Well, as they say in Vegas, in for a dime, in for a dollar.
Or in the case of the Congressional bailout that President Bush wasted no time whipping out his sharpie and signing into law, how about $700 billion?
The revote in the U.S. House of Representatives was never in doubt. Traders I know on Wall Street were telling me industry lobbyists, and especially tech industry lobbyists, were pushing hard for the bill. Rumors of companies all over Silicon Valley running out of cash to meet payroll spread like wildfire, although I think a lot of that is just hyperbole. It's possible some small tech outfit might be running into a cash crunch, but most firms still have access to credit, albeit at stricter terms and potentially higher rates. But few lobbyists were playing it safe, talking up the bill to Washington pols and predicting dire electoral consequences if the bailout bill didn't go through.
But go through it did. By the end of next week we should have a good idea if the bailout should work or not.
One bit of good news on the credit front came from the financial sector, but directly effects the tech world. Wells Fargo agreed to purchase Wachovia Corp. in a $15 billion deal. Why should we care about that? Because the deal went forward without any federal intervention (unlike the purchase of Wachovia's bank deposits by Citicorp last week, which was mid-wifed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).
When free markets allow private companies to work out their own laundry, dirty and otherwise, that's a telltale sign that we're beginning to move in the right direction. That's a positive thought I'm taking into the weekend, anyway.
One way to see if your company's is moving in the right direction is to check and see how it's employees view management - and how much those employees are paid. That's the promise from a web site called Glassdoor.com, a salary and management portal that uses actual (and anonymous) testimony) from actual employees at companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Yahoo to gauge future earnings profit and salary growth.
For example, under the site's Ratings and Reviews section, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer only rates a 45% approval rating from his own workers. Yahoo's Jerry Yang does worse, clocking in at 39%. Under the site's Salaries section, we see that Cisco pays its top-level software engineers better than Microsoft does.
Glassdoor.com is fun, instructional, and takes our mind off of the credit crunch for a while. Try it out and see for yourself.