We've just been through a brutal economic storm. If you were sheltered, great - good for you. But pay attention anyway, because this storm wreaked havoc on many of the people you'll meet in the next stages of your career.
You are going to meet and work with a lot of people who've been burned. So many that the American business landscape is never going to look the same again.
At the height of the crisis, large companies fired thousands of employees to preserve profits. In many cases, they terminated good people to protect their stock prices (not to ensure survival). In so doing, they sent a powerful message - profits are sacred, people are disposable. It's not the first time this has happened for sure, but this time, the firings were connected to a crisis technical in nature, unrelated to business fundamentals, and connected with greed and corruption. Average Americans can see more clearly than ever how protected the rich and powerful are at the expense of everyone else. We feel helpless, unappreciated and disrespected.
First the bankers and other business elite got rich during the real estate boom years, then they were bailed out by very taxpayers who were left twisting in the wind by all the financial monkey business of the last five years. At the same time that the taxpayers were doing the bailing, massive layoffs were happening around the country -- at profitable companies
. I call that a lack of character and I assure you that talented people notice it.
They are going to notice the US national debt too, now over $110,000 per taxpayer. That bill will come due but we know it's not going to hurt our captains of industry much. As Ted Turner says, losing 80% of your wealth overnight is hard, but a guy can still get by when there are a few billion leftover. The images of the Goldman Sachs 20 billion dollar bonuses coming in December just a few short quarters after the bailouts will be seared into the minds of those who've suffered in this recession.
So what will change? keep reading...