Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

*** Update: Some further remarks about the visit on with this quote from President Obama:

And it will invest in broadband and emerging technologies, like the
ones imagined and introduced to the world by people like Sam and so
many of the CEOs here today, because that's how America will retain and
regain its competitive edge in the 21st century.


Earlier today, IBM CEO, Sam Palmisano, participated in a roundtable discussion of business leaders with President Obama to discuss the economy. Sam was also asked to give a brief speech. For readers of this blog, note the connection between building a smarter infrastructure and smarter planet with the opportunity to climb our way out of the current economic crisis. (I've added italics for emphasis).

You can watch the video here on CNBC.
Sam on CNBC

Or, you can read the full transcript below:


Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM CEO Statement, White House, January 28, 2009

Mr. President – Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. I think we’ll agree that across America… and around the world – from board rooms, to cabinet rooms, to kitchen tables – people are fixated on what’s necessary to address the present economic emergency. There’s a gathering global consensus that bold and aggressive steps are needed, on both business and government working together to address what’s required to help the worldwide economies.

In the past several days, I have been in contact with many leaders in the corporate world.  But I think there is a unanimous commitment to support the President.

•    We all agree we need to re-ignite economic growth in the country,
•    we know we must create not just jobs for 21st century jobs,
•    and therefore we need to invest and to build a more modern and more competitive infrastructure for the future.

There is clearly no reason we believe to undertake projects just for the sake of activity. We need to undertake projects that actually create jobs that will make infrastructure, make our country much more competitive for the long term. It is a balancing act between the short term crisis and what we need to do for the long term.

We really believe all this possible is possible today for many reasons because a convergence of factors. One because of the technology itself as well as the economic need we find our selves in and the current situation.

As a country we have to compete in the world. Yes is flatter, yes it is smaller. But we would argue it is also smarter. And today you’ll see technology embedded in processes and systemic systems from everything from environmental – between water to energy conservation –  to basic supply chains for global business.

So, the world does have a much smarter infrastructure, and therefore the base to build for the future. It’s there. We are excited. I can’t tell you how excited we are about the president’s commitment to lead us to the future. And the support for Health IT, and support in the area of smart grids, support in the area of education and broadband. All those things are essential. They are essential in the short term. And because of the research we’ve done in working with the transition team, we know that $30 billion could create a million jobs in the next 12 months. But it’s also every bit as important that we touch so factors of the ecosystem that it will create jobs for decades to come.

We are honored to be here. I’m honored to be speaking on behalf of the business community. It’s imperative that business and government come together to help the President get the package through and we get to work. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Thank you for your time.


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I believe we are at a crossroads. We no longer can seek growth as we did before the crisis. Rich countries should become poorer and poorer countries must become richer. It may sound unreallistic, but it is the only way to be really smarter. Earth can´t bear more than one country like the USA, and India, China, Brazil, Mexico are growing far too fast for the world to survive. Does it make sense to try to recover the growth rates of the past? We are being far too irresponsible with our sons and daughters, bgrandsons and grandaughters…

Posted by: Sergio Barrio Tarnawiecki
January 29, 2009
11:50 pm

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Also think about it ten years ago the top hourly rate was $10.00 an hour and people were struggling then and couldn’t even afford to rent a apartment and keep it, and here we ago again.
It’s also a down right shame that congress will give trillions of dollars to the rich who can’t mange it, and force people who make less then $50,000.00 or less who want to better themselves and there families even think to want to rob banks to eat or provide for ones family, break into homes, or commit suicide.
What country do we live in?

Posted by: RC -
January 29, 2009
11:37 pm

Congress also needs to pass a law that if our homes depreciate in price that mortgage companies have to credit our loss on our 30 year interest rate.
another words if property vales drop $40,000.00 then $40,000.00 should be taken off of our interest of the loan…
That would boost the spending in America!
Now wouldn’t it????

