Timesizing® Associates

dooms du jour, pre-May/1999
[Commentary] ©1998,1999 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA (617) 623-8080


4/30/1999 - Filene's transfers 275 jobs out-of-state, Inso Corp. plans unspecified layoffs
+ Three off-beat mergers - one for $827m that adds 3000 jobs, one for $200m by a kid just out of B-school, and one for one dollar
+ Wages rise at slowest pace on record
+ Glimmers of the real solution:  • Bayou Steel practices timesizing instead of down & up sizing  • A merger that adds 3000 jobs!?

4/29/99 - Aspen Technology downsizes 200 American consumers
+ One merger - ad agency Mullen engulfed by Interpublic Group (for $?)
+ George Soros declares "the global financial crisis is now officially over"...but...
+ glimmers of hope - White House panel urges hedge fund oversight

4/28 - One big merger - $3b for Caesars resorts
+ Surprise! - IMF fails to agree on how to block future crises
& Brazil president 'didn't have a dog', so he 'hunted with a cat'
+ US Congress still inducing crises by getting tougher on those with most time & need to spend money (middle clasls) - now with tougher bankruptcy laws
+ glimmers of hope - We've got a little more time before le déluge - housing sales, confidence up in March

4/27 - the 1920s repeat before our eyes -
Three mergers - $4.5b, $1.1b, $260m
+ Ex-prez of Brazil's central bank arrested, Mass. workplace deaths up sharply in 99Q1
+ glimmers of hope - Staples to open 20 stores in Europe

4/25-26 - IMF approves same old 'new' program to 'prevent global crisis', Dependency-creating US charity gets increasingly agist and chronic, Indonesian econowoes elicit ethnic 'cleansing' + Crime is down but home insecurity way up
+ glimmers of hope - The Jurow solution to gun ownership gets closer + Corporations, employees waking up to the benefits of naps at the workplace

4/24 - IMF carves Russia another $4.5b plug for an infinite leak
+ Sprint buys out Cox wireless stake for $1.2b
+ glimmers of hope - Lifespan bags buyout of Quincy Hospital

4/23 - America West's Leisure Co. takes over Woburn, Mass.-based National Leisure Group
+ Etonic Shoes downsizes 70 in Richmond, Maine
+ glimmers of hope - Seven Massachusetts companies make Inc. magazine's growth list

4/22 - Finally the figures on the biggest merger in history - $82.4b - between German & Italian telecoms + minnow Coherent gulps whale Star Medical for $65m
+ Abitibi-Consolidated cuts 1300 jobs
+ glimmers of hope - High tech an engine for Massachusetts jobs (but working on saving work...)

4/21 - 2 small takeovers - $162m & $42m
+ A step backward toward debtors' prison? House committee touoghens bankruptcy laws
+ Russia defaults again in deepest industrialized depression, US trade deficit up 16% to $19b
+ glimmers of hope - Calif. tests nonpolluting cars + Another merger shot down: Carver Bancorp rebuffs Boston bank

4/20 - Biggest merger in history - Deutsche Telekom & Telekom Italia ($B??)
and 'Hancock Canada' buys Aetna Canada for $300m
+ Starter Corp. goes bankrupt & broke Caldor sells 9 more stores
+ glimmers of hope - Les Thurow pulverizes the "low unemployment" myth + A clue to the overall solution = mandating reinvestment + Georgia court to weigh money in politics
4/18-19 - And now, spread of corporate-sponsored "volunteerism" brings you more corporate control, less free time, more cheap labor & fewer paid jobs + the 'American Dream' as the 52,000,000 to 1 chance of winning the lottery + the new 'environmentalism' as bulldozing nature
+ glimmers of hope - Student activism returns - against sweatshops the world over

4/17 - Boston Globe attempts to downsize 16 employees gracefully
+ Cape Cod Chips to be taken over again (for $??) + Relentless rollout of 'no problem' statistics
+ glimmers of hope - People getting wise to statistics - on welfare-to-work, in land of plenty (with no hunger)

