back to article Ballmer on banking crisis: No one is safe

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer warned today that no company is safe from the financial crisis. We all knew that of course, but when an ego the size of Ballmer's decides to gulp you know we're really in trouble. Reuters reports that Ballmer told a news conference in Norway: "I think one has to anticipate that no company is …


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  1. Ron Eve
    Gates Horns


    Who gives a toss what Steve "fucking kill Google" Ballmer thinks or says? Like he really has a handle on the economy or about anything here in Yurp. Talk about stating the bleeding obvious.

    He's a complete twatdangle.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way things are looking

    The Europeans are being 'more intelligent around that' than the US. At least that's what I think he means.

    Maybe M$ should try and be more intelligent around him. Although I must admit the berth may be quite extensive.

    Peter R.

  3. J
    Paris Hilton


    Microsoft has no reason to worry. There is a sucker born every minute, after all...

  4. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Including Microsoft?

    I suspect this is likely to gear us up to expect an MS profit warning... no doubt the poor sales of VIsta will be blamed on the slowing economy in a Damascene moment: "Oh sorry, it wasn't because everybody hated it and nobody bought it, it's just the global financial meltdown. So that's all right then, isn't it?"

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    MaJIC Moments.

    "In the meantime, the US Congress is on holiday.®"

    Strange how business goes on even whenever they are not there. Maybe they just plug everything into a Machine until they get Back and Log In to See what is Happening. Who is Servering Need to Feed that Particular Peculiar Machine, is a Leading Question in AI Circles.

  6. Greg

    @Ron Eve

    Don't be stupid. CEOs HAVE to point out the obvious, when they're asked.

    How can you complain about this, while most likely, it was a journalist at the conference who asked him the question.

    What should he have said, "you're a stupid journalist, because you well know I don't have a handle on the economy and as such I'm bound to state the obvious as an answer"?

    Much as I like M$ bashing, I am able to get past my dislike of M$ when there's nothing to criticize (except maybe the journalist who asked him the question).

  7. dervheid

    @ Ron Eve

    "He's a complete twatdangle."

    I believe "twatdangle" is a VERB

    You want a NOUN for this;

    "Gitwizard" would seem appropriate.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft & Options

    Erm, Ballmer ALWAYS does these ludicrous claims. Remember the 'freedom to innovate' thing where he claimed the anti-trust laws would kill innovation in the software market?

    Bubbles burst, property markets are no different. The only thing MS has to worry about is the options it's issued. They may have to substitute real money for options which would affect their balance sheet.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    He's wrong, I've got loads of work...

    Maybe bad news for software vendors like MS, but not services companies.

    All these banking takeovers are generating loads of work around consolidation services. The surviving banks can't afford to run multiple systems in parallel so they're looking to migrate their new businesses onto a common platform. And, when all the consolodation is done, there will be an emphasis on governance as the few remaining uber-banks are subjected to more government regulation and scrutany.

    Every cloud has a silver lining as they say.

    In the mean time, I'm single handedly trying to lift the economy by sending as much money as possible. Don't people realise that the only way out of this is to ignore the scaremongering media & keep spending?

  10. Viv Collins

    MS invests it liquid cash were?

    So were does a company the size of Microsoft invest its free cash reserves? they do not keep it down the back of the sofa so maybe it was invested in the market some were that was promising a high return?

    Is that why Balmer is jittery and wants to see a government bailout?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No shit sherlock

    Businesses are so wrapped up in the monetary system, never.

    Oh lordy lordy, what all this means is people thinking they can just work for a corporation for life are having the lesson most of us learned from a young age handed to them, namely it ain't ever for life.

    People will have to become entrepreneurs. Not sure what will happen to all the management types, because well frankly they can't do much by themselves, but oh well.

    Learn a trade, and sell your trade that is how it is done, all this education nonsense and all round twatry has left most without the ability to actually do anything of value. And those that can do things that matter also have the ability to manage their own finances thank you very much.

