Timesizing® Associates

dooms du jour, Jan/2000
[Commentary] ©2000 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Sq, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080


1/30-31/2000
this is an economic "boom"???
weekend roundup per NY Times & Bos Globe:
• 15 downsizings this past week - 17,659 jobcuts
+unspecified, more than last 3 weeks put together
• 40 takeovers reported this past week (worth $16.26B)
vs. 2 UPsizings reported (1000+ new jobs)
& 3 UNtakeovers ($1.93B+)
<<< YTD totals:  46 dnsz (34,357+  jobcuts) + 181 takov ($224.24B +) vs. 9 upsz (9700+=28%) + 6 untak ($5.9B+) >>>
weekend clunker - entertainment companies start clogging up the Internet
vs. glimmers of hope
- Globe columnist roasts globalization & bioengineering
+ New Features: • Timesizing.com challenges Ted Kennedy in Y2K Senate race
• Local 76, CEP, Powell River papermill added to working models
• goodnews split in 3:  regular, high test & transition
• website reactions listed
• opus errata online

1/29 sat (on fri biz)
"from go-go to no-no"?
4 downsizings reported, totalling 950 cuts + unspecified:
• 750 jobs lost as Associates First Capital phases out mobile home financing,
instead of trimming hours & maintaining jobs, earning, shopping & markets
• 2% workforce trim (150 jobs) as Amazon.com shrinks Seattle HQ
the demoralizing way, vs. barely noticeable 2% workweek trim
(9 mins/day) for all & all stay working & spending normally
• 50 jobcuts as Apogee windshields & glass cuts costs the traumatic
way, instead of cutting hours & keeping everyone together & employed
• unspecified cuts as Scientific Games scratch tickets shuts Calif. printing
plant & consolidates operations (& its own best markets)
+ 5 more takeovers reported, totalling $343m
+ 1 omen - shaky Japan seeks $76B loan from its shaky banks instead of issuing bonds
vs. 1 beam + 1 glimmer of hope:  • by starting to shorten the nation's maximum
workweek from 39 to 35 hrs, French unemployment is down to 7-yr low
• So. Korea smarter than us - bars big conglomerates from owning banks

1/28 fri
2 downsizings reported, totalling 620 new cuts: • 2% workforce cut (2800 jobs= 300
more than we counted on 1/26) as Lockheed Martin demoralizes its troubled aerospace biz,
instead of barely noticeable 2% workweek cut (to 39.2 hrs/wk) & everyone stays employed
• 2% workforce cut (320 jobs) as Farmland Industries farm co-op cuts costs in effort to
revive a failed merger with rival Cenex, vs. 2% workweek cut (10 minutes/day)
& keeping everyone together, working, & buying co-op food
+ 5 takeovers reported, totalling $670m + $undisclosed
+ 2 omens:  • only one cutting thru Davos glitz is founder
  • margin debt surges to unprecedented levels (1920s déjà vu)
vs. 3 glimmers of hope:  • NYT op ed nails "phantom surplus"
• group sues to stop low, nature-churning airforce flights
• stifling NY state GOP rapped in NYT editorial

1/27 thu
4 downsizings reported, totalling 9570 cuts:• 20% workforce cut (6000 jobs) as
Coca-Cola overreacts to a yr of problems, instead of doing a 20% workweek cut
(to four 8-hr days) & keeping everyone together, employed, & drinking Coke
• 5% staff cut (1970 jobs) as Ikon Office Solutions tries to grow by shrinking,
vs. 5% hours cut (to 38/wk) & everybody keeps working & spending normally
• 800 people expected to take early retirement offer as Norfolk Southern RR
tries to digest a chunk of Conrail it & CSX foolishly paid $10B for in '98
• 4% cut (800 jobs) as Quintiles drug research tries to save money by
killing morale, instead of cutting 1½ hrs/wk (4%) & maintaining
of all its customers' customers' earning&spending money
+ 9 takeovers reported, totalling $6.65B + $undisclosed
vs. glimmer of hope - astronomical concentration of wealth makes the funny pages

