Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
The Google service allows Chinese consumers to search for music, link to a Beijing company called Top100.cn, and download licensed music from that Chinese site, which has signed contracts with the music industry. (NYTimes)
i suspect that this is futile.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Please take care of this main blog. A community blog is like a garden, it needs constant tending everyday. Thanks.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The solution? The IMF, the Washington-based emergency lender of last resort, will make loans to keep the country solvent, but on condition the government hacks back its spending. The cure addresses the ailment.
But the Asian crisis was completely different. The Asian governments that went to the IMF for emergency loans - Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia - all had sound public finances.
The problem was not government debt. It was great tsunamis of hot money in the private capital markets. When the wave rushed out, it left a credit drought behind.
But Geithner, through his influence on the IMF, imposed the same cure the IMF had imposed on Latin America and Mexico. It was the wrong cure. Indeed, it only aggravated the problem.
Keating continued: "Soeharto's government delivered 21 years of 7 per cent compound growth. It takes a gigantic fool to mess that up. But the IMF messed it up. The end result was the biggest fall in GDP in the 20th century. That dubious distinction went to Indonesia. And, of course, Soeharto lost power."
Exactly who was the "gigantic fool"? It was, obviously, the man who wrote the program, Geithner, although Keating is prepared to put the then managing director of the IMF, the Frenchman Michel Camdessus, in the same category.
Worse, Keating argued, Geithner's misjudgment had done terminal damage to the credibility of the IMF, with seismic geoeconomic consequences: "The IMF is the gun that can't shoot straight. They've been making a mess of things for the last 20-odd years, and the greatest mess they made was in east Asia in 1997-98, so much so that no east Asian state will put its head in the IMF noose.""
Friday, March 27, 2009
I thought this story is an instructive example of how 'facts' are presented to the average Chinese citizen.
"Except when on official visits and when we were invited to rituals at festivals, we seldom went to temples," Wang recalled.
But he learned about the dark side of monastic life from local friends, serfs and open-minded nobles.
Temples held great power in old Tibet. They could force serf families on their land to send their children into the temples, which was one of the duties of these families. They could also apply to the religious authorities in Lhasa to seize people from outside and make them monks, Wang said. "These were two major ways to maintain the number of monks."
"Monks from poor families took up the toughest work in temples. They barely had the time to study sutras. Many were illiterate. Pretty teenage monks would suffer sexual harassment from powerful senior ones."
Wang and other soldiers were not well-prepared for these conditions. "At first we could not understand why we had to befriend nobles and senior monks. It was different from what we did in other places of the country -- the poor were our friends. We received quite an education about the special situation in Tibet," Wang said. (Xinhua)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Here in China's westernmost city, a $448 million plan to move about 50,000 residents out of the old city and into modern apartment buildings kicked off last month with the first 100 families transitioning into government housing. Officials say some houses are too far away from fire hydrants and that the old city is dangerously overcrowded. While the earthen homes have stood for centuries, the deadly earthquake that hit Sichuan province last May only added urgency to the project.
"Because many houses were built privately without any approval, the life of residents is not convenient and the capability against earthquakes and fire is weak," a local state-run news report said recently. "Our target is every family has a house, every family has employed members and the economy will be developed."
About 220,000 people, or 42 percent of the city's residents, live in the old town." (MSNBC)
A better way would be to base the rescue on current reality, not assumptions about the future. What would an examination of the banks’ assets reveal about their value? What is the size of the hole in the banking system? In the absence of good-faith measurement, taxpayer-financed purchases of bad assets could court huge unnecessary risks. (NYTimes)
Monday, March 23, 2009
Update: Bottom line
"Here, in its simplest form, is what the administration seems to think (this comes from conversations I had with administration officials over the weekend). It may be the case that these are mispriced assets rather than worthless assets. If that's true, then treating them as mispriced assets rather than worthless assets will save everyone involved a lot of money and carry a lot less downside risk. It is, at any rate, worth trying. The trouble is that the government doesn't know how to price anything. So if you want prices, you need private investors. And if you want private investors, you need to overcome the skittishness that's taken hold of the markets. And if you want to overcome the skittishness that's taken hold of private investors, you need a deal that they virtually cannot refuse. This is that deal. In its terms, it's all private upside and public downside. But even if the public downside here is more galling than is something like nationalization, it's not actually bigger. Quite the opposite." (Ezra Klein)
If the reality is those toxic mortgages are simply mispriced, the US Federal Government is going to make a buck load of profits - if the mortgages are worthless, the reverse is true, they are going to lose tons of money.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
"Q: What is the Geithner Plan?
