giandujakiss: (Default)
Bosses Turn to Loans to Help Employees
Pam Dimitro, the controller at JNET Communications LLC, realized employees were often turning to payday lenders or high-interest credit cards in a financial pinch.

So the Warren, N.J., employer of call-center workers and cable installers began offering employees a new benefit: low-interest loans to help pay for things such as car repairs and health expenses.

Worried about their financially strapped workforce, a handful of companies are stepping in to offer employees alternatives to payday loans and other expensive financial products.
It sounds benign, but it seems like a way of exploiting the already low-salaries - they leave employees strapped for cash, and then step in to earn interest payments from the employees' need for loans.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Most start up businesses that receive venture capital are run by men; but when women run the start up, they receive 77 cents for every dollar that men receive.
giandujakiss: (Default)
loved it. It was extremely creative in the way that it jazzed up both the characters and the film style in order to turn an essentially unfilmable story into a surprisingly suspenseful film, considering we know how it ends.

It came up with some marvelously entertaining and original ways to explain the financial maneuvering behind the crisis, though I'm not certain how well they'd translate to someone who genuinely went in not knowing the basics.
giandujakiss: (gay batman)
And that fact is now preserved for all time in Match Group's federal securities filings, because Tinder's CEO also was not told that you aren't supposed to give interviews just before a company holds its IPO.

I genuinely don't know which part of this story I love most.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Women are persistently paid less than men as nurses and as corporate executives.

At this point, I'm starting to think that the solution is a regulation requiring that all salaries be posted publicly, because it's the secrecy about salary that allows disparities to flourish.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Neglected Roads and Bridges Take Toll on U.S. Companies
Transport is one of the weakest links in the corporate supply chain. Mile after mile, America’s crumbling infrastructure adds to the cost of moving parts, equipment and inventory across the country.

Transport is one of the weakest links in the corporate supply chain. Mile after mile, America’s crumbling infrastructure adds to the cost of moving parts, equipment and inventory across the country.

Aiming for a longer-term solution, President Barack Obama has offered a six-year, $478 billion transportation budget he plans to finance with a tax on companies’ foreign earnings. Political bookmakers give the plan little chance of survival.

The stakes are high, however: the federal government helps maintain over 4 million miles of roads and 600,000 bridges that knit the country together.

But sporadic funding for the system over the past decade has amounted to pothole patches, and with the White House and Congress unable to strike a deal on infrastructure spending, pressure is growing on state and local governments to pick up the slack by financing highway and bridge improvements with toll roads. In many locales, officials are asking businesses to shoulder more of the cost burden directly, imposing so-called “impact fees.”

Delivery companies are among the hardest hit by the federal gridlock, but many other industries share the pain. A group of companies including e-commerce giant Inc. is paying thousands of dollars a year in fees to one California county for reliable access to an interstate highway.
Amazing. After years and years of corporate interests lobbying to reduce taxes, they find there's been erosion of the basic infrastructure necessary to run their companies. Who could have predicted?
giandujakiss: (Default)
So, in our law, there are all kinds of default rules that say if a corporation commits some kind of crime, it not only gets the penalties directly imposed for that crime (like, a fine), but there will be automatic "collateral consequences" - like, it will be barred from bidding for government contracts, or getting other special privileges.

Credit Suisse recently pled guilty to tax evasion, and one of the collateral consequences is supposed to be that it is barred from managing ERISA pension funds. Nonetheless, the DOJ negotiated a plea agreement that waived the ban - a decision that Ralph Nader is challenging.

Meanwhile, several years ago, the Teamsters were also found guilty of corruption, which barred them from managing their own pension fund. As a result, the fund has been managed by Wall Street - which charged massive fees, invested assets in their own securities, and what ho! Now the fund is underfunded and Congress is using this fund as Exhibit A to justify a new law that allows pension funds to cut benefits when they're in financial trouble. Of course they are.

Fancy that

Dec. 12th, 2014 04:04 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
AT&T, Verizon Tax Breaks Fail to Produce Jobs
With Congress poised to extend a raft of tax breaks, consider this: One such break has helped AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. slash their recent tax bills by billions of dollars without leading to the intended increase in investment or jobs.

The measure, known as “bonus depreciation,” lets companies offset their income with investments they have made more quickly. It was enacted in 2008 as part of the economic stimulus package with the goal of giving companies an incentive to build more factories or upgrade more equipment, creating jobs and giving a boost to sluggish economic growth in the process.

But that isn’t how it has worked, at least at AT&T and Verizon, whose vast networks of towers and cables make them two of the country’s biggest investors in infrastructure.

AT&T estimated its federal tax bill last year at $3 billion, down from about $5.9 billion in 2007, before the tax relief was enacted. Verizon estimated that it would get $197 million back last year, compared with a 2007 bill of $2.6 billion.

Meanwhile, the companies have kept their capital spending relatively flat since the stimulus was adopted, and their employee count has dropped by more than 100,000 people, a fifth of their combined work forces.

The outcome isn’t a matter of gaming the tax system. AT&T and Verizon appear to be using the benefit as intended, and both are plowing tens of billions of dollars into their networks. It is possible their spending would have been lower if they hadn’t had the extra tax incentive. But the results do raise questions about whether extending bonus depreciation is an effective way to spur growth.
It almost raises questions about whether corporate tax breaks are the best way to spur job growth, no?
giandujakiss: (Default)

Basically, this is another case of employers shifting costs to employees. Once upon a time, being an employer and obtaining the profits of being an employer also meant that you took on certain expenses and risks - like the expenses and risks associated with overhead, to keep the lights on in your store even when you didn't have a lot of customers. By using just-in-time scheduling, employers are shifting those risks onto employees, who can least afford to bear them. It's just like employers who are no longer willing to pay for training (or to pay union wages and let unions do the training); they want employees to bear those costs.


