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  • Macaca
    05-25 08:17 PM
    Cleaning Up Congress ( The House gives lobbying reform a boost, but the battle is far from over, Friday, May 25, 2007

    IT WASN'T EASY, it wasn't pretty and the battle isn't over, but the House managed yesterday to pass a credible ethics bill that would require lobbyists to disclose the bundles of campaign checks they round up for lawmakers. The lopsided 382 to 37 vote belied the ferocious behind-the-scenes opposition to the bundling provision. Few lawmakers were willing to cast a public vote to oppose letting their constituents know what the lawmakers themselves are already keenly aware of: just how much they are indebted to which lobbyists. In private, however, many Democrats fought to prevent the vote. It was only the steadfastness of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) that brought the measure to the floor. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) served a key role in offsetting the opposition of some members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    It's critical now that the bundling provision not be killed in the quiet of a conference committee. The Senate version of lobbying reform contains a slightly different bundling provision, which can easily be reconciled with the House measure.

    Other provisions of the bill approved by the House yesterday would provide for more frequent and detailed disclosure, including lobbyists' contributions to lawmakers' charities. To win support for the bundling amendment, reformers had to abandon their effort to double, from one year to two, the cooling-off period for lawmakers and staff who leave the Hill for lobbying jobs. The Senate-passed lobbying bill includes this effort to slow the revolving door. That, too, should be part of the final package. In addition, the work of the House will not be complete until a credible ethics process is in place, one that includes an independent office to assess and investigate allegations of unethical conduct. A Pelosi-appointed task force is expected to come up with a proposal soon. That will be the Democratic majority's next test.

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  • Macaca
    05-30 05:44 PM
    What Will It Take for Companies to Unlock Their Cash Hoards? ( By JASON ZWEIG | Wall Street Journal

    There is a cash crisis in corporate America�although it comes not from a shortage of the stuff, but from a surplus.

    In the first quarter, the five companies with the greatest cash hoards�Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google, Apple and Johnson & Johnson�added $15 billion in cash and marketable securities to their balance sheets. Microsoft alone packed away roughly $9 billion, or $100 million a day. All told, the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are sitting on more than $960 billion in cash, a record.

    To be sure, at many companies the cash piling up is at global operations that generate "undistributed foreign earnings" that can't be brought home, under U.S. law, without incurring taxes of up to 35%. But hundreds of billions in cash remain available�and idle.

    Meanwhile, the payout ratio�the proportion of earnings paid out as dividend income to shareholders�fell to 28.9% for the past four quarters. That, says S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt, is the lowest level since 1936. Dividends are going up�Intel, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have recently raised them�but cash is still piling up far faster than most industrial giants can possibly find a prudent use for it. Of course, investors themselves might have a better use for the cash, if they could get at it.

    As Daniel Peris, co-manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend fund, says, "The likelihood of spending money poorly is increased by having a surplus of it."

    Microsoft's purchase price for the online telecommunications firm Skype, widely criticized as too rich at $8.5 billion, almost precisely matches the amount of cash that Microsoft raked in last quarter. Was that torrent of cash burning a hole in Microsoft's pocket?

    "No way," says Bill Koefoed, general manager of investor relations at Microsoft. "We see this as being a very strategic acquisition."

    The heart of the problem, as the great investor Benjamin Graham pointed out decades ago, is that the best interests of corporate management and outside investors are at odds. That is especially true for giant companies whose growth has been slowing. "The more dubious the company's prospects�the more anxious management is to retain all the cash it can in the business," Graham wrote. "But the stockholders would be well advised to take out all the capital that can be safely spared, because these funds are much more valuable to them if in their own pockets, or invested elsewhere."

    Amnesia is another culprit. In the past, companies paid out vastly more of their profits as dividends, and they should again. "If there were a greater historical sensibility among investors and managers," Mr. Peris says, today's low payouts "would be called out as an abnormal situation that's likely to lead to that money being less well-spent than it otherwise might be."

    Dividends have gotten short shrift in recent years as investors have come to favor companies that instead use cash surpluses to buy back their shares. Meanwhile, with the economic recovery barely out of the sickbed, many companies are reluctant to invest heavily in expansion. Others want to keep cash handy for potential acquisitions. So cash sits idle�even as interest rates, after inflation, are so low that cash often produces negative real returns.

    Benjamin Graham made three simple proposals in 1951 that deserve to be revived.

    First, investors need to realize that a company's cash is a valuable asset, even when interest rates are low; if management won't put it to good use, investors must speak up. As Graham wrote: "When the results on capital are unsatisfactory, it is appropriate for stockholders to�insist that it be returned to stockholders on an equitable basis."

