Monday, July 11, 2011

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  • Macaca
    05-30 05:44 PM
    What Will It Take for Companies to Unlock Their Cash Hoards? ( By JASON ZWEIG | Wall Street Journal

    There is a cash crisis in corporate America�although it comes not from a shortage of the stuff, but from a surplus.

    In the first quarter, the five companies with the greatest cash hoards�Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google, Apple and Johnson & Johnson�added $15 billion in cash and marketable securities to their balance sheets. Microsoft alone packed away roughly $9 billion, or $100 million a day. All told, the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are sitting on more than $960 billion in cash, a record.

    To be sure, at many companies the cash piling up is at global operations that generate "undistributed foreign earnings" that can't be brought home, under U.S. law, without incurring taxes of up to 35%. But hundreds of billions in cash remain available�and idle.

    Meanwhile, the payout ratio�the proportion of earnings paid out as dividend income to shareholders�fell to 28.9% for the past four quarters. That, says S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt, is the lowest level since 1936. Dividends are going up�Intel, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have recently raised them�but cash is still piling up far faster than most industrial giants can possibly find a prudent use for it. Of course, investors themselves might have a better use for the cash, if they could get at it.

    As Daniel Peris, co-manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend fund, says, "The likelihood of spending money poorly is increased by having a surplus of it."

    Microsoft's purchase price for the online telecommunications firm Skype, widely criticized as too rich at $8.5 billion, almost precisely matches the amount of cash that Microsoft raked in last quarter. Was that torrent of cash burning a hole in Microsoft's pocket?

    "No way," says Bill Koefoed, general manager of investor relations at Microsoft. "We see this as being a very strategic acquisition."

    The heart of the problem, as the great investor Benjamin Graham pointed out decades ago, is that the best interests of corporate management and outside investors are at odds. That is especially true for giant companies whose growth has been slowing. "The more dubious the company's prospects�the more anxious management is to retain all the cash it can in the business," Graham wrote. "But the stockholders would be well advised to take out all the capital that can be safely spared, because these funds are much more valuable to them if in their own pockets, or invested elsewhere."

    Amnesia is another culprit. In the past, companies paid out vastly more of their profits as dividends, and they should again. "If there were a greater historical sensibility among investors and managers," Mr. Peris says, today's low payouts "would be called out as an abnormal situation that's likely to lead to that money being less well-spent than it otherwise might be."

    Dividends have gotten short shrift in recent years as investors have come to favor companies that instead use cash surpluses to buy back their shares. Meanwhile, with the economic recovery barely out of the sickbed, many companies are reluctant to invest heavily in expansion. Others want to keep cash handy for potential acquisitions. So cash sits idle�even as interest rates, after inflation, are so low that cash often produces negative real returns.

    Benjamin Graham made three simple proposals in 1951 that deserve to be revived.

    First, investors need to realize that a company's cash is a valuable asset, even when interest rates are low; if management won't put it to good use, investors must speak up. As Graham wrote: "When the results on capital are unsatisfactory, it is appropriate for stockholders to�insist that it be returned to stockholders on an equitable basis."

    Second, companies should set formal dividend policies. Rather than paying or raising dividends out of the blue, they should state in advance what proportion of earnings they expect to pay out as cash dividends. If, instead, they plan to use excess cash to buy back shares, they should offer hard evidence that the stock is undervalued.

    Finally, Graham advocated that leading companies should pay out two-thirds of their earnings as dividends. That rate isn't as radical as it might sound, even though it would amount to more than a doubling from today's levels. The dividend payout, as a percentage of total profits, has averaged 52.3% since 1936 and 46% over the past two decades, according to Standard & Poor's.

    If the companies in the S&P 500 raised their payout ratio to 50%, Mr. Silverblatt estimates, that would put an extra $207 billion into investors' pockets�at a time when shareholders' dividend income is taxed at historically low rates.

    "Companies are basically earning more than they've ever made before, but their payouts are nowhere near that high," says Mr. Silverblatt. "They're holding their cash really tight. You can call them Scrooges if you want."

