Note in either case I can not come back as a contractor since it's a performance based separation.
I've worked for IBM for 36years. Gotten 5 promotions over that time.
Can someone tell me if I have this correct? Is there any advice? Thanks! Kevin
P.S. Verbally, my manger said he put me in for a "2" and that 6 of the 11 people that work for him got "3"s. But...that's not in the paperwork.
As a complicating factor, your severance won't include a 401K contribution, but since you are eligible for retirement, you would get anything IBM contributed during time actually worked, upon date of retirement. In resign option, that's 30 days of employer contributions. In the "fight for 60 days" options, that's 60 days of employer contributions. So get out a piece of paper and a calculator. Then also figure in your health and stress levels into the mix.
4 months pay, 30 days employer match, no unemployment - Resign option 2 months pay, 60 days employer match, unemployment - Fight option Someone correct me if I'm wrong so I don't steer Kevin the wrong way!
RECOMMENDATION: Write an acceptance letter for the 29'th or 30'th day of your wait period. During the 30 days, get your boat in order and get a new job (outside of IBM) if you can. Companies will pay big to get you from IBM, but will not want to touch you once IBM lets you go. If possible make sure the acceptance date after a new month has started. This will get you more pay and help in your retirement calculations. Put the MAX you can into your 401K for the last month. Since you should be over 55 the year you retire, you have full access to your 401K monies, immediately. Be sure and take this fact into consideration. The 13 week payment should offset any extra money you put into your 401K. You won't get any IBM MATCH, so forget about that.
I don't know your personal situation, so there may be many other "things" that make leaving hard on you. Make sure you have at least 6 months and better yet 12 months of living current expenses available (remember you have access to your 401K with no penalty). Start to cut back on your monthly expenses immediately (the saved amount will last longer). GOOD LUCK !!!!!
Why do these employees have to work for the IBM and experience such unfair treatment? I still remember my layoff day. Once I got the papers, majority of my IBM coworkers stayed away from me. Few close friends took few minutes and offered help to clean up. Even my manager, one time used to be my coworker, treated me like a criminal. Even after more than 5 years, I still remember that worst day of my life.
I still ask myself, why did I call myself IBMer and lived with that illusion for more than 25 years! Is this a reality under US capitalism where corporation can exploit workers to squeeze last drop of blood from them?
I think I would prefer to work as a fixed term contractor, subject to renew on yearly basis. That way I will never attach myself to the corporation and I know my last day on job. Today majority IBMers are constantly living under gun and fearful of their layoff.
One important point specific to possible unemployment benefits is that this is a separation being initiated by IBM management that you are "accepting". This is slightly different than you just resigning. Again, go get USHR119 and read it carefully. You may also want to send a copy to your manager. You would be surprised how ignorant most IBM managers are of the actual details of these benefits that you are entitled to. And it won't hurt if he knows you are informed.
I'm not saying IBM can't be totally trusted: I'm saying IBM is not a fair partner: they play by their rules.
Yes, make sure you have your case well documented in verbose writing with undeniable facts and examples.
Ask to see your employee jacket with all recommendation letters, key employment milestones, awards and bonus history, salary grid info., any stock options, etc. and any "desk notes" your manager might have about you. When I asked to see all this when I got the 30 day boot to RA I never got a reply from my manager or HR. Good Luck.
I did spend $500 to speak to a labor lawyer.."Craig M. Bonnist" in White Plains area NY. He has dealt with IBM so that's why I picked him.
He said it's a clear layoff since employees are being removed and the work divided up among those that are left. But the question is do I want to spend years and major bucks to fight that? Still deciding. Hope that's helpful!
Cons: IBM is destroying geeky high tech environment and instead is replacing with endless chains of management. I’ve seen many enthusiastic highly skilled technical talents leaving IBM just because of use of outdated and old technologies and lack of technological challenges. I don’t feel like I am working in world leading innovative IT Company anymore. The systems I have worked on and have seen developed by IBM looked very outdated, really can’t understand how customers are paying large amount of money and getting rubbish systems. And the sad part is the procedures and bureaucracy has killed all the motivation to make something better. And even if you are willing to change surely nobody will recognize that.
Products are not cutting edge technology anymore and stuck in 90's. No freedom for innovations. Employees are rated not by their talent and dedication but how they follow the procedures. Bureaucracy is destroying from inside out. If things will continue to progress in same direction surely IBM will start feeling deficit of innovative people. If you speak in binary then you should seek for more flexible and innovative company.