    Second, companies should set formal dividend policies. Rather than paying or raising dividends out of the blue, they should state in advance what proportion of earnings they expect to pay out as cash dividends. If, instead, they plan to use excess cash to buy back shares, they should offer hard evidence that the stock is undervalued.

    Finally, Graham advocated that leading companies should pay out two-thirds of their earnings as dividends. That rate isn't as radical as it might sound, even though it would amount to more than a doubling from today's levels. The dividend payout, as a percentage of total profits, has averaged 52.3% since 1936 and 46% over the past two decades, according to Standard & Poor's.

    If the companies in the S&P 500 raised their payout ratio to 50%, Mr. Silverblatt estimates, that would put an extra $207 billion into investors' pockets�at a time when shareholders' dividend income is taxed at historically low rates.

    "Companies are basically earning more than they've ever made before, but their payouts are nowhere near that high," says Mr. Silverblatt. "They're holding their cash really tight. You can call them Scrooges if you want."

    A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much ( By CATHERINE RAMPELL | The New York Times
    Made in America: Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Home ( By Patrick Smith | Fiscal Times

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  • BharatPremi
    03-28 05:50 PM
    Bharatpremi - Thanks for yr earlier reply and for yr optimistic EB3 (I) predictions in other threads.
    here are the details about housing demand that the bubble has burst with huge inventory still remaining is difficult to see from where the (genuine) demand will come ..speculators and flippers are badly burnt ..This is from MSN money.
    this country's median income of roughly $49,000 can hardly be expected to service the debt of the median home price of $234,000, up from approximately $160,000 in 2000.

    Let's do a little math. Forty-nine thousand dollars in yearly income leaves approximately $35,000 in after-tax dollars. Call it $3,000 a month. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage would cost approximately $1,500 per month. That leaves only $1,500 a month for a family to pay for everything else! (Of course, in many communities the math is even less tenable.) This is the crux of the problem, and the government cannot fix it.

    Housing prices, thanks to the bubble and inflation, have risen well past the point where the median (or typical middle-class) family can afford them. Either income must rise -- which seems unlikely on an inflated-adjusted basis -- or home prices must come down.

    This whole thing is a set conspiracy for the benefit of 5% . My biggest surprise is that nobody is asking a simple question: Why the hell traditional mortgages are designed for 30 years/40 years? Why not for 5 years and at the most for 10 years? If you might have seen your county record, you will see land cost is always a bear cheap against your total purchase price. Now you also know that construction cost is not that great too.

    If you would have built that home by your self , you could built it at very reasonable price. So what is driving us nuts is the addition of "passive" amount which we call "market".. Now this "passive" insertion is designed for "Government" + " Lenders" + " realtors"--- and for their benefit you throughout your damn life end up paying mortgage. As long as the concept of "investment" and "profiteering" will be associated with housing you will see thousands of families get shattered for the benefit of some hundreds of families.

    And you are seeing the effect. Government is out to save Bear Stern's as* but is not yet out to save millions of families.:mad:

    Example: $ 500,000/- purchase price (3000 sq ft single family home)
    Land cost: 80,000/- ( defined by county - assessment record)
    Construction cost: 1,40,000/- (If you do home work you can easily
    derive current construction cost)
    Let's say you give the order to somebody to construct: Add his 25%
    profit which is reasonable)

    The real cost is 255000. If a man with median income of $ 49,000/- wants to buy a home he will still be able to do that with all happiness if government enforces some limit say for an example 5-10% "passive" margin on top of this actual current cost for these sharks. But now in today's world you would be paying this large "passive" difference so your lender, realtor and government become fat and you end up working your ass of for 30 years to pay it off.

    The beauty is that everybody is doing that and government has authorized it so it is legitimate. Basically this whole damn system corner the money to 5% people and I am not ready to tell that a capitalism. "Dacoits rule the city of theives."

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  • CreatedToday
    01-06 04:36 PM
    Hamas' leader's son fleeing from them!

    Hamas position??? Huh.. Did Hamas members came and told you that Isreal shouldn't exist? Did we hear all these from those people? When did we last hear from Palestinians on thier position and what they think about Isreal? Its media and nothing but jewish media propagate this. What do they acheieve by doing these kind of propaganda??? They win people like you who would support killing on innocent civilians and school kids. PERIOD


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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-06 10:29 AM
    In a poor zoo of India, a lion was frustrated as he was offered not more than 1 kg meat a day. The lion thought its prayers were answered when one US Zoo Manager visited the zoo and requested the zoo management to shift the lion to the US Zoo.

