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  • jung.lee
    04-05 06:07 PM
    The analysis is interesting, but this much amount has already been written off considering 100% of option ARM, and alt-ARM will fail.

    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

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  • sledge_hammer
    06-25 03:06 PM
    No one investment vehicle is the BEST. There are pros and cons. But for you to trash real estate by comparing it to renting is foolishness. One needs to diversify. So one should invest in stocks, bonds, gold, home, cash, etc. What percentage of each? Well that is a personal choice. But home is definitely one way to build wealth.

    Do you know a single well known rich guy that still rents (and owns zero real estate)? If you are so sure that you have the math right, go ahead and name some names!
    There are many homeowners who are underwater but not foreclosed. That does not make it a good investment. All I'm pointing out is unless your property's rent covers your monthly mortgage+property tax+insurance+maintenance and upkeep it can not be called a good investment. You should have positive (at least non negative) cash flow out of your rental properties. Is this a general case? I think not. At least in my area I'm 100% sure rent does not cover mortgage and the difference between the two is significant.

    If you have a negative cash flow on your rental properties then the only thing you are betting on is price appreciation of your properties (above inflation) in future which is speculation again.

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  • ilwaiting
    04-09 08:47 AM
    This affects everyone. No one on H1B is left out. Just because one has a Perm-Fulltime job now doesn't mean he/she is safe. With Gc's taking so long, At some point during their H1B period they would have to move to a new company. They would not be able to transfer. Everyone please oppose this Bill.

    Tougher laws need to be brought in to stop abusing the program, but this bill is in its extreme and must be opposed.

    Infact, this affects everyone.

    Students looking for new H1B
    Students on OPT
    H1Bs getting extensions
    H4s transferring to H1Bs

    and all H1Bs indirectly and directly

    Because now ALL employers will be hesitant to hire an H1B in ANY field due to such tough laws and lot of paperwork and lot of restrictions.

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  • abracadabra102
    08-06 04:54 PM
    We are in a letter campaign mode and we can write something like this :-)


    Atlanta, Georgia
    September 13, 1970

    Billing Department
    Shell Oil Company
    P.O. Box XXXX
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74102

    Dear Sir:

    I have been a regular customer of the Shell Oil Company for several years now, and spend approximately $40.00 per month on Shell products. Until recently, I have been completely satisfied with the quality of Shell products and with the service of Shell employees.

    Included in my most recent statement from your department was a bill for $12.00 for a tire which I purchased at the Lowell I. Reels Shell station in McAdenville, N.C. I stopped at this station for gasoline and to have a timing malfunction corrected. The gasoline cost $5.15; eight new plugs cost $9.36; labor on the points $2.50. All well and good.

    Earlier in the day I had a flat tire, which the attendant at the Lowell I. Reels station informed me that he was unable to fix. He suggested that I purchase a tire from him in order that I have a spare for the remainder of my journey to Atlanta. I told him that I preferred to buy tires from home station in Atlanta, but he continued to stress the risk of driving without a spare. My reluctance to trade with an unknown dealer, even a Shell dealer, did not discourage him and finally, as I was leaving, he said that out of concern for my safety (my spare was not new) and because I had made a substantial expenditure at his station, he would make me a special deal. He produced a tire ("Hits a good one. Still has the tits on it. See them tits. Hits a twenty dollar tar.") which I purchased for twelve dollars and which he installed on the front left side for sixty-five cents. Fifty miles further down the highway, I had a blowout.

    Not a puncture which brought a slow, flapping flat, nor a polite ladyfinger firecracker rubberburpple rupture (pop); but a howitzer blowout, which reared the the hood of my car up into my face, a blowout, sir, which tore a flap of rubber from this "tire" large enough to make soles for both sandals of a medium sized hippie. In a twinkling, then, I was driving down Interstate 85 at sixty miles per hour on three tires and one rim with rubber clinging to it in desperate shreds and patches, an instrument with a bent, revolving, steel-then-rubber-then-steel rim, whose sound can be approximated by the simultaneous placing of a handful of gravel and a young duck into a Waring Blender.

    The word "careen" does no justice whatever to the movement that the car then performed. According to the highway patrolman's report, the driver in the adjoining lane, the left hand-- who, incidentally, was attempting to pass me at the time-- ejaculated adrenelin all over the ceiling of his car. My own passengers were fused into a featureless quiver in the key of "G" in the back seat of my car. The rim was bent; the tits were gone; and you can f--k yourself with a cream cheese dildo if you entertain for one moment the delusion that I intend to pay the twelve dollars.

    Sincerely yours,

    /s/ T.B.T.


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  • alterego
    10-03 04:03 PM
    Have you seen any other politician talk about the lengthy and expensive process of LEGAL immigrants? Obama has spoken about this in an interview. Now, I know here you will want to make the differential between EB and FB immigration and what he means. I am aware of this distinction, however never have I heard a single word from the Republican side about the grossly unfair situation of lengthy greencard backlogs. The fact is EB immigration will not be modified in a vacuum and the conservative republicans will always block any relief for us, no matter what.

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  • ita
    01-04 01:56 AM
    Please don't kid yourself ...all these points seem so shallow that there's no way one could read too much into it. I find this exchange meaningful though it took me 4 posts. Please keep playing your game.I think you proved the point that I initially raised.

    Like someone pointed out before you can't wake up someone that's pretending sleeping.

    Thank you.

    I see you have put arrows in disparate points that I had made. I think you are reading way too much in it if you see circular logic, or even a link, in those disjointed points above.

    There is a lot that has been said on this thread that I agree with. That is not 'conceding points'. Its just agreeing with something.


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  • rongha_2000
    01-03 11:47 PM
    oh thats the price YOU are willing to bear? How? By staying comfy in the US? Its easy to say dude when you are 7000 miles away. If you (and i know you are not) or anyone in your family is in the military, you would not dare to make such a stupid statement.

    This whole thread is ridiculous and should be deleted. It has no place in immigration forums.

    We are a sovereign nation and are capable of defending ourselves, whatever the cost may be. Yes, it will set us back economically and we may lose thousands of lives, but that is the price we must be willing to bear.

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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 09:44 AM
    If you are comparing the Sivakasi rocket with the Hamas's rocket, I can only sympathize with you. You certainly need to learn a lot--atleast the definition of 'Rocket' or 'Terrorists'.

    My point is sivakasi rocket has the capability of killing 6 people and 7000 hamas rockets taken lesser than that. We are reacting as if they have wiped out the entire nation. How inferior these rockets are when compared to sivakasi rocket. I am not justifying the rocket attack, but pointing out their impact and the voilent reaction to that.

    Every nation has right to defend itself and its people. Isreal has the same rights to protect people. That doesn't mean they can go and kill innocent civilians including elderly person, women, children, shcool children and bombing schools, hospitals, detroying infrastructure etc. After killing school kids, just dont justify your killing by saying they use kids as human shield. Dont destroy and don't lie.


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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-08 11:46 PM
    Good one!!!

    I thought the first blonde joke was really very funny - Helloooooooo :)

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  • satishku_2000
    01-29 03:18 PM
    You should have asked your coworker , why he did not leave when the demand was low for tech workers (from 2001 to 2003 ) ...............:)


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  • Macaca
    12-21 05:34 PM
    Polls Aside, Bush Ends Year With Victories ( By John D. McKinnon | Wall Street Journal, Dec 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- President Bush is ending the year with the approval of just one in three voters, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, but he is enjoying a string of legislative successes in Congress, on matters from Iraq-war funding and the federal budget to energy policy, tax increases and mortgage relief.

    Bush aides believe they benefited from overreaching by Democrats flush with their 2006 election victory. The White House began the year by laying out relatively modest goals on issues like energy and federal spending. They clung to those goals, even as some Republicans in Congress wavered. White House officials wagered that voters care about concrete results and ultimately would blame Congress, not the White House, if results failed to appear. That made their hard-line negotiating more effective as the year wore on.