1/26 wed
5 downsizings reported, totalling 6519 cuts: • 30% workforce cut (3700 jobs) as former Woolworth's reaches next level of self-destruction, instead of cutting 30% of its workweek (to four 7-hr
days) & keeping everyone employed, together & spending as normally as possible
• 2500 cuts mulled to reverse slump as Lockheed auctions 4 businesses
(hey, maybe there is a real decline in aerospace!)
• 15% staff cut (244 jobs) as Schein overreacts
to tighter profits in pharmaceuticals, vs. 15% hours
cut (to 34/wk) to keep everyone working & shopping
• 75 cuts as Osmonics (water filters) shuts Phoenix plant by Sept.
• in wake of AOL gobble of Time Warner, music industry braces for broad layoffs
+ 8 takeovers reported, totalling $2.2B + $undisclosed
vs. 4 glimmers of hope:  • one sane fund manager left in Boston - Ken Heebner
• a 'double' - Fidelity exec retires for more family time & replaced by woman executive, Gail McGovern
• 2 UPsizings - Intel to build new chip plant, add 1000 jobs in Ariz. in next 7 yrs
• Applied Insurance Research to open a global climate forecasting system

1/25 tue
no downsizings reported
but 13 takeovers reported, totalling $6.4B + $undisclosed
+ 1 clunker - Russian scientists say U.S. aid is diverted into germ warfare
vs. 4 glimmers of hope:  • Supreme Court shoots down attempted campaign finance deform
• 3 UNtakeovers, totaling $1.934B +?? - Oneok nixes $1.8b SW Gas  • Legato nixes $134m Ontrack Data  • P&G nixes $? Warner-Lambert & $? American Home

1/23-24/2000
weekend roundup per NY Times & Boston Globe:
• 12 downsizings this past week (5,915 jobcuts +unspecified)
• again, 51 takeovers reported this past week (worth $124.48B)
• 4 bankruptcy mentions (Wed) - Roberds furniture (Dayton), Mariner Post-Acute Network (Atlanta) & studies A & B show personal bankruptcies down 8% last yr, thanks to (A) lenders or (B) consumers
vs. 3 UPsizings reported (8300 new jobs exceed wk's 5915 cuts - 1st time in 6½ mos.)
& 1 UNtakeover ($4B+)
<<< YTD totals:  31 dnsz (16,698  jobcuts) + 141 takov ($207.98B +) vs. 7 upsz (8700+=5%) + 3 untak ($4B+) >>>
wknd clunker - Clinton & media still spinning budget "surplus" with $5¾ trillion debt
vs. glimmers of hope
: • McDonald's flips from ecological Arch villain to green role model
• transatlantic takeovers are 'solidaritizing' US unions with their European counterparts
+ New Features: • Timesizing.com challenges Ted Kennedy in Y2K Senate race
• Local 76, CEP, Powell River papermill added to working models
• goodnews split in 3:  regular, high test & transition
• website reactions listed
• opus errata online

1/22 sat (re fri biz)
1 downsizing reported - another staff cut (3.8%=1700 jobs) in addition to Pratt&Whitney's 3500 cuts-in-progress, instead of a 3.8% hours cut (to 38.5/wk) & maintaining morale, focusing everyone on the problem, & keeping them all employed & spending normally
+ 1 clunker - US plays 'the jerk in the G7'
+ 5 takeovers reported, totalling $959m + $undisclosed
vs. glimmers of hope - taxpayer uproar cancels Canuck gov't subsidies for millionaire hockey players

1/21 fri
3 downsizings reported, totalling 700 additional cuts:
• another installment (of 2900 Thai cuts) in Seagate's 8000 cut bloodbath
announced in Sept. (we counted them then) - isn't hi tech spozed to be creating jobs??
• 400 jobs go byebye as ACX Technologies closes consumer-product packaging plants in
Saratoga and Boulder instead of trimming hours & keeping up our consumer base
• 30% workforce cut (300 jobs) as Network Equipment Technologies' HQs
shrinks in Calif., instead of clipping their workweek 30% (to four 7-hr
days) & keeping everyone employed & shopping normally
+ 2 clunkers:  • another record trade deficit = $26.5B
• more working families seek food aid
+ another 11 takeovers reported, totalling $4.2B + $??
vs. glimmers of hope: • despite full hospitals, Canadians don't envy US ‘system’