    The lion was so happy and started thinking of a central A/c environment, a goat or two every day and a US Green Card also.

    On its first day after arrival, the lion was offered a big bag, sealed very nicely for breakfast. The lion opened it quickly but was shocked to see that it contained few bananas. Then the lion thought that may be they cared too much for him as they were worried about his stomach as he had recently shifted from India.

    The next day the same thing happened. On the third day again the same food bag of bananas was delivered.

    The lion was so furious, it stopped the delivery boy and blasted at him, 'Don't you know I am the lion... king of the Jungle..., what's wrong with your management?, what nonsense is this? Why are you delivering bananas to me?'

    The delivery boy politely said, 'Sir, I know you are the king of the jungle but ..did you know that you have been brought here on a monkey's visa!!!

    Moral: Better to be a Lion in India than a Monkey elsewhere!!!

    If there is a contest for the best entry, this one gets my vote. But, there is a subtlety that seems to be missed here. Monkeys are mostly brain, whereas lions are all brawn (we are a lot closer to monkeys in our genetic makeup!). So, looking at it from that angle, and in the context of what we are trying to achieve here in US, who would we rather be :)

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  • pd_recapturing
    04-15 02:39 PM
    Mariner555 is right. When I was buying a house, my friend also bought a house at the same time. he bought a big brand new single family and I bought a smaller old townhouse (2004 built). His house did cost hom around 200k more than mine. Now, after 5 months, when I asked him, how is life, he lamented that whole of his income goes towards the mortgage and nothing left for other activities. In my opinion, one shud buy house when he/she can save enough to enjoy other aspects of life after paying the mortgage. I have seen ppl cursing their decision to buy house because of the mortgage. I do not think that its anything to do with housing market.
    And finally believe me, living in your own house is a great feeling so go for it...:)


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  • qasleuth
    03-23 04:51 PM
    Wow...that is a pretty harsh list. Is it possible for you to politely point out that you need to prove legal status from your last entry into the country on H1B and not go all the way back to 2000 giving contracts and all ?

    OK..people..the END OF SPECULATION..

    I got the are the details asked for..

    and It appears, the email ( came from someone who was working in the local office where our file is sitting..

    1. current resume
    2. copy of degree(s)
    3. W2s since 2000
    4. information relating to your first entry into the United States with your H1B visa (copy of I-94, copy of passport � admission stamp and biographic page, etc)
    5. date of initial employment in the United States (per our conversation this was through XXX Company for a contract with ABC Inc)
    6. copy of income tax returns from 2000 to the present (all that are available)
    7. copies of work contracts since 2000

    Now..should I send or hire a lawyer..what should be the best course..I have all contracts from previous employers..currents one I can get

    Any suggestions please?:mad:

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-07 03:40 PM
    George Bush: When you rearrange the letters: He bugs Gore

    Dormitory: When you rearrange the letters: Dirty Room

    Desperation: When you rearrange the letters: A Rope Ends It

    The Morse Code: When you rearrange the letters: Here Come Dots

    Mother-in-law: When you rearrange the letters: Woman Hitler

    Snooze Alarms: When you rearrange the letters: Alas! No More Z's

    A Decimal Point: When you rearrange the letters: I'm a Dot in Place

    The Earthquakes: When you rearrange the letters: That Queer Shake

    Eleven plus two: When you rearrange the letters: Twelve plus one


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  • GCNaseeb
    08-02 07:34 PM
    Thanks for your valuable suggestions UN.

    So, do you think it's a better to take a letter from the current employer stating that the position will be available at the time of GC approval, just in case?

    Also if I start working on EAD before 180 days, will that cause any problems in getting I-485 approval?

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your help.

    Once 485 is filed then you are authorized to stay in USA. If you want to work then you can use EAD; if you want to go in/out of USA then you need advance parole.

    At the same time you can have h-1b.

    Both things allow you to stay here.

    Now; once 485 is filed; you do not need to comply with the terms and conditions of your non immigrant status. However; you shouldn't start working with another employer until you have EAD.

    Technically; you could sit at home and do nothing; as long as you have intent to work with the employer until 485 is pending for more then six months and employer doesn't pull the plug before 180 days then you would be fine.

    You could try to convert the h-1b to part time or transfer to another company.

    I only know of one case where person was doing future base employment and invoked ac21 at his local office interview (law says you can do this) and stated he was going to work with someone else.

    USCIS adjudicator asked for a letter from the company that they had intent to hire him up until the 485 had been pending for more then six months. Company would not give the letter and his case was denied.