    Democrats became more eager to reach accords on issues such as energy after the Thanksgiving break, administration officials said. Meanwhile, with each victory -- on war funding, on foreign- intelligence wiretapping and on the proposed expansion of a children's health-insurance program -- Republicans on Capitol Hill gained more confidence.

    "I leave the year feeling good about our capacity to get some important things done," Mr. Bush said yesterday at a news conference.

    Meeting with reporters this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats might have raised expectations too high in their attempts to cut off Iraq-war funding. Some top Democrats said they were surprised Mr. Bush refused to cave in and negotiate a deal on children's health.

    Democrats rejected comparisons with the Republican Congress of 1995, which famously overreached in its clashes with the Clinton administration. Democrats also dismissed the White House view that Mr. Bush's determination helped congressional Republicans regain their political footing.

    "Here's the problem: When people say they want a change, the reference point is from George Bush," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the House Democratic caucus chairman and a top party strategist. "And now the Republicans have decided to get closer in the photo [to] George Bush. I will pay their cab fare every day for them to go to the White House to do that. I'll rent the bus so the whole caucus can go."

    White House aides said they are developing contingency plans for next year, aimed at shoring up the economy, if necessary, and perhaps at sweetening voters' sour mood about their finances. The nature and extent of administration proposals depend in part on whether the economy weakens as some experts predict, but two possible prescriptions could include new health-care proposals and Mr. Bush's trademark tax cuts.

    The president said his administration will "consider all options" to stimulate the economy. He urged Wall Street banks to record all losses relating to the housing crisis immediately. To tighten wasteful government spending, he said his administration would consider options for overriding some congressional "earmarks."

    Democrats say many Republican successes resulted not from the popularity of their positions but from the high procedural barriers to passing legislation in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid's office this week sent out a list of 62 procedural votes that Republicans had forced in the Senate, contending it is a record.

    Democrats say they enacted five of their six major initiatives, including raising the minimum wage; passing energy legislation; enacting recommendations of the 9/11 commission; helping make college costs more affordable; and opening up stem-cell research. Mr. Bush vetoed the stem-cell bill, but the rest became law.

    While Democrats made big concessions on their spending totals, they say they realigned priorities within those limits. They also say the children's health issue will haunt the White House in the summer when states start to run out of money. And Ms. Pelosi said Democrats would be "relentless" next year in seeking to hold the administration accountable on Iraq.

    Sentiment Aside, Bush Scores Wins ( By John D. McKinnon | WSJ Blog, December 21, 2007

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  • suavesandeep
    06-05 11:53 AM
    Good analysis there dude!
    While no one can predict future, the least we could do is prepare ourselves for good and bad times.
    IMO people should look at purchasing only if these conditions apply:

    1) Current rent payment is more than mortgage+prop tax+other monthly fees for new home
    2) Homes in relatively stable areas (where unemployment is not too high, diversity of job opportunities)
    3) Homes whose prices have not risen significantly in the past 5yrs (anything > 40% since 2001..please stay away)
    4) Planning to stay in the house for a MIN 2yrs

    One would argue why buy now if it might go lower...
    if above conditions are would be a relatively safe buy and above all...people remember... time does not wait for anyone...we grow older everyday..make a decision regarding what we need for us and our family within the reasonable limits...go for it and enjoy it..
    an old friend of mine always life
    and i believe she is right..
    I think we are in unprecedented times...Who would have thought real estate would ever crash ?. At least i never saw this coming and i guess most of those smart investors/economists did not see this coming.

    My friend in bay area bought his house 3 years back in a decent school district and he is more than 150K under water. He is going to be stuck in the house now till his house appreciates to the original principal. If he wants to move out of the house he will have to pay the 150k difference from his pocket.

    This is what scares the shit of me. I really don't care too much if the house i buy after doing all the valid calculations as described above does not appreciate for a long time. Also I am not buying the house for investment reasons. But i dont want to be in a situation where 5 years down the line after i bought the house i have lost money on the house and would need to shell out money from my pocket to move out like my friend is today. I am sure 2 years from now which will be 5 years for my friend he will still be under water.

    Like most Americans i would like to buy a smaller home which i can afford now since we are a small family and may be 5 years from now may want to move to a bigger home in a better location.

