December 31, 2008

Thoughts during transitions 2008 gives way to 2009

Was awake to catch some of the events that have been witnessed in Yr 2008 in TV. Though I didn't find anything such on any of the channels which are trying to capture and ponder upon all the events of yr 2008 in an hour special or something. In fact print and electronic media do a much better job in this regard. Ended up watching the fireworks across the globe with New Zealand[Auckland] starting and following it up were others nations from east to west. Aussies, Japaneese, Koreans, Chinese, Malaysians....and of course Singapore. I stay here so I would watch others tomorrow morning. So I thoughts of putting down thoughts which were criss-crossing my mind while watching the countdown. Very-very varied thoughts I guess !!!!
[1] SETI :- It's new year. Earth's completing one revolution around SUN. If there any other intelligent form of life other than humans on earth or anywhere in universe capable of obsering our planet, they would definitely be observing something unusual as entire Earth will be lit by firework serially which is directly opposite to Sun[mid night] when it's suppose to be darkest spot on the planet. May be they would think it's a cycle which this planet has started going thru recently and it's getting stronger and stronger every cycle. As in each subsequent years fireworks is a notch above the previous years. No other event is celebrated in the same spirit as arrival of new year on Gregorian Calendar !!!!
[2] Human tendency to ignore weak :- While the countdown they touched upon some of the biggest events to have happened last[I am 22 minutes into 2009 now :)]. They mentioned about loss of life because of Sinchuan earthquake in China which claimed so many lifes. In deed it was one of the most tragic event to happen in recent history to so much loss of human life and of course property. My thought immediately went to Burmeese Cyclone as the loss of life in Myanmar because of deadly cyclone was much more than loss of life in China. It deserved a mention unless and until loss of life for people of Myanmar doesn't count as much as loss of a life in China. I guess this imbalance is because of poor economic standing of MYANMAR !!!
There was mention of loss of life of a Singaporean in the Mumbai terrorist killings. It certainly was the biggest terrorist event of the year 2008. Thought that came to my mind is that Pakistan is doomed and it will cause a lot of pain to the unaware and innocent citizens of Pakistan as the state has become a hotbed and birth place of terrorism. I have remarkably observed that many of the predictions based on astrology have been true that print/electronic media publishes on the last day of the year. This time I read that by end of Yr 2009 Pakistan will become a failed state and will be on brink of collapse economically and socially leading to civil unrest. I suggest all innocent Pakistanis to spread the word and leave the country to save themselves from the incoming pain and tragedy. I think even moving to IRAQ and AFGANISTAN is a better option than staying on in Pakistan. God bless and save the innocent and punish the culprits.
[3] It's a FALSE world :- This thought came to me when mention of Mumbai terrorist incident leading to the death of lone Singaporean was mentioned. Singapore and the entire world is definitely standing in the side of INDIA in this event and watching the moves of Pakistan. Still the world at large doesn't say this. Most of the nations are trying to see their own benefits in the course of things. CHINA wants to establish itself by showing sidelining with PAKSITAN. AMERICA & UK wants to see that two birds are killed in one shot. Perpetrators of the terrorists acts gets punished but it's doesn't add any additional cost in terms of American life in the war raging in AFGANISTAN. SINGAPORE supports CHINA because of the economic clout that CHINA weilds but it makes a subdued noise during the tainted milk saga from Chinese exports. It knows that incidents unfolding in Mumbai does affect lives in SINGAPORE much.
In fact you would see this human nature being exhibited in almost every thing every where. It's all done with a facade using nice acronyms for these activities. Let's move to the work place. There is no co-relation with what is put on paper and what the truth is on ground. If this had not been the case world economy would have been in chaos. A year back all banks and FIs were reporting growth and profits and now they have gone bankrupt. Same risk management pratices which audited and found sound and working were declared to have failed and source of problem.
Another example from corporate world. What one writes in resume/bio-data, talks in interviews is vastly different from what he/she has been doing. You will know this if you ask a friend/colleague who has recently switched job and then he would tell you he tailored his resume as per job spec and answered what the interviewer wanted to hear.
Anyways...Enough of now... Wish you all a happy and prosperous 2009.

November 28, 2008

Mumbai Terror attacks - Innocent Pakis should move to safer grounds

I guess Indian leaders and other world leaders are putting lot of time and energy into rooting out terror from the world map. Either the terrorists have been better than the world leaders or the world leaders aren't much better than the terrorists as a result terrorism have been flourishing around the world.

While coming to the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks most of prominent world leaders active in world politics have given their reaction and solidarity towards in-efficient Indian goverment and reverred Indians. What I found missing was no coverage in media about reaction from China and Russia. Either I am missing some media coverage or something is seriously wrong which kind of is suggesting that Terrorism is here to stay for foreseeable. Those of you who are interested to know the details and the events after recent Mumbai killing and hotel seizure by PAK based ISI linked terrorist organization, there is compiled list of coverage on the same. Click here to open the link.

