IBM said last week it won’t sustain its rate of share repurchases in the first quarter, when buybacks more than tripled from a year earlier to the most since 2007. The company plans to spend less than $5.8 billion total in the final nine months of this year. ...
“You’ve got a bleak picture ahead if you continue to stick with this EPS guidance,” Nicole Black, a fixed-income analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., said in a phone interview. She has the equivalent of a sell rating on IBM bonds. “You’re not delivering organic internal revenue growth. There is not a lot of fat to be cut.” ...
Rometty’s first-quarter buyback bonanza was 41 percent higher than the $5.8 billion estimated by Barclays Plc. The repurchases made up “a stunning” 14 percent of all stock traded in the quarter, Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said in a report last week. He said that helped support IBM shares, which rose 2.6 percent in the period, compared with a 1.9 percent gain in technology stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. ...
IBM’s sales have fallen from a year earlier for eight straight quarters. Technology customers are relying more on cloud-computing services instead of storing data on site, damping the demand for servers and other hardware. ...
Broken Model? “Many investors have asked whether IBM’s financial model is ‘broken,’” Sacconaghi said in last week’s report. “Ultimately we believe it is not, but that the model is increasingly strained, and that IBM risks being tethered to its road map to the detriment to its longer-term financial health.” ...
The repurchases, meanwhile, have taken a toll on IBM’s balance sheet. Total debt climbed to $44 billion in the first quarter, up from $33.4 billion a year ago. IBM had a cash balance of $9.7 billion at the end of the period, down $1.4 billion from December.
Selected reader comments follow:
"Declining sales and rising buybacks have squeezed IBM’s free cash flow, which fell 65 percent from a year earlier to $600 million last quarter..."
Considering how far IBM has fallen, with no clear path of how to break out from woods, simply putting lipstick on a pig to make it look pretty, simply won't do.
On a more fundamental level, a technology needs to preserve its fat to do R&D which is where its bread-and-butter should be. If organic growth is not to be had, it has to reserve the capacity to do M&A to acquire promising upstarts to break into new markets.
Unfortunately, Executive compensation is all twisted these days, when performance bonus is oftentimes tied to share price and how it compares to peer groups in the market, resulting in more twisted incentive for CEO to prop up share price at all costs, to the detriment of the long term health and even viability of a company.
It's sad to see such a great American icon as IBM to have fallen so low.
Big Blue's first-quarter results revealed a 1% adjusted decline in revenue, and a whopping 22% decline in operating (non-GAAP) income. The buybacks slowed the decline to 15% on a diluted earnings per share basis, but clearly the results weren't up to expectations. Perhaps the only bright spot in the quarter was that services backlog of $138 billion advanced modestly, but only after adjusting for currency and excluding its divested customer care outsourcing business. More startling was that revenues from the company's growth markets decreased 11% (down 5%, adjusting for currency), with aggregate declines in Brazil, Russia, India, and China falling at a similar pace.
Innovations, inventions and patents used to be and and should be the basis for the success of IBM. Innovations, inventions and patents require a dedicated and motivated workforce that brings it to the customers of IBM. But IBM has played down the importance of its own employees since the beginning of the roadmap policy further and further. Instead of investment for the motivation of the workforce, in 2013 and 2014 IBM has launched so-called “workforce rebalancing “programs to reduce employees. This measure unsettled the employees of IBM. Since a few years ago IBM started to engage in expanding of cloud working and crowd sourcing. This is a strong shift to employment uncertainty for IBMers. The global workforce policy of IBM is increasingly focusing on reduction. An increasing lack of motivation is the result.
Those munificently rising stock prices and options cash-outs owe much to the Fed’s campaign to suppress interest rates and fuel stock market based “wealth effects”, but the CEOs are doing their part, too. They have become full-time financial engineers who use the Fed’s flood of liquidity, cheap debt and soaring stock prices to perform a giant strip-mining operation on their own companies. That is, through endless stock buybacks and M&A maneuvers they create the appearance of “growth” while actually liquidating the balance sheet equity and future asset base on which legitimate earnings growth depends.
