Stimulus, Bailout and H-1B

A bank was betting that housing price would continue to skyrocket, forever! It wasn’t the case, as it turned out, so the bank lost a lot of money. Then the government stepped up and handed them a check. What is next? Bank executives get million-dollar bonuses and H-1B workers get hammered.

The $787 billion stimulus package on its way to the White House apparently kept the restrictive H-1B amendment in. Although it no longer bars H1B hiring by banks receiving bailout money, it’s restrictive requirements will make anyone getting TARP assistance think twice before hiring a foreign worker.

Basically the provision requires any company that receives money under TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) to comply with hiring standards set for “H-1B dependent firms” – those with more than 15% of their employees on working visas. Unfortunately the TARP recipient list is huge, and growing. Here are the top ones based on the government’s transaction records:

1 Citigroup
2 Bank of America
3 A.I.G.
4 JPMorgan Chase
5 Wells Fargo
6 General Motors
7 Goldman Sachs Group
8 Morgan Stanley
9 The PNC Financial Services
10 U.S. Bancorp
11 GMAC Financial Services
12 SunTrust Banks
13 Chrysler
14 Capital One Financial
15 Regions Financial
16 Fifth Third Bancorp
17 American Express
18 BB&T
19 Bank of New York Mellon
20 KeyCorp
21 CIT Group
22 Comerica
23 State Street
24 Marshall & Ilsley
25 Northern Trust

As the package details emerge, it appears that Congress are finally getting serious about executive compensation. The new bill puts a limit on salaries AND bonuses for highest-paid employees at all financial institutions receiving government funds.

It is about time.

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