    A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much ( By CATHERINE RAMPELL | The New York Times
    Made in America: Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Home ( By Patrick Smith | Fiscal Times

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  • axp817
    03-25 01:59 PM
    If he indeed was affiliated with the USCIS, I would want to hear his take on this even more. We are trying to understand what can and cannot be done in terms of self employment while on AOS and who better to answer this, than a USCIS representative.

    No one is trying to break the rules, just trying to understand what the rules are so they aren't unknowingly broken.

    And I know you were just joking, tee hee.

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  • dontcareanymore
    08-05 01:37 PM
    And Sir dontcareanymore, who are you to show people out.

    Please calm down, its ok if someone has ideas that donot match 100% to your ideas; your decency is in letting people speak and hear them still.

    friend.....Donot get angry, please.

    what a pity, we donot let anyone talk, speak unless they agree with us and we call ourselves educated, democratic....voice of immigration....
    may i dare say ...."we are not even close"..

    lets not fight, please. I am not blaming you sir, but the action. so please
    donot blast me, i know you are a wonderful person; i am blaming the action not you.

    You can't generalize everything. Do you care to show how this is as bad as labor substitution ?
    How about comparing the actual job duties of all EB2s and EB3s ? Not just what their lawyer says.

    Rules are made with good intentions and it is people that misuse them. But for the desi sweat shops selling labors , even the labor substitution has some merits in some cases (Again Not all).

    Again , I don't really care what happens with this law suite (even if that happens). Just wanted to impress that there are very good number of legitimate cases where the PD porting makes sense and it is required.

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  • kaisersose
    04-15 10:31 AM
    When I was a kid I lived in a very small house (flat) with my parents. Now I look back & realize that was the happiest time of my life. We didnt have much money. My parents gave me lot of time & love. For a kid what matters the most is the love he recives from his parents.

    Agreed, but then you have no way of knowing if you would have been less happier growing up in a bigger home. For all you know, you may have been more happier.

    I think personally we shouldn't make a statement "Our kids will have better lives in a house".

    That is the general line of thinking everyone has including all the people who are posting on this forum. If more money does not equate to a better life, then why are all these people taking the trouble to desert their home land and live in a foreign country? If more money => better lifestyle, then it follows a home can provide a relatively better environment to a child than an apartment.

    If all Americans live in rented apartments, drive only used Japanese cars (resale value), furnished their homes with scant used furniture and were focussed on investing their money than spending it, then the American economy will go down to the level of a third world country in less than 10 years.

    This does not mean everyone has to run out and buy a home. The point as I said earlier is to see a home as a home and not as an investment.


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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 09:30 AM
    But why just Israel? Jordan and Egypt also got the slice of the pie. Why not fire rocket at them? Blame Israel just because it's the only non-muslim country in the region so they should pay?

    Secondly, Hamas is this powerful today just because people of Palestian allowed them, supported them, elected them now why shy from facing the fallout?

    It's sad and unfortunate that people are dying but they are dying because of their bad choices not Israel's so called "aggression".

    Its because they are the one that occupies others land and murdering innocent civilians brutally under the guise of self defence.

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  • snathan
    01-06 05:15 PM
    Didn't Narendra Modi followed the footstep of Isreali counterparts by killing innocents in Gujarat?

    Its upto Indians to decide which type of leaders we need. Like Gandhi or Modi.

    Modi is the need of the hour andnot Gandhi....Grow up man.