Advice to Senior Management: Value real professional, give freedom to innovate, bring back talents
Cons: - Resourcing managers make your life hell when you are on the bench and try to push you on whatever project suits them without asking your opinion or considering your personal circumstances; - Arrogant (micro-)managers with big egos who are full of themselves and expect to be sucked up to; - No work-life balance; you are expected to put your life on hold; - Number of hours you spend at work matters (face time culture), not the results; - regardless of what they tell you IBM DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ITS EMPLOYEES; - Rigid and hierarchical organisation; - They only win projects because of their brand and size, but customers are rarely satisfied due to poorly delivered work by offshore resources; - Bad reputation as an IT software implementation partner.
If you are a senior consultant IBM UK Global Business Services is not a good place to work. Don't waste your time, go somewhere else!
Advice to Senior Management: Treat your people better and be less arrogant. You think that you are something special as you work for IBM but you are not.
Cons: So much work is being moved out of the United States, so there is a lot of pressure on U.S. managers and employees. There is constant reorganization, so your job is routinely changed and work consolidated to the near breaking point.
Advice to Senior Management: Take a more truly global look at your workforce. Understand the value, commitment and dedication U.S. workers bring to the table, and hire within the U.S. again. I think it is extremely short-sighted to move so many aspects of the business to much less politically and economically stable world regions. Also, provide equal pay to men and women with the same jobs!
Cons: - Office culture not match with dynamic of IT market: too much elegant, big team with low services mind between team, too much monitor/check point to delay sales cycle that effect direct to customer satisfaction; - Work live balance is negative with choice to choose family or work; - Old style to work office as base even staff is mobile user. Very low technology to work as remote Web conference to make job done. Keep call face to face meeting for whole team. Waste time for travel back and forth with traffic. - Not so good to work for dynamic/skill/initiative person because of current culture is not support
Advice to Senior Management: - To improve manager skill of people management. Need more mutual for manager level that too much personal mood driven; - Make sure that all manager apply for open door practice without bias; - Current customer was ignore to consider up-selling (Services, new solution offer); - HR just messenger and administrator; - With above point, high turnover that outside new professional staff can not survive, culture will getting older with old team, old mind set, hard to find new initiative from new blood to win new market and keep loosing customer.
Cons: The culture is all embracing and overwhelming. It is fundamentally run by Finance, with sales people being revered. Working internally as I did is neither appreciated or valued. I worked for a global team for years yet it never met in person due to a complete ban on travel expense for internal people. In 8 years I never did any training, never met any clients, never was able to go to any trade shows (even IBM run ones). There are no doubt some excellent managers and leaders though unfortunately I never worked for any. A lot of the people there joined as graduates and have only ever worked for IBM - these people occupy most if not all of the senior roles.
Advice to Senior Management: There is not much point giving advice to management - the firm has been around 100 years and is very set in its ways, especially on how it manages and motivates people.
The plan by the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from some of the largest U.S. companies, would raise the age for Social Security and Medicare for people who are age 54 and younger. Those 55 and older would be protected from the changes. ...
Meanwhile, a recent survey of 2,000 people age 21 and up found that most say they value Social Security for its ability to provide stability and security for millions of retirees and other recipients.
The survey by the nonpartisan National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) wanted to assess people’s preferences about how to strengthen Social Security. Interestingly, the findings revealed a deep division between what Americans say they want and changes lawmakers are considering.
An overwhelming 84 percent say they don’t believe Social Security provides enough income for retirees. Seventy-five percent say we should consider raising benefits to provide a more secure retirement for people.
Among the preferred options favored by more than two-thirds of those polled:
2. Almost everyone left will be sympathetic while secretly being oh so glad it was not them. Those left will, for the most part, not join in the effort to organize because they really do have a great relationship with their boss and really are far too important to be let go.
3. This madness will continue until everyone from prediction 2 becomes someone in prediction 1 or until the prediction 2 people wake up and join the union. -Exodus2007-
As to whether or not to take the package, I say once more, find a lawyer that specializes in your home state's employment law and have them review the situation. If you already have the package then just get it to your lawyer. If you don't have the package yet then remember that word of mouth means NOTHING and you may not count on either your management nor HR to tell you the truth and back it up. So if they are just saying on a phone conversation that you have a choice, ASK FOR IT IN WRITING. -beentherebefore-
In my area, most everyone has been rated a 2. There are literally no 1's or 2+'s. They search for the most useless, single piece of info to "explain" a lower rating. I was told I was being rated a 2 because managers complained that I would not break US accounting practices and processes established by CHQ. I demanded that to be entered in my rating. The manager would not.
