deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

H-P’s version of job creation: Buy another company?

with one comment

Remember that American Jobs Creation Act? (See my earlier post.)

You know, the act that allows some of America’s largest corporations — just once — to get a break on taxes on profits they’ve been accumulating overseas but have not repatriated. Corporations get to pay 5.25 percent rather than 35 percent when they bring these profits home.

They’re also supposed to tell us what they plan to do with that money. Remember, it’s a “jobs creation” act. That money is supposed to create jobs. Congress said so.

Hewlett-Packard (the company that just sacked glamour queen CEO Carly Fiorina) has $14 billion ready to swim home. And that’s just a small fraction of the $400 billion America corporations want to free from high-tax hell.

Fiorina’s out because her grand acquisition of 2002 — Compaq Computer — was supposed to “synergize” H-P and expand its line of products and services. But, as The New York Times points out, that move “greatly increased Hewlett-Packard’s dependence on the cutthroat PC business …” and hurt the ol’ bottom line.

H-P’s strength has always been imaging — printers, copiers and supplies for same. But now, the Times says, that division produces about 75 percent of the profit but only about 30 percent of revenues. And H-P has revenues of $81 billion.

So how does H-P return to its core imaging business? And strengthen its market position accordingly?

Create more jobs in its own imaging division? Have more people make more H-P printers and copiers and make them better than anyone else’s?


Sell those divisions that hurt profitability, such as its corporate computer unit.

And buy Eastman-Kodak or Xerox — both big names in the imaging business.

Will buying create Kodak or Xerox create more jobs?

Nope. We’ve seen it time and time again — when huge corporations merge, “efficiencies” are realized, and jobs get whacked.

Kodak, at $9.8 billion stock market value, and Xerox, at $14.2 billion, won’t come cheap.

So how will H-P foot the bill?

Remember that $14 billion in profits parked overseas? You know, the $14 billion H-P will be taxed on at only 5.5 percent? You know, the $14 billion that’s supposed to help, under the American Jobs Creation Act, actually create new jobs?

Keep your eye on H-P and what it does with its $14 billion. And keep an eye on Pfizer ($38 billion) and Proctor & Gamble ($10.7 billion). And on Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson and > Plough (a combined $37 billion).

They’ve all got big money sitting overseas that will cost a pittance to bring home. And I bet they’re all in a buying mood — not in a hiring mood.


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

February 12, 2005 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Another look at HP
    Another aspect to this is the celebrity CEO phenomenon that Californians have been exposed to with Carleton Fiorina. Oh yeah, there’s a gender aspect to it. She is fiercely loyal to the corporate system of acquire and gut. Something of a nasty personality parading as effectiveness on the job. The person who has really told this story well, since he has had his boots on the ground in the Valley a lot is Robert Silvey. See his comment:


    February 14, 2005 at 6:51 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: