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If We Are In An Economic Recovery, Why Are Major Corporations Firing Thousands?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog,

We already have declining real wages. Small businesses are geting wiped out by taxes, regulations, and Obamacare. These mega-corporations are firing thousands. Retail and restaurant sales are plunging. Consumers are scared straight and are reducing credit card debt. Government spending in states and localities is declining because they are required to balance their budgets. The Boomers are old, with no savings. They can no longer live in a delusionary credit bubble. Sounds like a reason to buy stocks. 

Ten American Companies Cutting the Most Jobs

October 9, 2013 by 247alex


Planned job cuts in the third quarter rose 25% from a year ago. With September jobs cuts up 19% from last year, it represented the fourth month in a row in which job cuts were higher than the same month last year. Despite the current trend, employers are on pace to cut roughly the same number of jobs that were cut last year.

According to data compiled by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 10 companies alone have announced close to 75,000 job cuts this year, combined. This represents nearly 20% of all the announced cuts in 2013.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Challenger, Gray, & Christmas CEO John Challenger explained, “For every situation, there’s a different reason for a company to cut jobs.” In some cases, it is a matter of simple corporate restructuring. In other cases, companies facing difficult headwinds are forced to shed jobs. Based on data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the companies cutting the most jobs.

The companies that are cutting the most jobs this year are, not surprisingly, in industries that are eliminating the most positions overall. The financial services sector is leading the way with 48,874 planned layoffs year to date. American Express, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo are all among the top 10 for announced job cuts.

Retail was also in the top five industries, with J.C. Penney and Dish Network’s Blockbuster in the top 10. Aerospace and defense was also among the industries with the most planned layoffs. United Technologies and Boeing were among the companies eliminating the most jobs.

Not all businesses have cut jobs due to poor demand for their products. Challenger also noted that companies announce job cuts when jobs are relocated to another part of the country, or even the world. Metlife moved a large number of jobs from the Northeast to a new base in North Carolina. Additionally, the company also scaled back its variable annuities business, while expanding its presence in emerging markets.

Similarly, United Technologies has been restructuring its operations, both this year and last, in order to cut costs and integrate acquisitions, notably the $16 billion purchase of aircraft component maker Goodrich.

Sometimes, technological change drives job cuts. “In these cases, the business model changes in response to new technology that affects the company or the industry, and a particular company adjusts,” Challenger explained. Cisco has had to contend with the emergence of cloud computing, as cheaper services have undercut the company’s traditionally profitable businesses. Similarly, the travel business of American Express has been impacted by the growth in travel websites.

Some businesses have had to cut jobs as part of their efforts to stay afloat. ”A company just isn’t performing well via its competition, or maybe just revenue is down, and they’re just cutting back,” Challenger explained. J.C. Penney’s sales have declined precipitously in recent years, and it has struggled to keep enough cash on hand to run its business. As a result, the company has had to cut more than 15,000 jobs in 2013. Dish has had to slash jobs at Blockbuster as it continues to close unprofitable stores.

Many of the companies announcing the most job cuts are also among the country’s largest employers. This means, in many cases, the layoffs represent only a small proportion of companies’ total workforces. IBM’s 9,4000 job cuts accounted for just over 2% of the company’s total headcount as of this year.

Only a few of the companies cutting the most jobs have lost money. Only one of these companies, J.C. Penney, posted a net loss, while half increased their net income during their past full fiscal year. Also, shareholders in all but two of the 10 companies, J.C. Penney and IBM, have seen the value of their holdings rise so far in 2013.

Challenger Gray & Christmas provided 24/7 Wall St. with all job cut announcements affecting at least 500 positions this year. 24/7 Wall St. combined all planned cuts by company to identify the companies that are cutting the most jobs this year. We only considered publicly traded, American companies, or divisions of publicly traded companies. Job cuts did not need to be entirely within the United States, however. Some cuts announced in 2013 may not be completed this year. Full-time employee totals were from Yahoo! Finance.

These are the 10 companies cutting the most jobs.

1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. > Job cuts: 19,000 > Number of employees: 254,063 > YTD share price change: +15.7%

JPMorgan Chase is one of the nation’s largest banks. More than half of U.S. households are customers of the bank, according to the company. However, as customers increasingly use self-service technologies, the firm announced plans to trim back its consumer banking staff by 4,000. The company also announced its intentions to lay off 15,000 mortgage workers, many of whom were brought in to process defaulted mortgages during the housing crisis. JPMorgan continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the U.S.

2. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. > Job cuts: 15,020 > Number of employees: 116,000 > YTD share price change: -60.6%

J.C. Penney had been coy about the total number of layoffs at the company, which began under former CEO Ron Johnson. The onetime leader admitted in March the company had trimmed as many as 19,000 jobs since his arrival, the majority of which in early 2013 according to Challenger Gray. Barely a few days later, the company confirmed it was eliminating an additional 2,200 jobs. JC Penney has since fired Johnson, and his largest supporter, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, has quit the company’s board. In recent years, the retailer has been struggling as sales and earnings have declined, and it has continued burning through cash. Recently, Penney had to issue new shares to raise cash, hurting the value of stock owned by existing shareholders.

3. International Business Machines Corp. > Job cuts: 9,400 > Number of employees: 434,246 > YTD share price change: -6.7%

In the first quarter of the year IBM reported a drop in its sales, which was followed by an announcement the company would cut between 6,000 to 8,000 workers worldwide. Yet while cuts took place largely outside the U.S., many American IBM workers were still targets for layoffs. As of August, the company had trimmed more than 3,300 jobs in the U.S. and Canada and furloughed much of its hardware staff. Prior to its recent struggles, the company received criticism for outsourcing jobs to India. Recently, the New York Post reported that IBM now employs more workers in India than in the U.S.

4. Boeing Co. > Job cuts: 5,800 > Number of employees: 174,400 > YTD share price change: +53.2%

Boeing announced in March that it would be cutting over 2,300 machinist positions from its workforce. It followed up that announcement in May, noting it would gradually reduce its Washington-based IT workforce by about 1,500 over three years. These cuts were not all in the form of firings. Some jobs are expected to be lost to attrition and others simply transferred to other states. The company has had many problems in recent years with the development of its newest major commercial plane, the 787 Dreamliner, most notably a faulty battery system. Recently, the company has eliminated another roughly 3,000 jobs related to the production of its C-17 transportation jet, following the cuts to the U.S. military’s budget.

5. American Express Company > Job cuts: 5,400 > Number of employees: 63,500 > YTD share price change: +25.6%

American Express announced at the start of the year that it would cut its workforce by 5,400 employees. Many of these cuts took place in the company’s travel division. Among the major factors driving the company’s restructuring has been the increased reliance of travelers on online travel booking. The company also recently has arranged to sell its publishing division, which includes both general and cardholder-exclusive magazines, to Time Inc.

6. Wells Fargo & Co. > Job cuts: 5,236 > Number of employees: 274,300 > YTD share price change: +17.7%

Wells Fargo announced in August it was laying off 2,300 employees from its mortgage production unit. The major reason for the cuts was the lower demand for mortgage refinancing. This was popular with homebuyers when interest rates were lower, but became far less common once rates began rising. Wells Fargo continued to cut jobs at the end of the summer as mortgage refinancing remained slow. Last year, Wells Fargo processed nearly 400,000 mortgage applications, more than four times the amount of any other U.S. bank.

7. Cisco Systems, Inc. > Job cuts: 4,500 > Number of employees: 75,049 > YTD share price change: +15.2%

Cisco laid off 500 workers in March as part of a minor restructuring in its data center businesses. However, the company did not stop there. And after reporting a disappointing quarter, Cisco cut 4,000 jobs, bringing the company’s total layoffs to 12,300 jobs in the past two years. The company has been aggressively cutting costs in recent years as its networking products have become increasingly commoditized, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, the markets for Cisco’s core networking offerings — modems, switches, WiFi routers, etc. — may have plateaued, while new advancements in cloud computing have undercut the company’s profitability.

8. MetLife Inc. > Job cuts: 3,150 > Number of employees: 64,000 > YTD share price change: +41.0%

MetLife announced in March that it would cut 650 jobs from its Bloomfield, Connecticut, offices. The cuts are part of its plans to consolidate its operations and open new offices in North Carolina, where it will shift 2,600 jobs. The company additionally cut a third of its advisers, or 2,500 jobs, at the end of May. In regards to these firings, CEO Eric Steigerwalt noted in a presentation to investors that “we’re not financing advisers who frankly were never going to make it in this business.” This was part of the company’s plans to improve its results by cutting off financing to unsuccessful advisers while capping its sales for variable annuities.

9. Blockbuster (Dish Network Corp.) > Job cuts: 3,000 > Number of employees: 35,000 > YTD share price change: +30.1%

In 2010, Blockbuster, then the largest movie-rental company in the world, filed for bankruptcy. At the time it planned to restructure its business to better compete with faster-growing rivals. Dish bought Blockbuster’s assets in 2011 and has been closing failing stores since. At the beginning of this year, the company announced it would be closing 300 U.S. stores, which resulted in 3,000 lost jobs. According to news reports, Dish still sees value in the Blockbuster brand and will continue its attempt to make it profitable.

