workplace happiness. Financial firm UBS offers employees a nap room and a Friday beer cart. Beverage company PepsiCo encourages associates to get outside by offering them plots of land to start organic gardens.
Here's a look at some of the happiest companies in the U.S.: ...
According to happiness expert Shawn Achor, MIT researchers studied thousands of IBM employees for a year and found the more social they were the better they performed. Each additional e-mail contact added $948 in revenue. IBM since launched a program to facilitate employee introductions to increase overall happiness.
First, for those like me. My research found I could not find less costly medical insurance on the open market unless I got far less coverage. Anything less will often have no annual out-of-pocket limit. That type of coverage is why those even with health insurance end up in bankruptcy court should a surprise medical event happen. Because I have had great health, and just had my annual physical, I chose the IBM High Deductible PPO. The difference between this and the low deductible is: With low deductible you pay up front (with a far higher premium). With high deductible and the lower premium, you really pay only if you get ill. They kind of even out in cost if you have a real medical problem..You are basically self-insuring. Both have a similar annual out-of-pocket limit. If I had poor health, I'd get the low deductible. One other difference. Low deductible has no limits on prescription. High deductible is up to a cap of $1000, then you are on your own. Only joining a prescription discount plan like AARP has (that are not insurance) can help out if prescription costs go above $1000. For the ordinary folk, this is adequate coverage.
For those without FHA access and not an early retiree - you are under age 55 - that need to go to the open market to buy health insurance, it seems to get tricky. IBM did send us a letter about some timeframe to transition to a new plan that ignores preexisting conditions. Again, you have a time limit to use this. If I can find that letter, I'll post that info. Unfortunately the health reform exchanges for buying good coverage at competitive prices are not available until 2014. I can speak for New Jersey today - if you have a preexisting condition and have had no insurance for 6 months, you can apply to the state high risk pool program.
I investigated the cost of buying my prescription drugs on my own and found that it wound be cheaper in conjunction with the continuity plan than any other coverage I could find. Just carefully investigate the cost of the prescription drugs as they vary greatly from source to source. I have one drug which ranged from $200.00 to $1200.00 for the same prescription. Check with your current provider to see if the offer any sort of continuity program.
Cons: 1. Over last few years IBM/ISL has gone down in pay ladder. Below market salary. 2. Company prefers lateral hiring in senior positions rather than promoting internal people. 3. Over the years management is losing transparency and fairness. Still better than market but it's deteriorating rapidly - primarily owning to lateral recruitment in management cadre from other companies. These people mostly don't know IBM values. 4. Do not expect great salary hike. IBM thinks the flexibility they are giving you must be compensated by low salary. HR simply doesn't care about high attrition.
Advice to Senior Management: Retain good folks - if needed by giving high salary. HR can't always put same rule for everyone - if you equate an expert with a novice, no reason why the expert will stay - unless, of course, you haven't spoiled him by your super lazy work environment.
Cons: IBM, in late 2010, is a company at precisely the same point in its history as the Roman Empire was in early 410. While the stock appreciates and the patrician elite makes its millions, there is mutiny and desertion in the legions, and barbarian incompetents are fast filling up the ranks. It is a company that hopes that it can cash in on past glory. There is no vision, the leadership coterie is totally uninspiring, and all that poppycock about smart planets, on demand, and globally integrated enterprise is just another gimmick to dupe customers, shareholders and employees alike with inane buzzwords.
If you are at all competent, you'll soon find out that work/life balance means nothing. Like in every other company these days, you'll end up having to do the work of 10 other incompetent colleagues. If you're clever, you'll adjust the level of your competence to match your salary and the general competence of everyone around you, thus effectively lowering the average competence of the group. Eventually, the bad will drive out the good and the barbarians will have all but sacked the city.
Advice to Senior Management: Start treating your employees like human beings first. Listen to them. Then go and learn how Google and Netflix treat their employees. If you do not change soon, you will go the way of Rome and the dinosaurs and the dodo. And oh, by the way, I'm not staying to find out if you will change, so, good luck !
"Despite significant profits, HP appears hell-bent on continuing to butcher its highly skilled U.K. workforce,” said Unite official Peter Skyte in an Oct. 11 statement. "It is increasingly difficult for HP employees in the U.K. to plan for their futures when the threat of redundancy is continually hanging over their heads. Morale is at an all-time low.” ...
