Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:09 pm

America, land of free markets. … Oh. Wait.

It would appear that up to several dozen tech companies have been conspiring to artificially suppress wages for their employees. In other words, they’ve been stealing from their employees, although because they used email instead of a knife or gun no one will go to prison. At first it was just Apple, Google and Intel that we knew of; now, well …:

Confidential internal Google and Apple memos, buried within piles of court dockets and reviewed by PandoDaily, clearly show that what began as a secret cartel agreement between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt to illegally fix the labor market for hi-tech workers, expanded within a few years to include companies ranging from Dell, IBM, eBay and Microsoft, to Comcast, Clear Channel, Dreamworks, and London-based public relations behemoth WPP. All told, the combined workforces of the companies involved totals well over a million employees.

At the link you can also find embedded court documents bearing out the claims.

This is money that went to a very few officers and directors at these companies. It is money that was taken from hard-working employees and will never be returned. And do not kid yourself that tech is the only sector in which this is happening. One reason the government has been so easygoing on monopolies and near-monopolies the past 30 years is that they make this kind of thing easier. In other words, if you’re a CEO, this is a delightfully profitable feature, not a bug.

Worse, this conspiracy to suppress wages likely is going on in every major sector of American private industry. I can’t prove it, but I’m certain of it right now, because if there’s one thing I learned from investigative reporting, it’s that corrupt organizations are almost never just a little bit corrupt. Indeed, I would not be surprised to find that this phenomenon, along with daisy chains of CEOs sitting on each other’s board compensation committees, is a significant driver behind the fact that the overwhelming majority of profits from productivity gains are going to the top 1 or 2 percent of earners in the work force.

The CEOs involved knew that what they were doing was wrong, that it involved the permanent, unlawful taking of the property of others. They should be doing at least as much time as your run-of-the-mill bank robber, in facilities no more luxurious. But they won’t. And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:42 pm

Finally, some regulatory action

Filed under: I want my money back. — Lex @ 10:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

Maybe it was the pretty pictures.

But whatever it was, the SEC has finally awakened to at least some of the most egregious crime going on in the financial markets, filing an insider-trading lawsuit in Dell’s takeover of Perot systems.

Maybe, at long last, this is the start of something good. It couldn’t come at a better time — retail investors are about to get left holding big bags with designer labels on the outside and lots of something warm and brown on the inside.

Monday, September 21, 2009 5:41 pm

Do I have to draw you a map? OK, I’ll draw you a map.

Zero Hedge points out illegal insider trading ahead of Dell’s purchase of Perot Systems so clearly even I can see it. The question is, why can’t the SEC?

Bonus: Lots of pretty pictures.

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