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  • paragpujara
    08-07 12:18 PM
    1.Losing all your friends

    Man comes home, finds his wife with his friend in bed.
    He shoots his friend and kills him.
    Wife says "If you behave like this, you will lose ALL your friends."

    2. Brother wanted

    A small boy wrote to Santa Claus,"send me a brother"....
    Santa wrote back, "SEND ME YOUR MOTHER"....

    3. Meaning of WIFE

    Husband asks, "Do you know the meaning of WIFE? It means 'Without Information Fighting Everytime'!"
    Wife replies, "No, it means 'With Idiot For Ever'!!!"

    4. Importance of a period

    Teacher: "Do you know the importance of a period?"
    Kid: "Yeah, once my sister said she has missed one, my mom fainted, dad got a heart attack & our driver ran away."


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  • bazuka6
    07-13 02:15 AM
    EB3-I..please print the attached word doc and sign and mail it to Department of state..this week

    Moderator could you makes this Sticky please

    Sorry .. I don't understand ... You are complaining to DOS for USCIS and DOL discrepancies ? They don't care ..different departments really..

    Had they cared July fiasco wouldn't have happened...

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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 03:49 PM
    No, they figured out that it is consulting companies that are exploiting loopholes. Tell me what proof you have that ALL consulting companies are complying with H-1B requriements.

    Is benching that happens in consulting legal? Is paying salary according to prevailing wages in Maine and sending the contractor to work in Manhattan legal? Please tell me how these practises by desi consulting firms are legal.

    And you're telling me I am ignorant! You're funny :D

    All your assumptions about H1B is only for full time jobs is flawed. USCIS has not said that. There is no law that says that.

    BTW why do you think LCA requirements are meant only for consulting companies ? It is applicable to all H1B candidates. That has been the law for a long time. Nothing new here for you to be happy about.

    Your posts are driven by your ignorance than any legal base. You need to educate yourself in immigration perspective.

    Why USCIS audits are focused on consulting companies ?
    It is not because consulting is not allowed on H1B. It is because they figured out that H1B violation are more prominent among small companies.


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  • NKR
    08-05 08:28 AM
    What i mean is: Porting should not be an option based on the LENGTH OF WAITING TIME in EB3 status. That is what it is most commonly used for, thus causing a serious disadvantage to EB2 filers (who did not port).

    "Employment Preference Categories" have very real legal groundings, and i intend to challenge the porting rule based on those facts.

    If someone is unsatisfied with their EB3 application, they are more than welcome to start a fresh EB2 or EB1 application process, rather than try the porting subterfuge.

    I hope i have made my point clear? Thanks.

    I am EB2 and I do not support this idea. Just imagine, someone could have applied in EB3 though he was qualified for EB2 because he was ill advised by his lawyers or employers. Why should he be punished TWICE for no fault of his?.

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  • setpit_gc
    08-05 04:23 PM
    Rolling Food,

    Don't waste your money and energy. You will fail if you go with this idea.

    Try it out if you can.

    BTW, I am in the process of porting my PD and category.


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  • gomirage
    06-07 10:21 PM
    For me its a very simple thing, print that damn thing of plastic and I will buy.

    lol, can't blame you.

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  • yabadaba
    06-01 09:45 AM
    Sau Chuhe kha ke Billi Haj ko Chali

    roughly translated...after eating 100 mice the cat goes for a pilgrimage


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  • mariner5555
    04-14 07:24 AM
    i can not speak for everybody but
    i bought in east coast in 2004 for $330K. it peaked to $425K in 2006 and now it is somewhere $350K. it may go even go down to $300K

    I will break even if i stay for another 3 years. (total 7 years)
    If renting then : 110K in rent with no benefits for 7 years.

    Good Side:
    - Tax benefits with dual income. ( proabably $300 per month)
    - Bigger house

    Bad Side:
    IF i have to sell now then will be loss for me for sure so key is location and how long u stay.
    Atleast you are being honest and telling that the price now is somewhere around 350K. also the main point is that you bought it in 2004 so you are somewhat lucky. the situation now is such that prices are still very high in the correct location. I will give my example ..if I buy a house now ... for the good deals ..I have to buy one which is 14 miles away from work and another 22 miles away from city / airport (atlanta). and ofcourse if I buy at so far away it will not appreciate for another 10 years (many places have single roads ..and atlanta traffic is famous). there is still a bubble at better locations sellers / builders are not lowering enough ..lots of for sale signs though.
    now by renting ..I am closer to work / family atleast 250 $ saved in gas plus vehicle maintenance ..add another 300 in maint + hoa for new house plu 300 - 400 in prop tax etc. with this money itself --I get good deals on renting a townhome with good apartment companies (hence no HOA).
    so renting is not throwing money away get a place to stay (with no maintenance) ..maybe smaller in size you need to ask another question , I need extra space (And maintenance ..) ..before you decide to buy especially now.