1/20 thu
4 downsizings reported, totalling 575 jobs + unspecified:
• 0.4% workforce cut (500 jobs) as United Technologies continues its bad
reaction to a decline in aerospace (??), instead of trimming 0.4% of its workweek (an
almost unnoticeable 10 mins./week) & keeping everyone working & spending normally
• 20% staff cut (75 jobs) as the shakeout in dot-coms begins: Beyond.com did not find the
huge Web customer base needed to pay for its $71m in advertising & doesn't have the
sense to trim hours (to 32/wk) & pay for all & stop the consumer-base hemorrhaging
• 4% jobcut (?? positions) as Jones Lang Lasalle tries to save $20m by fueling our
death spiral instead of cutting 1½ hrs/wk & maintaining our consumer base
• unspecified cuts as the world's 2nd largest dialysis provider
closes all operations outside continental USA
+ 3 clunkers
• unions running harder just to
stay in same place = 13.9% of workforce
• industrial robots mushrooming with no workweek cut in sight
• now there's a 'digital divide' between the computer literate and illiterate
+ 11 takeovers reported, totalling $2.37B + $??
vs. 6 glimmers of hope: • 3 UPsizings (8300 total) - Tesco (7000) • FedEx (1000) • Merck (300)
• drugmakers finally 'get it' on Frankenfoods • cops finally get da rich guy dat bumped off da goil
• dean of Harvard Meds finally gets 2 simple ideas to fix healthcare

1/19 wed
3 downsizings reported, totalling 2740 vanishing jobs:
• 10.4% workforce cut (2,500 jobs) as world's 6th largest bank, ABN Amro,
spreads wrong kind of tech revolution to European banking, instead of cutting 10.4%
of their workweek (to 34.8 hrs/wk) & keeping people employed, earning & spending normally
• 40% staff cut (140 jobs) as Isis Pharmaceuticals ("antisense drugs"?!) reacts senselessly to
key drug's flunking clinical trials, vs. 40% hours (to 24 hrs/wk) & pay cut for all,
including top executives, and all focus on finding a solution together
• 6% cut (100 jobs) as Dynamic Research tries boosting profitability
by bashing morale, instead of doing a 6% hrs&pay cut for
everyone (2.4-hr cut) & everyone pulls together
+ 13 takeovers reported, totalling $39.944B + $??
+ 4 bankruptcy mentions: • Roberds home furnishings of Dayton
• Mariner Post-Acute Network of Atlanta, 2d-largest nsg home operator
• Consumer Fed'n of America & • U.Md. join on fewer personal bankruptcies
last year than 1998's record 1.4 million, but part on reason why
vs. glimmer of hope - skeptical L.A.Times columnist vents on harsh treatment
given critics of today's technology-borne "progress," but vital need for them to persevere

1/18 tue
1 downsizing reported - 18% workforce cut (200 jobs) as Analytical Services of Colorado
Springs, computerized mapmakers, follows a map to armageddon, instead of cutting 18%
of their workweek (to 32.8 hrs/wk) & keeping everyone employed & oriented
+ 2 clunkers:  • metaphor for workoholics vs. jobless: overweight vs. underfed
• 'boom' turns US border into mere speedbump for illegal Mexican influx
+ 11 takeovers reported, totalling $77.011B + $$undisclosed
vs. 5 glimmers of hope: 
• gutsy new prez of Chile (CIA, keep your grimy paws OFF this time!)
• Clinton asks Congress for $280m to enforce existing gun laws (not a bad idea!)
• 'then shall the eyes of the blind be open'd' - with tiny camera wired to brain it's a start
• closing a plant the right way - HP moves 640 employees 30 mi., finds jobs for remaining 165
• 1 UNtakeover -3 Conn. Fleet-BankBoston branches forming new minority business, Urban Financial