4/16 - 2 downsizings reported: • Mattel to shut plants, fire over 3000 • Solar Turbines Cutting 600 Workers
+ 3 takeovers: Huntsman buys 4 chunks of UK chemical firm for $1.3b,
Cadbury-Schweppes buys P&G's Hawaiian Punch division for $203m,
Tekni-Plex buys Natvar division of High Voltage Engineering for $26m
+ An example of un-timesizing (more work & less pay - but no layoff announcements...yet), and,
Further descent into Charity Ward Capitalism instead of progress toward Automatic Reinvestment Capitalism
+ glimmers of the real solution:  • Euro-Disneyland cuts from 39 to 35 hrs/wk with no loss in pay  • impostor website hacker caught

4/15 - Drug-maker Perrigo to cut 150 jobs
+ 3 takeovers - Krupp-led investors to buy Berkshire Realty for $1.3b,
Hartford Courant engulfs 5 alternative weeklies for $?,
USA Networks buys Hotel Reservation Network for $?
+ glimmers of hope - Pentagon quashes big military industrial merger + Mass. Mutual rejects going public

4/14 - 5 takeovers @ $1.96b, $75m, $?, $?, $?
+ S.D. Warren to close pulp mill & downsize 315
+ Kevorkian jailed 10-25 yrs for offering a basic human right, Nation's top stock regulator says analysts too bullish, Bill Gates transfers $20 mil to world's richest tech school (MIT)
+ glimmers of hope - Schwab looks to hire 1,000

4/13 - 6 takeovers @ $3.2b, $1.2b, $630m, $495m, $?, $?
+ Tyco to downsize 4000 more AMP jobs
+ "Income gap" spreads to stock market, Another naive cheerleading session, IRS cushioning the rich
+ glimmers of hope - Bloomberg sues to drill below screen names of Web stock hoaxers

4/11-12 - "Complexity theories" signal need for scientific revolution in economics + Liberal economist demoes with complex theory blaming deregulation + Stock market gets more short-term & speculative (1928 revisited) + Biggest personal computer company halves profit forecast
+ A third of women inmates report abuse as children
+ glimmers of hope - Fleet-Radcliffe report addresses employees' lack of family time + One firm ties CEO pay to employee satisfaction

4/10 - Downsizing of 200 at Raschel's & both stores closing, Fleet unveils 'generous' severance for 5000
+ collapsing profits from biggest PC maker, stock speculators face accounting horrors
+ glimmers of hope - "Free" trade R.I.P.

4/09 - Downsizing of 2200 jobs at Laidlaw Inc. & 19 at Mass. AIDS Action
+ glimmers of hope - European Central Bank & Bank of England cut interest rates

4/08 - Takeover by Diller's USA Networks of Seagram units @ $250m, & by Zoom of broke Hayes' assets @ $?
+ Downsizing of 100 jobs at Ocean Spray
+ shape of Doom grows clearer if rest of world reliant on US trade deficit, Web hoax puffs PairGain stock
+ glimmers of hope - Staples expands business hours equivalent to opening 7.5 more stores

4/07 - Takeovers: News Corp. of Fox Sports @ $1.4b & Brooks Automation of Hanyon @$?
+ Downsizing of 110 jobs at B&W Hospital, of Wrentham family's dream
+ Keating's 1989 Lincoln S&L bankruptcy back in the news - costs us $2.6b & gets his wrists slapped
+ glimmers of hope - Indexes still conflicted so we still have some time + union puts up website to "educate" employees about executive pay + paycuts for 5 Intel executives + EU & WTO strike another blow vs. "free" trade + Microsoft finally gets some competition + first N.H. town plan landfill mining

4/06 - Takeovers: GTE of Ameritech's cellular biz @ $3.3b & CoreComm of USN @ $40m
+ Death spiral spreads from chip gear to chips + Investors ignore lower profits & revenues + Bankruptcy judge OKs sale of USN assets
+ glimmers of hope - 66th anniversary of the Black 30 Hour Work Week Bill + executive pay curtailed at Polaroid

