Week 3-Let's Talk Money Interview Transcript
Week 3-Let's Talk Money Interview Transcript
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Date Created: 11/11/15
Running head: LET'S TALK MONEY 1 Let's Talk Money Interview Transcript ECO/415 September 20, 2010 Patrick O' Donnell LET'S TALK MONEY 2 Let's Talk Money Interview Transcript Jeff Denker (Host): Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Money, the fictitious television show that interviews prominent individuals in the business community, I’m your host Jeff Denker. Today on Let’s Talk Money we will interview Thomas W. Ewing, former House Representative and Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft. Today’s topics will discuss the connection between the government, the economy, and Microsoft. So let’s get started! Jeff: Welcome Mr. Ewing and Mr. Ballmer. The two of you are certainly from different areas, however, is there a link between you two? Thomas Ewing: Well Jeff, there is a link between the two of us, wouldn’t you say Mr. Ballmer? Steve Ballmer: We do possess a sort of symbiotic relationship. Microsoft is dependent on the government in regard to regulations, concessions, and free trade policies. The government is dependent on Microsoft for tax revenue and employment. So there certainly is a link! Thomas Ewing: I believe that is correct Mr. Ballmer. Our relationship is straight forward and certainly comprehensible. The economy is not only influenced by government measures and policies but also by the business that Microsoft conducts. For example, if Mr. Ballmer was forced to layoff workers, the shares would decrease and the whole sector would feel the loss. As many are aware, during most of the 20 century, many viewed the government and the market as alternatives. The people and policymakers would choose between the forces of the market and government mandate. As we journey into the 21 century, we can observe that LET'S TALK MONEY 3 market forces and government mandates are not really alternatives any more but rather complements to each other. Jeff: That certainly seems reasonable enough, but which of these three factors bear greater influence? Thomas Ewing and Steve Ballmer: Government does! Jeff: All right, point taken in stereo! Mr. Ewing what is the government’s position in regard to the labels of Microsoft’s ‘Monopolistic policies’? Thomas Ewing: Well, the government does possess some reservations in regard to monopolistic policy. The government likes to see competition and the availability for consumers to choose. Further, we like to see companies make revenue and I believe the two can correlate successfully. Jeff: This is an issue that Microsoft has recently experienced. What is the government doing to ensure fair competition in this market? Thomas Ewing: Well, the government has placed a hold on special concessions such as tax exemptions for Microsoft and is giving the same to other information technology companies. This helps to encourage fair competition throughout the market. Understand that it is difficult for the government when Microsoft make s an offer to purchase Yahoo and stock prices fall off the table. This is a cost externality for us because the government is expected to correct the downturn and balance the economy. Steve Ballmer: That certainly is a significant area in our strategy and some view the issue in a different manner. Further, Microsoft encourages competition and would love to have some tough competition out there. This would help our share prices and help to further LET'S TALK MONEY 4 continuous innovation. Furthermore, Mr. Ewing, let’s not overlook government purchases and the competitive offers and special concessions we readily make available as well! Jeff: Mr. Ballmer, does Microsoft experience a downside for selling to the government? Steve Ballmer: (Laughing) not really, we do have to stretch our budget a bit and offer some concessions, but I think we both benefit. Thomas Ewing: Well that definitely works both ways the government has to adjust the budget to have capacity for purchasing from Microsoft. However, the quality is present and we enjoy that. Jeff: How does piracy play a role Mr. Ballmer? Steve Ballmer: Piracy is an issue that the government definitely needs to gain control of. The reason is, this is a great externality to the companies and the economy is affected because pirates are not spending money in the market (Thomson, 2008, p. 1). Thomas Ewing: The government is concerned with this issue and we are trying to gain control on issues such as these that cause losses not just for Microsoft, but everyone. However, one cannot turn a blind eye on the affect Microsoft imposes because of its unaffordable prices. Globally, there are many countries unable to afford Microsoft’s prices and this affects the export sector. Jeff: That’s understandable, but is it fair to assume that Microsoft is working on this problem Mr. Ballmer? Steve Ballmer: Yes, that is a fair assumption. We recognize there is a loophole here and we plan to address this issue in the near future. LET'S TALK MONEY 5 Jeff: All right…let’s return our focus to strategy. Mr. Ballmer, does Microsoft have any plans for mergers in the near future? Rumor has it that Microsoft is discussing a merger with Amazon, is there any truth to that? Steve Ballmer: There has been some interest between companies; however, nothing has been established to either confirm or deny such a move. Microsoft certainly does not have plans for a merger at this point, we will have to wait and see what type of opportunities arise. Jeff: Just for the sake of discussion, let’s say a merger did occur. Mr. Ewing, would the government be pleased? Thomas Ewing: Well, that’s difficult to say Jeff. I think it may be a bit premature to assume anything; we will have to wait for the results on that one. However, for the sake of discussion, the government probably would frown on a merger of this magnitude. The reason is these corporations would become colossal and competition could be destroyed. Steve Ballmer: I don’t think that would be the case. Of course this discussion is only academic and a real merger is not on the horizon, but I think joining the companies would help to further innovation and technology (CNBC, 2008). Jeff: Well, Mr. Ballmer, how would a merger benefit you? Steve Ballmer: A merger can help to diversify the company, reach new markets, and meet customer needs. We could expand into the online shopping market and increase innovation for our client base (CNBC, 2008). Although I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, this is only hypothetical. Thomas Ewing: That’s probably a good idea; we don’t want to create pandemonium by creating a rumor like this! LET'S TALK MONEY 6 Steve Ballmer: So true! Jeff: Okay, let’s turn our attention to the job market. Mr. Ewing, do you think the government can sustain the economy and keep the job market alive without corporations like Microsoft? Thomas Ewing: No, we could not. As Mr. Ballmer stated, we are a symbiotic relationship and we must work together for the benefit of the people. Speaking of that, I want to see Microsoft reduce its outsourcing and provide more jobs domestically. Steve Ballmer: Microsoft understands its responsibility to our country and we are not ignoring that. We do have some reservations about ceasing our outsourcing; however, we are addressing these concerns. We understand that the people of our nation are dependent on employment from corporations such as Microsoft and we intend to do what we can to accommodate. Jeff: Well thank you gentlemen for your insight, but we are out of time today. The two of certainly illustrated the relationship that government, the economy, and corporations possess. I think we also learned that rumors of Microsoft as an antagonistic company is indeed a complementary company instead. Further, we learned that the government is doing its best to keep the free trade market fair and encourage competition. You guys form a symbiotic circle, if you will! Thank you again for your time…goodnight! LET'S TALK MONEY 7 References CNBC. (February 1, 2008). Microsoft/Yahoo merger could shake up the internet. Retrieved September 20, 2010, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/22947600/Microsoft_Yahoo_Merger_Could_Shake_Up_Interne t Thomson, A. (July 17, 2008). Technology. Retrieved September 20, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/17/technology/17iht17msft.14586085.html
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