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B&E This Fortnight
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Issue Date - 22/12/2011

In what seems to be an instance of the world losing one of the most influential woman in corporate America of her time, Patricia Dunn, former Chairwoman of hardware giant Hewlett Packard passed away at her home in Orinda California, after a brave fight with ovarian cancer. She was described by her husband as a tenacious cancer patient, outliving the three-year life expectancy for her type of ovarian cancer by nearly five years. Dunn was also CEO of Barclays Global Investors from 1995 until 2002. After serving on the board of HP for several years, she was named Chairwoman in 2005. As chairman of HP, Dunn helped lead a CEO search that recruited Mark Hurd from NCR Corp. to replace Carly Fiorina, his ousted predecessor. Dunn had good intentions for HP but the act of hiring spies to find out which board member was leaking information to the press eventually backfired on her. She had to step down within months on September 22, 2005. The California State Attorney Generalís office brought charges against her for fraudulent tapping of wire communications, misuse of a computer, identity theft, and conspiracy on October 04, 2006. The charges were later dismissed after declaring Dunnís behaviour a misdemeanour. Dunn had earlier suffered and survived breast cancer and skin cancer.

Global BANKsí Woes

The Volcker Rule of the Dodd Frank Act, which limits banks from betting their own capital in the market seems to have taken a toll over major banks in the US. After Bank of America announced its plans to slash 30,000 and cut $5 billion in spending earlier this year, the Vikram Pandit-led Citigoup has also announced its plan to cut 4500 jobs by the end of Q3, 2011. The move would cost the bank $400 million in severance expenses. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, major banks around the world have cut a total of 200,000 jobs in the wake of difficult financial conditions prevailing in the global economy. So far this year, Citibank has saved $1.4 billion from its cost cutting initiatives. The ones who get to keep their jobs arenít happy either. Pay hikes at Wall Street are expected to decline between 20% and 30% while financial professionals at large in the US, Europe and the Middle East will lose close to 27% in annual compensation.

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