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I have often said that H1Bs are poison, and offshoring labor more so.

I made my money in the computer field.  It used to be a good field to go into; good money could be made as a programmer, even working for someone else (my first "real" job was doing exactly that.)

Not any more.

Ever heard of Electronics for Imaging? We hadn't either until this morning, but it's apparently a multimillion dollar, multinational, public corporation based out of Fremont, California. And the United States Department of Labor just caught EFI red-handed in an investigation, which found that "about eight employees" were flown in from India to work 120-hour weeks for $1.21 per hour. EFI apparently thought it was okay to pay the employees the same wages they'd be paid in India (in Indian rupees).

This is why companies want H1b visas, it is why they're offshoring labor, and it's why college degrees are being rendered worthless at an ever-increasing rate.

There are still a few places where they make sense -- but virtually the entire computer science field is moving this way, toward being paid a buck an hour -- and if they can't do it here, they'll hire people from India over there where they still **** in the outdoors (really!) and thus don't have to pay for indoor plumbing and sanitation.

Thank both political parties and all those big companies.

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Beware the tricks in your bag today....

Today’s decision to expand Japan’s monetary stimulus may be regarded as shock treatment in the central bank’s effort to affect confidence levels.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s remedy to reflate the world’s third-largest economy through influencing expectations saw the yen sliding and stocks climbing. Kuroda led a divided board in Tokyo in a surprise decision to expand unprecedented monetary stimulus.

Remember, folks, QE works.

It works so well that it has be repeated.  Time and time again.  Every time.  All the time.

Where's the exit for Japan?  Two decades in coming, and yet here we still are, needing evermore.

What you got out of this was a big (~2%!) move in the Yen -- weaker.  That of course translated into a big move northbound in the futures.  Remember that a collapsing currency results in a skyrocketing stock market priced in that currency, but whether this is "good" depends on whether you can eat your (electronic) shares.

Given this enormous move (weaker) in the Yen would you mind explaining where the inflation is that the BOJ wants to see?  Since it has not materialized perhaps you might also muse on exactly what the impact of this "program" actually is.

And that's the paradox, you see -- despite the outrageously-large move in the Yen over the last few years there has been no inflation to be found in Japan itself -- at least as measured from the government's point of view, and thus what has been reported.  But that there's no reported inflation does not mean that your standard of living improved.  One need only look here where there has been essentially no inflation over the last several years either (as reported by the government) and square that with the median family income numbers, or for that matter other periods of time here in America, to see that these so-called reported numbers mean exactly bupkis when it comes to whether your net purchasing power, as measured in the goods and services you can buy with an hour of labor, have improved or deteriorated.

So what's to come for Japan?

Hint: If you're a Japanese citizen I hope you enjoy grabbing your ankles.

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2014-10-31 06:01 by Karl Denninger
in Market Musings , 138 references
 

Yeah, this is smart....

Another quarterly earnings report, another slam dunk for Facebook. The company made $3.2 billion in the third quarter, up 59 percent year-over-year, and grew to 1.35 billion monthly active users. More than 700 million people check Facebook on their phones every single day. These are impressive numbers. But Facebook is about to toy with the hearts and minds of investors, shareholders, and analysts by spending the next year investing heavily in its passion projects: WhatsApp, Oculus, and Internet.org.

Really?  Slam-dunk?  Like Spamazon?

Well, sure.  Why not?  As long as investors will put up with executives paying themselves billions via either cash or (worse) "buybacks" (that are not really buybacks, because the stock is not canceled -- it is instead put in the Treasury and then used to pay executives) while the firm returns zippo in dividends and earns no net profit, what's to deter this behavior?

The oddity in this isn't that it happens.  It's that traders and "investors" (if there are any left) sit back and allow it while holding their shares, permitting Bezos and Zuckerburgler to loot them under the guise of "future investment."

Uh huh.  Amazon has run this line of crap now for more than a decade sequentially and gotten away with it, so why not?  As long as Bezos can walk on water, who cares?  As long as Zuckerburgler can do so, who cares?

Well, obviously, not you and not I.  I find it utterly amazing -- and amusing -- that the so-called analyst community continues to give this sort of crap a pass as well, but I guess I shouldn't be.

After all, so long as there's someone standing around willing to bid up yet another zero-net business (FaceBook has a P/E of nearly 70, and Amazon's is negative) why, if you're an executive, should you not keep taking cash from the idgits that insist on shoving it into your hand?

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2014-10-30 08:32 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 383 references
 

.... if Tim Cook is gay.

I find it utterly disgusting that in this day and age we are expected to pay homage to those who place their sexuality on display as one of their "public" attributes unless that is all they have to sell.  Plenty of celebrities are in that position, and if you can get someone to pay to look at your boobs or other body parts, more power to you gal (or guy.)

For a CEO to parade this around, irrespective of what he claims as the reason, is idiotic.  It is nothing more than an appeal to political correctness, and that's an appeal you are forced into when you can no longer sell your own professional excellence as that has been exhausted.

Therefore I declare that you are seeing Peak Apple, right here and now.

smiley

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How can we defend this sort of crap -- and help fund it?

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel pledged Monday to build more than 1,000 new settler homes in Arab east Jerusalem, in a move the Palestinians warned was likely to trigger an "explosion" of violence.

....

The news emerged just weeks after hardline settlers took over 35 homes in Silwan, a densely populated Palestinian neighbourhood on the southern edge of the Old City, sparking fury in the West Bank city of Ramallah and condemnation from Washington.

So seizing land from people that live there simply on their political and ethnic background is ok?

(Yes, I'm aware that this particular transaction appears -- on first blush -- to have begun "voluntarily."  However, the premise of "settlements" is anything but, as is the subsidization only for Jewish people, the walling off of same, the security only for same and displacement that inevitably comes with it, and on and on and on.)

What would be our reaction if a bunch of white families decided to take over 35 homes owned by black people in a US City?  We'd call that what it is -- grand theft and probably worse, and seek to put those people in prison, right?

Well?

Is it really any more difficult than this to understand?  I think not.

You cannot tell me that you want peace while at the same time you're doing this -- unless your definition of "peace" is in fact subjugation.

As I have repeatedly pointed out Israel has an intractable demographic problem in terms of who gives birth to how many kids, and there is no solution to this problem that maintains Israel as a Jewish state over time.

The fundamental question is thus really quite simple: Does a state have the right to declare that a particular religious or ethnic group is "superior" to others and should be protected so the character of their government is likewise protected?  

If so, can we do the same here in the United States with, for example, Hispanics -- or Catholics?

Careful with your premise here folks, because if you support what Israel is doing in this regard then you are in fact declaring that one race or religion is superior to another, which is in fact the antithesis of our Constitution -- and any claim a government may have to being a secular, constitutional republic.

PS: If it's perfectly ok for Israel to be a Jewish State, defending that however it decides is warranted up to and including killing people, then please compare and contrast with Saudi Arabia -- or ISIS, for that matter, explaining why what one does is ok and the other two are not.

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