4/4-5 - Fortune 500 revenues fall 1st time in 7 yrs, Japan jobless likely rising further - no qikfix, Russia just wants a little more $$, now TV ads to "enforce" labor laws?!, scallopers want kevork whole fishery, Polaroid joins the trend from innovation to marketing, credit card firms shooting selves up the leg, Dow hoopla hides hohum heist from most funds
+ glimmers of hope - One article pleading with home-based businesspeople to take a vacation

4/03 - Foreign firm engulfs N.H. hightech units from HP & Cabletron
+ 40 layoffs at Peritus Software + red flags "oversupply" & "sales fall," random Violence Via Virus (computer), random American Dream via lottery (or suing the deep pocket)
+ glimmers of hope - 3 mixed blessings: Computer virus writer nabbed but incentive still there, BankBoston "helps" layoffees, March jobless lowest since 1970 with 3 "but's"

4/02 - The spread of speculation + ImmuLogic to liquidate
+ AMP & Tyco merge for $11.3B, CBS & King World for $2.5B
+ glimmers of hope - Solectron to add 1200 jobs in Westborough, Mass. • SBC takeover of Ameritech held up by FCC

4/01 - Profits fall for 1st time in 10 yrs (no foolin'), biggest options ever to REIT chiefs
+ BP Amoco takeover of Arco for $27B, Yahoo of Broadcast.com for $5.6B
+ Mitsubishi lays off 14,500, A&A likely 10,000
+ Chilling look at Angola prison in new documentary film
+ glimmers of hope - Another big merger held up by regulators

3/31 - Bigday for Badnews, viz. (1) Brazil needs $$bb bailout, (2) SocSec ditto, by 2034, (3) farmers ditto, (4) Boston infant mortality rises, (5) hospitals scale back, (6) Mass. "needs" casino job creation, (7) Raytheon CEO gets $26.8m for 6 mos. on Mass. taxbreaks, (8) now R.I. CEOs want taxbreaks, (9) UK wealthy do backbends to save teen's character + glimmers of hope: Tom Geoghegan, an American Hero, Journalists begin to take media critics seriously + Church stripped of tax exemption for politicking + Tax relief for renters + County drops adopt-a-road rather than adopt KKK

3/30 - Computer Assocs gulps rival Platinum Tech for $3.5b + Y2K firm layoffs + Record Japanese jobless, US new homes drop again, public debt $5.56 trillion + glimmers of hope: Unions not completely dead - 2000 new members for the UFCW

3/28-29 - Wells Fargo Bank to downsize 4600 jobs + 43% commodity deflation whispers depression, Coke & Toys "R" Us stagnant too + glimmers of hope: Employees are trying to stick up for themselves but too little too late (lawsuits) vs. from the gitgo, Women reaching boiling point for shorter worktime message

3/27 - IMF presses kiss of death on Russia, We review the Fed's ongoing handstands, Fidelity gets tough with its own investors + glimmers of hope: Reebok CEO refuses 1998 bonus of $560,000 when stock drops 82%

3/26 - $5b utility merger + IMF intensifies kiss of death on Indonesia
+ glimmers of hope: One chain actually OPENING 50 stores by 2001 + Another firm chops CEO's pay

3/25 - Factory layoffs total 337,000 over past year, AOL-Netscape 1000 layoffs official, R.I. hospitals to downsize 506 jobs + Durable goods post sharpest drop since last recession & Senate wants more taxcuts for the rich + glimmers of hope: Air pilots ally to save jobs & hike public safety

3/24 - Multi mystery mergers @ $61b, $550m and $?, $?, $?
+ glimmers of hope: OPEC votes big production cut for one year (save that fossil fuel!)