A: The Geithner Plan is a trillion-dollar operation by which the U.S. acts as the world's largest hedge fund investor, committing its money to funds to buy up risky and distressed but probably fundamentally undervalued assets and, as patient capital, holding them either until maturity or until markets recover so that risk discounts are normal and it can sell them off--in either case at an immense profit."
or start buying ammunitions
"Q: What if markets never recover, the assets are not fundamentally undervalued, and even when held to maturity the government doesn't make back its money?
A: Then we have worse things to worry about than government losses on TARP-program money--for we are then in a world in which the only things that have value are bottled water, sewing needles, and ammunition."
obama is getting the whole New York times opinion page turned against him
Saturday, March 21, 2009
This plan will produce big gains for banks that didn’t actually need any help; it will, however, do little to reassure the public about banks that are seriously undercapitalized. And I fear that when the plan fails, as it almost surely will, the administration will have shot its bolt: it won’t be able to come back to Congress for a plan that might actually work.
What an awful mess. (Paul Krugman)
Friday, March 20, 2009
The letters were signed by Supreme Justice Bagir Manan on Tuesday and later distributed to all heads of provincial courts in the country, Supreme Court spokesperson Djoko Sarwoko said on Friday.
Djoko said imprisoning drug users could no longer be considered an appropriate approach to tackle the problem of drug abuse." (The Jakarta Post)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"Ohhh Justice will be served
And the battle will rage
This big dog will fight
When you rattle his cage
And you'll be sorry that you messed with
The U.S. of A.
'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass
It's the American way "
Mr Bernanke showed his own will on Wednesday March 18th, when the Fed’s policy panel said it would purchase $300 billion in Treasury debt, mostly maturing in two to ten years, starting next week. It will also boost its purchases of mortgage-backed securities to a total of $1.25 trillion from a previously announced $500 billion, and its purchases of debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage agencies, to a total of $200 billion from $100 billion." (Economist)
“My grandfather’s stories and the black-and-white snapshots he showed me of their travels in Africa captured my imagination as a young child. His fascination with – reverence of – South West Africa, the Kalahari Desert, the Bushmen and the other tribespeople he met was evident in his voice as he spoke. He passed this wonderment on to me and I adopted it as my own. ..
I would like to trace the journeys of my brave grandfather and great-grandfather across the Atlantic to Africa and document via photography – the same medium they used – the peoples and the remote and wild places of present-day Namibia whom they met and revered more than half a century ago.”
Help someone live the dream.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
"...there is still one more option. Today’s tax code makes no distinction between income above $373,000 and income above, say, $5 million. Both are taxed at 35 percent.
That is a legacy of the tax changes of the early 1990s, when far less of the nation’s income went to millionaires. Today, you can make a good argument for a new, higher tax bracket on the very largest incomes. In the past, the economist Thomas Piketty says, higher marginal tax rates tended to hold down salaries and bonuses, because executives had less incentive to angle for multimillion-dollar pay." (NYTimes)
This is an interesting option to explore. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office counted (reports here and here) ~114,510,000 households in 2005. It notes that the average pre-tax income of the highest 0.01% of households (~11,000 in total) was $35,473,200 in 2005. For those between the 99.9 and 99.99th percentiles, (~99,000 households) the average pre-tax income was $4,699,500. (the poor bastards in the 99.0-99.5 percentile range were averaging $413,300 before taxes.)