The union--which represents more than 1.5 million workers in Britain and Ireland--is complaining these job cuts are in direct opposition of the U.K. government’s contention that high technology jobs will fuel the job growth in the near future. The union claims there have been nearly 9,000 job cuts from HP in the U.K. in the last two years.
“On the evidence of these cuts, the U.K. government’s belief that the high tech private sector will be the motor for growth and new jobs is largely a mirage,” said Skyte. "Lax employment protection in the U.K. compared to other European countries means that the U.K. is bearing the brunt of cuts, as it's quicker and cheaper to sack U.K. people and export their jobs abroad.”
The union is also citing that many jobs for HP have moved to Asia and other developing countries and that the work stress has increased dramatically for workers inheriting HP work from the U.K. "Our sister union in India, Unites, is reporting that IT employees in India are complaining about the stress caused by tremendous pressure to live up to unreasonable targets and deadlines,” said Skyte.
India and the US have forged close trade ties in recent years. In 2008, the two countries signed a deal for civil nuclear co-operation. But, there has been growing concern in Washington that outsourcing to cities such as Bangalore - the IT hub in southern India - is worsening unemployment in the US. President Obama recently spoke out against outsourcing of American jobs to countries like India and offered tax breaks for those creating jobs in the US. ...
The issues of outsourcing and visa fees are expected to come up in talks during President Obama's visit. But analysts say the president's drubbing in mid-term elections this week is expected to tie his hands when it comes to bold policy moves on India.
Mr. Samuel predicted that labor could stop any Republican legislative offensive. “When Republicans won control of the House in 1994, they tried to roll back 60 years of labor protections for workers, but we fought them to a stalemate,” he said. “If the Republicans attempt that again, I think this story will repeat itself.”
Through my years in management, I've found four tools that have allowed our employees to improve their ability to interact better with customers: We (1) trust our employees, (2) communicate with them, (3) listen to them and (4) explain rather than convince. ...
Bottom line: Give your customer-facing staff the latitude and trust to do their jobs at the highest level. Executives at a lot of companies stifle their employees because they--not those employees--are change averse and afraid of two-way feedback. However, giving your staff ample tools and the opportunity to use them in the service of customers will not only foster an entrepreneurial spirit in the work they do but also keep the customer satisfied. And that is the essence of business.
Frankly, my theory is that IBM does not care if they lose the contract after the first year. They make a big junk of transition dollars up front, hold back as much US resource expenditure in the first year as they can, and then hand-off contract services to cheapest global labor they can get without proper education, job coaching, contract knowledge exchange, etc. Then quality and service completely break down. For customer that have explicitly demanded US resources, IBM has the US resources in place but delegate as many activities and administrative stuff to GRs while appearing to be responsible for the whole job, maintaining appearances. IBM doesn't care about the customer - it's all about bait and switch to get that down payment. This has caught up with them. Also, yes, IBM is a business, and its employees cannot expect any relationship, trust or honesty, but on the whole what they are doing is unethical and larcenous. -Whoopee-
"Job Takeover Shadowing" - new illicit KGB practice to ensure services fulfilled by global resources. Has anyone noticed that there are GR resources in monitoring roles who seem to have no purpose except to supervise their Western co-workers and report back to management whether the job, service, or new service can be moved to a GR country? Seem to be appearing on meetings and have nothing to contribute - silently doing the underhanded job of taking business and jobs away from US/Canada long time employees. Also, seem very ignorant as unable to answer questions - just note takers who can't even speak intelligently, probably reporting to some backroom group. Even executives are unaware of the purpose of these people, blind sided by the resulting decisions, and have no authority, influence or to overrule. Why aren't our managers and executives speaking up??? Who, who, who is responsible for peddling GR, forcing it down executives, employees' and customers' throats. WHO????? -Whoopee-
Alliance Reply: Your question "Who?" is a bit misguided. You lump employees and customers in the same group with executives. Executives ARE responsible for "forcing it down the throats" of employees and customers. Executives are NOT "unaware of the purpose...". If you believe they are, then you have been severely misinformed. Translation: Lied to. Your only choice is to organize and fight back. Join Alliance@IBM and work toward an employment contract. There is NO OTHER CHOICE, besides leaving the company.