3/23 - 3 huge takeovers @ $55.5b, 7.9b, 1.86b & an obit for US economic sovereignty?! + Mass. mfrs. lost 7200 jobs in Q4, Now Cabletron to downsize 300 & pinkslip 600 more + glimmers of hope: OPEC plans to raise gas prices (hey, it saves fossil fuel!) + Europe fights USA for right to insist on hormone-free meat

3/22 - More protests against Fleet's takeover of BankBoston + America criminalizes more behavior than any other nation + glimmers of hope: Conference today on balancing work & family + a positive pop song from Chicago via Australia

3/21 - And so it begins: AOL to downsize 30% of Netscape (750 jobs)
+ Gone for now: company-employee trust & loyalty, the social contract, job security, the American Dream, the caring corporation, corporate charity, general predictability - for Egyptologists, we're re-entering the Hyksos Period - for medievalists, the reign of Matilda & Stephen, when "all the demons of hell were loose in the land"
+ glimmers of hope: outgoing chair of Commodities Commission argues for more derivatives regulation to prevent systemic collapse (but Greenspan opposes)

3/20 - 1st Union Bank cuts 5850 jobs, Mass General 130 + worst Texas oil slump in 10 yrs, AT&T CEO gets $2m bonus + glimmers of hope: Mass. jobless down to 2.9% in Feb. (but means nothing?)

3/19 - One new takeover @35m, More tremors from Fleet/BankBoston's + Record trade imbalance now up to $17b + glimmers of hope: PCs in over half US homes, Union resistance to mergers begins

3/18 - Global Crossing takeover of Frontier for $11.2b + Indexes still misleading & Star Wars crawls back from dead + glimmers of hope: Ecologically perfect car from Daimler-Chrysler

3/17 - 3 takeovers @$75m, 25m, 3m + Caldor bankruptcy back in news again
+ glimmers of hope: Happy St. Paddy's Day from the Hyde's, Dow hits 10,000 so now can we get beyond cosmetics, Executive paycut, welfare-to-smallbusiness, union-boosting mutual fund

3/16 - Three big takeovers: $7.7b, 5.5b, 429m + Boeing to downsize 6700 more, Wellington closing 1 office & dropping 3 employees + Bigness no guarantee; Latin America, 'you still committed?' Fleet, 'what's "committed"?' + glimmers of hope: now Motorola joins in 'charity for the rich' with $5m to MIT

3/14-15 - Fleet's takeover of BankBoston for $16b + "Fleet Boston" to downsize up to 5000, Portsmouth pinkslips 500 teachers & support staff + Dow 10,000 but then?? + USA about to beat Russia for biggest prison population
+ glimmers of hope: now there's ad-blocking software to speed Web surfing

3/13 - Justice Dept. OKs AOL's takeover of Netscape for $4.2b + Japan still collapsing, deflation rising, CEOs still concentrating wealth & strangling spending
+ glimmers of hope: The right deed for the wrong reason - investor blocks Lycos merger

3/12 - One takeover for $? + Alcatel downsizes 12,000, Ingram 'only' 1400, Raytheon 'just' 1800 despite state taxbreak + Banking creeps toward disaster, Unions still ignore key power lever
+ glimmers of hope: Another respite = retail sales up 0.9% in Feb.

3/11 - Two more takeovers for $2.2b & $?? + Brazil still skidding to debt 'solution,' Fed & friends fear global instability
+ glimmers of hope: Big French bank merger stumbles on potential layoffs, favorable rulings for US credit unions & Medicaid patients

3/10 - Two takeovers: $1.74b & 79m + Calif.-based Fluor downsizes 5000
+ glimmers of hope: Sony's 17,000 jobcuts are mainly outside the USA, Greenspan slams biassed lending

3/09 - Seven takeovers - $9b, 4b, 3b, $425m, 310m, 240m, 80m + Sony downsizes 17,000 + Wall Streeters deeper in delusion of infallibility
+ glimmers of hope: Merrill gives $20m, D'Arbeloffs $10m, to MIT (but 'refridgerators to Eskimos'?)