The poster boy for this deformation is IBM which for all intents and purposes has become a stock buyback machine on steroids. It had a bad hair day yesterday, reporting still another year/year decline in sales, but that goes right to the heart of the matter. During the last seven years IBM has been a stock traders dream, climbing an almost picture perfect chart from $94 per share in March 2007 to a recent peak of $212.
But as shown below, those gains had nothing to do with what has been a historic ingredient of stock appreciation—-namely, expansion of its asset base and revenues. In fact, sales revenues in Q1 2014 clocked in at virtually the same number as Q1 2007...
So how has IBM and its ilk achieved revenue-less earnings growth? After all, reported EPS has gone from about $7 per share to $15 during the period. The short answer is that its executives and board have utilized every accounting and financial engineering short-cut in the book to disguise an equity liquidation campaign as a splendid strategy for “growth”.
During the 7-years ending in 2013 IBM booked about $100 billion in net income, and spent virtually every single penny on share buy backs. So the once and former king of the global high-tech industry had nothing better to do with its cash than shrink it equity base. Accordingly, its share count dropped by 20% over the period, thereby accounting for about 45% of its EPS growth. ...
Coughing up rivers of cash was only one arrow in the quiver of IBM’s shareholder value enhancement strategy, however. Its lawyers and accountants weighed in smartly, too. During fiscal 2007 Big Blue’s tax rate was already low at 28%, but by dint of the best tax maneuvers money can buy, IBM’s tax provision dropped to just 15.5% last year. So if you hold constant IBM’s tax rate and share count at the 2007 level, EPS would have been about $9.50/share in 2013, not the $15 reported.
Actually, it was the meeting in Tulsa in 2006. See http://www.ibmemployee.com/Highlights060429.shtml for coverage of the meeting.
I was the person that asked the question that infuriated Mr. Palmisano to the point where he shut down the meeting. To IBM's credit, I remained an employee for six more years when I was RAretired in 2012. I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the meeting. After returning to work later in the week, I was delighted to have received dozens of e-mails and SameTime messages thanking me for what I had said.
Here's my write-up from the link above that describes what happened:
The question I asked Sam at the stockholder's meeting has received a lot of press. I thought it might be useful to post the full question here as the articles in the press have focused only on the "punch line."
The following is not verbatim...I formulated the question during the meeting, making scribbled notes on the agenda that was handed out at the start of the meeting. I did not write my question completely out...and, in fact, during the initial portion of my question there was quite a bit of friendly banter between Mr. Palmisano and myself. As you can imagine, the banter ended as I neared the end of my question. So...here it goes, to the best of my recollection.
Hello Mr. Palmisano. Actually, may I call you Sam? (Mr. Palmisano replies that he's been called worse things). I feel that I can call you Sam because I feel like you're one of us, unlike that "last guy that occupied the podium where you're standing."
I started with IBM at about the same time you did, but haven't done quite as well as you have. (Spoken in a self-deprecating tone). But then I know you've worked much harder than I have, and I feel you deserve the position you've attained. And, besides that you were a salesman and I started as an engineer, and we both know that sales guys always do better at IBM. (said with a smile).
Nevertheless, I've had a great career at IBM, and I truly love this company. I also must state that I am very impressed with the generosity of the new enhanced 401k plan, and feel that it is very competitive compared with what other companies offer. Unfortunately, for people like me who are late in their IBM careers, the new plan won't do us much, if any good...
You and I both attended many meetings in the 70's and 80's with our managers where we were told that our lifetime medical and pension benefits were a form of deferred compensation. I trusted IBM to keep its promises. In fact, I made lifestyle choices based on IBM's promises, including the decision my wife and I made for her to be a stay-at-home mom. I counted on the retirement medical and pension promises IBM had made through all my years as an employee.