Me? When I got my RA, I took my cash balance and 401K and rolled it into other qualified plans (no penalties) because who knows when, where or how IBM would figure out a way to scam me out of it. After all, you're retirement health account? What do you think they used to pay our severance with? IBM is nothing more than a financial manipulation center now. Not products; not services; just a money churn, from customers, skimming off a little for lower paid country employees, and the rest to the execs. See the stock price lately? That's because Sam is cutting costs - you. Oh yeah, do what I failed to do before I "got it". Join the union... -RAed Jan 09-
A shift in the Senate may also help the pharmaceutical industry. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), long an industry scourge as the top Republican on the Finance Committee, will take the ranking spot on the Judiciary Committee, which has less oversight of health care. His likely replacement on Finance is Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), who has often supported the drug industry.
Exit polls showed that in House races, voters aged 65 or older supported Republicans over Democrats by 59 percent to 38 percent, the biggest margin in any age group. A fifth of those voters rated health care their most important issue, and more than half said that Congress should repeal the whole health care reform law. Those ads may have worked, but they were also misleading or dead wrong on several counts. ...
Now that the campaign is over, Americans should demand that Mr. Boehner explain his plan for Medicare. Specifically: What will he do to “rescue” Medicare, without driving up the deficit or weakening the trust fund?
"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.
Banks are claiming that these are just accidents. But suppose that while absent-mindedly paying a bill, you wrote a check from a bank account that you had already closed. No one would have much sympathy with excuses that you were in a hurry and didn’t mean to do it, and it really was just a technicality.
The most visible symptoms of cutting corners have come up in the foreclosure process, but the roots lie much deeper. As has been widely documented in recent weeks, to speed up foreclosures, some banks hired low-level workers, including hair stylists and teenagers, to sign or simply stamp documents like affidavits — a job known as being a “robo-signer.” Such documents were improper, since the person signing an affidavit is attesting that he has personal knowledge of the matters at issue, which was clearly impossible for people simply stamping hundreds of documents a day. As a result, several major financial firms froze foreclosures in many states, and attorneys general in all 50 states started an investigation. ...
When mortgage securitization took off in the 1980s, the contracts to govern these transactions were written carefully to satisfy not just well-settled, state-based real estate law, but other state and federal considerations. These included each state’s Uniform Commercial Code, which governed “secured” transactions that involve property with loans against them, and state trust law, since the packaged loans are put into a trust to protect investors. On the federal side, these deals needed to satisfy securities agencies and the Internal Revenue Service.
This process worked well enough until roughly 2004, when the volume of transactions exploded. Fee-hungry bankers broke the origination end of the machine. One problem is well known: many lenders ceased to be concerned about the quality of the loans they were creating, since if they turned bad, someone else (the investors in the securities) would suffer.
Much of this is a direct creation of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., which has cut away nearly all campaign finance restrictions. The court’s 2007 decision in Wisconsin Right-to-Life gave corporations and unions the right to run advocacy ads in the last 60 days of a campaign — as long as they did not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a specific candidate. This year’s Citizens United decision effectively ended even that last restriction, and pulled away all limits on corporate spending in campaigns. ...
What is clear is that the new world of unlimited spending, both open and secret, confers huge benefits on wealthy individuals, corporations and unions. In a striking example, reported by ABC News last week, Terry Forcht, a prominent Kentucky banker and nursing home executive, helped pay for a series of attack ads against Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic Senate candidate. Mr. Conway is prosecuting one of Mr. Forcht’s nursing homes for allegedly covering up sexual abuse.
Mr. Forcht has directly raised at least $21,000 for Mr. Conway’s Republican opponent, Rand Paul. He serves as the banker for American Crossroads, the shadowy group of nonprofits organized by Karl Rove that has spent nearly $30 million to defeat Democrats and more than $1 million to defeat Mr. Conway.
This is not the budget deficit that everybody is so hysterical about in the press, and which would go to zero over the next six years if the Obama administration simply let the Bush tax cuts expire in their entirety. Instead, Fletcher is talking about the trade deficit, the difference between what we buy from the world and what we sell to the world. ...