3/07 - glimmer of hope: nuclear reactors healthy but dying

3/06 - Adelphia takeover of Century for $5b, BRS of Au Bon Pain for $? + higher "unemployment" (up to 4.4%), I$DC at 1038.8, executive pay rockets on, skimming and charity for the already well-endowed, IMF continues to beat Brazil's dead horse
+ glimmers of hope - Concentra shareholder sues to block takeover

3/05 - Three takeovers: $4.6b, 2.1b, $? + Brazil jacks rates from 39 to 45%!!! to deepen depression rather than permit whisper of inflation (let alone centrifuge wealth by design)
+ glimmers of hope - prominent trade group 'secretly' endorses MicroSoft breakup if MS loses big antitrust case

3/04 - One current $1.1b takeover reported as Welsh, Carson unit buys Concentra Managed Care, 3 previous takeovers mentioned + Clinton backs House approach to 'modernizing' our banking system right back into the Great Depression
+ glimmers of hope - Canada gets real about its limited water resources, 'free trade' fad takes another hit, 1 UNtakeover as Liberty Financial zaps Société Générale deal

3/3 - French Alcatel takes over US Xylan for $2b + GE cuts 200 in Lynn MA, Dunkin' Donuts closes both Moscow locations & disemploys 20 at one, ?? at other + Brazil's currency at another record low
+ glimmers of hope - Indicators point to hearty economy (or do they?)

3/02 - Five takeovers: $1.7b, $1.07b, $?, $?, $? + Hancock 'phases out' its 850 career insurance agents + '60s war on poverty morphs into '90s war on welfare
+ glimmers of hope - student activism returns in protest vs. global wage inequities

3/01 - A glimpse of Wall Street's ongoing suicide on behalf of us all
+ glimmers of hope - The democratization of information progresses as libraries assimilate the Web

2/28 - 'great' new feature: PrisonWatch(tm) - by next year, 1 in 10 black men will be in prison + lazy media in Boston
+ glimmers of hope: $206b windfall from settlement with Big Tobacco

2/27 - One post-acquisition pre-layoff combination + More bad news spun as good + glimmers of hope: Lycos merger greeted with falling stock & shareholder lawsuit

2/26 - Brazil calls counter- collapse meet & corporate earnings slowing + One $2b acquisition ($1.725) + glimmers of hope: record-sized group decides to unionize

2/25 - Greenspan denies layoffs a serious problem & Sikorsky downsizes 137 + One acquisition + Rubin wants someone else (Europe) to fix everything + glimmers of hope: Rubin fights banking 'reform' + fisherman speaks out to save industry

2/24 - Two buyouts @ $2.1b & 25m + small business sees less hiring
+ glimmers of hope: Greenspan don't know what direkshun to go = superficial interest-rate 'solution' gettin' old?

2/23 - Levi's cuts 5900 6 takeovers @$6.3b, 4.3b, 1.8b, 384m, 90m, 32m
+ glimmers of hope: Biogen buys back 4m shares now available to employee stock ownership plan

2/21-22 - Evercore engulfs National Enquirer & Star for $767M
+ glimmers of hope: Telecom Italia moves to thwart hostile $59B takeover by tiny Olivetti (masking giant Mannesmann)

2/20 - Three 10% downsizings: NEC 15K, 1st Union 7K, BankAmerica 18K (total 40,000 jobs vaporized) + 1 takeover ($25m) & 1 creeping consolidation + exports drop 1st time in 13 yrs + Trade deficit highest in history + glimmers of hope: union membership up by net 100K last yr (but fell to 13.9% of the workforce)

2/18 - Wyman-Gordon downsizes 350 + Massachusetts wages (& spending & markets) dropped 8% in last 10 yrs + glimmers of hope: Union stops Mass. plant closing, Rhode Is. seeks block hospital mergers, no rise in suicide under Oregon's new mercykill OK

2/17 - Huge EIGHT (8)-in-one-day takeovers ($37B, 767M, 700M, 100M, 53M, ??) & one incubating + Japan squeezes rates down AGAIN to halt bond collapse

2/16 - 4th-biggest Euro bank to absorb asset mgmt unit for $650M + 40% of all post-Civil War federal crime laws passed since 1970! + glimmers of hope: Demerger now certain, Humans extend legal rights to primates

2/15 - Volvo to engulf rival truck maker worth $2.3 billion + Native Americans victimized by high crime ratesglimmers of hope: College activism making a comeback?, "Three Marketeers" who saved the world - so far

