If your company CEO is walking around with bags under eyes, clutching a balance sheet in one hand and a bottle of Chivas in the other, it could be because she can’t get financing to keep the company going.

Business Week has a great article on this topic, pointing out that the TARP money that is going to banks and lenders – about $350 billion in all – isn’t being used to loan out money to businesses. That was the idea when Congress scared the country half to death with talk of a financial meltdown if banks didn’t have money to lend.

$350 billion later, they still don’t have money to lend. Read the whole story at:


Elsewhere Dell is announcing that it’s laying off 1,900 employees in its laptop and desktop operation in Ireland. Dell is also moving a large chunk of its computer manufacturing from Ireland to Poland, where labor costs are 50% cheaper. Irish economists say that each Dell job accounts for four or five other jobs in the country, so the misery continues in the Emerald Isle.

"This is a difficult decision, but the right one for Dell to become even more competitive, and deliver greater value to customers," said Sean Corkery, vice president of operations at Dell's major facility in Limerick, southwest Ireland. Corkery added that Dell would "treat affected employees with dignity and respect and offer them every practical support."

Also on Dell, Kara Swisher over at All Things Digital got a copy of an internal Microsoft memo from some big-wigs in Redmond over the Microsoft-Dell-Verizon deal where the latter companies would distribute Microsoft’s search products. It provides some good insight into the mindset over at Microsoft. Here it is in its entirety:

From: Yusuf Mehdi
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 6:29 PM
To: OSD R&D FTE World Wide; Online Audience Business Group FTE; APSP FTE - Adv & Pub Solutions Platform
Cc: Yusuf Mehdi; Satya Nadella; Qi Lu
Subject: Announcing Dell and Verizon Strategic Partnerships!


This evening, in his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Steve Ballmer announced two major new distribution partnerships that will significantly increase the reach of our Online businesses to end users.

Starting in February, Dell–the number one PC manufacturer in the US and number two worldwide - will begin to distribute Live Search and Windows Live Essentials on a majority of consumer and small business PCs shipped globally. Under the terms of the agreement, Live Search will be the default search engine in the Web browser, as well as including a Live Search-powered toolbar on all new PCs over the next several years.

Steve also announced a five-year partnership with Verizon–the number one wireless carrier in the US–that covers mobile search and display advertising. The deal will provide more than 70 million subscribers in the U.S the ability to use Live Search to find local business and shopping information, access maps and directions, find ringtones and other online mobile products and services.

Partnering with the #1 PC manufacturer and the #1 wireless carrier in the US is a huge win for our Online Services business. More importantly, the partnerships will benefit our mutual customers as we make it easier to access their email, IM, homepage, and Search services from their PC and Phone.

As you know, these are just two–albeit big ones!–examples of our partnering to grow our audience through distribution and bring our services to new users. Our momentum is building from previous and existing partnerships with Sun Microsystems, Facebook, Lenovo, and most recently HP for all their PCs in North America.

A big thanks to the many individuals across the company that helped secure these partnerships. Now onward to executing very well on our product offerings and marketing to make the most of our investment!

Satya and Yusuf

We'll see if it's a "huge win" but apparently, the insider at Microsoft who leaked the memo may not think so.

Anyone who is able to get through to any shows talking about Card Check being a bad thing for workers. We need them to understand that stealing our pensions with cash balance conversions and stealing retirees medical coverage promised to them when they retired and not giving pay raises while maintaining executive multi million dollar bonuses are bad for us too but no one raised a hand to help us while corporate America raped us and now that Unionizing is our last hope of being treated fairly it is not the unions desperately trying to survive or the Democrats paying off their block of supporters, Its us on main street trying desperately to survive. We do not give a damn which party helps us, or which branch of government, or which local government. We just want to be able to go to work without fear running our lives anymore. Without having to worry about what will we lose next. Corporate America no longer even pretends to level the playing field. Why should we the workers accept this anymore. Wall street be damned, Investors be damned. My family needs safety and security also. Live Better, Work Union!