How you doin’? If you are a large, publicly traded American corporation, the answer might be, “Very well.”
How well, you wonder? While populist-leaning cable network anchors have been whining on about the forgotten jobless and waves of scary foreclosures, corporate America quietly booked its most profitable quarter ever, since the government began keeping track such things more than six decades ago.
According to The New York Times, “American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the third quarter.”
Despite all this money making, companies are not hiring at significantly higher levels. They have learned, much like the machines in Terminator Salvation, to get by on far less.
And at least in my personal experience, some very large companies are more stingy with their cash than ever before. One of the sites I help run, Credit Card Outlaw, deals with several large companies on a regular basis who shall go unnamed… for now.
Some of them simply do not pay anymore. They make promises about when a check will be sent, and then when the deadline passes, I get an odd excuse or a, “We’ll send it next week, promise!” from the accounting department.
I feel more like a landlord dealing with an inexperienced, cash-strapped tenant than a site editor communicating with large, multi-million dollar organisations.
I have heard similar stories from friends of mine who are contractors and freelancers. To get paid for work you have done months ago, you now have to call everyone you know in the accounting department. You have to threaten legal action; you have to post mean things about the company on your Twitter feed. That’s what it takes for them to put a check in the mail.
Have you experienced anything similar? Are record corporate profits finally “trickling” your way, or not so much as even a drop? Share your experiences in the comments section below. Let’s shame the stingy into loosening their purse strings and doing what’s right to get the economy booming again.