2/14 - H&R Block to swallow Burlington, Mass.' Assurance Mtg for $18m
+ glimmers of hope: Some companies training/hiring urban & rural poor

2/13 - Brazil repeats Hoover's mistakes & demos our future, which Japan approaches limit in ratecuts + LeukoSite engulfs CytoMed + glimmers of hope: Rubin-Greenspan squabble delays disastrous banking "reform"

2/12 - 2000 to be downsized at Boston 'Scientific' + Greenspan bent on repeating mistakes of the past + 3 takeovers + glimmers of hope: Retail has a temporary respite

2/11 - 2 downsizings + 1 whining CEO + 1 takeover + Caldor bankruptcy back in news
+ glimmers of hope: One potential acquirer sobers up

2/10 - THREE downsizings + glimmers of hope: Worker productivity up (but it won't reflect in wages)

2/09 - Three M&As: (1) undisclosed $$b, (2) $1b, and (3) $435m + Good News: OSHA lives

2/08 - A population time bomb, Blaming social workers for welfare cuts
+ Good News 2/06-08 Roundup - 3 silver linings: • slower arms race • Navajo goals • Queen Noor

2/05 - Nasdaq's 3d-largest collapse in history + Brits' 5th ratecut in 5 mos.

2/04 - 2500+900 jobs to be downsized + biz schools grasp new straw + Stoneham Regional Medical Ctr in Mass. to file bankruptcy
+ Good News: 2000 jobs to be upsized, Demerger?, Defund exec payhike?

2/03 - Brazil: 3 top bankers in 3 wks; deglobalizing + 2 M&As + 1 downsizing
+ Good News: Massachusetts Dept of Environmental Mgmt to save oldgrowth forests

2/2 - SIX Mergers/Acquisitions yesterday totalling $23 billion!
+ Good News: Feldsteins want separate State & Market, Factory outlook brightens

2/01 - Two nested multibillion-dollar takeovers + Good News: Kofi Annan tries wake-up call to world business

1/30 - Brazil banks, NE fishing troubles + nursing homes & mutual funds consolidate + Pioneer downsizes
1/29 - consolidation fever strikes four times + Alpha-Beta downsizes 85 & liquidates assets
1/28 - Diës Irae, Diës Acquisition + Quote du Jour: "I think we should all gather and file suit against Congress for inaction" (Boston mayor Tom Menino at Mayors' Conference yesterday)
1/27 - Burlington Inds. downsizes 2900 - Brazil, Russia, in collapse, seek miracle
1/25 - Net for welfare mothers collapses apace + GE takes over Japan's biggest bankrupt (Japan Leasing)
1/24 - Sinking $63b more into IMF, margin of safety collapses apace with shooting in upscale mall + 1 takeover
1/23 - Bankrupt Caldor downsizes 20,000 + family time, Russia, Brazil, Mass. jobs collapse apace
1/22 - Continued collapse in US exports, budget semantics, Brazil + 1 takeover
1/21 - Greenspan scared, Fed on hold, plus "one small step" for Brazil
1/20 - GTE downsizing, IMF mistakes, + four mergers/acquisitions
1/19 - Brazil stuck twixt two toxic "cures" - guru admits impotence
1/16/99 - US industrial production lags - Vodafone engulfs AirTouch for $56b - China's biggest-ever corporate bankruptcy reported
1/15/1999 - Brazil's reserves collapse $1b/day - no Russky bailout - no new downsizings
vs. glimmers of timesizing: - in-depth article on France's experiences in jerking workweek down from 39 to 35 hours
1/14/1999 - Nortel downsizes 8,000 jobs = 10% of its staff + further collapse of Brazil's currency - bank chief quits
1/13/1999 - Lands' End Inc. downsizes 10% of its people, 16% of its stores + another collapse of yen in Japan, of capital in Brazil
2/11/1998 - France plans to cut workweek to create jobs by spreading work around

11/29/1993 - VW Tries Work-Sharing, Washington Post via highbeam.com.
- see more of article under this date


For more details, see our laypersons' guide Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available online from *Amazon.com and at bookstores in Harvard and Porter Squares, Cambridge, Mass.

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