“The US economy has ceased generating any net new jobs in internationally traded sectors in either manufacturing or services,” he notes. “The comforting myth persists that America is shifting from low-tech to high-tech employment, but we are not. We are losing jobs in both in shifting to non-tradable services–which are mostly low value–added, and thus ill–paid jobs. According to the Commerce Department, all our net new jobs are in categories such as security guards, waitresses, and the like. The vaunted 'new economy' has not contributed a single net new job to America in this century. Not one.” ...
Fletcher also points out that “free trade” isn’t, in most cases, making the rest of the world richer or better off. “Working conditions,” he points out, “are the flip side of low pay in developing countries. Production methods long ago abandoned in the developed world – many of them dangerous and environmentally unsound – are still widely in use. In India, for example, foundry workers often don't wear socks, shoes, protective headgear, earplugs, or even eye protection. Often wearing no more than boxer shorts, they squat on the floor next to the roaring furnaces. Charles Dickens has moved to Asia.” ...
“Even Europe seems to handle these matters better than we do: Germanic and Scandinavian Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland) usually run healthy surpluses, and the euro zone as a whole has had its trade within pocket change of balance since the euro was created in 1999. Thirteen European countries now pay their factory workers better than we do, and Germany (not China!) Was the world's largest exporter as late as 2008. Do all these countries know something we don't?” ...
The answer is really quite simple. Transnational corporations and their shills –from think tanks to congressmen to presidents – have worked aggressively for two generations to get us into the situation we’re now in. In the process, they have made trillions of dollars, built personal and corporate empires, and through front groups like the US Chamber of Commerce now are even selecting our politicians for us by overwhelming the political process with money.
SH: Oh sure, I knew that was going to come. In fact, I have a part in the book where I go through these headlines that appeared in the American media between 2003 and 2006 and even through the nineties, where the American media is clearly ideological in how it reports Europe. And so I list these headlines showing, you know, "Europe's economy is going downhill; it's a basket case," when in actual fact, Europe was in the process of passing the United Stated in terms of economic output, job creation, productivity, all these sorts of things. In Newsweek International, a cover story appeared in October 2006 - the headline was something like "Europe's Great Jobs Machine" - about how Europe was surpassing the US. That article never appeared in Newsweek domestic.
So, I knew going into it that I was going to face these sorts of headwinds. American media has this major response to discount Europe because they see Europe as this socialist enterprise. My book goes out of its way to show it's not socialist at all; it's capitalist. Europe has more Fortune 500 companies than the US and China combined, has more small businesses than we have in the US creating, two-thirds of the jobs, compared to not even half the jobs in the US. Up until the stock market crashed in 2008, if you invested your money in European stock markets, you made more on average than you did in the American stock market. But theirs is a different type of capitalism, which I call in my book social capitalism. Social capitalism creates a more broadly shared prosperity, whereas Wall Street capitalism is much more of a trickle-down type of capitalism in which more money goes into the pockets of wealthy people.
AB: What was it like to come back to the US after going on these research trips to Europe to document the ways in which they are ahead of America and then to return to this country that's so far behind in many ways?
SH: I did my research over a period of ten years, but there was one moment that really struck me. I was standing on a corner in Paris, this was probably midway through my research, and I realized, everyone who's walking around me, they all have health care; they all have some sort of retirement waiting for them; they have more vacation; they all have access to all these supports Americans don't have - what other difference does that make in people's mentalities to realize you have all that? An American friend of mine who's been living near Toulouse, France, for about 15 years, she got a hornet sting when I was visiting her. She calls up her doctor and, 20 minutes later, there's the French doctor with his little, black bag. What does that feel like to a person, to know that you have that kind of access to the support that you need? ...
AB: Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
SH: You'll see American critics say that Europeans have all these things, but they pay a lot more in taxes in order to get it. That's a myth. If you're an American paying escalating health care premiums, if you're paying higher co-payments and deductibles, if you're an American student graduating from college with a lot of debt, if you're an American paying more than $12,000 a year for childcare, you're paying more out of pocket for your own retirement, more out of pocket for senior care; what you see is that Americans actually pay a lot more out of pocket for the things that Europeans get in exchange for their taxes. So, when you look at things like the Forbes Tax Misery Index - Forbes is obviously an ideologically biased magazine, yet this Tax Misery Index is cited as an authoritative source on who pays more taxes - but all they're looking at is income tax, Social Security tax and a few other minor taxes like sales tax. When you do that kind of analysis, you see Europeans at the highest end of taxes, and here's America, down there, happy as a clam, around the Philippines and Indonesia and Malaysia. But what they're not telling you is that Americans are paying a lot more out of pocket. So, in order to square that circle that Americans are still paying more, you have to then advance the argument that, well, at least it's discretionary. But is it really the case that having things like health care, retirement, university education, are these really discretionary today, or are these things you need to support yourself and your family in this increasingly insecure age?
