A brief dip into news territory for FT, as the web throws up this truly extraordinary story regarding the Californian budget negotiations. DON’T YAWN YET. It appears that Arnold Schwatzeneggar’s Republic’s have been unable to fix a budget for public spending and are running blind into the new session. The solution? Pay all state employees minimum wage until it is sorted out. Not only is this a truly bonkers idea (underpaying as an incentive – rarely works as a management strategy) but it appears to be impossible to implement. Because in other cost cutting news, they are still working on a payroll system which is programmed in COBOL – programming language TO GO of the 1970’s.

So there is a desperate call for rarely found COBOL programmers to be employed by the California State Government to reduce the pay of all state employees (including one assumes the programmers themselves) to minimum wage. Good luck with that head-hunting job, Governator.

If in the meantime however you want to take our advice, Rob of FT has brushed up on his barely remembered COBOL and offers you, for free, this little programme while you are waiting.
Arnies computer