As we know, IBM has not kept its promises to its long-term employees. I've run the numbers. I wasn't affected by the cash balance changes in 1999, but have been affected to the tune of 40% to 50% of my pension benefit from the changes made in 1991 and 1995. I'll be happy to share the specifics with you, the board, or the press. And, this cut doesn't include the cut in my retiree medical benefit, which is even larger than the pension cut.
On the other hand, with the introduction of the SERP under Lou Gerstner, you and other senior executives have done *very* well, to the tune of $10,000 to $22,000 a day (and that's 7 days a week) for your pension. This is according to the proxy materials we have in front of us, and a recent article on MS-NBC.
My question for you, Sam, is "is $10,000 a day enough for you to live on, or will further cuts to employee benefits be required?"
There was brief applause...the only applause of the meeting that wasn't what I'd call "courtesy applause." Mr. Palmisano fumbled for a while, then stated that he felt the "gist of my question" concerned the SERP. He went on to explain that the SERP has now been discontinued, but that Lou introduced it in 1999 because IBM executives were leaving in droves, and something needed to be done to retain them. He said more than this...but I don't recall very well what exactly he did say.
He abruptly ended the meeting at this point, twenty minutes early, and after having taken only three questions from the floor, one of which was from a "plant."
Janet Krueger had a microphone in hand at position 2, but Sam avoided calling on that position knowing that Janet would ask a tough question. Sam didn't know me, so when he looked at the left side of the room for a question, he called on position 4...which was me holding that microphone.
A highlight (among many) was gathering with 25 of my IBM colleague/friends at Domaine Chandon in Napa, CA for my QCC celebration. IBM footed the entire bill for all who attended, which included our failed attempt to consume that year's Champagne production. My manager had a Gold bezel added to the traditional Rolex to signify and commemorate the 18 Golden Circles I achieved in my sales career. In addition, I got the $1K check, plus 2 fat binders of letters and pictures from those who had shared my IBM adventures, successes and failures over those 25 years. A truly great party.
The 1986 early-out offer (immediate full pension plus 2 years of salary) gave me the opportunity, at 48 years of age, to pursue other opportunities. I have nothing but fond memories of my IBM career.
Now, with IBM giving me $4,400, and my IBM retiree wife $3,000, each year to pay our medical expenses, there's still nothing to complain about there. We live, travel extensively and support a number of charities, all on our monthly pensions, but, thanks to the investment opportunities IBM provided through out our careers, we could survive quite well without those pensions.
A fortuitous execution of a covered call I had written on my IBM stock portfolio, liquidated my entire position in August of 1987, which I then reinvested in Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway in October, after the 1987 stock debacle. The stock has done quite well. So if IBM needs our pension $$ to keep up the good fight, they are welcome to it.
I relate all of this to let other readers know that not all IBM retirees are old, bitter curmudgeons, damning everything management did and does, and begrudging any benefits for all who tried and try to lead. Thanks to IBM, there are many, like myself, who have done well and cherish our IBM memories. Enough with all this gnashing and bashing.
Good fight? What fight? Are you crazy? You are the ultimate corporate apologist. Are you IBM or ex-IBM senior management incarnate? Are you a union buster (is that the GOOD FIGHT you mean?). You earned your pension, entitled to it all, and obviously you must be a millionaire or something to not need it. You took it didn't you? Hey, great for you! I bow down to you and can I worship you?
Do you have any caring for those that now have or will have $0 in retiree IBM health benefits? Got shafted with the age discriminatory IBM cash balance pension conversion? Got resourced action and escorted out the door in less than an hour after 20+ years of IBM loyal employment service?