    But how things look currently it looks like i may be stuck in the house for a long long time and the standard advise of "buy a home if you plan to stay at least in the house for 5 years" may not apply. Imagine in the worst case being stuck in the same house for 30 years. May not be a big deal but just puts more pressure on you to buy that perfect house which you are sure you will be happy to live there for the next 30 years if needed.

    This is what spooks me the most of the current housing market. Again this concern is due to unprecedented times we are in, I am sure 5 years back this would not concern me.

    Any thoughts?


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  • smisachu
    12-28 09:28 PM
    I agree to what you say. But understand that firing a nuke needs more than having one. Our missile shield is pretty good, we have several anti missile defence shields installed all across the border with Pakistan including the Rann of Kutch. Yes they are only tested and not war tested, but so are pakistans wepons. At least our wepons are self produced, paks are purchased chinese crap. I doubt nukes will be used even if there is a conflict.

    As you say we have suffered for 60 years due to terrorism and we need to end it. I am not advocating war but killing all terrorists. India has no interest in Pakistan and has no use for it if we occupy it. I was just highlighting the capacity of our Army not advocating marching to Islamabad. All we need to do is get back POK into our control and eliminate the Terrorists there, revoke article 370 and assimilate Kashmir and kashmiris into rest of India and vice versa.

    Listen as some one who has lost a cousin in Kargil and an uncle in 71 war and with 3 cousins still serving in the force , I know the pain of war closer than you might think. Thats why I want to end it once and for all. Do you know, a Jawan is killed due to COLD in siachen glazier every week and this is a place we dont have to put our boys on through the winter, but we do just because if we dont Pak will occupy our post come Summer.
    We need to kill terrorists and let modren pakistanis to gain control of the country, until this is done this problem will not go away for India or the US or anyone else.

    I hope thats your bravado speaking. Otherwise what you have stated is mostly inaccurate. Much as I would like to see Pakistan walloped for supporting the jehadi pigs, what war could potentially escalate into is far scarier than 200 people killed in Mumbai. It could mean the deaths of hundreds (or many times that) people - both Indian and Pakistani. That casualty number is not acceptable given that we've been absorbing thousands of losses in the last 50 years...scratch that - even in the last 20 years. IMHO Kargil was a bigger event than Mumbai than this since they had the b*lls to waltz onto Indian territory.

    Strategically, India has no advantage pushing on to Islamabad (which is why we didn't in the wars earlier). Logistics will not support an invasion - primarily because the local population will not support it. And then it means killing thousands of non army personnel to hold on to territory and sustaining the same kind of losses. ('71 push to Dhaka was a contrast because the local population was supportive of India's/ Muktibahini push)

    Nukes - for the delivery mechanism it doesn't need to be accurate - it just needs to get close and explode above or around the target. If it explodes in the air there are fewer casualties than if it were to land on the ground - then the massive fallout would be even more catastrophic. Anti-missile shield? Wow - but no way are they going to be effective. 4 minutes of flying time from Pak to India for an aircraft - its hard intercepting aircraft (which are far slower than missiles the last time i checked).. you need to research a little more before speaking up. And none of India's or for that matter Pakistans missiles have been war-proven (remember Murphys law - yes that will creep in here also)

    Yes - India can wipe out terror camps; wipe out the PAF/ Pakistan army etc. But what is the strategic advantage? An economic setback of 20 years? No buffer between Afghanistan, and the hardcore mullahs west of Pakistan (most Pakis outside of the ISI are liberal Islamists). Also, the US will be more concerned about the Afghan border and will step up international pressure on India to let Pakistan be - worse - it could take an offensive posture against India as in '71 (like everyone else US cares about its interests first)

    Pakistan is that spoilt younger sibling to India that keeps making noise to get whatever it wants. Now the time has come when even they know they've gone too far. And its A**kicking time - but not militarily. A tough stance from India and the rest of from the rest of the world will work also. Tough love, baby!

