Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Should Bondholders be bailed out ?

When shareholders are not bailed out, there are 2 reasons stated:

1. They might venture into excessive speculation if they know that the govt. would anyway bail them out.

2. Shareholders will have lesser incentive to keep a check on the companies jumping into risky projects.

But then again the same should apply for bondholders too, even they are informed of the level of risks that the companies are in. When thats the case, why are bondholders of AIG, Bank of America and Fannie Mae bailed out ?

Should'nt they be treated on par with the shareholders ? .. Read on ..


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Comments-Analysis/Should-bondholders-be-bailed-out-/articleshow/5150703.cms?curpg=

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review : Imagining India
















To start with, am quiet puzzled by the title of the book “Imagining India” since the book is more about India’s history from 1800’s to early 2000’s than about India’s future and such being the case, I cant figure out what Mr. Nilekani had actually imagined.

Imagining India is basically a history book that explains the impact of British rule on Indians and the policies made by the Indian politicians post-independence. The book rear views the reader with a lot of interesting events and facts that tracks us back from the past and provides a gist of why we are here today. Nilekani tries to reason out why India took more than 4 decades post-independence to flourish as a booming economy and a lot of details provided are in fact a must know for every Indian citizen.

But having said that the book fails to picturize or imagines (as claimed by the title) India in the near or the far future and there has been hardly any interesting ideas for the new century that was discussed in the book. Having been a co-founder of a prestigious and a highly respected software company, one really can’t understand why he chose to be more of a historian than a visionary lamp of the future.

On the whole ‘Imagining India’ or for a more apt title ‘India and its history’ happens to be a dry book and an utter disappointment for someone who expected thought provoking predictions, informations or the likely trends about India’s future.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Case of No Smoking

I don’t smoke but my friend Vikas is quiet a bit of an addict to smoking. Well, that’s what I thought about his smoking habit. So I asked him if he could by any chance control his intentions to smoke and thought that an obvious or an honest reply would be a ‘not really’ or just a plain ‘no’ but instead he said a ‘yes’. Surprised by his matter-of-fact like gesticulation in his ‘yes’, I simply asked him how he controls himself and his reply was quiet a stunner to me.

By the way, Vikas on any given day smokes 5 to 6 cigarettes a day but on the day he wants to control himself he smokes only half of them by sharing the cigarette with his colleague. Looks like a simple way to half your cigarette consumption but please don’t jump into any conclusion so fast, our Vikas actually claims that he zeros his smoking intake that way. Now this is how he goes about his trick, on the day he wants to control his smoking habit, he calls one of his colleagues for a puff in the morning before starting their work so that they get the necessary pep from the puff. So, they just take a single cigarette and share it between them and there you go, they are ready to face the day.

Two hours down the line, these chaps get a tea break and have u ever heard of a break without a puff and so here they go again sharing the puff as they did in the morn. Having rejuvenated themselves they get back to work with all the seriousness. Lunch time arrives and after a sumptuous meal they just can’t miss a puff as the nicotine intake after some food brings in a heavenly sensation.

Tea break in the afternoon and time for another puff but this time the cigarette count doubles (common u cant be too harsh on yourselves !!! ) and the same carries on for 4 more breaks until night but each time their cigarettes are shared. So u really can’t blame Vikas here, he has really stuck to his self imposed rule of just smoking half a cigarette each time.

Now Vikas is a genius and a genius of different sorts, he performs worse by controlling himself as his count of cigarettes tallies to be more than twelve half cigarettes. But wait we all are horribly mistaken, Vikas has claimed that he has not smoked at all. Am wondering how and we all are wondering how but our Vikas has an answer.

Here it goes, he says in the game of cricket, while batting, your runs are counted only when both the batsmen complete running the full 24 yards but if they run just 12 then its is not counted as a run. Similarly, when u smoke in a pair and smoke just half then that smoke doesn’t tally.

Arrrrrrrhhhh!!! Who the hell created analogies...?

Monday, February 9, 2009

When Maculinea rules the roost

Countless number of times I ve wondered how a quack religious saints puts an act publicly and still ppl believe him to be the incarnation of God himself, how a politician wears a mask so very openly and still ppl believe him as a true leader towards their destiny and how even after scores and scores of ignominious scandals being exposed about their own leader, do these subordinate and subservient partisans still render their relentless support to him. Little do we know that it’s the Maculinea spirit on act, the force against truth and the most unfathomable segment in the design of nature.

A butterfly of European aborigine christened as Maculinea Rebeli, in its initial phase of life called the pupa stage, which is an inactive stage of development, intermediate between larva and adulthood, produces the exact scent and mimics a similar sound that is produced by a Queen Ant to cheat an entry into the ant’s nest and the ants society at large. The worker ants treat this pupa stage caterpillar as their queen ant and provide it with all the privileges of a queen ant assuming it to be one. Not only does the Mucalinea get the food it wants but it also gets the ultra security provided by the worker ants incase of a threatening danger from other species.

Definitely a wonderful case of evolution and the Mucalinea is pretty intelligent enough not to stay in the same colony as that of the Queen Ant. Such being the case, the scientists wanted to understand and note the behavioral pattern of the worker ants incase this traitor species is exposed in front of the real queen ant. Hence the scientist placed four queen ants in a colony comprising scores of worker ants and a pupa staged Mucalina. On spotting the traitor species mimicking itself to be one of them, the queen ants started to attack it, exposing the fraudulent nature of the Mucalinea species. But showcasing a remarkable and an unbelievable tinge of foolishness coupled with blind loyalty, the worker ants form a group to defend the Mucalinea species and another to attack its own Queen Ants, killing all four of them in the process.

Now is the case above by any chance an isolated one? The spread of this Mucalinea spirit or phenomenon amongst the numerous privileged humans will be an understatement, if I say it’s anything less than epidemic. The problem is not just the presence of Mucalineas but rather the universal presence of Workers Ants amongst us, the ants who just can’t see the facts and are rather content with the myth.

For a start let me give you some facts of an organization we all know:

This organization contains a little over 500 employees and here is their profile

• 29 of them have been accused of spouse abuse
• 7 have been arrested for fraud
• 19 have more than three criminal cases against them
• 117 have been charged and are being investigated for Murder, Rape, Extortion, assault and Robbery
• 71 cannot get credit or bank loans due to bad credit history
• 21 are currently defendants on various lawsuits
• 84 have been involved in offences and have received or paid bribes.

If you are just wondering what sort of an organization this possibly can be, then please wake up because the above mentioned organization has the full fledged support of you and me.

It’s the lower house of the Indian Parliament with 545 members.

Now tell me, are you an Ant?