1/16-17
weekend roundup per NY Times & Boston Globe:
• 9 downsizings again this past week (6749 jobcuts)
• 51 takeovers reported this past week (worth over a record $190.27B)
• 2 bankruptcies (Tu,Sa) - Daewoo (Korea), Golden Ocean (Guernsey)
vs. 3 UPsizings reported (400+ new jobs created) & 2 UNtakeovers ($4B+)
<<< YTD totals:  19 dnsz (10,783  jobcuts) + 90 takov ($195.5B +) vs. 4 upsz (400+=4%) + 2 untak ($4B+) >>>
4 wknd clunkers:  • USA is a nation in debt: last year's card interest = $50B
• Worldwatch Institute urges max 2 kids/family & faster shift to renewable energy
• spoiled employers still see a labor shortage  • Mass. taxbreaks not saving mfg jobs
vs. glimmers of hope
- Massachusetts women won big harassment & gender bias cases in the '90s
+ New Features: • Timesizing.com challenges Ted Kennedy in Y2K Senate race
• goodnews split in three: regular, high test & transition
guest columnist page added
• website reactions listed
• opus errata online

1/15 sat (re fri events)
2 downsizings reported, 4th day in a row, today totalling 1093 vanishing jobs:
• 600 jobs vanishing as Quaker Oats closes a 70-yr-old cereal plant in St. Joseph,
Mo., instead of trimming hours & pay for all & keeping everyone "Cap'n Crunch"-ing
• 493 jobcuts as Ames consolidates 4 distribution ctrs in 1 (& hires 100 in insulated move)
+ 2 clunkers:  • short-term speculation is replacing longtime stock investing
• consumer goods deflated last year = hallmark of depression
+ 1 bankruptcy - Golden Ocean Gp of Guernsey
+ 4 takeovers reported, totalling $1.87B
vs. 3 glimmers of hope: 
• 100s of New Yorkers managed to postpone their deaths 1-2 wks to live to see the new millennium
• 1 UPsizing - Ames adds 100 jobs in Westfield, MA (but cuts 493 in Mansfield & elsewhere)
• 1 UNtakeover - RPC spins off Chaparral Boats

1/14 fri
2 downsizings reported, 3rd day in a row, today totalling 2216 vanishing jobs:
• 1141 jobs killed as SCI, world's largest funeral company, restructures the
deadly way, vs. killing hours for all but letting all afford costly caskets
• 1075 jobcuts as Brunswick Corp. of Illinois shuts
down bicycle production in North America
+ 6 takeovers reported, totalling $5.75B
+ 2 clunkers:  • AOL hopes 'investors'
will overlook their lack of profit
• Mass. pay disparity widens
vs. 5 glimmers of hope: 
• gutsy new Indonesian prez keeps up post-Suharto housecleaning
• despite confusion, Greenspan admits 'boom' may be euphoric bubble
• gov't plans to pay off some ($30B) of national debt - 1st time in 100+ yrs
• biggest U.S.-to-Indians giveback in 100+ yrs - 84,000 acres it stole in 1916
• Chevron to pony up $95m in underpaid oil royalties on federal & Indian lands

1/13 thu
- the long, slow, euphoric suicides of the American & global economies continue -
2 downsizings reported, totalling 790 vanishing jobs - 5% staff cuts at both • PacifiCare Health Systems (450 jobs) & • Bell & Howell (340 jobs) when both could maintain morale, productivity & their own best markets (their employees - not to mention our national consumer base) by doing a 5% hours & pay cut (2 hrs/wk) & letting everyone keep working & spending normally
+ 7 takeovers reported, totalling over $5B
+ 3 portents of doom:  • careening concerns over concentration of media influence
• impartiality suffers thanks to UN's political cartoon contest & megamerger's stock options
• 25% of Massachusetts families struggling despite "boom"
vs. 3 beams of hope:  • 2 golden parachutes retracted
• B&N CEO quits to get more time for self & family
• US may seek 3-way split of Microsoft