As things stand, these top two groups have a nominal tax rate of 35% on all income above $373,000. Let's make some rough calculations. This means that the top 0.01% has a federal income tax of roughly $12.5 million, for the 99.9-99.99 group, the figure is about $1.6 million, bringing their average after tax incomes down to about $23M and $3M, respectively (the actual after tax incomes are a bit higher than this)
let's say Leonhardt's suggestion is implemented and a new bracket is added, with all income above $5M taxed at a rate x.
for all groups except the top 0.01%, everything would stay the same. this group, however, would now pay, roughly, an additional ($30,000,000) * (x-0.35).
if x were, say, 70%, the top 0.01%'s after-tax income would be reduced by another $10.5M on average, to a mere $12.5M (still quadruple the 99.9-99.99 group average)
this would represent an additional $115.5 billion revenue to the US treasury.
if there were a politically ripe time for this kind of move, this is quite close to it.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
"Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia found reasoning, spatial visualisation and speed of thought all decline in our late 20s.
Therapies designed to stall or reverse the ageing process may need to start much earlier, he said." (BBC)
Look, globalization has created this interlocking fragility. At no time in the history of the universe has the cancellation of a Christmas order in New York meant layoffs in China. So for a while it created the illusion of stability, but it has created this devastating Black Swan.
Complex systems do not like debt. So it will proceed to destroy tens of trillions in debt until society rebuilds itself in an ultraconservative manner. We are in for a worse ride than people think.
People have the problem of denial. This is one of the things I learned in Lebanon. Everybody who left Beirut when the war started, including my parents, said, 'Oh, its temporary.' It lasted 17 years! People tend to underestimate the gravity of these situations. That's how they work.
Is this crisis going to last 17 years?
Unfortunately no, complex systems cascade much faster than that. However, the destruction will be deeper than people anticipate. It will bring down a lot of people.
My rosy scenario is that a better economic environment will develop, a low-debt, robust growth world, in which whatever is fragile will be allowed to break early and not late.
My nightmare scenario is that the government saves Citibank once again, as well as the other banks, and business resumes as usual. Then, the next time the system breaks, it breaks much, much bigger." (Interview with Nassim Taleb - Black Swan Author)
Such shortcomings may have left business school graduates inadequately prepared to make the decisions that, taken together, might have helped mitigate the financial crisis, critics say." (NY Times)
"Professor Philippon also plans to inject a discussion of whether or not the market is always right when it values things."
Monday, March 16, 2009
The city's "Pussy Club" has made headlines in the local press by giving clients unlimited access to all its ladies for €70, which includes an all-you-can-eat-and-drink offer, in a bid to weather Germany's worst economic slump since World War II.
To clinch the deal, it is even offering men the opportunity to bring their wives along." (Spiegel)
And fresh in the outrage department:
"Citigroup gave Vikram S. Pandit, its chief executive, a compensation package valued at more than $38.2 million for 2008, even as the bank posted five consecutive quarters of multibillion-dollar losses and turned to the government three times for help." link
Under the agreement, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman would become foreign minister, said officials from Mr Netanyahu's Likud party. " (BBC)
Here's what the oracle sez about Lieberman. This guy makes John Bolton looks like Mahatma Gandhi.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Private ownership is so concentrated in some areas that a single electricity company from Spain, Endesa, has bought up 80 percent of the water rights in a huge region in the south, causing an uproar. In the north, agricultural producers are competing with mining companies to siphon off rivers and tap scarce water supplies, leaving towns like this one bone dry and withering." (NY Times)
The bonus plan covers 400 employees, and the bonuses range from as little as $1,000 to as much as $6.5 million. Seven executives at the financial products unit were entitled to receive more than $3 million in bonuses.