So, I wrote down what I was told, asked my manager to verify and confirm what I wrote down, and entered that in the response section of the PBC. I immediately sent a note to CHQ detailing what has been taking place and why I am being scapegoated for it. I expect to be RA'd soon. However, now that it is documented, I have the necessary documentation for a lawsuit. -Concerned-
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The Petition to reverse the 401(k) decision by IBM, has been signed by over 1000 people. Their names are available to view, because the signers provided a name, themselves. There is no way for IBM to prove that the names on the petition are of current IBM employees. Is there an exposure there? Possibly. But without speaking up about what and how IBM is abusing their employees and systematically removing matching funds that IBM committed to provide in 1983, when the 401(k) plan was initiated; IBM employees will continue to be RA'ed and abused as a normal practice by IBM Management.
Fighting back requires an investment and a commitment from all employees in IBM US, that want to speak up and do something to bring IBM Management to the table and win a collectively bargained contract for the employees. Consider joining Alliance@IBM.
And you need look no further back than the recent "fiscal cliff" drama for compelling proof of how decisions are often made, not based on protecting the public's interest and bringing costs down but on protecting the profits of pharmaceutical companies, insurance firms and other special interests that grease the palms of our elected officials.
Drug makers have long had cozy relationships and outsized influence on lawmakers in Washington. That's why Obamacare barely touches that industry. Big Pharma essentially blackmailed members of Congress and the White House by threatening to bankroll a huge PR and lobbying campaign to kill health care reform if serious consideration was given to allowing Medicare officials to negotiate for lower drug prices.
We hear constantly from lawmakers about how unsustainable the Medicare "entitlement" program is, yet when they had a chance to make a difference in how much Medicare has to shell out to drug makers, they looked the other way. Taxpayers could save billions of dollars a year if Medicare didn't have to pay so much for drugs, but drug companies have much more clout on Capitol Hill than taxpayers.
So much clout that one big drug company -- Amgen -- was able to get language quietly inserted in the fiscal cliff bill that will cost the Medicare program millions of dollars.
Buried deep in the legislation is language that delays long-proposed price restraints on a class of drugs used to treat kidney dialysis patients. That paragraph allows Amgen to sell one of its high-priced drugs, Sensipar, with no government controls for two more years -- at a cost to the Medicare program of an estimated $500 million.
As reported first in the New York Times, this Congressional gift to Amgen, which employs 74 lobbyists in Washington, came just two weeks after the company pleaded guilty in a federal fraud case. It's likely the public would never have been aware of the company's windfall if its CEO hadn't reported it right away to Wall Street investment analysts, the stakeholders most dear to publicly traded companies like Amgen and the insurance companies I used to work for.
The ADP Research Institute analyzed data from about 300 large employers covering 2 million workers and dependents. Among the employers studied, 23 percent of their workers are part-time but only 8 percent get company-sponsored health benefits. Just 15 percent of part-time workers are even offered health insurance.
That stark sentence appears in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and it comes from the authors of a landmark report -- "Shorter Lives, Poorer Health" -- on differences among high-income countries.
You probably already know that America spends more on health care than any other country. That was one of the few facts to survive the political food fight pretending to be a serious national debate about the Affordable Care Act.
But the airwaves also thrummed with so many sound bites from so many jingoistic know-nothings claiming that America has the best health care system in the world that today, most people don't realize how shockingly damaging it is to your wellness and longevity to be born in the U.S.A. ...
Compare the health of the American people with our peer nations -- with Britain, Canada and Australia; with Japan; with the Scandinavian countries; with France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Side by side with the world's wealthy democracies, America comes in last, and over the past several decades, it's only gotten worse. ...
With few exceptions -- like death rates from breast cancer -- we suck. Our newborns are less likely to reach their first birthday, or their fifth birthday. Our adolescents die at higher rates from car crashes and homicides, and they have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections. Americans have the highest incidence of AIDS, the highest obesity rates, the highest diabetes rates among adults 20 and older, the highest rates of chronic lung disease and heart disease and drug-related deaths. ...
