Rotten US Corporations: Dell pays $100 million to settle fraud case

Seems that despite Enron, Worldcom et al, the US financial administration has learnt absolutely nothing from its myriad of previous failings. Dell’s paltry (US)$100 million penalty for its chronic cooking-of-the books bears testament to fact that the US authorities are still unwilling or incapable of dealing effectively with America’s thoroughly bent and corrupt corporations.

The pathetic personal penalties paid by the perpetrators of these crimes are even more astonishing. For example, Dell’s CEO and arch-crook Michael Dell should be doing time, not fined a mere four-million bucks (petty cash to him) and allowed to carry on business as usual…

But let’s stand back from this latest US corporate fraud for a moment. Acer founder’s recent observation that many American IT corporations will become irrelevant within 20 years, seems very poignant.

If devices such as this hit the market…

…then Dell, Microsoft, IBM and even Apple Computer Inc will be in very deep trouble.

Twenty-five quid tablet computer from India (from BBC News)
Twenty-five quid tablet computer from India (from BBC News)

Even if this particular device never hits the market, you can be absolutely certain that others will. We are rapidly approaching a time when really good unbranded computer hardware, running free, open source operating systems such as Linux will be available as complete, working devices for less than the cost of a proprietary American operating system.

We are also entering the second dip of the worst recession in 80 years. Several key western economies, including the USA are hopelessly in-the-red and are now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy:-

So who is going to pay $100 for Mac OSX or Windows operating systems, (other than the very rich and handful of brand-loyal fanbois,) when you can buy a complete, working computer, c/w operating system and all the software you need, for a fraction of that? Who will stump-up all that hard-earned cash for an Apple iPad when you can buy a device that’s just as good, for less than one tenth of the price? And the days of average folks paying $500+ for a jazzed-up mobile telephone are certainly drawing to a close!

Trouble is that the fat-cats running the US IT corporations have their heads so far up their own proverbial bottoms that they cannot see the writing on the wall. Indeed, this lack of vision beyond the current fiscal year’s profits is a disease that has infected much of corporate America.

On the other hand, perhaps America’s rich-and-powerful know exactly what’s happening and that’s why they are scrambling to ram their snouts in the trough before the gravy train pulls out of the station?

Honk! Honk! Mind the gap! Stand clear of the doors please!

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