10. United Technologies, Inc. > Job cuts: 3,000 > Number of employees: 218,000 > YTD share price change: +25.3%

Last year, United Technologies purchased aircraft component maker Goodrich for $16.4 billion and sold several smaller units. The company also took a major restructuring charge that hurt earnings. In its annual report the company disclosed it would cut an additionally 3,000 jobs in 2013. This was on top of the 4,000 cut the year before as part of its restructuring program. Matters could have been worse for many employees, since the company, a major government contractor, had plans to furlough up to 4,000 jobs during the government shutdown. However, employees were able to continue working after the Pentagon removed its own furlough on civilian employees.



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Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:34 | 4045527 Zer0head
Zer0head's picture

it's called automation and outsourcing

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:36 | 4045545 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

If you want to see even more automation, then just raise the minimum wage.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:38 | 4045565 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Yeah. We should bring back slavery. That'll get companies hiring again...not to mention being fantastic for corporate profits, CEO bonuses and stock prices. Then everything will be wonderful and beautiful and all the children will be smart and healthy and all the men wise and strong and the unicorns, oh the unicorns.....

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:42 | 4045574 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Blockbuster still exists!?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:44 | 4045583 Zer0head
Zer0head's picture


it's called netflix

so instead 10,000 store fronts each staffed by a half dozen kids and a couple of managers you have a set top box and a call center in India

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:12 | 4045710 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

I've never had a reason to call Netflix (shrug)

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:32 | 4045792 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

American economy does not mean what you think it means.  

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:40 | 4045821 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Or you can see it daily

Full Layoff / Business Closing List



Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:08 | 4045937 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

That's where JPM and WFC profits came from, 25,000 layoffs.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:43 | 4045839 Blano
Blano's picture

I've never spent a dime on Netflix (shrugs too).

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:48 | 4045610 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

The library is my Blockbuster.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:05 | 4045686 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

@0Head: World population isn't adjusted to the dichotomy between current automation and the traditional job roles (like high school kids working at at the Blockbuster). We have a shitload of people who expect automation while keeping their traditional job roles - an impossibility. The solution lies in everyone being educated about everything. Elites don't like this. Thus genocide.

@McMolotov: You can pick up a shitload of good music there too, especially classical and jazz, and some of the popular stuff through the 20th/21st. Underground French black metal? Not so much hehe.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:22 | 4045763 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Yeah, my music collection has gotten fairly ridiculous over the past few years thanks to the library.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:49 | 4045863 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Only communists go to the library!

The real solution to this problem is very simple get rid of minimum wage & all labour regulations, robots can't compete with folks making pennies a day!

For the socialists among you who say "but if everyone is bankrupt, who will buy the products?" well, we've already got robots for that - HFT aglos, it's the economy of the future, get with it!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:42 | 4046394 cro_maat
cro_maat's picture

No Gojira?! What a rip.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:54 | 4045885 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Cost ${Abebooks addiction} > Cost ${Full Blown Coccaine dependency}

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:46 | 4045580 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

To the average Amerikan, actually working for a living and producing something is "slavery".  Lifting a finger for a wage is seen as loathsome and detestable, too far beyond what we all "deserve".  That's why this country is bankrupt and headed for an awakening.... financial innovation can only skew the real numbers for so long.



Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:44 | 4045600 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

the impact of firings combined with stock buy backs..keeps the PE in line even if the revenue is falling just as long as cost cutting and buy backs keep the end you will have co's with historic low PE's who are 1/100th the size..winning.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:56 | 4045649 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture


Too bad the debt doesn't shrink along with it.  Just keeps growing and growing.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:54 | 4045636 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

We have slavery.

It's called government.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:35 | 4045547 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:38 | 4045555 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

Robot has nice lips!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:13 | 4045675 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture





This unemployed Wal*Mart shopper doesn't under why it is important to stop sending her capital to Wal*Mart shareholders, Wall Street, and The Great Wall of China.  Do you?

Shop true local so your money has a chance to come back to you, or go get a job in China, Bentonville, or Wall Street.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:12 | 4045716 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

Hell, that unemployed Wal*Mart shopper can't even read, the fucking lane is closed lady!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:22 | 4045750 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

That ain't no lady.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:47 | 4045841 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

re: "the fucking lane is closed lady"

Nobody else can pass that wide they closed the lane. She should have yellow disco lights on her cart.


re: "Save Money Live Better"

Should be:  Better Money Saves Lives

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:38 | 4045820 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Corporate Welfare. WalMart loves WIC, LoneStar Cards, EBT.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 19:49 | 4046801 ebear
ebear's picture


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:37 | 4045559 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Boy, you add this bad news to the abysmal failure that is The Unaffordable Care Act and precious metals are looking like some kind of safe haven or something.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:45 | 4045607 Nothing but the...
Nothing but the truth.'s picture

It's called economic decay - when you consume more than you produce . The world will come to regret all the outsourcing of manufacturing to the Chinese. The benefits of cheaper manufacturing costs , cannot outweigh the massive loss of jobs.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:05 | 4045681 RangerRiley
RangerRiley's picture

The same people making the exact same comments every day to every article... don't you guys get bored with this?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:19 | 4045746 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

What would you have us do?