Jul. 16th, 2014 03:16 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
This is a really important issue:

A Push to Give Steadier Shifts to Part-Timers
As more workers find their lives upended and their paychecks reduced by ever-changing, on-call schedules, government officials are trying to put limits on the harshest of those scheduling practices.

The actions reflect a growing national movement — fueled by women’s and labor groups — to curb practices that affect millions of families, like assigning just one or two days of work a week or requiring employees to work unpredictable hours that wreak havoc with everyday routines like college and child care.

The recent, rapid spread of on-call employment to retail and other sectors has prompted proposals that would require companies to pay employees extra for on-call work and to give two weeks’ notice of a work schedule.
giandujakiss: (Default)

giandujakiss: (Default)
is a little gem:
First, there was the TruPs crisis, as everyone surely recalls.


Well, after the Volcker Rule was finalized, some banks suddenly realized that they might have to sell some obscure holdings to conform to the rule — bundles of investments in banks, called trust-preferred securities, or TruPs. The American Bankers Association reacted immediately, warning that the nation’s community banks faced an avalanche of losses. Legislators readied bills to fix the problem that was supposedly facing banking’s little guys. Regulators felt embattled.

Then, the watchdogs tweaked the rule modestly, and the squall dissipated as quickly as it had arisen.

No sooner had that issue been resolved when Washington convulsed with a new crisis, now upon us: the C.L.O. panic. Haven’t heard of this one, either? What, are you paying attention to something like the standoff in Ukraine when the fate of bank profits is at stake?
Highly recommended.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Secret Handshakes Greet Frat Brothers on Wall Street
Conor Hails, head of the University of Pennsylvania’s Sigma Chi chapter, was in a Philadelphia hotel ballroom last month for a Barclays Plc (BARC) recruiting reception. A friend pointed out a banker from their fraternity. Hails, 20, approached with a secret handshake.

“We exchanged a grip, and he said, ‘Every Sigma Chi gets a business card,’” Hails recalled. “We’re trying to create Sigma Chi on Wall Street, a little fraternity on Wall Street.”

As students vie for 2014 internships in an industry where 22-year-olds can make more than $100,000 a year, interviews with three dozen fraternity members showed a network whose Wall Street alumni guide resumes to the tops of stacks, reveal interview questions with recommended answers, offer applicants secret mottoes and support chapters facing crackdowns.

That’s one reason men continue to dominate on Wall Street, where no woman has run a big bank...

Fraternities retain influence in the face of scrutiny by parents, politicians and police for binge drinking, hazing and at least 60 deaths in the U.S. since 2005....The largest U.S. banks say they are meritocracies and run diversity programs to shift an industry that once only let women onto the New York Stock Exchange floor as clerks during wartime shortages. Goldman Sachs added 10 women last year to a partnership that had one when CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein was elected to it in 1988.

“There obviously has been much progress since 20 years ago,” said Siegfried von Bonin, head of Dartmouth’s Alpha Delta chapter. “But the reality is that it’s still very much a male-dominated culture.”

Fraternity inboxes help show why. One of the recruiting e-mails to Dartmouth’s Alpha Delta arrived last month from an alumnus working in a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the largest U.S. mortgage lender.

The e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, was his best chance at reaching the college’s top men for next year’s analyst class in a San Francisco office that has had Dartmouth grads for eight straight years and Alpha Deltas for four, he wrote. Students could e-mail their resumes to him directly, he added, and they’d go to the top of the pile.

Fraternity members who went to work for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. said they were sent back to campus on recruiting trips, where they could tap people from their houses for interviews ahead of other candidates, some more qualified. One said he would sometimes invent endorsements to send to bosses that didn’t mention fraternity connections....

Research by Lauren Rivera, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has shown bankers preferring fraternity heads or other potential drinking buddies to candidates with better grades....

College women don’t always grasp that men their age are assembling connections that can matter more than schoolwork, said Erica O’Malley, who heads a diversity program at Grant Thornton LLP. She quizzed her children’s friends as they passed through her home near Chicago over the Thanksgiving break. “My daughter will be like, ‘Mom, stop,’” said O’Malley, who also heads an audit practice at the accounting firm. “They don’t really understand it.”

Fraternities have become so good at filling Wall Street’s openings that firms can hire several alumni for each woman.
giandujakiss: (Default)
New SEC members offer differing views on enforcement
The two newest members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday offered opposing views about how their agency should exert its enforcement power, with one urging restraint and the other advocating a strict crackdown on lawbreakers.
However will we be able to tell which one's the Republican?
In a speech in Los Angeles, Republican Commissioner Michael Piwowar said he feared his agency has delegated too much power to staff lawyers to issue subpoenas and raised concerns about punishing individuals for conduct that happened before the related laws were in place.

But Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein, giving her speech in Washington, praised the SEC for finally using all of its enforcement "tools in the toolbox," and advocated aggressively seeking penalties against companies and individuals.
Ah, that's how.
giandujakiss: (Kirk)
The Economics of Star Trek

How the Star Trek Economy Works

The Star Trek economy thing

You're welcome.

(TBH, these got kind of technical and I didn't read all that carefully but I don't think they grapple with the basic problem of inconsistencies in the Star Trek universe. We're told there's no money and no hunger or poverty, but we also know that Federation people clearly have some kind of currency - credits, or latinum - that they use to pay for things at least when dealing with people outside the Federation, and possibly even within it. And we also know that people work at jobs not just for the sheer joy, but the kind of jobs people don't ordinarily take unless they're doing it for money - like, you know, the waitstaff who work at the bars and restaurants we know that the 'verse contains. So there must be some kind of unit of exchange, though possibly its only use is to buy "luxury" items, which in many cases means non-replicated ones.)

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