    So really we are just witnessing the death of the big corps, people will still want stuff, and people will still build businesses that aim for the sweet spot with economy of scales, but you know if all the big corporations were to disappear tomorrow it wouldn't bother me much, and I would probably be better off.

    Hehe, specialists will also find it hard, you will have to wear many hats nowadays, time for the master generalists to shine.

    People should be rejoicing - they are out of cubicle, bureaucracy hell, we don't need them, humans are better off operating in smaller elite groups then being a little cog, in some form of Borg style collective.

  12. Spoonguard


    Panic hasn't set in at the exchange.


  13. Rob Clive

    MS Worried

    I bet they're worried. One of the first things out the window when things get tough is probably the average corporation's 3 year IT upgrade cycle. Oh dear, major cash cow in trouble... and then when they do look to upgrade what is there (decent) to have?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Bears and all that...

    Yes Steve, you are worried. Let's see, you're what 5th or 6th on the Forbes? All that loot is paper money and tied up in lots of high risk ventures?

    Shit happens! My first IT job, lost it due to recession in 1990. I changed jobs into the energy trading industry around 2001, yep got shafted and paid off! Moved into the finance industry about 3 years ago, looks like I'm just about ready to be bent over a again.

  15. Solomon Grundy

    Update on Reality

    Ballmer is concerned about the economy because big IT projects (and most businesses) get their daily operating capital and project funding from loans.

    It's obvious that the Open Saucers who already posted have no concept of business or how it works, otherwise they would have just kept their mouths shut. The Commune is giving too many peasants the idea that their opinion matters and they can speak their mind - it'll be nice when these fools all go away.

  16. John

    Stop the Madness

    < rant on>

    USA,Uk,Europe government buying up Banks : stop this madness.. its ok to administrate the banks, safeguard savings... but Taking over all the debt is madness.It will lead to tears all round. The root cause of all this is the management, playing with derivatives. The Sub-prime and buy to let mortgage market games that have led to this huge shortfall of cash.. Stop the salary payments to CEOs and bonus payments to dealers and management that caused this issue.. sack them all, let them fester and go on the dole, its cheaper by far

    <rant off>

  17. dave hands

    @ dervheid

    <utter pedantry>

    that should read </pedantry>

    </utter pedantry>

  18. Doug Glass

    Good Timing

    So Mr. MS hisself has decided he needed to tell us what we already know and have been inundated with the past few days. Brilliant timing.

    He fits the definition of an auditor perfectly, "One who enters the battlefield after the war is over and attacks the wounded".

  19. kondor vlastos

    MS & Bailout

    Ballmer's sagacity equals Vista performance - he calls for the EU Central Bank to "be intelligent". It was the Central Bank (the FED) that caused the problem by excessive 'liquidity'. Obvious solution - more liquidity?

    The clue to the mess is the price of oil. Down or up? As credit freezes, oil goes down. SWAPS!

    Buried in the bailout was a disguised, hidden, coded permission for banks to operate - business_as_usual - without any reserves at all. Zero. Nada. In any case, that will be the law in 2011.

    Microsoft is dependent upon new hardware sales, as in PCs and laptops. Fewer units sold will have a direct effect upon Microsoft.

    Since my neighbors and I cannot find gasoline to buy, the likelihood of us rushing to buy new computers stands at = no. Another 'crisis' myth, that of the hurricane stopping flow of gasoline. In fact, Colonial Pipeline was nearly empty days before the hurricane hit. LACK OF PRODUCT timed perfectly to meet the FINANCIAL CRISIS.

    There is a need for a bailout however - someone should buy Congressman Barney Frank some teeth. Or "teef".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Never fails to pi$$ me off more than...

    ...when someone rich enough to live off the interest from the interest of their money and still make more money than I do states the obvious, and appears to actually care about the plight of the less fortunate.

  21. Martin Owens

    Re: Closed Minded

    >>It's obvious that the Open Saucers who already posted have no concept of business or how it works,

    I think you confusing "Modern Authoritarian Feudalism" with "Idealistic Capitalist Business";

    > otherwise they would have just kept their mouths shut. The Commune is giving too many peasants the idea that their opinion matters and they can speak their mind - it'll be nice when these fools all go away.