1/12 wed
2 downsizings reported, totalling 2150 vanishing jobs:  • 2% workforce cut (2000 lost
jobs) as International Paper cuts costs the dumb way, vs. 2% workweek cut (48 mins/wk)
and everyone stays employed, earning and spending on, e.g., paper products
• 150 jobs cut as Fidelity Investments hollows stock bubble even further
as its Community Newspaper Company humiliates & demoralizes
employees by paging them over the intercom for 'execution'
+ 15 takeovers reported, totalling over $7½ billion
vs. glimmers of hope:  • HUMUNGO merger may produce Microsoft nemesis
• merger euphoria dampened by markets  • Globe writers list mergers' minuses
• 1 UPsizing - Little Caesar's, 300 new Mexican locations in 10 years
• 1 UNtakeover - Silicon Graphics spins off SGI Mediabase

1/11 tue
1 downsizing reported - 500 lose jobs as Chart House shuts down 11
unprofitable restaurants this quarter & opens 7 new ones this year
+ 1 bankruptcy mentioned - Daewoo Corp. ($70B), main
part of one of So. Korea's biggest conglomerates
+ 19 takeovers reported, totaling over $170.15B = one-day record
vs. glimmers of hope:  • Boeing offers 80,000 nonunion workers bonuses if co. meets targets
• 1 UPsizing: Wal-Mart to open 12 Asda stores in Britain (unspecified new jobs)
new features - new pages: "Third Way"; guest columnist

1/09-10
weekend roundup per NY Times & Boston Globe:
• 9 downsizings reported this week (3934 jobcuts)
• 35 takeovers reported this past week (worth over $5.18B)
• 2 bankruptcies (W,F) - Harvard Pilgrim/Mass., Bruno's supermkts
vs. 1 UPsizing reported (?? new jobs created) & 2 UNtakeovers ($4B)
<<< YTD totals:  10 dnsz (4034  jobcuts) + 39 takov ($5.23B +) vs. 1 upsz (?=NA%) + 2 untak ($4B) >>>
2 wknd clunkers: • AT&T cuts 50,000 mgrs' bennies • reader thinks 20th Century worst
vs. glimmers of hope
- Globe columnist: OK to bet on big hits - with your 'fun money'
+ New Features: • Timesizing.com challenges Ted Kennedy in Y2K Senate race
• goodnews split in three: regular, high test & transition
guest columnist page added
• "Third Way" page added
• website reactions listed
• opus errata online

1/08 sat (re fri biz)
but 7 takeovers reported, totaling $1.95B + $??
+ 1 clunker - background on corruption of American corporate auditing
vs. glimmers of hope - 1st NBC, now ABC agrees to jobs for minorities (ah, CBS?...)
new features - new pages: "Third Way"; homelessness; guest columnist + enhanced 1933 page

1/07/2k fri
- depression creeps in on little cat feet, a scratch here, a cut there -
4 downsizings reported, totaling 1170 jobs lost: • 38% workforce cut (650 jobs) as Goodyear cuts costs after partnering with Sumitomo, instead of 38% workweek cut for all (to 24.8 hrs) & all keep jobs
• 300 jobs lost as Pennzoil-Quaker State closes century-old refinery in the Quaker state
• 200 jobs get sucked to Mexico as Guilford Mills nicks its American consumer base
• 20 jobs gone & Long Is. loses Voice after new group buys Village Voice family
+ 1 bankruptcy mentioned - Bruno's supermarkets 'won' Chapter 11
+ 3 takeovers reported, totaling $858m + $undisclosed
vs. glimmers of hope: • upward push on teachers' pay
• DaimlerChrysler 2d car firm to quit anticlimate group
• Canada toughens on cigarettes
• speculators have brief attack of sanity
• 1 UPsizing - Brit utility to build 2 powerplants here (?? jobs)
new features - new pages: 'Third Way'; homelessness; guest columnist + enhanced 1933 page

1/06/2K thu
1 downsizing reported - 40 jobs lost as POV Magazine for young professional guys quits,
citing competition despite 360,000 circulation (something fishy here??)
+ 6 takeovers reported, totaling $567m + $$undisclosed
vs. 3 glimmers of hope:
• NBC agrees to jobs for minorities
• Eisner's pay "plunges" to three quarters of a $million
• US Labor Secretary backs off sticking employers for employees' home offices
new features - new homelessness page, new guest columnist page, enhanced 1933 page