Run to the bathroom to spank our monkey?

Bad monkey bad!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:09 | 4045697 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Government has always been about concentrating wealth at the top.

So it's still working as designed.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:46 | 4045609 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

@Zer0head: "it's called automation and outsourcing"

Actually, it's not "outsourcing" but "offshoring".  There's a difference:  With Outsourcing, the jobs get domestically by another party/company.  With Offshoring...

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:53 | 4045638 mt paul
mt paul's picture

i am self employed


considering firing myself ..

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:55 | 4045646 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Be sure to give yourself a nice severence package!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:43 | 4045831 Overfed
Overfed's picture

I wish I could get the Fed to "loan" me a few ZIRP millions so I can fire and give myself a golden parachute.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:55 | 4045888 Blano
Blano's picture

Going for self employment.  Beats being chained to a desk.

Sat, 10/12/2013 - 08:45 | 4047440 11b40
11b40's picture want to trade 40hrs/wk for 60?


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:53 | 4046070 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

2 parts to being human - body and mind. The first industrial revolution killed the body - made muscle power obsolete. The information revolution killed the mind. There is nothing else to being human. We're quite primitive when it comes to useful features and therefore are easily replaced by machines possessing less than a fraction of our intelligence.

There's one aspect that makes us unique to other lifeforms, which is creativity - the ability to abstract something that didn't exist before, but very few people are creative. The modern society raises assembly line workers. It promotes passive specialization. It kills the best years of life teaching structure and beating the person into submission, then the rest of the decline years are spent re-living the same day over and over.

Society is built to raise factory drones - not engineers or thinkers. It's built to raise staff and management. Well, with machines running themselves, there is no worker and no overseer. There's just the machine owner.

Who owns the machines? The same entity that owns the economy, the currency and you. The bank.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:57 | 4046099 Rusty Nayle
Rusty Nayle's picture

Notice that none of the automakers are on that list. Same for Google, Apple and Microsoft. What do they have in common? They either have little to no debt and/or big cash positions on their balance sheets. Maybe that's why Tim Cook isn't taking Carl Icahn's advice to leverage the company with cheap fiat before QE ends...

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:35 | 4045535 drink or die
drink or die's picture

Seems as though every large company is laying people off every year, even while reporting high profits and touting that the economy is improving (I work for one).  I guess telling the truth is too scary for those in charge.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:40 | 4045563 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Fatal is the word you are looking for..

The only growth industries will soon be roperys,

and lamppost manufacturing.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:58 | 4045654 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I'm buying a check cashing/payday lending store.  They're booming.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:36 | 4046379 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

If you're not kidding, prepared to be regulated to death. It would seem to me that the government has been clamping down on these places a lot lately. If you can't stop the banks from cheating people, you beat up on the little guys.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:01 | 4045661 Shad_ow
Shad_ow's picture

Can't wait for that IPO.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:05 | 4045685 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Repo work has to be booming too, eh?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:00 | 4045890 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

Even one of America's powerhouses, Merck, is axing 16,000 jobs. Already 7,500...8,500 to come. I know two people from there who are searching. Despite tons of degrees and education and experience, jobs are very tight b/c many other phrama companies are also firing.

And, oh yes, they are both uber-anxious about having to sell thier >$800k houses simultaneously with thousands of others despite the "robust economy."

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:34 | 4045542 maskone909
maskone909's picture

it would be interesting if the larger financial firms published their own economic data, because you know they arnt using the gov's!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:35 | 4045549 km4
km4's picture

Is Your Job Among The 47% That Robots Could Steal? 


Gartner's dark vision for tech, jobs 

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:43 | 4045581 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And the sheeple herd to the self-checkout robots because they are so smart.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:48 | 4045618 Zer0head
Zer0head's picture

except the flocks that go to Walmart, no self-checkout there - just long lines at the 2 open  check-0ut lanes

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:03 | 4045669 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

My local WalMart just replaced a bank of six express checkouts/w cashier - for six robot self-scan machines; effectively eliminating 3-4 humans from employment.