    Ah but then who would make your plush, lavish solid gold potty. Who would give you the 24 hours of care needed by the obviously brain dead arrogance?

    AMERICAN DEMOCRACY:"The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate". "

  22. Charles-A Rovira
    Gates Horns

    Suck to be the monopoly now I bet...

    Hey, give Balmer his due (he'll rip it out of your hand otherwise,) this little debacle might upset the stock portfolio.

    I bet that this has already cost Microsoft a few billion dollar (which are becoming worth less and less until they achieve parity with the Peso...)

    Bwahaha, eat dirt Monkey Boy.

  23. Keith Doyle
    Thumb Down

    Abominomics on the horizon.

    Microsoft's trying to buy up a lot of their own stock and still wants to sink its teeth into Yahoo, and it takes stable banks to get the job done. But regardless of whether Tweedledum Obama or Tweedledee McCain wins, the rich will get their bailout/welfare checks while what's left of the middle class gets the bill. Ballmer knows what side his bread is buttered on, as it's unlikely the Congress yet fears the public more than it fears the corporations. Nice to know they can cough up $700B if they really want to, but it's criminal that they're planning to spend it on junk paper.

  24. Mr Blonde

    Ballmer, live by the chair, die by the sword

    Here's hoping that the recent financial downturn will sweep the abominable chairman and the Frankenstein monster that he helped to create into a long-forgotten but much deserved oblivion.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Speaking of Gitwizard's

    Well Gitwizard #1 IE mr. ballmer can go get bent. His grasp of the blindingly obvious is stunning. I suspect he is either A: heavily invested in some very high risk ventures which are now on the verge of going tits up (poor dear I might think about trying to shed a tear for him). Or B: He really is in love with himself and feels the need to pontificate to the rest of us.

    Then we have Gitwizard #2 here on El Reg in the form of mr. grundy up there. Wassa matter diddums, did some evil open source person touch you in your nono place?? Poor dear, grab some prozac and step away from the computer before you burst a vein.

    Paris cos she has more sense in just one of her bleach blond hairs than most of these executives do in their entire bodies.

  26. Deryk Barker
    Thumb Down

    No one is safe?

    Really? How about the Lehmann staff who shared $8.6 billion in 'bonuses' in 2006? I bet they're feeling pretty damned smug right now.

  27. Tim99 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @dervheid - VERB

    How about the suspended one being called the twatdanglee, the one suspending would be a twatdangler.

    A past tense of a verb can be treated as a noun, e.g. the sentence "Bring out your dead" could be compared to "Bring out your twatdangled"...

  28. Gobhicks

    @twatdangle pedantry

    I think you’ll find that as originally used heretofore vis-à-vis Mr Blaine, “twatdangle” is a noun, referring to the event of a (metaphorical) twat being dangled. If you think “twatdangle” is a verb, is it transitive or intransitive? Try conjugating it and see how much sense it makes.

    In any case, the usage of twatdangle vis-à-vis Mr Ballmer WAS clearly erroneous, but not for that reason.

  29. Ron Eve

    et al

    I for one Welcome our New Pedantic Overlords.

    Forgive me, what I really should have said is "Ballmer is completely hatstand"


  30. Wortel

    Meanwhile, on isle 4 of Tesco

    The friendly voice on the intercom announces, "*ding* Now at the Ladies' department; Knickers are down today."

  31. Shonko Kid

    Frankly, I'm amazed...

    that he didn't try and blame it on the tree-hugging Linux geeks. You know the line; "See, this is what happens if you run the back office on Linux...."

    I wonder how much Bill and Steve have seen wiped off their fortunes?

  32. Ishkandar

    Found in translation

    Ballmer bewails the near demise of Vista and hopes that the mugs, oops sorry, I mean valued customers will buy into Windows 7. However, with massive retrenchments going on in the financial world (his main market), he is worried constipated !!

  33. Patrick
    Black Helicopters


    Thank fuck Steve has told us whats going on, nothing like stating the obvious eh

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