Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

The Exponential Effects of Fiscal Mismanagement

2009-03-19 11:08:42

Earlier this week I met with a contact from a company I used to contract with. I was never particularly impressed with the Executive Staff, but recently found out that they "fudged" their books and were caught in an audit. If you read the message boards over at Yahoo, my favorite thus far is the one with the title "Is BSQR like the Enron of Small Companies - Poor Management?"

http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/mb/BSQR

Then let's look at AIG. OK, to use a very strong colloquialism..."WTF?" BONUSES to the miserable executives who mismanaged their assets? Is anyone else disgusted at this? Someone questioned whether we, as the general public, have any stake in this. My response was, "well, the federal government currently owns an 80% stake in the company. I elected the officials that are administering this on the behalf of John Q. Public; so yeah, we have a significant stake." I believe the executives who have accepted the bonuses should be somehow dealt with legally if at all possible, and replaced poste haste. You cannot tell me there aren't *honest and qualified* execs available to run this company competently.

I'm glad GM is restructuring. I'm firmly convinced that this is one of the best things to come out of all the "bailout" muck. I have been on the fence about this issue for several months, and have concluded that we should let the free market capitalist model *do it's job*.

Closer to home, Microsoft recently instituted a mandatory 10% reduction in billing fees from it's staffing agencies (see, HR after all :). Some of the agencies passed the cuts along to the contractors in whole or part; some ate the reduction on existing contracts. The contractors themselves keenly feel the injustice of all this, and some have started protesting. I've had "offline" conversations with people about the situation and most people attribute it to a few things.

1) Many of Microsoft's enterprise customers were in the banking/finance industry, which means a significant reduction in their revenue stream.

2) When Bill Gates stepped down, the company naturally shifted gears from a corporate culture perspective. Steve Ballmer has very different ideas about how to run the company.

3) Yes, corporate greed has played a part in this.

4) OFCCP and other compliance issues have been a factor in the decisions.

My personal opinion? MS has shot itself in the foot as an employer of choice, between the contractor gaffe and the layoffs with the whole "payback" debacle. Are some of the measures they have taken sensible? Sure. But MS's fiscal year starts in *July*. I think they truly jumped the gun on many of these cost-cutting measures which could have been more appropriately handled with the change of fiscal year.

I have many friends in Staffing worried that they will be losing their jobs come July. And I don't blame them one bit.

When major corporations and small local businesses start skirting both the law and common sense, practicing corporate greed, it makes me angry, mostly for the employees effected by the stupidity of it all.



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