You either scan and bag it yourself (no discount of course) or go wait in line at the 2 open checkout lanes with a human for the same price.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:42 | 4045826 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

30 minutes to check out average. Minimal lanes open, often 6 carts deep loaded with shit food and porkies of all skin types getting their EBT and WIC out.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:36 | 4045550 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

Leaves out many recent huge layoff announcements.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:39 | 4045551 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Who cares? The Dow is up 500 pts in two days and statements are always positve , therefore the economy is fine. Now where did I put the remote? O'Reilly is doning a piece on them damn dirty gays.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:42 | 4045569 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

"where did I put the remote"

Courtesy of our friend dimeshowmen.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:45 | 4045585 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I always enjoyed that movie. It sure looks like we are headed in that direction.What happened to him BTW? He disappeared again.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:51 | 4045629 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

they should call him doorshowmen because they showed him the door again. I think he was someone that this place needed very badly, so as to avoid the gigantic echo chamber it has become. I think he would have expanded the discourse on here in the least, and more likely really blown some people's minds, had they engaged him. 

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:56 | 4045644 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I agree. He changed the tunnel vision I was developing that's for sure. I wish I understood the logic behind people getting the boot. 

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:37 | 4045557 Thought Processor
Thought Processor's picture

How else do they extend their record profit margins?


The economy is running on fumes.   This would be yet more evidence of a last gasp.

It will be masked (as it has been) by a sharply falling dollar and a steady or rising equity market.   The dollar is the tell in here though.  Watch the dollar.  

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:39 | 4045558 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

less employees more profit simple, the ceo's will buy back stock and ahem why most of it will be thier own stock options, who could of known? rape is close to what is happening but you will never hear a word from the MSM.

ever wonder why haliburton hq is in mid east? they got out first, and more will follow.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:01 | 4045657 Rip van Wrinkle
Rip van Wrinkle's picture

Less employees......less money to spend......less customers......more lay offs......less money to spend.......less customers.....more lay o


Bollocks...I could go on and on/

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:39 | 4045560 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Someone forgot to water the green shoots...?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:43 | 4045582 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

They were already watery sharts.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:41 | 4045572 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"Jobs?  We don't need no stinkin' jobs!"

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:51 | 4045631 Canuckistan Al
Canuckistan Al's picture

To the last employee

Dear last employee ......please turnoff the lights when you leave. Thanks,

Best regards,


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:42 | 4045575 NOZZLE
NOZZLE's picture

I operate a number of apartment buildings in Chicago, buildings that have been owned by my family for decades, typical renter is paying $730-930 per month.  Most of the tenants are cab drivers, restaurant workers auto repair, laborers, they mostly pay on time (late fees are counterproductive) but you can tell they are always on the edge and have been that way for the last five years.  

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:43 | 4045584 whirlybird rules
whirlybird rules's picture

You may NOT bring that up.  It is not part of the narative...  We are becoming just like Europe :(((

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:45 | 4045586 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

I've said this before and I will repeat it.  When year over year corporate profits fall below 7% or so, companies shed jobs, right sizing themselves for the new reality.


We hit that level just about 1 year ago.

We are currently at 3.78% year over year profit growth.


We are going to be shedding some serious jobs over the next twelve months.


And the last time the jobs market rolled over, it was a leading indicator of what was coming, NOT a lagging one.  The year was 2006.


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:46 | 4045611 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Yep. What a perfect time for an "unplanned" partial government shut down, wherein one of the casualties is the NFP economic release.

What a coincidence.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:50 | 4045624 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

They were doing a really good job hiding the truth in the NFP numbers until Zerohedge and others highlighted the part time versus full time numbers.

So it might be less of a coincidence than some imagine.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:48 | 4045612 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

If savers can accept .25% returns on bank deposits why can't companies accept 1% profit levels. Why do they need 15-30% return on invested capital?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:56 | 4045642 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

US corporate profits frome small businesses to the Fortune 500 are at 3.78 % growth year over year, not 15-20%.  


And why?  Inflation.  


Are you gonna bust your ass, work harder, invest more  and take the risk to net the same amount you did a year ago?

Why would any rational business do that?

Instead, they will right size to return to profit growths more appropriate for the current economic scenario.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:01 | 4045662 RKDS
RKDS's picture

And yet they expect employees, you know, those liabilities that produce everything the company management takes credit for, to do that and more.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:24 | 4045977 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Well I see many companies that won't even get out of bed if their return on equity isn't in double figures. REITS are raking it in hand over fist with real estate moves.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:43 | 4045587 One And Only
One And Only's picture

Hopefully house Republicans get fired. Fuckin pussies.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:45 | 4045605 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

Why complain? You get the day off with pay. Miss your free lunch?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:45 | 4046402 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Maybe, because they surrendered to the dictator who wouldn't negotiate with them. They really are pussies.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:46 | 4045589 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Because many corporations are run by short-sighted imbeciles with no ideas to justify their massive egos.