All of you "GOT YOURS and flaunt it". Oh, so if it retirement and life is fine (i.e. lastdino1 LIG) for you then consider yourself lucky; you were born at the right place at the right time! Some former IBMers: not so lucky. If you can't accept differing views that IBM is not like it was in decades past then why flaunt it? Just accept your life's luck and enjoy. You were in the great IBM at the time. You're old and entitled; I get it. So just enjoy and don't waste your time here and rub salt in to some recent ex-IBMers wounds. Those not so lucky as you.
Why don't you accept IBM IS BROKEN NOW for the current and recently retired and it is probably too late to fix it! Look at the last two years of quarterly results!
The QCC process described that that pathetic poster added shows that IBM is a moral basket case when got totally shafted!
Is this just a feel good IBM "good times club" forum? Then it is a waste of time. I guess you might have plenty of spare time or all the time in the world to spend typing in your post being 'happily ever after'.
So you are the one the ruined if for all the rest of us!
Seriously, things are not the same as they were prior to 1986. Congrats on getting out while the getting was good.
But while the mainframe is still around, the market for high-end computing has changed dramatically with the rise of a new generation of low-cost server farms and cloud computing services. Whether you’re an Internet giant or an upstart photo-sharing app, a big machine from IBM is now far from the only way to get the heavy computing work done, and certainly not the cheapest.
Sales plunged in 2013 — mainframes fell 37% and high-end Power servers fell 31% — and the revenue drops were bad enough that CEO Ginni Rometty and her senior executive team chose to forgo their annual bonuses.
The company and a variety of partners, including Google Inc., are also discussing plans for products stemming from IBM's decision to license its new Power8 chip technology so other companies can make their own microprocessors and related products.
IBM announced that strategy shift last year to help reverse a sharp sales decline of its high-end server systems. By bringing a big performance boost at an attractive price—and encouraging others to make compatible machines—IBM hopes to court Web services that use Intel chip technology almost exclusively. ...
Some of the greatest interest in the Power8 efforts may come from China, Mr. Moorhead said, given the country's preference for technology that can be locally modified. The first company to indicate interest in making chips based on Power8 is Suzhou PowerCore Technology Co., a company recently created as part of development initiative by China's Jiangsu province.
IBM announced 26 partners for its OpenPower Foundation (OPF) at the event. A Google engineering manager chairs the effort, signaling the search company's interest, but he made no specific commitment to using Power 8.
"Google gets in bed with everybody… they'll be in all these different activities, but it's never really a strategic thing for them," Nathan Brookwood, principal of the market watcher Insight64, told EE Times. IBM's open hardware move is "driven by desperation more than hope."
Despite its high performance, IBM's Power 8 lacks the volume to compete in a very expensive processor battle with the massively popular Intel and ARM architectures, Brookwood said. In addition, the open development model may not be successful in the server market, where a few players retain tight control. ...
Taking the opposite position, Suzhou PowerCore said it plans to license the Power architecture and chip design tools to develop and market processors for servers in China. Seeking more opportunities in Asia, IBM executives are travelling to China this week to hold another OPF event. ...
Despite earlier layoffs and rumors that it might leave the semiconductor business, the company says it is on the forefront of design trends. Richard Talbot, director and project executive for IBM Power Systems, told us an inclination toward openness in software and application development is now creeping into all layers of hardware.
Pros: Beats the unemployment line...beats the unemployment line (there's a 20 word minimum)...beats the unemployment line.
Cons: Too numerous to mention. They don't give a hoot about anyone. They only care about billable hours. Endless procedures. Their "trainings" are a joke. The managers are clueless and know nothing about technology. The equipment they give us stinks. Horrible company. They place employees in jobs they are not qualified for just to keep them on billing. No longer the great company they were when they were Big Blue.
Advice to Senior Management: Resign. The workers would be better off without you.
Pros: Access to leading technology, world class talent, many people have decades of experience. Great place to build a resume, write patents and learn. Great work/life balance, lots of responsibility given to engineers. Huge company with many opportunities if you can find them.
Cons: Change in business strategy to software and services has severely impacted the hardware group and its ability to execute with questionable financial results. Challenging growth environment given hardware sales decline. Ancient buildings and offices.