Posted by: RC -
January 29, 2009
11:31 pm

Everybody has been asking the following:
How can America get up and running the right way it was eight years ago and keep it up and running for a long, long time?
As a listener of your TV networks and show for many years I don’t know who I would write to in order to get this into the Presidents hands but perhaps you might have that connection or know of someone to forward the following to the “President Elect” on my behalf.
I Thank You in advance!
If I was in charge the first thing I would do is go back to the way our social security number was intended for, only for employment retirement benefits and to collect unemployment benefits in the event a person was laid off from work, not for credit status.
Congress needs to come up with a United States Citizen Identification Card (USCID) where each city no matter where in the United States any person goes to get a Non Drivers ID, Drivers License, Weapons Permit, Hunting License, Fishing License etc, fills out an application and it gets sent to one Government Facility where the Government Facility issues the person a consolidated USCID Card that does the following:
It tells any police department throughout the US that this person is a Legal US Citizen, the person has a valid USCID card and either is old enough to drive or cannot drive and if allowed to drive the drivers license is good for all fifty states no matter what state the driver has lived in or for how long the person has lived in any state (like an international drivers license good for all of the US) and that if the person also has a weapons permit or doesn’t have a weapons permit and if he or she does then they can and are allowed to carry it anywhere in the us, and the same thing for people who hunt or fish.
Another words a USCID CARD that reads that the card holder is a US Citizen, has a valid ID or Drivers License, is also endorsed to carry a weapon, is entitled to hunt or fish and hence only needs to carry one ID for everything.
It seems so crazy that a person can get a Drivers License in one state but is considered vagrancy if he has no money in his or her pockets in another state, it also seems crazy that a person can protect his life and property in his home state with a weapons permit , but if he goes from his state to any other state then he or she is now a felon, there needs to be a change in congress that a license to carry is not a problem as long as a crime has not been committed. Perfect example you get a license to carry in NH go over the state line into Massachusetts and go to jail for a year automatically when all a long you did not have a criminal record, and now you do and you are no considered a felon, and that’s not right.
Next now that every US Legal Citizen has a USCID ID card let that number be used solely to identify that person with the Government and local authorities.
As far as the recession we are in Congress needs to do the following:
Make it so that the minimum wage is enough that a person who works at least 32 hours a week can afford an apartment to live in and pay their utilities.
Make it so that the interest rate stays at 5.75 for all home owners for a fixed 30 year loan
Make it so that finance companies are not allowed to foreclose on anyone unless they get 6 months behind on their mortgage, which would hopefully allow one to find another job.
Make it so finance companies cannot charge excessive finance charges for late fees.
Make it so finance companies interest rates do not allow them to become multibillionaires forcing the cost of living to go back to through the roof
Make it law so houses with a fair market value of $500,000.00 or less and where the combined gross wages of the entire households annual income are below $100,000.00 or less that states or the perspective towns would only be allowed to charge a property tax of $1,000.00 a year. By doing this people with less then a $500,000.00 home or an combine gross annual income of $100,000.00 or less then would take there extra money they are not spending on outrageous taxes and start spending again creating more jobs and keep the economy going.
Also by having $500,000.00 fair market value cap with the fixed $1,000.00 yearly property tax a lot of people would be buying a lot of abandoned property throughout the US and those cities would still be getting $1,000.00 a year more compared to property just being vacant.
Also as far as the medical and health benefits the government should acquire all hospitals and medical facilities and pay the workers to keep America the best country not only to live in but to grow young and old in.
The automotive industry, they charge a household mortgage just to buy a vehicle, the interest rates are ridicules, and when one needs repair service, they are to overprice and their labor rate is two to three times greater than your average local mom and pop shop which offer far better superior service and don’t nickel and dime you.
I sent this to the following TV stations and NOT ONE RESPONDED! Why should they? They all have secure jobs and a lot of money to spend…
MAYBE YOU CAN EMAIL THEM AND GET THEIR ATTENTION….,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by: RC -
January 29, 2009
7:18 am

Mark, valid and excellent points. It occurs to me that the Transition program announced in 2007 (part of the IBM Citizenship Portfolio), which provides training (retooling) for workers could be refocused on skills that are very much in line with what Obama and Palmisano are talking about – 21st Century jobs… Green Jobs. Here’s a link:
In particular, I’m thinking of this part of the portfolio:
“Enhanced Transition Services: This will create bridges for IBM employees to opportunities in government, non-profits, educational institutions and economic development organizations. Building on the success of IBM’s Transition to Teaching initiative, this new program will create public/private and civil/private partnerships. It will identify which skills are needed in high-demand areas, and then help IBM employees develop second careers in these fields, to contribute to their communities. ”

Posted by: Adam Christensen
January 28, 2009
4:11 pm

Yeah, I’d have liked to have seen Sam do something innovative with all those good performers who now have 30-days to find a new position in an environment when we know headcount/hiring is going to be locked down.
For example, give them the chance to contribute to Smart planet by putting them through a retooling/retraining program to contribute to it as specialized product developers, project managers, services consultants etc. and position IBM by really having the skills available when the country(s) needs them rather than just treating them as redundant when they just happen to be in the wrong department at the wrong time.
How much would that cost compared to laying the same people off, and IBM would have ended up with skilled, loyal, employees.

Posted by: Mark Cathcart
January 28, 2009
3:58 pm

I believe Kilgore is correct. We want to start moving forward openly while dropping people off discretely. Its a sad day when the days come no more.

Posted by: Just a guy
January 28, 2009
3:22 pm

I am curious, did President Obama know that Sam layed off people with NO public or internal announcement?
Whether the stimulus should pass or not is what the debate is all about.
But shouldn’t we keep the debate open to people who operate under full disclosure versus covertly laying off people and calling it some interesting resource action or something?

Posted by: Kilgore Trout
2 Trackbacks
August 27, 2009
6:02 pm

Vacant Property Security…

Maybe, but I’m not sure it’for everyone….

Posted by: Scott
June 9, 2009
6:17 pm

[...] Source: Economic Stimulus Remarks from IBM’s CEO at the White House [...]

Posted by: IBM CEO Sam Palmisano on Infrastructure | Big Winner
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