Aug 12 2006
07:08 am

... could employ up to 300 team members by the end of next year.

"This is simply about supply and demand -- like most major U.S. companies we're facing a shortage of qualified technical talent and we're not able to continue to meet this growing demand for such talent here in the United States alone,"

I find it hard to believe there is a "shortage of qualified technical talent" in the US. I would suggest there is a shortage of qualified technical talent in the US that will work for very low wages and very few benefits. Would it still be beneficial for Wells Fargo to outsource if workers from India required the same wages and benefits as US citizens?

metulj's picture

I gave a lecture on

I gave a lecture on globalization the other day and then we had a discussion about how global capital chases cheap(er) labor. I started the discussion off by reminding the students that I wouldn't tolerate them begrudging workers in India or whereever. They need jobs too. But I also didn't want to hear carping about businesses that are engaging in this practice. If you are an adherent of capitalism (I use 'adherent' pointedly), then you must accept this state of affairs as normal and natural. If you are pissed off by it, then there are any number things you can employ to ameliorate the situation: tax outsourcing, reintroduce trade barriers, or support wage increases globally. Of course, business would just chase cheap labor elsewhere, but economically speaking the Earth is a closed system right now. I am sure that there are hopes that we can find a nearby star system full of aliens who will make clothes for WalMart when all other labor markets on this planet are tapped. I also told them to not buy into the belief (I again use 'belief' pointedly) that exporting low wage jobs and outsourcing jobs vulnerable to low wage pressures (radiology????) will cause 'innovation' and create newer higher wage jobs all over the place as 'new economies' emerge. The jury is way out on whether or not that has ever even occurred. My thought on this state of affairs is that globalization can't tolerate savings, so the perfect consumer (American?) has little or no savings and spends every dollar that comes in. That state doesn't exist for the middle-class in America, yet, but it certainly does for the prime market, for now, of the largest globalized concern, WalMart. That prime market is the American poor who most certainly must consume with every dollar they make....

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

R. Neal's picture

My thought on this state of

My thought on this state of affairs is that globalization can't tolerate savings, so the perfect consumer (American?) has little or no savings and spends every dollar that comes in. That state doesn't exist for the middle-class in America, yet,

I think there was a report last year that the U.S. savings rate was negative for the first time since the Depression.

P.S. I think Bizgrrl's point here is that Wells Fargo is being disingenuous, i.e. blaming a shortage of talent v. owning up to the capitalist profit motive.

Don't ping my cheese with your bandwidth!
(C) Dilbert

metulj's picture

AhYup. Unfortunately, the

AhYup. Unfortunately, the Fed doesn't break out that data at any areal unit smaller than regions. I'd love to be able to make a map with my fancy GIS program showing counties where the savings rate is negative (I will bet the lowest savings rates are found in the South*) and and counties affected by outsourcing. Someone may have already made it.

"P.S. I think Bizgrrl's point here is that Wells Fargo is being disingenuous, i.e. blaming a shortage of talent v. owning up to the capitalist profit motive."

I got that. My point is that no one should begrudge them the act of profit. Old Milton Friedman declared it the only moral imperative of any market. What should piss everybody off is that they act like that's not what they are up to and use weasel PR people to make seem like they aren't. 

*One of the things I am looking at for my dissertation is how the flight to the South affected so many 1990s retirees in terms of loss of savings manifested as home valuation. For  example, my grandmother retired to North Carolina in 1995. She was able to live comfortably in her house in Belford, NJ as it was paid off and had low (for NJ) taxes. She sold this house for $61,000. A quick check on shows that its last appraisal put it at $551,000. NY Waterway put a ferry to Wall Street two blocks from her house. So 1.5 hour commute is now 40 minutes through the Harbor. She couldn't have known that, but you see where I am going. Across the street from me is a retired couple. He retired in 1996 from a job running the physical plant of the WTC towers (was deafened in one ear by the 1993 attack). He bought his house for $11000 in 1962. He just bought a condo in an older adult only community in Port Liberte (Jersey City, gorgeous views of Manhattan and Brooklyn) paying cash. He sold his place for $920000. He didn't move, though tempted by the "cheapness" of the South, and is officially set for the rest of his life as his pension is excellent, etc.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Anonymous's picture

Wells was one of our clients

Wells was one of our clients at a place I worked. I suspect that their outsourcing won't last long -- they want security that they won't get with Indian resources. Just wait until someone starts screwing with their customers.

R. Neal's picture

they want security that they

they want security that they won't get with Indian resources

I was thinking the same thing.

I worked on a huge banking software project once where the owner of the company wanted to get in on the latest craze (this was around 93) and got some info on outsourcing it. When he realized that he would have to send millions of lines of source code for his mega-moneymaker product to India without any supervision, he changed his mind. He ended up contracting to bring a bunch of their people over here. It cost three or four times as much, but it was still cheaper, I guess. They did good work for the most part. One guy was one of the top-five best programmers I ever worked with, and he was a kid just out of the government run training program.

Don't ping my cheese with your bandwidth!
(C) Dilbert

Opinari's picture

A Shortage Indeed.

"I find it hard to believe there is a 'shortage of qualified technical talent' in the US."

In New York, Boston, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley, etc., this is absolutely true. But, for example, here in East Texas, the talent just isn't here. I say that because we try to find local developers to do projects, and there are relatively few to be had. We've been trying for a year now to fill a PC technician position. Interview after interview has been fruitless. One girl could not identify the CPU, motherboard, power supply, or tell the difference between an ISA and a PCI slot. And she was one of the better candidates!

As far as software development goes, we outsource most of it not out of a desire to do so, but out of necessity. We just don't have the human resources to fill in-house development positions. The downside is that the contractors are often themselves incompetent. One guy wrote an update script to a SQL database that dropped all of the tables containing production data. Another sent us compiled code that contained MsgBoxes galore as error-testing code. So when the binaries were placed in production, every database transaction (about 500/hr) returned a MsgBox. The above examples are typical of today's dynamic.

The bottom line for me is this. I don't care where the talent is, as long as it produces positive results.

Carole Borges's picture

Wells Fargo has a nasty reputation anyway

“Wells Fargo this year leaped ahead of Orange-based Ameriquest Mortgage Co., Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. and other rivals to become the biggest funder of so-called sub-prime mortgages. Such loans go to customers who can't qualify for the best terms because of imperfect credit, heavy debts or other reasons.”

Many people have been very concerned about the fact that lenders are trying to get more people into these subprime loans without fully educating the borrower on what exactly they are signing in to.

But, we must also keep in mind that it is up to the borrower to understand their loan as well. Wells Fargo has a plan to combat those who say borrowers need more mortgage education." (link...)

And minorities have been their target:

BALTIMORE | - Black neighborhoods in Baltimore were disproportionately affected by the subprime mortgage fallout, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the city, which is attempting to recoup the costs of maintaining neighborhoods wracked by foreclosures....

The lawsuit alleges that San Francisco-based Wells Fargo targeted black neighborhoods by using reverse redlining, which is prohibited under the federal Fair Housing Act. For example, it claims that mortgages for homes worth $75,000 or less -- most of which are in black neighborhoods -- had higher rates and were laden with fees and surcharges."

Joe Taylor's picture


Did you guys know the next jobs to be outsourced to telemarketing center are the poor employee working the drive thru in your local hamburger joint... yes it is true the burger flipper have found out it is cheap to outsource the driver thru order takers job...

You will notice that the hamburger joints are putting in multiple lanes to the drive thru... this is done to utilize the telemarketing of order taking...

McDonald’s started and now Wendy's is following along...

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