Although Microsoft no longer gets the gushing, media-fawning attention that Google, Facebook and some younger, more ‘hip’ tech companies do, it is still a gigantic, hugely profitable industry giant. Microsoft employs more than 130,000 people and has annual revenue of nearly $100 billion, profit margins of about 20% and their stock is up more than 21% since they named a new CEO in January. And yet, they’re laying off 18,000 people.
I think the leadership at Microsoft sees trouble on the horizon. They’re looking back at the last five years and all the money the Federal reserve has pumped into the economy, much of which has gone not to Main Street, but WallStreet, where it has been lent out to big companies (like Microsoft), who’ve used it to go on a mergers and acquisitions spending spree. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is one such example.
In fact, there has been more than $700 billion dollars of mergers and acquisitions in the United States so far this year. That’s the most since the high-flying days before the 2008 Great Recession, and likely to set an all-time record by year’s end. Insiders will even admit that they’re taking advantage of inflated stock prices and virtually ‘free’ money to buy up weaker competitors.
So what’s the problem?
Microsoft’s massive layoffs, (despite great margins, fantastic sales growth and a soaring stock market), suggest management is worried about the future. They have good cause to worry, because the Fed has already hinted they are … Read the rest