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  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 08:53 AM
    I have mentioned this point in some other post, I just got confirmation of that and wanted to share with everyone.
    I went to one of my friends home yesterday. He has ARM which recently got reset. His rate was 4.3 and this year after reset he got to keep it !! Not only that his monthly installment reduced by $10 , he did not know why !!
    So, what we are saying is deadlock here. People who dont have to move will very happy to keep their current loan which will be much cheaper than new loan. Buyers will face not only issue with credit but potentially higher rates. So there are 2 possible scenarios now :
    1. Fed keep fed fund rate same or reduces
    As we are seeing, current owners will like to keep their home if possible. Buyers dont see much bargain in current loan rates. So, anyone who has to sell will have to lose much more in price. Home market will be frozen,very bad for economy.The longer the fed keeps status quo, lower the price ...
    2. Fed increases rate
    Now ARMS will get reset every year. My friend was surprised when I told him his rate will get reset every year now tied to prime rate. Also, I told him that if not for Fed cuts his rate would have reset to around 7% !! So if Fed raises rate, current owners will suffer. Primes will be new sub-primes !!

    In either case, the house prices are going down. The psychology of owning home is changing as equity is not getting build. If no equity, wouldn't I save for my son's college than spend twice the money just to get more space ( and 0 saving in turn).
    Wait and watch, be ready for saner prices. 20% drop in home prices from here is very much possible .....

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  • obviously
    04-10 12:41 PM
    Fighting between EB categories shows how shallow our debates can turn out to be! Rhimzim & all, do the illegals differentiate between meat packers, seamstresses, window cleaners etc.? Why waste time and energy?


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  • abracadabra102
    01-02 11:39 AM
    Non-state actors are mentioned a lot here. Who are these non-state actors and who is responsible for acts of these non-state actors? If a few Pakistani citizens cross over and strike Indian cities at random and disappear back into Pakistan, what are India's options? Just to pray that in some 30-50 years into future all Pakistani terrorists will somehow realize their folly and turn into saints?

    We are also missing the elephant in the room. India has 150 million muslims and we have our share of Hindu fundamentalists. These Hindu fundamentalist groups have been trying for a long time to equate terrorism to Islam (targeting Indian muslims) and Indian public at large rejected this notion so far (rightly so) and that may change in future and it may not be long before a Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister. It will be a shame if a few terrorists destroyed that very tenet of India - "Unity in Diversity".

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  • NKR
    04-14 02:30 PM
    wow you come back to the same argument again ..and you tell others. maybe you should ask your child ..would you prefer that I spend more time with you or is it o.k if I see you only on weekends.
    you are saying the others are not understanding your point ..but at the same time you are not understanding the other side of argument.
    basically you are equating a bigger house means better childhood ..which is plain wrong. maybe your case or for few lucky people that maybe the case ..but I suspect for 99 percent of people ..maintaining and buying homes means they have to slog harder and that means less time for kids !!

    Glad to know that you remember me. I don�t understand your logic, do you mean to say that I go to my house only on weekends, or do you mean to say that people who live in apartments spend the weekdays with family and go to work only on weekends?. What is your point dude?.


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  • GCapplicant
    09-26 10:02 AM
    For me Obama and Mccain are equally good candidates. I would prefer Hillary Clinton over both of them.

    McCain is a great guy, but he is with the wrong party. A party that aligns itself with anti-immigrants.

    Now that we don't have much hopes for HR-5882, we should start targeting the CIR right now. Maybe we can talk to the Hispanic and other groups which will have an influence over CIR and have our provisions taken care of.

    It will definitely be easier to tie-up with Hispanic caucus and other groups than anti-immigrants.

    I agree with you - mediating with Caucus is the only option.Legal is nothing infront of them.They are the real majority when compared to our %.

    Even if they bring new restriction over EB category - we have already applied and are in our final stage only.It's only the visa numbers.

    The new rules might be for the new applicants ,maximum they might bring in Stem.There is nothing more they can do for us.More restrictions on us is quite impossible.

    Oct 2009 should be in favor to us all.I have to only pray God.We have to just move on with our life.

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  • CreatedToday
    01-07 03:13 PM
    What are they? :D

    Warning : Watching this video may lead some into a state of denial, or even rage. If you are easily offended by creative depictions, then don't watch. For everyone else, enjoy :

    I didn't know Narendra Modi is a muslim. I didn't know those are committing genocide in Palestine are muslims. I didn't know those who attacked Iraq and commited war-crime under the pretex of WMD are muslims. I didn't know that these people are muslims.

    May be Narendra Modi was born to a Moghul Emperor. Others are born to ottaman emperors. What about you vghc? Are you a product of muslim?


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  • alterego
    07-13 10:03 AM
    Can I ask why the complaint in the letter about the change in interpretation of the law in favor of Eb2 I? Before jumping on me, read on.
    The overflow visas would not go to EB3 I, under either interpretation. They would now go to either oversubscribed EB2 countries namely India and China(horizontally) or as in the past 2 yrs they went to to EB3 ROW under the old interpretation(Vertically).
    Arguably the first one is better for EB3 India since atleast, if you are qualified and your employer agrees and your job description is suited to EB2, then you could move. You certainly could not move your country of chargability. If you were hoping for overflow from EB3ROW, it would still have to pass through the gate of EB2I.
    Perhaps the person drafting the letter can explain their rationale on including this in the letter.

    I agree with Pappu, the single most important thing that could help EB3I in the near term is a visa recapture legislation. That is where the most energy of EB3 and for that matter all of IV membership should be. Specifically the membership needs to get more robust in their actions especially personally meeting lawmakers and their staff. Meeting affected constituents from their districts seems to have the most influence on them.
    Additionally, I would not convey the sense that, you were "deciding" on whether to file Eb2 or EB3. That should solely be based on the job description and is more up to the employers discretion in the current law. The beneficiary should not have a role in that(as per what I understand). Additionally, noone was prevented from porting their PD or using Sub labors or moving into EB2 category should the new job description meet the criteria (always remember you being qualified for EB2 means didly squat to the USCIS, it is the job description and the employer's desire for it that the USCIS considers, only then do your qualifications even matter to them). I agree that all of these are irksome to those waiting patiently in line, but those are the rules unfortunately. To my mind, the labor sub. thing was the most egregious, discriminatory and widely abused(thank god it has been ended), unfortunately those in the queue over the last few years paid for it.

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  • texcan
    08-06 04:56 PM
    10 Husbands, Still a Virgin
    A lawyer married a woman who had previously divorced ten husbands.

    On their wedding night, she told her new husband, "Please be gentle, I'm still a virgin."

    "What?" said the puzzled groom.

    "How can that be if you've been married ten times?"

    "Well, Husband #1 was a sales representative: he kept telling me how great it was going to be.

    Husband #2 was in software services: he was never really sure how it was supposed to function, but he said he'd look into it and get back to me.

    Husband #3 was from field services: he said everything checked out diagnostically but he just couldn't get the system up.

    Husband #4 was in telemarketing: even though he knew he had the order, he didn't know when he would be able to deliver.

    Husband #5 was an engineer: he understood the basic process but wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method.

    Husband #6 was from finance and administration: he thought he knew how, but he wasn't sure whether it was his job or not.

    Husband #7 was in marketing: although he had a nice product, he was never sure how to position it.

    Husband #8 was a psychologist: all he ever did was talk about it.

    Husband #9 was a gynecologist: all he did was look at it.

    Husband #10 was a stamp collector: all he ever did was... God! I miss him! But now that I've married you, I'm really excited!"

    "Good," said the new husband, "but, why?"

    "You're a lawyer. This time I know I'm gonna get screwed!"


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  • ghost
    07-17 11:00 AM

    We, members of IV who are on H-1B visas, can bring our spouses and children with full rights to travel. Family members are NOT counted in the quota for H-1B. Spouses cannot work as their status is dependent (H-4).

    Our agenda is to resolve the Green Card Queue. People are waiting in the queue since 2001. The current status of queue can be found at: (Look under the employment based numbers)

    We do not mind waiting in the queue until we get the Green Card. The problem is that the Green Card process is currently Employer-Centric. In the sense, once the GC process is initiated (Let's say Microsoft), the employee has to stick with Microsoft until the Green Card is approved.