Maureen O'Connor agrees, saying gender is not a decision maker in the voting booth. "These women are poster subjects for everything that is wrong with corporate America today," she says. "Just the amount of job outsourcing these two did during their CEO days is enough to stop anyone in their tracks." ...
Madoshi says she's also tired of the media assuming that voters will choose candidates simply because they have a background in business. "Haven't they learned anything from George W. Bush?" "Making money in business doesn't mean they are qualified to run a state or write legislation," she says. "What have Whitman and Fiorina done for working women? What have they done for working moms? Where do they stand on equal pay? Where do they stand on affordable housing?"
It's hard to say because they haven't discussed those issues. They've spent most of their time focusing on tax breaks for corporations, spending cuts and "jobs, jobs, jobs." "For God's sakes, that's all we've heard. They're saying the same message over and over," says Tracey Faulkner, founder of the Family Resource Center, an organization that supports parents attending City College of San Francisco. "Cut spending, but give tax breaks to the rich? They're not talking to us moms at all. They're talking to business people. Moms want to know if they'll have childcare. Will there be after school programs? Will there be summer programs? People are concerned about whether their kids will be ok."
The fiction that America is a nation without class, a lie since its inception a half-century ago, gets more and more untenable as actual class struggle daily intensifies. It’s time to accept the simple yet profound fact that America is in the midst of class war – and the super-rich, the American sector of the global oligarchy, is winning. ...
Today’s robber barons know that the media matters and have effectively bought-off the popular opinion makers. Stylishly groomed corporate executives and financiers, who are morally no better then slick thieves, have become celebrities. They are flattered on reality TV shows, praised on business programs and voyeuristically celebrated by the popular media. The American media knows better then bite the hand that feeds it. ...
According to NYU economist Edward Wolff, wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated. In the 15 years between 1983 and 2007, the share of wealth owned by the nation’s top 1 percent households grew to 34.6 percent from 33.8 percent; and the top 20 percent of U.S. households in 2007 controlled 85 percent of the nation’s wealth, up from 81.3 percent in ’83. The fate of America’s vast “middle class,” the remaining 80 percent, has only gotten more dire: in 2007, it controlled 15 percent, down from 18.7 percent in 1983.
It is time for Americans to reclaim the concept of class war. This needs to be done for two reasons: first, to actively combat the great squeeze ruining the lives of untold millions of Americans faced with financial catastrophe; and, second, to end the campaign by the super-rich (in league with government tax policies, subsidies and other give-aways) and the media to keep alive the fiction of America is a classless society free of class war.
A separate analysis by The Wall Street Journal concluded that large, publicly traded financial-services firms were on pace to increase total compensation and benefits by about 6% in 2010 compared with last year. Some of the largest increases, 10% or more, are likely to come from asset-management firms., the Journal's calculations show. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are on track to increase compensation by less than 10% each.
The names of the top 74 earners were not disclosed, but they were "most likely Wall Street traders who earned bonuses or corporate executives cashing in deferred compensation that accumulated over the years, or even highly paid athletes," Bloomberg said, citing Johnston. In an email, Johnston told DailyFinance that the top 74 earners also does not include most hedge fund managers because much of their "investment" income is not counted as wages. ...
"This orgy of money exhibitionism has created a society in which commas - it takes three to be a billionaire - count more than character," Johnston continued. "We have gone so far down this path that we bailed out bankers, allowing them to keep the untaxed wealth in their deferral accounts and, with a few exceptions, retaining shareholder value, while wiping out investors in General Motors and Chrysler as a condition of their bailouts. And while autoworkers had to take severe pay cuts, bonus time on Wall Street is at new record levels."
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