Mr. Liddy, whom Federal Reserve and Treasury officials recruited after A.I.G. faltered last September and received its first round of bailout money, said the bonuses and “retention pay” had been agreed to in early 2008 and were for the most part legally required." (NY Times)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The custom of chewing coca leaves has existed in the Andean region of South America since at least 3000 B.C. It helps mitigate the sensation of hunger, offers energy during long days of labor and helps counter altitude sickness. Unlike nicotine or caffeine, it causes no harm to human health nor addiction or altered state, and it is effective in the struggle against obesity, a major problem in many modern societies.
Today, millions of people chew coca in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and northern Argentina and Chile. The coca leaf continues to have ritual, religious and cultural significance that transcends indigenous cultures and encompasses the mestizo population." (Evo Morales - NY TImes Op Ed)
"In 1961, the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs placed the coca leaf in the same category with cocaine — thus promoting the false notion that the coca leaf is a narcotic — and ordered that “coca leaf chewing must be abolished within 25 years from the coming into force of this convention.” Bolivia signed the convention in 1976, during the brutal dictatorship of Col. Hugo Banzer, and the 25-year deadline expired in 2001."
"Jean de Dieu Malanga, a professor of Chinese, gives students at Savorgnan de Brazza high school their annual examination. Malanga learned to speak Chinese while studying in China during the 1980's. For additional income, he moonlights as a translator for the Chinese bosses at construction sites in the DRC.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
More info here.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The woman's lawyer told The Associated Press on Monday that he would appeal the verdict against Khamisa Sawadi, who is Syrian but was married to a Saudi. The attorney, Abdel Rahman al-Lahem, said the verdict issued March 3 also demands that Sawadi be deported after serving her sentence.
He said his client, who is not serving her sentence yet, was not speaking with the media, and he declined to provide more details about the case.
The newspaper Al-Watan said the woman met with the two 24-year-old men last April after she asked them to bring her five loaves of bread at her home in al-Chamil, a city north of the capital, Riyadh.
"(AP) via Andrew Sullivan
Monday, March 09, 2009
I was an active member of AIESEC MICHIGAN from 1996 to 2000.
As the Head of Recruitment in North America (one of several “hats” I wear at this progressive SME), I have the pleasure of offering to the AIESEC World the attached job opportunity.
It is ideal for new graduates and young professionals in their 20s.
I’d sure like to hire an AIESECer, or maybe a few.
This is the job description
"International Business Analyst
We are looking for resourceful and fast-learning individuals with the right mix of
analytical and all-around communications skills and a strong taste for commercial success. This is a remarkable opportunity for young professionals who wish to enhance his/her managerial skills.
Job responsibilities entail business intelligence research, preparing and conducting
interviews with political and business leaders, and writing reports to be distributed in
world-class publications. The aim is to create an editorial environment that is both informative for our readers and attractive to potential advertisers.
Besides outstanding interpersonal skills, candidates must have:
- Perfect control of English and of at least one of the following languages: French,
Spanish, Russian, Arabic
- Sound knowledge of international affairs
- Strong flare for writing
- Curious, flexible mindset
- Desire to work in a sales-driven environment
- Strong “soft” skills (would-be applicants with a highly technical background and focus need not apply)
Important: this position includes NO FIXED PLACE of business, so be prepared to travel eleven months of the year in a wide variety of regions of the world. Projects last an average of four months.
If you are interested in participating in our selection process, please send your CV or resume accompanied by a cover letter (IN ENGLISH) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Special Interest Supplement industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the
advertising and publishing industry. In a short period of time this booming sector has
become an editorial content contributor and a major source of income for
magazines and newspapers around the world as well as a valuable communication platform for global corporations.
Over the past five years our client has experienced unprecedented growth while successfully
publishing over forty special supplements from 25 different countries covering a vast
array of topics such as Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Education, Automotive, and many
others. Please visit their website: www.focusreports.net.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled." (Economist)
"“The last time G.E. cut its dividend was during the Great Depression,” he pointed out. He was quiet for a minute. Then he added, “If G.E. is in trouble, God help us all.”" (NY Times)
Friday, March 06, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Now, some sections of the Indian media are sceptical about this 'good taleban' business. I think that's hogwash.