    Even worse, we cannot get an official promotion during the wait as this will result in starting the GC process from scratch and inadvertantly sends their application to the end of the queue. Imagine Skilled Labor (people with BS, MS and PhD degrees in Science and Math) who are waiting in the queue for more than 5 years with out an official promotion and at employer's mercy.

    The employer precisely knows that the employee is stuck with their firm until they get their GC and they can conveniently ignore our professional growth (pay raise, promotion, etc). Make no mistake:rolleyes: , on the record they always sympathize our plight but they will not do anything about it. They always want more H-1B numbers but not GC numbers. Talk about employer exploitation.

    IV wants to make the GC process employee-centric so that the employers do not exploit the skilled labor.

    The problem of mis-match between H-1B numbers and GC numbers is created because of the disconnect between two programs. H-1B numbers do not have country limits where as GC numbers have a country limit.

    For example, let's assume that out of the current 65000 H-1B visas, 25000 are from India and 25000 are from China (First come first served basis) and the remaining 15000 are from the Rest of the World. However, the GC numbers have a country limit: 10000 for India, 10000 for China, etc. This results in a queue that will only increase with more H-1B numbers and a disconnected GC program.

    IV members are not against H-1B program (we are here on this program) but at the same time the H-1B increase is not our agenda (we leave it to the exploitant employers who lobby for it). We want to make the GC process employee-centric so as to stop the employer-exploitation and not hinder our professional growth.

    I am not aware of AFL-CIO/Programmers Guild agenda but my understanding was that they want to completely shut-down the H-1B program instead of reforming it. The bottom line is there aren't enough American Citizens who have advanced science and math degrees. So, we need a H-1B program. How to make this program more effective and less exploitative is debatable.

    This thread is very interesting to me. I've kind of lived though both sides, and it is really aweful for everyone but the abusive employer.

    My understanding of Immigration Voice's agenda is that this group is really for people who have H1B visas and are in the country already to bring their spouses and children here with full rights to travel and work, make sure renewals of H1Bs happen so you can stay in the country, and, even better, to convert H1B visas to green cards.

    My understanding is that the only reason that Immigration Voice supports increased H1B visa numbers is because people whose current visas are about to expire, and family members, are counted in these same numbers.

    Please correct if I'm wrong. I really would like to get this right.

    Anyway, if I do have it right, it seems to me that the AFL-CIO position (give people green cards instead of H1B visas) bridges the core concerns of members of Immigration Voice and the Programmers Guild. Whether or not everybody recognizes this is a different story, but it is good to know where the overlapping concern is, and hopefully in long term, get people talking about a solution that really does try to bridge the gap.

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  • Green_Always
    06-08 08:06 PM
    Wish you good luck to get Job quickly.

    I think it really is a matter of personal choice. A house is much more than a mere investment. For people like us it adds another layer of complications
    due to our status (or rather...lack of status).

    We are in Bay Area (San Jose Metro area) and were paying around $2000 in rent. We just bought a condo where our payments (mortgage + Taxes + HoA) are going
    to be around 2300. Hopefully we will be getting back around 400-500 in taxes and this makes it a good deal. However only 15 days after moving into our
    new house, I was laid off and now our biggest concern is if I am not able to get a job in next few weeks and if we have to go back we will be almost
    80k down the hole.


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  • snathan
    01-06 05:15 PM
    Didn't Narendra Modi followed the footstep of Isreali counterparts by killing innocents in Gujarat?

    Its upto Indians to decide which type of leaders we need. Like Gandhi or Modi.

    Modi is the need of the hour andnot Gandhi....Grow up man.

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  • unseenguy
    06-26 05:26 PM
    Here is my strategy:

    Keep an eye on the interest rates, if they are going to cross, 6.5% lock them in immediately and monitor for 90 days.

    1) Wait for home prices to fall further or not increase (After the economic stimulus timeline has passed), sales may slump again
    2) Use this time to stay in a modest short term apartment/condo/townhome and save 1500 a month to build a large downpayment when you get GC.
    3) Use large downpayment to lower your monthly payment.
    4) use lowered monthly payments to make additional payments towards your principal thus further reducing the payments on mortgage interest.

