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For us populist commentators, the Wall Street bailout is a gift that won’t stop giving. I’d really like to give it a rest – but the bankers won’t let me!
The heads of these financial giants are not merely greedheads, but also boneheads – completely clueless about the public’s moral outrage over their self-serving actions. The latest to send my O-Rage meter into the red zone is JPMorgan Chase. So far, we taxpayers have delivered $25 billion to this outfit. To show their gratitude, JPMorgan honchos recently announced a new program of job creation, which would be absolutely splendid – except they’re sending the jobs to India.
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Excuse me, but wasn’t this bailout meant to stabilize our economy? More than four million Americans have gotten pink slips in the last year, and unemployment now tops 10 percent in seven of our states – yet, rather than putting people to work in, say, Indiana, Morgan intends to outsource tens of thousands of its banking jobs to India.
As part of the bailout, this Wall Street giant took over two other big banks last year, and it is now merging the information technology functions of all three institutions into one. These are potentially good jobs that would pay middle-class salaries in our country. However, the chief information officer of J.P.Morgan says the tax-supported merger gives the bank an opportunity to increase its outsourcing to India by 25 percent. The bank can get Indian workers to do these jobs for a third to a half of what it would pay Americans, then pocket the wage savings to fatten its corporate bottom line.
Morgan could also get half-priced bank executives in India, but curiously, it shows no interest in that move. Shouldn’t our bailout officials find us some bank managers who care about something bigger than their own self-interest?
“Congressman Brady says Chase bank outsourcing plan outrageous,” www.brady.house.gov, March 17, 2009.
“JPMorgan Chase to Increase India Outsourcing 25%,” www.businessweek.com, March 9, 2009.
“Tarp Funds and Job Outsourcing,” Email from Norbert R. March 26, 2009.