In case you're tempted to blow off these bleak statistics about American longevity by deciding that they don't apply to someone like you -- before you attribute them to, how shall we put it, the special burdens that our racially and economically diverse and culturally heterogeneous nation has nobly chosen to bear -- chew on this: "Even non-Hispanic white adults or those with health insurance, a college education, high incomes, or healthy behaviors appear to be in worse health (e.g., higher infant mortality, higher rates of chronic diseases, lower life expectancy) in the United States than in other high-income countries." And by the way, "the nation's large population of recent immigrants is generally in better health than native-born Americans."
In deciding whether an employer’s health plan is affordable, the Internal Revenue Service said it would look at the cost of coverage only for an individual employee, not for a family. Family coverage might be prohibitively expensive, but federal subsidies would not be available to help buy insurance for children in the family.
The policy decision came in a final regulation interpreting ambiguous language in the 2010 health care law. ...
The law specifies that employer-sponsored insurance is not affordable if a worker’s share of the premium is more than 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income. The I.R.S. said this calculation should be based solely on the cost of individual coverage, what the worker would pay for “self-only coverage.”
“This is bad news for kids,” said Jocelyn A. Guyer, an executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. “We can see kids falling through the cracks. They will lack access to affordable employer-based family coverage and still be locked out of tax credits to help them buy coverage for their kids in the marketplaces, or exchanges, being established in every state.”
In 2012, according to an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, total premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance averaged $5,615 a year for single coverage and $15,745 for family coverage. The employee’s share of the premium averaged $951 for individual coverage and more than four times as much, $4,316, for family coverage.
Under the I.R.S. rule, such costs would be considered affordable for a family making $35,000 a year, even though the family would have to spend 12 percent of its income for full coverage under the employer’s plan.
"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.
From the armed forces to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, every program except for most safety-net benefits is about to be cut by an arbitrary process known as the sequester, instigated by the 2011 Republican rampage against government. Over the next seven months alone, the cuts will reduce defense spending by $55 billion and nondefense discretionary spending by $27 billion. ...
Congress should be thinking about ways to accelerate the economy, instead of remaining preoccupied with a short-term deficit. Nonetheless, the coming job losses could be sharply reduced if half or more of the spending cuts were replaced by revenue increases, as President Obama and Congressional Democrats have demanded. That would lower the amount of spending pulled out of the economy to bring down the deficit, replacing the cuts with taxes from the rich or companies with high cash reserves that are less likely to spend it.
The money could be raised by eliminating tax loopholes for energy companies, hedge fund managers and other high-end recipients of federal largess, but Republicans won’t even consider the idea. “The tax issue is finished, over, completed,” Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said recently.
In other words, bring on the unemployment. The first jobs to go will be in the defense sector, but the losses will soon spread as contracts to states and cities are cut, education and police grants are cut, and payments to Medicare providers are cut. Even the aid just approved for victims of Hurricane Sandy will fall under the sequester’s ax. Americans are about to find out what happens when an entire political party demands deficit reduction at all costs, because those costs will be enormous.
“Can we close some loopholes and deductions that folks who are well connected and have a lot of accountants and lawyers can take advantage of so they end up paying lower rates than a bus driver or a cop?” Mr. Obama said in the 10-minute interview in the White House. “If you combine those things together,” Mr. Obama said, a budget deal could reduce the deficit “without raising rates again.”
In a memo to Democratic Senate committee leaders on Friday, the Michigan Democrat described proposals to end what he called excessive corporate tax deductions, scrap the blended tax rate for derivatives such as commodity futures and strengthen enforcement of the tax code, Bloomberg BNA reported. ...
In the memo, which his office provided to Bloomberg BNA, he said corporations pay an effective tax rate of 15 percent due to various deductions and loopholes even though the top marginal rate set in the tax code is 35 percent.
Thirty of the largest U.S. multinational corporations, with combined profits of $160 billion, paid no corporate income tax at all from 2008 to 2010, according to Levin’s summary. “U.S. multinational corporations can use a myriad of tax loopholes to keep their taxes far lower than their domestic competitors,” Levin’s office said in the memo.
We've patiently endured lectures about 'tightening our belts' while most Americans watched their wages decline. We've stood by as corporate forces manipulated politicians and the press into a manufactured sense of deficit hysteria,watched several rounds of spending cuts make our problems worse, and seen their austerity idealogies discredited by events.