1/05/Y2K wed
3 downsizings reported, totalling 2700 jobs:
• 6% workforce cut (1200 jobs) as Deutsche Bank unit tries wringing more profit out of its German market by cutting consumers, instead of 6% workweek cut (to 37.6 hrs) & keeping everyone banking
• 1000 jobs vanish as Budget Gp. shrinks here & expands in Germany (talk to Deutsche Bank 1st?!!)
• 9.6% staff cut (500 jobs) as Beth Israel hospital exacerbates US healthcare meltdown,
instead of just a 9.6% hours (36/wk) & pay cut for all, including doctors
+ 1 bankruptcy mention - Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Mass. now
+ 13 takeovers reported, totaling $807m + $$undisclosed
vs. glimmers of hope:
• unions urge linking Raytheon tax break to job numbers
new features - new homelessness page, new guest columnist page, enhanced 1933 page

1/04/Y2K tue - 1 downsizing reported - 24 cuts as Ridgeview socks
moves distribution from New York, to N.C. & Alabama
+ 1 collapse sign - more firms squelching dividends
+ 1 'homelessness' item - this one from Japan
+ 6 takeovers reported, totaling $997m +$??
vs. 4 glimmers of hope:
• Y2K glitches trivial on 1st workday
• Brazil reconsidering inroads of foreign banks
• 2 UNtakeovers - K. C. P&L rebuffs Western Resources' $2.1B bid
& • Monsanto Co. pays fee to cancel its $1.9B purchase of Delta & Pine Land Co.
+ new features - new homelessness page, new guest columnist page, enhanced 1933 page

1/02-03/2000 <<< YTD totals:  1 dnsz (100  jobs) + 4 takov ($52m+) vs. 0 upsz (0+ =NA%) + 0 untak ($0B+) >>>
New Year's weekend roundup per NY Times & Boston Globe:
• 10 NewYr's week downsizings reported (over 4,159 jobcuts)
• 46 takeovers reported this past week (worth over $14.7B)
• 4 bankruptcy mentions (Tu;W;Th) - Graham-Field;
KCS Energy; Fruit of the Loom, Ace Baking
vs. 3 UPsizings reported (5009 new jobs created) & 2 UNtakeovers ($??)
<< ½yr totals of 12/31:  286 dnsz (398,123+  jobs) + 1315 takov ($1177B+) vs. 57 upsz (52,026+ =13%) + 67 untak ($225B+) >>
vs. glimmers of hope
- columnist hits 'virus' in prez hopefuls, only Bill Bradley still uninfected
+ New Features menu: • Phil Hyde challenges Ted Kennedy in Y2K Senate race
• Timesizing.com Party, new political party for shorter workweek
• goodnews split in three: regular, high test & transition
• year-to-date totals - see above <<<>>>
guest columnist page added
homelessness page added
• website reactions listed
1933 page enhanced
• opus errata online

1/1/2000 sat (re fri biz ½day) << YTD totals:  1 dnsz (100  jobs) + 4 takov ($52m+) vs. 0 upsz (0+ =NA%) + 0 untak ($0B+) >>
1 NewYearsDay downsizing report - 100 people lose jobs as
American Architectural Products closes windows&doors
plant in Youngstown, Ohio instead of trimming hours
a bit for all & keeping everyone pulling together
+ 4 takeovers reported, totaling $52m +$??
+ 1 clunker - 'free' market resets controls
vs. 1 beacon of hope -
an innovation that catches our morality up with our technology:
a technology of sharing that can turn the next 1000 yrs into heaven
& 1 glimmer of hope +1 new feature:
• big breakthru last millennium - freeing slaves
• new feature - guest columnists


Click here for dooms du jour in Dec/99.
Click here for dooms du jour in Nov/99.
Click here for dooms du jour in Oct/99.
Click here for dooms du jour in Sept/99.
Click here for dooms du jour in Aug-July/99.
Click here for dooms du jour in Jun-May/99.
Click here for dooms du jour in before Apr.30/99.


For more details, see our laypersons' guide Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available online from *Amazon.com and at bookstores in Harvard and Porter Squares, Cambridge, Mass.

Questions, comments, feedback? Phone 617-623-8080 (Boston) or email us.


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