Obama’s Transition Team Reaches out to IBM for Infrastructure Advice

fool.com posts on the next bull market, and mentions IBM’s efforts.

Just as Roosevelt's New Deal brought electricity to rural areas during the 1930s, Obama is planning to bring high-speed broadband Internet access to "every community in America," to ensure that even lower-income areas have access to information and technology resources. That could be good news for companies like Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), who could vastly expand their customer base and broadband infrastructure to meet Obama's ambitious goal.

It's also good news for IBM (NYSE: IBM). When Obama's transition team asked IBM whether investing in Internet infrastructure could create jobs, CEO Samuel Palmisano reported that expanding broadband access, digitizing health-care records, and improving the electrical grid could create almost 1 million new U.S. jobs!

And it's no coincidence that Obama reached out to IBM. As a world leader in building energy-efficient "green" data centers, it's well-positioned to scoop up some of those lucrative government contracts for expanding our broadband infrastructure.

As IBM reported record profits

IBM Bucks Tech Slump, Issues Rosy 2009 Outlook


Bucking the trend of high-tech competitors, International Business Machines Corp. posted a 12% increase in fourth-quarter profit and gave an upbeat outlook for 2009.

Although facing "an extremely difficult economic environment," IBM said it expects to continue to benefit from the growing profitability of its software and services businesses. Despite the global slowdown, customers are continuing to sign up for outsourcing and other services contracts, IBM said.

WSJ also summarizes the Obama transition team briefing.

International Business Machines Corp.'s chief executive, Samuel Palmisano, advised the Obama transition team last month that $30 billion in government investments in expanding broadband access, computerizing health-care records and improving the electrical grid could create more than 900,000 U.S. jobs.

The IBM presentation came in response to a November request from the Obama advisers for an analysis of the job-creation impact of information-technology investments. IBM said that Mr. Palmisano made the presentation in a conference call with transition team members including Carol Browner, who has been named the White House coordinator of energy and climate policy, and Julius Genachowski, a top technology adviser for the president-elect.

It's unclear how much of the advice, if any, will be incorporated into a two-year stimulus plan that the Obama team and lawmakers are working on. Elements of the plan will include some traditional infrastructure spending and tax relief, Obama aides said over the weekend.

Chris Caine, IBM's vice president for governmental programs, said that after the election, the Obama's transition team asked IBM to provide analysis of whether investing in IT infrastructure could help stimulate job creation. "There are lots of econometrics on the number of jobs from traditional infrastructure investments," Mr. Caine said. "There aren't any metrics for these kinds of calculations" regarding IT.