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  • krishna.ahd
    01-06 04:10 PM
    Didn't Narendra Modi followed the footstep of Isreali counterparts by killing innocents in Gujarat?

    Its upto Indians to decide which type of leaders we need. Like Gandhi or Modi.
    If you dont know the reality , then

    I had lived in gujarat for 40 years and all these years right from 1965 every year there was communal riots ( sepcially starts on Rath Yatra ) and more Hindu got killed then Muslims , just once the more muslim got killed then Hindu , and you see the whole world come to know about that. Where were every one including you for the last 40 years ??

    BTW - tackle terrorism ( proxy war from Pakistan) we need some one like Modi , the way Isreal hadnling . Isreal IS REAL (hero).

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  • learning01
    05-24 02:09 PM
    threads and postings. Since he is challenging and throwing baby tantrums on a forum, of all things, let's have it.
    Here, I quote from his first troll post in this thread:
    wages have been stagnated for the last five years.
    Now, my friend Communique can you back this up with reliable references and links. Also, can you rebut, point by point on what I said about Lou Dobbs.
    Even in the commentary in the link given by this thread's starter, there is all kinds of rants from Lou and not one, I repeat not one senctence, let alone one paragraph on issues affecting legal immigration.
    I have said earlier: we have to stay focussed on the retrogression and backlog issues. That's what I have been urging Communique and others in this thread. Increase or decrease of H1 is not our goal here. In fact, I should not discussing this. I was trying to bring all folks here to our focussed goals and action on hand.

    I've said this before: I usually dont like casting aspersions, but take a look at a lot of Communique's posts. Some look like they were copied and pasted word for word from the NumbersUsa or FAIR site. And now he's defending Lou Dobbs. Using terms like "mass migration" "unchecked immigration", etc. He claims to be an H1B, and he's trolling Lou Dobbs. I think most people on this site can see through the facade.

    07-10 02:19 PM
    After going through this post
    I checked my I 94 last entered in 2006 it has different number than other I 94
    I am working with only one company since 2004
    They wrote company name src number correct on I 94
    but number is not same as the one on I 797 bottom totally different

    should i get it corrected ? How

    06-26 06:04 PM
    A lot of bickering going on in this thread is because many of us (including yours truely) find it very difficult to understand/calculate
    1. Time Value of money (Wiki Link (
    2. Cash Flow (Wiki Link (
    3. Risk, not the english term - but the quantifiable aspects of it (Wiki link (
    4. Leverage (Wiki Link (

    I have worked on many of these concepts for > 2 years at work (I am a techie - but have also worked as a BA and part time quant for some time). I still personally find it very difficult to intuitively understand many of those concepts.

    A proper conclusion of whether buying is better or renting is would involve each and every one of these concepts - and a lot of assumptions (what will be rate of inflation, how will the home prices behave etc). Since there would be so many assumptions - I doubt it will be at all possible to arrive at any definitive conclusion. Your best bet would probably be a monte carlo analysis and see which one is more probably the superior one.

    So surprise of surprises - there is no "right answer"!!

    That said - I personally follow the a modified model of "dynamic programming" that my college taught me in the 2nd year of bachelors. You CAN NOT estimate future variables with ANY accuracy. So optimize your present steps based on some cost function.

    Applying that to the present problem - you CAN NOT estimate how the home prices will behave in future or how will the rent be or how will the inflation (or - horror of horrors - deflation) behave. The only thing you can optimize is your cash flow TODAY and the Present Value of any investment you hold. Present value = market value of your equity (even if the price is 40% lower than when you bought). Your "cost function" (maybe we should rename it to "wealth function") that you are trying to optimize is your net worth.

    The result of the "dynamic programming" approach if probably not going to be the most optimal - but it will be the best that I know of. :-)

    Best of luck guys.

    Hi Puddon head :

    Thanks for putting this all together. I support mathematical approaches. Monte carlo analysis is a good approach and it will always present the most pessimistic scenario.

    For optimistic analysis you can use, 3 or 6 point analysis like, (P + O + 4*ML)/6. Although ML in this situation is a tricky part.

    I agree that you are going to end up with a range rather than any specific number. I also agree that it is crucial to get the Most likely range with acceptable standard deviation :)

    You can use six sigma approach also :) ;) (just kidding on this last one).

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