Advice to Senior Management: IBM needs a growth strategy beyond 2015 EPS and a way to take advantage of the fantastic people in the company. Talented people leave IBM because they don't see a growth path that aligns with the company. Many are skeptical that software and services will stand on their own without differentiated hardware.
Pros: Money. If you are out to do nothing but make money this is the job for you, otherwise go somewhere else. If you are looking to make a difference or do something epic, this is not for you.
Cons: Long Hours. Unfair review process. Poor career growth. Short on staff. Horrible business practice. Employees are required to work a 44-hour work week; coincidentally works out so that you only wind up with 1 day off a year IF you are able to take vacation.
Advice to Senior Management: Give a little, gain a lot. There are no incentives to be a good employee. Practice what you preach—everything I heard was fluff from management; nothing ever comes to fruition when it comes to taking care of employees.
Pros: Lots of opportunities given if you are one of the selected few for grooming; great support for women and minorities; easy to move around and try out different jobs/careers within the company; many established processes; had great educational benefits and training programs.
Cons: Treat people as just a number, really don't value the workforce—feels like everyone is replaceable with a counterpart in an offshore cheaper country even with the company is doing well; it doesn't feel like people are rewarded for it.
Advice to Senior Management: Treat people with more value than if there are just a number, as if you realize that they are your greatest assess.
Pros: -managers interested in your development; -have contact with higher ups in the company; -open office environment; -casual dress except for presentation days.
Cons: -interviewing for next steps after internship; -hard to navigate the intranet system IBM has in place.
Pros: It's a big company so it gives you a lot of options a smaller company can't offer.
Advice to Senior Management: You are promoted to management because you had the right skin color and/or the right gender. You don't have the talent to do your job. You hold down the really talented people because they don't fit your "affirmative action" goals.
Pros: You'll be able to work with talents from various countries, a lot of training resources, a lot of good colleagues to work with. Salary is high compared with local companies (w/o counting the bonus). Good quality of first line, second line level of management.
Cons: Now the company sees things in a very short-term way. They sacrifice the long-term durability for short-term $$ on the book.
Advice to Senior Management: Wake up! The 2015 goal will ruin this company.
Pros: Pay, lifestyle, people. IBM is great if you are looking for a conservative environment with minimal change year in and year out. Most of the people are fantastic, but middle management can be very political.
Cons: Pay is OK, but not top tier in the industry. Very process oriented...so much so that it impacts sales and customer relationships. Lost the ability to react which is hurting market share. Current company strategy is built on M&A because innovation is not taking off.
Advice to Senior Management: Let your talent do what you hired them to do. Some of the managers realize this and excel, others are too worried about unnecessary details/processes that hold both their people and opportunities back. Get out of your own way. And you should feel threatened by the little guys, because they are winning.
Pros: On whole IBM is a meritocracy. You will be treated and rewarded based on your contribution. This is not universal there’s a lot of hype about values and trust. These don't bear up to much investigation. IBM is also very politically correct if this is problem or you can't handle it go somewhere else. Lastly is very complex and Bureaucratic But if you can make your face fit and more importantly learn how to play the game you’ll be OK.
Cons: Very bureaucratic. constant reviews and pay and rewards aren't great.
Advice to Senior Management: Spend less time on conference calls. go and meet customers and your folks at the coalface.
Pros: Dealing with biggest customers in country; Good salary if a proper negotiation is done during recruiting time; Many learning stuff available
Cons: Total lack of people cara from 1st and 2nd line manager, a total shame; Training is all based on employees self-effort — no company money spent even on IBM technologies; a *LOT* of bullying happening by people being manager but not ready for that.
Advice to Senior Management: Pay more attention to talents and monitor low level managers doing a complete mess within support teams.