    India's interests are best served by getting ISI branded a terror organization, Pakistan a terror state and by de-linking Kashmir with the whole terror issue since most of the terrorists are non locals anyway (because Pakis want the focus on Kashmir). Repeal article 370 so that Kashmiri Pandits are assisted in returning to Kashmir along with other Indians (whatever religion so wants to). Rebuild Kashmir economically. Help liberal Pakis rebuild their country - and with a better economy, maybe good sense will prevail in that failed state.

    Strength is not always an action of force. Strength is sometimes force of action - and India needs to be forceful in its actions - not relenting, not giving up until South Asia is a peaceful place again.

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  • obviously
    08-05 07:07 PM
    Good points below.

    Now, FreshEb2, through the handle itself, comes across as a stoker not a sensible person.

    EB2 and EB3 are two very different EMPLOYMENT BASED legal immigration categories. Filing in one category DOES NOT PRECLUDE one from filing in another category, for another *future* job, as long the *future* jobs themselves meet the criteria to qualify for that EB category.

    Coming to tihnk of, the coward parading as RollingFlood has not posted his/her company, EB job posting, and other pieces of information that I had challenged him/her to post. Seriously you coward, come out and post it... this community can help validate whether there really is no US worker to take that position. Now, dont chicken out and fillibuster this with more weak arguments. Post your glorified EB2 job posting for all of us to see ... and let us see if you have illegally gotten ahead in the line ahead of all those hardworking US citizens that have been laid off in the last 2 quarters across all major sectors. C'mon, do it ... do it...

    Also, somewhere you had said that you were an MBA from a top US university. Welcome to the club. Though, I am sad to share the boat with you! Now, look back at the essay you wrote to get into B-School. Are you doing exactly what you claimed you would do after the MBA? Shall we take that up and go back to the school to have them rescind your diploma because you misused the system? One can say you got into an MBA on a fundamentally false premise. So, give back that diploma.

    Also, did you come into the country on a F1 visa? What did you tell the visa officer? That you were going back to your home country, right? Didnt you need to show proof of ties to your home country. Can we take you to court stating that you committed a felony by lying to a Government official regarding matters of homeland security? Seriously. Why not?

    No amount trying to sub-optimize logic to fit your specific narrow needs will make your holier-than-thou arguments even remotely credible, let alone valid in a court of law. What is clear from this 10 page thread, is that we have a few folks like FreshEB2, RollingFlood etc that present themselves as 'high skilled' workers in the US immigration system but clearly lack the basic level of logic to have a factual conversation. Their ladders of inferences are stark and substantive.

    By sub-optimally picking 'argument points' based the 'weakest links' that you invent and trying to super-size that to reflect a larger interest is very weak attempt to preserve your position.


    You had also mentioned that you would be filing a 'public interest litigation'. That is a very Indian concept. PIL type cases work differently in the US. You dont just run to your local court and claim 'PIL' because you felt wronged. Any court in the US would deem your case as narrowly defined to challenge legislation and throw you out because judiciary cannot legislate.

    Obviously, you grossly underestimated the intellect of this group and thought your big words and b-board bravado would scare people. :D

    Come on!, give me a break. You guys are now worried that EB3 will spoil your (what I still consider, ill gotten) party by PD porting. You now come up with arguments about what is EB2.

    First argument: "EB2 requires advanced degree"

    If that is the case, there is no one who is eligible for Eb2, as "Advanced degrees" is not a degree that is offered by any university in US. Mostly the ones I know offer, Masters and PHD and likes. No one says I am offering "advanced degree". ;)

    Further more, advanced degree is subjective. Bachelors is advanced compared to Diploma, which is advanced compared to 10th passed, which is advanced compared someone who failed 10th.

    Second: It is not fair to allow EB3s to port.
    It is in the law. that part is not grounds for a lawsuit. If you still want to complain, then complain about the fact that AC21 allows you to jump jobs without even getting your GC.

    Third (these are my own points)

    When people got their F1, they said there are here without immigrant intention. Why is USCIS giving them H1 and then also accepting GCs for them. Come to think of it, OPT is not required by any university for granting the degree, so why are F1s even allowed to work??