Indian intelligence agencies have long maintained ties with the local Afghan resistance groups that Zakaria describes. Overtly, we've been building roads and buildings in Afghan at least since the US invasion began. Covert ties, aimed at harassing Pakistan through Afghanistan, go back much further. These groups will be among the first to ally with the US. Afterall, the only thing these groups want is Sharia law in their land, not necessarily waging global jihad.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
" Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called “hidden people”—or, to put it more plainly, elves—in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free but, as he put it, “we couldn’t as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people." (Vanity Fair)
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Mead)
How a few people can fuck up everything..
"As an AIG employee, I just want to point out the fact that AIG is a holding company. Very few people actually work for “AIG”–and the vast majority of people who worked for the AIG-owned company in London that put all the bad risks on the books are gone. Basically AIG has 55 companies, one of which employed 300 people (out of 116,000) that managed to basically sink the ship. The amout of upper level people they reported to in New York is probably less than fifty. So when you hear “AIG executives” remember you’re talking about a class of people of whom the vast majority work for or run vanilla proprty and casualty insurers which are regulated just like everyone else and turn a profit.
Long story short, the only claims that can’t get paid because too much bad risk got put on the books are the bond and CDO stuff we all know about. Every other normal policy is fine, which is why we’re getting spun off. I know nobody cares and AIG schaudenfreude is fun, but nobody seems to care that 100K plus normal employees are getting fucked by this just as much as everybody else. I insure truckers. I pay my claims. You see a semi full of televisions flipped over, my check doesn’t bounce. And now because the fucking whiz kids in London fucked us, my dad can’t retire and the progressive movement is dancing on our grave because our collars are the wrong color" (TP)
(This is how the stand looks like in the Egyptian Pavillion last night - CEBIT starts today)
If you are visiting CEBIT 2009 in Germany, stop by Hall 2, Stand E37 or Hall 3, Stand D33
Taher, the CEO of SilverKey Egypt, is being interviewed by DW-World Radio Station of Germany.
At least five members of the Sri Lankan cricket team were injured - two from bullets - and five Pakistani policemen escorting the team bus were killed.
Pakistani officials said about 12 gunmen were involved and grenades and rocket launchers have been recovered.
Monday, March 02, 2009
The original The Clash song - and below is the cool cover by Lily Allen
"If you can play on the fiddle
Hows about a british jig and reel?
Speaking kings english in quotation
As railhead towns feel the steel mills rust water froze
In the generation
Clear as winter ice
This is your paradise
There aint no need for ya
Go straight to hell boys
Ywanna join in a chorus
Of the amerasian blues?
When its christmas out in ho chi minh city
Kiddie say papa papa papa papa-san take me home
See me got photo photo
Photograph of you
Mamma mamma mamma-san
Of you and mamma mamma mamma-san
Lemme tell ya bout your blood bamboo kid.
It aint coca-cola its rice.
Straight to hell
Please take me home
Everybody they wanna go home
So mamma-san says" (Lyrics)
Here's some great explanation about the lyrics from Wikipedia
Like those of many songs by the Clash, the lyrics of "Straight to Hell" decry injustice. The first verse refers to the shutting down of steel mills in Northern England and the alienation and racism suffered by immigrants despite their attempts to integrate into British society. The second verse concerns the abandonment of children in Vietnam who were fathered by American soldiers during the Vietnam War. The third verse contrasts the American Dream as seen through the eyes of an Amerasian child with a dystopian vision of American reality. The final verse considers the plight of immigrants throughout the world. Due to this difficult subject material, as well as the slow, aching beat, the song is one of the most downbeat tracks in the Clash's history.
The reference to "Amerasian Blues" describes the abandonment of children fathered by American soldiers stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War: an Amerasian child is portrayed as presenting an absent American father, "papa-san," with a photograph of his parents, pleading with his father to take him home to America. The child's plea is rejected. "-san" being a Japanese rather than Vietnamese honorific that was used by US troops in Vietnam who referred to Vietnamese men and women especially older men and women and "mama-san" and "papa-san".