Herp derp, zero employees = zero overhead = infinite profit forever, because muh MBA program said so!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:48 | 4045614 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Not at all.  Companies are right now generating their budgets for 2014 based on the first three quarters of 2013.  And things look bleak.

They are in business to grow profits, not maintian last year's profits.


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:27 | 4045647 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Ideas could increase profits by growing the business.  But that's hard so let's just blindly swing the hatchet around until we cut our way to prosperity.  Nobody likes to be told they don't have any ideas but that doesn't make it any less true.  Just look at that dingbat Meg Whitman rearranging the deck chairs at HP when there're at least a hundred better ideas that might actually save the company.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:42 | 4046039 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

The amount of regulations one must overcome to bring a  new idea to market have never been greater.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 17:05 | 4046414 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Depends what your idea is.  Have you created a new cartoon character or another financial "innovation?"  The idea man's problem is lack of capital.  Regulation is a distant second if it even factors in at all.  It's just another boogeyman in the closet, alongside unions and bad weather.

But if Megatron's out there reading this, here's a freebie: make quality printers again.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:52 | 4045622 RKDS
RKDS's picture

What, you mean the golden parachute crowd can't just slash and burn forever?  Nobody has to build anything, just herp derp your way onto the board, loot everything not nailed down, and move on to the next host.  Worse than ticks I tell you, at least sometimes those things suck enough blood to explode.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:45 | 4045596 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Employees are a drag on the bottom line. Fire them all.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:45 | 4045598 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

You should always buy stocks, and, anyway, selling stocks is illegal.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:52 | 4045633 whirlybird rules
whirlybird rules's picture

"You should always buy stocks, and, anyway, selling stocks is illegal."

..  correction if I may, You should always buy stocks, and, anyway, selling stocks is EXPENSIVE.


and as long as the usual suspects are not thrown any surprises, they will continue to support and massage the US, European and Asian markets until the end of time.  (It would be when the money runs out, because there are no limits to how much they'll print.)

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:50 | 4045619 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Residential RE is hurting also, as a number of Title companies are 'hurting', and worried about the sales projections.

Layoffs coming in this sector also.  "Little birdie" told me, i.e. "Reliable sources".

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:50 | 4045623 involuntarilybirthed
involuntarilybirthed's picture

We will never see this high level of employment again for every day we have now is the best of remaining times.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:50 | 4045628 WallowaMountainMan
WallowaMountainMan's picture

"Despite the current trend, employers are on pace to cut roughly the same number of jobs that were cut last year."

If the numbers are accurate:

things are no worse about the same yoy for me and the other worker bees? and, it seems, businesses were doing a bit bettor this year because they held off cutting until later this year?

all in all, seems like we'll make it through the winter...but with declining restaurant revenues and a tiny bit bettor xmas season than last year.

but, now that the under middle class have nipped eating out a bit, bought up a bunch of new (therefore now making available used) cars, settled into whatever the housing market is, and etc., the under-midd's will hold the fort a bit, and go on vacation next year too. and maybe eat out a bit more, ex-oil.



Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:51 | 4045630 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

the gig was up when it became required to be a 2 income household.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:59 | 4045659 involuntarilybirthed
involuntarilybirthed's picture

Polygamy might be a gig extender?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:21 | 4045759 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

even with 15 wives working your still going fucking broke in this system

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:17 | 4046328 BlueCheeseBandit
BlueCheeseBandit's picture

What if instead of 15 wives, I get 15 ho's?

I think pimps are still doing fine. Seems our "leaders" want to push us to that level.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:53 | 4045637 Shaten
Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:54 | 4045640 sosoome
sosoome's picture

Sounds like the perfect time to roll out the biggest, most expensive power grab by DC ever.

I don't know what to call it, but it is depressing

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:56 | 4045641 22winmag
22winmag's picture

The South was right!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 15:50 | 4046269 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

So was someone else. But the winners get to write history. 

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:58 | 4045650 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

I'm 42, have been with my company for 13.5 years in IT/Telecom/Networking.  The company is a healthcare HMO of which I support all the network and telephony infrastructure.  I hate how this company exists through it's federal funding, but with things so bad out there, I don't dare risk jumping ship even when I've had other job offers for more money. 

The catch 22 of it all for me is that my company exists almost exclusively on handing out extremely overpriced (and fraudulent in many ways) welfare medicaid all over the country funded by We the tax payers via the crony relationship it has with the Federal vampire government.  So we're expanding like crazy all over the place which means very good job security for me even though I hate the fact that welfare is exploding in America and dragging us all down.  And yet I can't leave it just yet...

What do I do?  If it wasn't for very good benefits I've earned and accumulated by being here so long, and the fact that a recent major health issue I've had basically requires I not be without the very good health insurance I get, then I'd love to go do something else and not work for this welfare machine.  But I also can't shoot myself in the foot at this time.