To understand why that should be cause for concern, ponder some possibilities as they relate to pension deals with hedge funds, private equity partnerships and other so-called “alternative investments.” For example, it is possible that the secret terms of such agreements could allow other private individuals in the same investments to negotiate preferential terms for themselves, meaning public employees’ pension money enriches those private investors. It is also possible that the secret terms of the agreements create the heads-Wall-Street-wins, tails-pensions-lose effect — the one whereby retirees’ money is subjected to huge risks, yet financial firms’ profits are guaranteed regardless of returns. ...
So what is happening to retirees’ money? As Siedle documents, more and more of it is going to pay the exorbitant fees charged by the Wall Street firms managing the pension money.
“Fees have skyrocketed over 1,000 percent since 2000 and have almost doubled since (2008) from $217 million to $416 million,” he writes, adding that “annual fees and expenses will amount to approximately $1 billion in the near future.”
Edison (SCE) is working with Infosys, which is based in India, and iGate, a New Jersey-based company with major offshore centers, as it prepares to lay off workers, according to U.S. government records. ...
Northeast Utilities, last fall, announced it was outsourcing part of its IT operations to Infosys and another Indian-based IT services giant, Tata Consultancy Services, and cut about 200 jobs. SCE isn't disclosing how many jobs may be cut, but the Los Angeles Times reports the number is in the hundreds. ...
The evidence pointing to offshore outsourcing, and to Infosys and iGate as at least two of the vendors, is based on government records. Edison runs some of its IT operations in Irwindale, Calif. As part of the hiring process for H-1B visa-holding workers, outsourcing vendors file a Labor Condition Application (LCA), a U.S. document with salary information and the address of the visa workers' worksite. There were as many as 130 LCAs filed by Infosys alone in the past year for the Irwindale address associated with SCE's offices, according to a large sampling of those filings collected by visa data analysis firm MyVisaJobs.
H-1B rules make it relatively easy for offshore outsourcing companies to replace U.S. workers, despite a rule to curb it. ...
H-1B-dependent employers are exempted from U.S. worker protection rules if the H-1B worker is paid at least $60,000 or has a master's degree.
An annual salary of $60,000 is low for an IT professional, especially in the high-wage region of Southern California. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported this month that the average starting salary for new college graduates -- nationally -- in computer science was $61,741.
The offshore companies, iGate and Infosys, both pay wages of more than $60,000 a year and therefore aren't obligated to meet the H-1B dependent rules. ...
Hira said there has been no effort by the government to enforce the dependency rules. "This is remarkable given the hundreds of thousands of visas that have been granted to H-1B dependent firms since the regulations took effect," he said.
In 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. warned that “mortgage-fraud crimes have reached crisis proportions.” He vowed bravely to fight back, but the Justice Department’s inspector general recently reported that, in fact, Holder’s department has made Wall Street crime its lowest priority and that, since 2009, the FBI has closed 747 mortgage-fraud cases with little or no investigation.
No wonder, writes Matt Taibbi, a reporter known for exposés in Rolling Stone on the banks’ rigging of financial markets. In “The Divide,” Taibbi offers the searing indictment that America’s wealth gap has corrupted the nation’s system of justice, fostering a “legal schizophrenia” that harshly prosecutes the poor but practices selective leniency on Wall Street. After “the greatest crime wave in a generation,” the Obama administration’s failure to jail top bankers, Taibbi contends, shows that the United States now lives by a hypocritical double standard — “letting major systemic offenders walk, bypassing the opportunity for important symbolic prosecutions and instead . . . putting the smallest of small fry on the rack for negligible offenses.”
Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants, to juxtapose justice for the poor and the powerful. How can it be, he asks, that a street drifter such as Tory Marone serves 40 days in jail after cops find half a reefer in his pocket, but not a single executive of HSBC faces criminal charges after the bank “admitted to laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia, washing money for terrorist-connected organizations in the Middle East, allowing rogue states under formal sanctions by the U.S. government to move money freely by the tens of billions through its American subsidiary, [and] letting Russian mobsters wash money on a grand scale”?
Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern conducted an extensive study of how major questions of public policy were decided over the course of the 20 years between 1981 and 2002. Their conclusions, scheduled for publication in the Fall issue of the journal Perspectives on Policy, were not happy ones for people who believe that the United States is a majoritarian democracy.
“When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy,” they write. ...
“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes,” the study finds. “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.” ...
Gilens and Page end the paper with a warning. “Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise,” they write. “But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”
While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.
After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. ...
The findings are striking because the most commonly cited economic statistics — such as per capita gross domestic product — continue to show that the United States has maintained its lead as the world’s richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world.
“The idea that the median American has so much more income than the middle class in all other parts of the world is not true these days,” said Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist who is not associated with LIS. “In 1960, we were massively richer than anyone else. In 1980, we were richer. In the 1990s, we were still richer.”
That is no longer the case, Professor Katz added.
Medical procedures, tests, scans and prescription medicine cost far more in the United States than in eight other countries, the International Federation of Health Plans said Thursday in its annual report.
“The price variations bear no relation to health outcomes; they merely demonstrate the relative ability of providers to profiteer at the expense of patients, and in some cases reflect a damaging degree of market failure,” said Tom Sackville, the group’s chief executive. ...
Here are some of the group’s findings:
This IBM executive regime also "celebrated" the wrong anniversary of IBM's 100th year. The celebration was cafeteria hot dogs and hamburgers at IBM site parking lots. As a union we can fix history and also correctly remember and commemorate it. -IBMUnionNow-
Jobs will continue to either be shipped to lower cost countries or eliminated all together until the screaming starts again and the process will be repeated.
Your PBC is simply a tool and, like a hammer; it can be used to create or destroy. When it comes to RAs, your assessment has very little to do with whether your name makes the list or not. The real deciding factor is whether eliminating or having lesser skilled (aka cheaper) workers perform the work will generate an unacceptable level of screaming from the customer. -Mike-
Alliance reply: Sorry to hear of your job loss. IBM has been blocking the Alliance site, off and on for some time, depending on the IBM location, in the U.S. We always remind our members not to access the Alliance web page from inside IBM, because IBM *could* fire anyone if they find out. These are the precautions that we recommend for U.S. IBMers. We aren't aware of the specific rules in IBM locations outside the U.S.; however, that same caution should be taken for the same reasons, in our view. By the way, the Alliance page can be accessed using your mobile device, too. Thank you for the information.
I had initially been turned down by the CT DOL, as I was collecting a pension. After reading the above blog, I appealed the decision and won. A huge thanks to my CT colleague for taking the time to share this information - and my sincere appreciation to the Alliance@IBM team for this incredibly valuable website. -Thank you!-
These people are not being replaced with offshore resources, and in many cases these are being RA'd as well. IBM isn't even offering replacements in nearly all cases and this costs us revenue and profit. It's not just GBS but in SWG, GTS and GPS as well. Other companies aren't eating our lunch; we are actively giving it to them. It's like a market exit in ALL lines of business. Maybe Buffet's strategy is to break up IBM and make a mint on the "consultation fees" in this process. -anon-
I know it hurts. It stinks; it is unfair. I fought this battle with IBM HR many times saying it was AGE DISCRIMINATORY as was the cash balance pension for the no-choicer.
Everyone thinks that 30 years of IBM employment service is retirement eligible. Without a UNION CONTRACT, defining retirement, it is not exactly that anymore in IBM management's jaundiced eyes!!
Sure the FHA (Future Hell Account) is age biased but since there is no actual $$$ in the notional accounts IBM can manipulate the age bias and the conditions any way they so please..and avoid the age discrimination implication(s).
But IBM can take back your once promised retirement health benefits and say you are retired when you have 30 years of IBM employment service when you are RAed...so go figure. -trexibmer-
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