And yet here are no uprisings, no mass demonstrations, no demands for jobs now and an end to any further cuts until the economy's working again.
Harry Reid, the Democrat majority leader in the upper chamber, said tax breaks benefiting oil companies, businesses with international operations, and corporate jets should be considered if a deal is to be reached, calling them “low-hanging fruit”. ...
The comments – which are bound to worry US business groups – clash with the stance adopted by congressional Republicans, who have said that they do not want to raise any more taxes beyond the hike in individual tax rates for Americans earning more than $450,000 agreed last month. ...
Mr Reid said companies that “ship jobs overseas” would be in the line of fire, usually code for limiting the ability of multinationals to defer US taxation on foreign earnings. The preferential tax treatment of carried interest – or profits earned by private equity and hedge fund managers – was not mentioned by Mr Reid, but is also often in the crosshairs of congressional Democrats.
Here We Go Again — New Pretend Crisis. Here we go again with the shock-doctrine crisis — a drummed up scare designed to stampede us into doing something against our interests. This time it’s the “sequester” — a “crisis” that is entirely a creation of Congress. The sequester is an “austerity bomb” of budget cuts that will hit the economy so hard that a recession is nearly guaranteed — just like what is happening all across Europe as they cut their budgets. And the results will be just like what happened to our own economy last quarter, when we suffered a drop in GDP that was caused entirely by government cuts that have already happened. ...
The non-military side of the budget has already been cut by about $1.5 trillion since 2011 — the result of all of the hostage-taking to date. It was these hostage-taking and cutting “crises” that helped bring people to the polls to resoundingly declare that they want taxes raised on the wealthy, and not cuts in the things We, the People do to make our lives better. ...
The deficit is already shrinking dramatically as a percentage of GDP. The deficit is already down 25% since Bush’s 2009 budget in relation to the economy. The deficit is already falling faster than at any time since after World War II.
We don’t even have a debt crisis. We have a jobs crisis. But the threats and hostage-taking are about cutting government — the things We, the People do to make our lives better. ...
You only hear about and read about the Tea Party — an entity created and funded by billionaires to push for the interests of billionaires (and oil companies.) Of course, that billionaire money has something to do with why you only hear about the Tea Party, but there are more progressives than Tea Party members.
There are many, many more progressives in the country. Every poll shows that the public overwhelmingly wants taxes increased on the wealthy and no more cuts in the things We, the People do to make our lives better. But the billionaires spread the money around, and what you hear about is what the billionaires want you to hear about.
You hear and read about the Tea Party all the time. Did you even know there was something in Congress called the Progressive Caucus?
In his book, The Price of Civilisation, he says the US economy is caught in a feedback loop. ''Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth,'' he says.
Sachs says four key sectors of US business exemplify this feedback loop and the takeover of political power in America by the ''corporatocracy''. ...
First is the well-known military-industrial complex. ''As [President] Eisenhower famously warned in his farewell address in January 1961, the linkage of the military and private industry created a political power so pervasive that America has been condemned to militarisation, useless wars and fiscal waste on a scale of many tens of trillions of dollars since then,'' he says.
Second is the Wall Street-Washington complex, which has steered the financial system towards control by a few politically powerful Wall Street firms, notably Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and a handful of other financial firms. ...
Third is the Big Oil-transport-military complex, which has put the US on the trajectory of heavy oil-imports dependence and a deepening military trap in the Middle East, he says. ...
Fourth is the healthcare industry, America's largest industry, absorbing no less than 17 per cent of US gross domestic product. ''The key to understanding this sector is to note that the government partners with industry to reimburse costs with little systematic oversight and control,'' Sachs says. ''Pharmaceutical firms set sky-high prices protected by patent rights; Medicare [for the aged] and Medicaid [for the poor] and private insurers reimburse doctors and hospitals on a cost-plus basis; and the American Medical Association restricts the supply of new doctors through the control of placements at medical schools. ...
It's worth noting that, despite its front-running cost, America's healthcare system doesn't leave Americans with particularly good health - not as good as ours, for instance. This conundrum is easily explained: America has the highest-paid doctors.
Sachs says the main thing to remember about the corporatocracy is that it looks after its own. ''There is absolutely no economic crisis in corporate America.