    Hence in 2-3 years you can go for a bigger house with lower mortgage and quicker payoff since prices are not rising now.

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  • vallabhu
    04-07 02:00 PM
    Situation definitely requires some action from Congress, H1B program was introduced to help

    American Corporates so they can hire best resources from all over the world where Americans

    are not available, American Corps started taking undue advantage by hiring even if Citizens

    were available just because they are getting H1's for lesser price, and showed this

    miserable path to desi companies who abused it further.

    If the current situation (with out this bill by just adding more h1's) continues not only US

    economy will suffer (The number of available right people for any job will be less as hey

    would be working for some desi company making 20$ an hour) even H1 aspirants will start

    suffering upon Arrival to US and also those who live here will suffer from immense

    competition (Just because of the reason that every job posting will be flooded with 1000's

    of resumes and only lucky ones get picked you may be best but your resume has to be picked

    for an interview call), as the number of jobs are lesser than people coming.

    Unlimited H1 may be a solution but it is not practical, If the numbers are available then

    desi companies won't bother to file so many applications without actual job, it makes

    situation better for new H1's coming to US they will have a job instead to joining a desi

    company and sitting on bench for long time(after quitting their job in India)

    Coming to this Bill, Even if it is so threatening they have some good points to bring curbs

    on H1 Employers who bring them here without actual job, People who are destined to come to

    us will come for a better life.

    IF Durbin wants to help US he has to make bill which is practical and should address how up

    clean up existing mess, This bill is not practical and will definitely face lot of


    Unfortunately politicians in any country have to take decisions based on how it is going to

    gain their party and in terms of votes and later how is it good for the Country, they will

    have lot of pressure from various other factors which we don't understand and they don't

    understand us.

    Their decisions are based on the data they have available with provided by few agencies whom

    they trust and closely work with, If they are taking a wrong decision that means either they

    don't have complete data or not properly educated. as we are getting affected It becomes our

    responsibility to provide them complete data and educate them totally of the situation, so

    they make a correct decision and address the issue, and to do that in US affectively we will

    need millions of $'s.

    For bill to be more practical it should address 500,000 people who are living here for past

    several years and who's kids are US Citizens and also own homes. And also American Companies

    who are utilizing skills of these people.

    If 500,000 contribute 20 $ each we will have 10 Million and we can make ammendments the way

    we want it to be.

    If 10000 members contribute 100 $ each we will have 1 million which is not bad but this not

    practical either.

    My final Cut even if this kind bill passes or another bill with more h1's passes we will be

    in same situation, the best for us could be this kind of bill with more practicality.

    So with our limited resources we will have to do what we can and give all our efforts (Call

    your senators) and leave the rest to god.

    I tried to mobilize couple of my friends, they are like "No, take it easy this will not

    happen" if this is the attitude guys remember you have something in your hands today and if

    the bill passes in its current form even if you want to contribute 5000$ to stay in this

    country you will not be able to do that as all of us would be packing to go back.

    01-06 12:38 PM
    Israeli shelling kills more than 40 at UN school in Gaza.

    More killing while the world watches silently.

    04-14 12:16 PM
    In California have anyone explored a Duplex/Triplex market where 2 parties buy a multiplex togather they pay less money, get a good location and good school district. I have heard a lot of success stories, plus duplex is like 2 single family homes with yards/decks etc. 2 friends buy the property togather, you also get usual tax deduction and NO HOA like town homes... (if you pay 300/mo HOA you end up paying 108000 in 30 years). I think owning a multiplex for about 5 years then renting it out and getting a single family home makes a lot of sense for long term...what say!

    People who have bought houses are advocating buying one and who are renting are defending their decisions to rent... I think buying a multiplex i.e. 2 single family homes 3/1.5 bath in 450K each in California (sunnyvale/cupertino) makes a lot of sense...don't you think!

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