GE Deal Casts Cloud Over Amazon Hopes

Deal with General Electric, Boston did not live up to expectations

As word of a stock price slide, job cuts and restructuring at General Electric hit the headlines, Evan Falchuk has one reaction - it's embarrassing.

Falchuk, a former Independent candidate for Governor, says the tax breaks that Boston gave to GE were irresponsible and unnecessary in one of the hottest real estate and business markets in the country.

"The taxpayers ended up getting kind and giving them more than $100 million of free money. And for what? That's the question," he said.

Under pressure to cut more than $2 billion in annual expenses over the next two years, GE is taking action - expected to cut thousands of corporate level jobs and shut down research centers around the world.

"The new CEO, John Flannery, really wants to send a message that we are not going to allow any corporate largess any waste at all," said Boston Globe Business Reporter Jon Chesto.

Flannery has grounded the company's fleet of six business jets, including a second jet dedicated to former CEO Jeff Immelt in case his first had mechanical problems.

GE has announced plans to delay the completion of its Boston headquarters and put off hiring hundreds of employees.

Mayor Marty Walsh says he’s not concerned. He hopes all the cuts and streamlining are an indication of a new norm in corporate America.

"Because their corporate headquarters are here doesn't mean that everything affects Boston," said Walsh. "It's just that we're going to get a lot more information about what GE is and who they are as a company."

As for tax incentives for Amazon, Walsh says it’s too early and that the main attraction to Boston should be the people and the quality of life. Still, many predict they will be coming if Boston makes it into round two.

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