''Consider the pulse of the corporate sector as opposed to the pulse of the employees working in it: corporate profits in 2010 were at an all-time high, chief executive salaries in 2010 rebounded strongly from the financial crisis, Wall Street compensation in 2010 was at an all-time high, several Wall Street firms paid civil penalties for financial abuses, but no senior banker faced any criminal charges, and there were no adverse regulatory measures that would lead to a loss of profits in finance, health care, military supplies and energy,'' he says.
The 30-year achievement of the corporatocracy has been the creation of America's rich and super-rich classes, he says. And we can now see their tools of trade.
''It began with globalisation, which pushed up capital income while pushing down wages. These changes were magnified by the tax cuts at the top, which left more take-home pay and the ability to accumulate greater wealth through higher net-of-tax returns to saving.''
Chief executives then helped themselves to their own slice of the corporate sector ownership through outlandish awards of stock options by friendly and often handpicked compensation committees, while the Securities and Exchange Commission looked the other way. It's not all that hard to do when both political parties are standing in line to do your bidding, Sachs concludes.
These ratings have drawn scrutiny because agencies issued top grades to securities tied to shoddy residential mortgages, making them appear safe for investors. When the housing bubble burst and homeowners began defaulting on their loans, these financial products became worthless. The resulting losses on Wall Street nearly took down the entire financial system. ...
Critics have said the country’s big ratings agencies had a conflict of interest because they were being paid by the very companies whose products they were rating. This created incentives for the agencies to inflate their ratings, according to the final report by the subcommittee on investigations.
Separately, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission concluded in 2011 that the crisis “could not have happened without the ratings agencies.”
In recent years, the administration and Congress have been consumed with deficit reduction, which is antithetical to job creation because it curbs government spending when the economy is weak. Unless Mr. Obama can shift policy away from premature austerity and toward ways to bolster demand and foster investment, job growth will remain sluggish and unemployment high.
What has been missing for years is a forceful labor agenda — one that calls for more jobs, but also has as its goal rising wages coupled with robust hiring. ...
In his first term — a time of persistent high unemployment, weak job growth, stagnating wages and rising income inequality — Mr. Obama neglected a basic labor agenda. He now has a chance to take corrective action.
That sober assessment of certain mortgage-related investments, delivered to colleagues in a confidential memo in December 2006, is now part of a trove of internal e-mails and documents that have come to light in a federal suit against S&P, the nation's largest credit ratings agency.
The correspondence, made public in court documents late Monday, provide a glimpse at the inner workings of an institution that the Justice Department says fraudulently inflated credit ratings, with dire consequences for the entire economy. In a series of e-mails, tensions appeared to be escalating inside the firm's headquarters in Lower Manhattan as it publicly professed that its ratings were valid, even as the home loans bundled into mortgage-backed securities, or M.B.S., were failing at accelerating rates. ...
Together, the documents show a portrait of some executives pushing to water down the firm's rating models in the hope of preserving market share and profits, while others expressed deep concerns about the poor performance of the securities and what they saw as a lowering of standards.
On the one hand, there is no question that without the credit rating agencies the Wall Street guys would not have been able to pull off this colossal heist against the American people, and the ratings agencies cannot be excused. In fact, Standard & Poor’s employees openly joked about the company’s willingness to rate deals “structured by cows” and sang and danced to a mock song inspired by “Burning Down the House” before the 2008 global financial collapse, according to the DOJ lawsuit. On the other, the ratings agencies are simply the gift wrappers. DOJ has yet to go after the banksters who created these packages in the first place and who seem to be in the clear as a result of a series of unconscionably low settlements recently reached with the Justice Department. ...
Of course, that inevitably begets the obvious question: what took you so long and why leave it at S&P? As early as September 2004, the FBI warned that there was an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud and predicted that it would cause a financial crisis if it were not stopped. It was not contained. Everyone agrees that the mortgage fraud epidemic expanded massively after the FBI warning and still not one Wall Street figure of any note has gone to jail.
Under Treasury Secretary Geithner, and the Keystone Cops of the Department of Justice, led by Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, we established a doctrine of “too big to jail” for the very institutions which perpetrated massive frauds on millions of Americans. Those who called for regulations that would take even that most minimal of steps necessary to reestablish the rule of law and restore our nation’s democracy and financial stability were essentially ignored. Geithner’s express rationale was that the financial system's extreme fragility made vigorous investigations of the elite frauds too dangerous, in effect giving the banksters a get-out-of-jail-free card and in effect enshrining crony capitalism and imperiling our economy, our democracy, and our national integrity.
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