I somewhat justify it as just a means to an end...I'm really only using my job to earn more fiat to convert into phyzz and other essential supplies so that I'm as prepared as I can be when the SHTF and the economic collapse commenses.  I didn't set out for it to be this way 13+ years ago...but over the last 6 or 7 years my outlook has changed along with the stark reality of what America is really facing when this house of cards finally implodes.

Since this company relies on the lucrative houndouts/contracts to service medicaid for this scumbag government I've always had one caviat with regards to continuing working for them.  If and when the day comes that companies like mine end up getting federally unionized or nationalized by the government in a major takeover of the industry, then that's the day I tell them all to fuck off and I walk out the door.  I will not become a direct employee of this discusting treasonous corrupt Fascist government.

That's when I'll give this all up and go out to look for something else.  Until then I'm just building my skills here and using them for my current major healthcare needs and for the fiat I earn that I convert into real assets.  I don't contribute to their ripoff 401k plan and I'm almost completely out of the banking system.  I hate that it's this way, but I also think I should consider myself lucky that I've been able to hold on this long with the same company through all the turmoil the country has had over the last several years. 

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:03 | 4045679 joego1
joego1's picture

Hang in there!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:10 | 4045705 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

Thanks man, I appreciate it! 


I also appreciate the down arrow somebody gave my post without giving a good reason...stay classy, whoever you are bud! hahaha  Must be one of those NAZI FED creatures trolling the forum. ;-)

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:25 | 4045767 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

down arrows a like a badge of honor, they downvote and run away like girly men

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:20 | 4045971 Pareto
Pareto's picture

While I agree with the down arrows as being a Badge of Honor - I think Obama is paying some jackass to spend all day junking Zero Hedge - he gets paid by the click because this is all he is useful for.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:19 | 4045739 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

"Persistence beats resistance every time" Bear Bryant

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:48 | 4045861 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

I'm in the energy industry but in a somewhat more sea worthy boat than yours, I feel for you though. I am waiting for the vested interest period to come up for the 401k match, taking all my money out of 'their system', and getting the fuck out. I may go live under a bridge, join a commune, or do manual labor on a farm. Foremost, I want to get out of the EBT city limits, when that shit blows, God Help Us.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:02 | 4045924 Blano
Blano's picture

Keep doin' what you're doin'.  No shame.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:04 | 4046285 malek
malek's picture

Well what you're writing is a mixed bag to me.

I fully accept means to an end, but if you worked there for 13+ years you should have enough savings already to take that "other job offers for more money" even if it includes more risk of not doing that new job for too long.

If the health issue is the major stumbling stone, see what you can personally do to relieve those or minimize the impact if you one day don't have great coverage.

And while I completely support getting phyzz, you need to buy from left over money, that is after you paid down all debts and have savings (yes cash) to cover most kinds of unexpected surprises that might affect you financially - my goal would be at least able to cover 6 months without a job.
Good you don't fall for the 401k.

And when you then make the walk, refrain from "tell them all to fuck off and I walk out the door" - that's not gonna help anything the slightest bit. Just do it and tell the reasonable trustworthy individuals off the table if desired.
All the best!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:04 | 4045673 CoastalCowboy
CoastalCowboy's picture

This recovery is so great that I now always look at the sell by date on the steaks at my nearest supermarket.

I then just drop by on that day and pick some "Manager's Specials" at less than the price of ground beef plus my dog gets herself a chew bone out of the deal. The whole damn steak costs less than getting her a single chew bone from the pet store.

I've never seen such a consistent pattern in "Manager's Specials" in my entire shopping career, anecdotal story, of course.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:50 | 4045867 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Ah, haven't been able to afford a steak (1 a week even) for about 2 years now. I will try out your plan.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 15:29 | 4046200 CoastalCowboy
CoastalCowboy's picture

It's the only way I can afford them too. My friend's dad who is a retired butcher always told us those were the best one's to buy anyway. So far, I have not been disappointed.

Good luck and happy hunting.

Sat, 10/12/2013 - 00:33 | 4047233 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

Aged meat.


Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:13 | 4045684 antisoshal
antisoshal's picture

This is a fairly pedantic question: Shareholder value. When profit is steady or slowly rising and your board needs to keep justifying their insane salaries, you have to keep raising dividends and cutting the bottom line. Eventually you will cannibalize yourself, but by then you will have gotten that awesome severance package past the shareholders who love you for making them money. Rinse. Repeat. This is pretty basic stuff for what is ostensibly a site full of financial wizards. Must be a slow news day or something.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:01 | 4045909 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Yes, such a wonderful world where our doctors, nurses, first responders and teachers are laid off in droves, yet anyone who helps to blow financial bubbles and adds, basically, zero value to the world besides helping to syphon off wealth are rewarded with golden parachutes. It's wonderful until it is no longer working. What will happen when there is no more wealth to syphon?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:47 | 4046054 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

You need to review the financials of companies like HD and Low, who still have not recovered their profits to pre crisis times, YET are setting record earnings per share.