    The point I am trying to make is that if you try to open one can of worms, everyone else has a Costo or a Sams club to go to and buy a boat load of cans of worms to open - that is going to put you in a bad situation.


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  • gsc999
    04-06 11:32 PM
    Certain provisions of this bill will create unnecessary hurdles for many H1_B visa holders and employers.

    Thanks for highlighting. Lets take appropriate action.

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  • go2roomshare
    04-07 07:04 PM
    I am not sure why we are worrying about this bill. This makes restrictions on Consulting companies, so what Clients won't be able to find people, so they do hire people as full time instead of temporary consulting position. That is good for us we can find more full time positions from client it self. I even heard that this bill makes sure H1B are paid by market rates instead of DOL wages which are often very less than market value. Good thing for us the staring salaries would be at higher rate than present rates. This bill is bad for consulting companies but good for us. Am i missing any thing here??


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  • kinvin
    02-25 06:06 PM
    Lou Dobbs is the founder of the failed site. He might realize that he could not have even got the business started without Indian H1B's.

    Had he run the business properly he would also have been a .com success story by now and would have been a key note speaker at Diwali and Navratri functions in NJ.

    �I am a .com success story because of you hard working H1B�s�-------- Dobbs.

    �But now I make a living by bashing them.�

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  • Macaca
    05-27 06:05 PM
    The Audacity of Chinese Frauds ( By FLOYD NORRIS | The New York Times

    To pull off a fraud that humiliates the cream of the global financial elite, you need to have some friends. And where better to have them than at the local bank?

    The fraud at Longtop Financial Technologies, a Chinese financial software company, was exposed this week in an amazing letter from its auditors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It appears to be a tale of corrupt bankers and their threats to auditors who had learned of the lies.

    Deloitte, which had given clean audit opinions to Longtop for six consecutive years, apparently was well on its way to providing a seventh, for the fiscal year that ended March 31. But for some reason � Deloitte did not say why �the auditor went back to Longtop�s banks last week to again seek confirmation of cash balances.

    It appears Deloitte sought confirmations from bank headquarters, rather than the local branches that had previously verified that Longtop�s cash really was on deposit. And that set off panic at the software firm.

    �Within hours� of beginning the new round of confirmations on May 17, the confirmation process was stopped, Deloitte stated in its letter of resignation, the result of �intervention by the company�s officials including the chief operating officer, the confirmation process was stopped.�

    The company told banks that Deloitte was not really the auditor. It seized documents, Deloitte wrote, and made �threats to stop our staff leaving the company premises unless they allowed the company to retain our audit files.�

    Despite the company�s efforts, Deloitte learned Longtop did not have the cash it claimed and that there were �significant bank borrowings� not reflected in the company�s books.

    A few days later, Deloitte said, Longtop�s chairman, Jia Xiao Gong, told a Deloitte partner that there was �fake cash recorded on the books� because there had been �fake revenue in the past.�

    The stock has not traded since that confrontation. The final trade on the New York Stock Exchange was for $18.93, a price that valued the company at $1.1 billion. At its peak in November, it had a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.

    It now seems likely that the stock is worthless. It is a real company, but its revenue and profits probably were a small fraction of the amounts reported. The existence of the �significant� debt means that whatever assets are left are likely to be owned by the banks, not the investors.

    Deloitte may have decided to check the numbers again because it knew a growing group of bears on the stock had been challenging the Longtop story as too good to be true, questioning both its financial statements and the claims it made for its software. A month earlier, Deloitte resigned as the auditor of another Chinese company, China MediaExpress, in part because of questions about bank confirmations.

    It is never good for an auditor to have certified a fraud, but Deloitte seems to have acted properly. It got bank confirmations, and it got them directly from the banks rather than relying on the company to provide them, as PricewaterhouseCoopers had done when it failed to notice a huge fraud at Satyam, an Indian technology company.

    But the confirmations were lies.

    �This means the Chinese banks were in on the fraud, at least at branch level,� says John Hempton, the chief investment officer of Bronte Capital, an Australian hedge fund. He was one of the bears who questioned Longtop�s claims and now stands to profit from the stock�s collapse.