Economics, not visa headaches, is the main engine of the shift, according to the two-year research project, which surveyed 1,203 Indian and Chinese workers who had studied or worked in the United States for a year or more before returning home. Growing demand for their skills and shining career opportunities back home were cited by 87 percent of the Chinese and 79 percent of the Indians as the major professional reason for returning. Most also cited the lure of being close to family and friends.
Most of the returnees were young –- in their early 30s -– and nearly 90 percent had master’s or doctorate degrees. And 66 percent said that visa considerations were not a reason for returning home. “Addressing this issue is going to entail more than solving the visa problem,” said Mr. Wadhwa, referring to the waiting list of 1 million H-1B visa holders and their families who are seeking longer-term work visas.
Instead of permitting skilled immigrants to enter the United States, Mr. Wadhwa insisted, the country has to start wooing them by creating “fast-track” immigration policies and incentives to stay, as nations like Singapore and Australia have done." (NY Times Blog)
Sunday, March 01, 2009
"Today, my boyfriend told me he couldn't hang out with me because he felt really sick. I went to his house anyway to surprise him with homemade soup. I walk in to his room only to find him hooking up with my sister. She can't drive, our mom drove her there. FML
" (Fuck My Life)
"Today, I got a 31% on a Chinese test at school. I moved here to new jersey from China two months ago. FML"
"Today, I forgot to do my French homework, but since it was an online worksheet, I told my teacher my internet wasn't working. I told her with an e-mail. FML"
"Today, my husband dropped me off at work, ten minutes later I got a text saying" I just dropped the b*tch off I'll be there in a few baby, miss you". I asked him about it he said he "I dont know what youre talking about Megan". My name isnt Megan, not even close. FML"
Yeah, that is a Manchester United uniform.
"Next week, perhaps as early as Monday, the American International Group is going to report the largest quarterly loss in history. Rumors suggest it will be around $60 billion, which will affirm, yet again, A.I.G.’s sorry status as the most crippled of all the nation’s wounded financial institutions. The recent quarterly losses suffered by Merrill Lynch and Citigroup — “only” $15.4 billion and $8.3 billion, respectively — pale by comparison." (NY Times)
A number of areas along the border are experiencing rapid growth in the rates of many types of crime. Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico generally, with notable spikes in Tijuana and northern Baja California. Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have recently experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues. Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana.
The situation in Ciudad Juarez is of special concern. Mexican authorities report that more than 1,800 people have been killed in the city since January 2008. Additionally, this city of 1.6 million people experienced more than 17,000 car thefts and 1,650 carjackings in 2008. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports. A recent series of muggings near the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez targeted applicants for U.S. visas. Visa and other service seekers visiting the Consulate are encouraged to make arrangements to pay for those services using a non-cash method.
U.S. citizens are urged to be alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. While most crime victims are Mexican citizens, the uncertain security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well. U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message." (Travel Warning for Northern Mexico)
Mr. Eller had been a senior director at Sprint, earning as much as $150,000 a year and overseeing 7,000 employees at 13 call centers, before being laid off in 2002 amid the economic contraction after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A year later, he found another job, at roughly half the pay, managing a call center in New Jersey. After he lost that job two years later in a downsizing, Mr. Eller found himself out of work for another year before landing a contract position running two call centers in Kansas and Illinois, earning close to six figures.
But after that ended a year later, he was unable to find work for several months. In July 2007, he took what he thought would be a temporary job for $10 an hour as a baker in a grocery store. He was laid off again last October.
Mr. Eller quickly landed a new survival job, working as a supervisor on the overnight shift for a contractor processing immigration applications for the federal government at a salary of about $34,000 a year. But with eight children and a wife to support, Mr. Eller said he was still “below poverty level.” The family has not been able to make mortgage payments in five months and has been on the brink of foreclosure.
“I’m still scratching and clawing and trying to work my way back,” he said." (NY Times)