Why?  They have tripled their debt and use the money to buy back shares.  

Why?  Because the Fed has rates artificially low.

So it's probable that when TSHTF this next time, companies with all that debt will be in worse shape than than last time going into it.


Good luck with that.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:52 | 4046420 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

They're expecting inflation to help them pay their debts off with ease. If, disinflation and deflation hit them (in that order) they will be in some serious trouble.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:06 | 4045691 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

Who needs jobs when you can draw $40,000 per year from ?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:08 | 4045693 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

To be fair some of those cuts are most likely furloughs with the government spending reduction going on right now. IBM and Boeing rely heavily on government cheese aka contracts for business.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:17 | 4045735 antisoshal
antisoshal's picture

Not only is this a great point, but it illustrates the insane and directionless point of view thats taken over here.



because the government employs either directly or indirectly such an enormous portion of Americans that its guaranteed cutting almost any spending will force a sharp rise in unemoployment.



Well, which is it? You don't like fraud and market manipulation, but the only standing between you and an absolutely fraudulent and artificial market is the fact that what little regulation anyone bothers to enfore does its job.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:48 | 4045855 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

So it's the snake eating its own tail? Then what do you propose?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:55 | 4045894 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Partway through the government snake is a bolus, the public. The snake is presently eating its own tail. What is the solution to the problem?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:38 | 4045908 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

It has to contract no matter what. Everyone just needs to man up and do what they have to do to keep their heads above water until the economy can be rebalanced without the government being responsible for 65% IIRC of the employment directly or indirectly. It is going to be a painful process no avoiding it. I lived through a collapse in govt cheese propping up a whole economy collapsing back in the 90s when the defense industry collapsed on Long Island. My heart pumps purple piss for these people. I made it through to the other side but it was a hard few years. I still am here and doing better than before it collapsed and hedged against just this sort of thing this time around. They ain't getting no sympathy from me. Cry me a river bitchez, been there done that got the tee shirt.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:52 | 4045872 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Just don't even bother investing in the Dingaling Circus markets. Problem solved.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:17 | 4045727 starman
starman's picture

well that muthrtfucker promised change didnt he?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:24 | 4045769 q99x2
q99x2's picture

We have Obama and Holder, the only other thing that an American might need is a drone.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:45 | 4045834 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I'll become a doctor then! They always need doctors! Right?

Edit: I'll downvote myself Mr Serial junkster.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:47 | 4045859 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

In Bizarro World, downvote is new upvote!

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:55 | 4045893 syntaxterror
Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:11 | 4045950 jtg
jtg's picture

The ACA was the final nail in the American standard of living, unless the DemoRATS can take the House in 2014 and pound in another nail. Those terrorist RepubiIDIOTS will be sitting on the sidelines watching for scraps to fall from the table.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:28 | 4045997 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

An old saying went like this, "if it's in the newspaper, do the opposite when it comes to market investing".


So the MSM says recovery. 


Well guess what folks?  There isn't one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


MSM is the feed to the bagholders while the insiders quietly get out/move to the sidelines.  Always has been.  Always will be.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:37 | 4046026 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Wow! IBM is still in business?

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 14:40 | 4046029 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Thanks to the "Age of QE", you don't need workers anymore for "profits" (i.e. beating the vig on the corporate debt you have with the TBTF institution of your choice).  Just buyback stock and use it to lever up more debt to finance servicing!  AND if you happen to go busto (like JCP will), some PE firm will just bail you out!

Also, S&P gains average in the 8-9% when employment is over 7.5%.  Under 6.55?  They average around 4%.

All you need to know, really.  "The Market" runs the economy; not the actual people working *in* it. 

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:03 | 4046279 BlueCheeseBandit
BlueCheeseBandit's picture

Our entire world can be summed up with a simple formula:

Slave Labor Wages in 3d World + Middle Class Buying Power in First World from Government Transfers and Debt = Mucho Multinational Profit = Soaring Stock Prices + CEO.

Work in Ag if you want to keep your job. Can't outsource land, bitches.

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:56 | 4046433 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

"Work in Ag if you want to keep your job. Can't outsource land, bitches"

No, but the government can and will regulate the hell out of it. Smalls farms don't really make too much money either.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:40 | 4050135 Red Raspberry
Red Raspberry's picture

Go to and put in a zip code.  Around me in the small towns the farm payments exceed the local trotal payrolls.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!