    �This is no longer a story about Longtop, and it is not a story about Deloitte,� he added. �Given the centrality of Chinese banks to the global economy, it�s a story much bigger than Deloitte or Longtop.�

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an investigation, and no doubt more details will emerge, including the names of the banks involved. Just what, if anything, Chinese officials choose to do could provide an indication about whether defrauding foreign investors is deemed to be a serious crime in China.

    Fraud in Chinese stocks is not new. But it had seemed that the worst problems were in small companies without Wall Street pedigrees. Many of the fraudulent companies went public in the United States by the reverse-merger shell route, a course long favored by shady stock promoters. That route allowed companies to start trading without going though a formal underwriting process or having its prospectus reviewed by the S.E.C. And many used tiny audit firms based in the United States that seemingly did little if any work.

    What is stunning about Longtop and some other recent disasters is the list of smart people who were fooled.

    Longtop did not go public through a reverse merger. Its initial public offering, in 2007, was underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Morgan Stanley was a lead manager in a 2009 offering of more shares. Major owners of the stock included hedge funds run by people known as �tiger cubs� because they got their start at Julian Robertson�s Tiger Fund.

    On May 4, only a couple of weeks before the fateful struggle at Longtop offices, an analyst for Morgan Stanley, Carol Wang, wrote:

    �Longtop�s stock price has been very volatile in recent days amid fraud allegations that management has denied. Our analysis of margins and cash flow gives us confidence in its accounting methods. We believe market misconceptions provide a good entry point for long-term investors.�

    By then, Longtop officials had begun to scramble. According to its last audited balance sheet, cash accounted for more than half of Longtop�s $606 million in assets. Bears were asking why the company needed all that cash and were questioning whether it existed.

    In mid-March, just after the fraud at China MediaExpress was exposed, Longtop announced plans to put some of the cash to use by spending up to $50 million to repurchase its own shares. On April 28, the company tried to assure analysts that the fraud claims were bogus. Derek Palaschuk, a Canadian accountant who served as the company�s chief financial officer, wrapped himself in Deloitte�s prestige, saying that those who questioned Longtop were �criticizing the integrity of one of the top accounting firms in the world.�

    �For me,� he said, �the most important relations I have other than with my family, my C.E.O., and then the next on the list is Deloitte as our auditor, because their trust and support is extremely important.�

    Mr. Palaschuk had an explanation for why the company had not repurchased any shares. It had some very good news that it had not yet released, and �we were advised by our securities counsel that we should not be in the market purchasing our own shares in the event that this would be considered insider trading.�

    Longtop is not the only Chinese fraud that caught prominent Americans. Starr International, an investment company run by Hank Greenberg, the former chairman of American International Group, invested $43.5 million in China MediaExpress and had a representative on the company�s board. Starr has filed suit in Delaware against the company and Deloitte.

    Goldman Sachs was not the underwriter of ShengdaTech, a Chinese chemical company traded on Nasdaq, but its investment arm, Goldman Sachs Investment Management, had accumulated a 7.6 percent stake in the company before its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the company�s 2010 annual report and then resigned in late April. KPMG cited �serious discrepancies� regarding bank balances and �discrepancies between KPMG�s direct calls to customers and confirmations returned by mail.� Just as at Longtop, it appeared that auditors had been given false confirmation letters.

    In each of those three cases � Longtop, China MediaExpress and ShengdaTech � the auditors discovered discrepancies, but only after signing off on financial statements. That was not the case in this year�s other � and perhaps most embarrassing � resignation by a Big Four auditing firm.

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  • Legal
    08-07 10:38 AM

    If you are interested to lead this effort, you can lead a thread of jokes on the forum and lighten up everyone.

    Des vs. Pardes

    1. Mother-in law:
    In Des - A women capable of making your life miserable.
    In Pardes - A women you never fight with, because where else you will find such a dedicated baby sitter for free?

    2. Husband:
    In Des - A boring human species, who listens more to his mother than you, and orders you around to serve him, his parents and siblings.
    In Pardes - Still boring, but now a useful human species that comes in handy when the house needs to be vacuumed.

    3. Friend:
    In Des - A person whose house you can drop into any time of the day or night and you'll always be welcome.
    In Pardes - A person who you have to call first to check and make sure he is not busy.

    4. Wife:
    In Des - A woman who gives you your underwear and towel when you go to take a shower.
    In Pardes - A woman who yells at you not to leave tub dirty when you go to take bath.

    5. Son:
    In Des - A teenager, who without asking will carry your grocery bags from the market.
    In Pardes - A teenager, who suddenly remembers he has lot of homework when you start mowing the lawn.

    6. Daughter:
    In Des - A lovely doll, who brings tears to your eyes when her doli is about to leave.
    In Pardes - A lovely doll, who brings you to tears long before any doli time.

    8. Father:
    In Des - A person you are afraid of, and who is never to be disobeyed.
    In Pardes - A person to whom you pretend to obey, after all he is the one paying your college tuition.

    9. Desi Engineer:
    In Des - A person with a respectable job and lots of upper ki kamai. :D
    In Pardes - A person without a secure job, who always dreams one day he will be rich.

    10. Desi Doctor:
    In Des - A respectable person with ok income.
    In Pardes - A money making machine, who has a money spending machine at home called "doctor ki biwi".

    11. Bhangra:
    In Des - A vigorous punjabi festival dance.
    In Pardes - A desi dance you do, when you don't know how to dance.

    12. Software Engineer:
    In Des - A high-tech guy, :D, always anxious to queue consulate visa line.
    In Pardes - The same hitech guy, who does Ganapati puja everyday, and says 'This is my last year in the US (or wherever)' every year.

    13. A Green Card holder bachelor:
    In Des - the guy can't speak Hindi, parents of good looking girls are dying to hook him, wears jacket in summer, says he has a BMW back there.
    In Pardes - the guy can't speak English, wears jacket all the time, works in a Candy store at Manhatta n, dreams of owning a BMW.

    11-11 11:53 PM
    Totally right. Whenever anybody mentions immigration anywhere (be it in your neighborhood, streets, bus/train stations or your companies), just find out what the person understands about the immigration issue. The person will surely talk about illegal imm/amnesty.

    That is when you educate the person about legal immigration.

    There will be people like Lou, Joe Scarxxx etc who will muddle up our whole existence by associating our immigration with the ones from the southern borders.

    We have no comments on illegal immigration/amnesty.

    03-23 11:04 PM
    my greencard is filed under EB3 category and it looks like a long wait. My PD is 2003 Nov and i am an indian. We've been debating whether to buy a house when 485 is pending. what is the risk involved? how many people are in a similar situation? I have twin boys and they are 3 yrs old now and it's getting increasingly difficult to keep them in an apartment. Now with housing market going down as well, we are in a tight spot and have to make a decision quickly. I would appreciate any suggestion in this regard.
    BTW - don't make a decision in a hurry - that would be pretty bad since it is almost irreversible for few years atleast. 4 of my friends brought a house and they are o.k. as of now except for the commute - though they admit that they are more tensed up now. one of my friend who brought a house 1 year back is cursing his decision to buy - I don't know if he is being honest or whether he chose a wrong house - these are the issues that he told me. his savings has gone down a lot as he has to pay much more for his house - atleast 3 times the rent amount (property taxes are high in his area). his commute is v.long now and he cannot come home for lunch - and because of long commute - he practically does not see his family on weekdays. his daughter has done free style painting on his walls and they had a crack on the walls (apparently he tried to reduce utility bills during extreme weather). his wife is now complaining that walking up and down the stairs is draining her strength. yardwork is literally breaking his back. his friend circle has gone down as he hardly gets time. more importantly he said his priorities were different and he wanted to make / save as much as possible etc - but buying a house has affected it. BTW he has a GC. ofcourse the above is one of the worst case. being on EAD is better than being on H1 - but still you are at the mercy of a govt agency (govt agencies are same all over the world - only here maybe they wear ties and don't watch TV at work - but then who knows :-)).

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