Anyway while this is on-going I am thinking about the Pakistanis - I am sure a lot them would have been thinking that there is no future for them in their own country which has demons like ISI & and the country army sitting to nip the humanity in the buds when ever it starts to take shape. So option is moving out of their own country and working out a better future for their kids and future generation. Their nation has been so badly publicized that most of nations where some one can hope for a decent living look at any one from Pakistan with a suspicion. What to do - I suggest the Pakis to take it in their stride. People can choose friends and not parents. In this case because of their birth place they have to accept that there are dangerous radicals in their homeland who have spoilt the name of an entire nation. Still don't give up hope and keep trying to look for what ever decent work you can get outside. Those of the pakis who are rich should definitely move out of the country. Their wealth should help them and family to secure visas of other humanity friendly and civilised nations. If they see good biz opportinuty in their country and don't want to move out, I will suggest them still to rethink their decisions. As they can still do biz with in Pakistan keeping themselves and their loved ones in a safe and prosperous neighborhood. Even their money and biz will be more secure as Paki goverment whether run by a rouge or benign people will protect them as without this they can't go out begging for alms once in a year or so. As they have roots in pakistan they will have the benefit of able to connect to masses as the public does not care the biz owner has Paki passport or not. Public at most considers if they can speak their language and can connect to their civil culture or not. If required even consider relocating to China and India before flying to different shores.
Good luck my Pakistani bro & sis !!!!

October 28, 2008

My Dream - Will it consumate with reality when I am 40 - Part 1

Today[On the day od Diwali] I have been thinking a lot about this at work. This is so unlike me if I retrospect and look at my self and what my thoughts had been about at work place in as long as I think of. So, I guess this untoward thought frequenting me so much today deserves a place in my blog. I am off from work early too, seating late at work is a work habit for all in office where I work... :)

For readers it may not make much sense as it would be more like a early morning dream -- so incoherent if you try to make logic out of it. Still if it's forward looking dream, you will like the end result of the dream to come true and some people make it turn true over time. So readers please pardon me for this post if you are disappointed about it nad you are reading it patiently till end.
Lately and so much today I have been thinking about making my self financially free by the age of 40 to lead a average middle class life in India/Singapore. With achieving this I will be able to start again what had been of so much of interest to me in my school days. Ya in school days and NOT COLLEGE DAYS. I guess decisions and action later on in my life after school that I have made till date are more to lead a normal successful social and human life. If I succeed in becoming financially free then my abnormal and self indulgent life will kick-off. I guess it will last till I am off this world as briefly I was obsessed with programming as well. This was in college days which strated with my tryst with a month training during college break. I am over it now :)

Let me look at it briefly how I had been during my school days[till 12th]. I was a average student all the while in school till 8th. All of a sudden when I was in 9th, all subjects started to look interesting to me. So it was natural to be placed into top-10 after that. May be CIVICS was only exception and with age I guess there is nothing which does not interests me including LANGUAGES. Of course I would admit that LANGUAGE was the last thing which started to appeal me and to draw my interest. Still I haven't been developed liking for MUSIC and ARTS.  As I have been growing up It has been becoming more and more clear that it's not class room based or I should say degree based studies that is attracting me. It's sheer inquisitive human nature and attraction to unravel and learn more about all things which you see and learn about in day to day life. You want to know more about it but then you are left at the shore in an alley and there is NO-ONE who can lead you to the sea of knowledge or at least in search of it safely. In my school in 9th standard I was introduced in real terms to SCIENCE and started to scratch it's surface. I got so interested in it that studying became a part of me that I wanted to do when I got some time. Of course significant amount of time was into studing and researching more on what was not in prescribed textbook nad that was beyond the syllabus of the course that was taught at school. Of all the subjects till 12th I LOVED PHYSICS and BIOLOGY. I guess only thing I didn't love so much was ENGLISH.  In Biology, GENETICS/CYTOLOGY and EVOLUTION which was most appealing and in Physics it was MODERN PHYSICS and esoteric THEORY of RELATIVITY. Given a choice in school I would have preferred to read GENETICS of all others things. Now I would go for MODERN PHYSICS and THEORY of RELATIVIVTY and related exiciting stuff. At school when I tried to find out what lay ahead for a guy interested in GENETICS - I found out this : Graduate in Biology and there is only one institute in India where I can pursue GENETICS there after. Back in early 1990's it was not an appealing option at all. I guess leading a WELL-OFF life was the first thing if you wanted to do something good in life at any point in time later on till the time you go down six foot under or into ashes in a pyre for last rites for hindus. Other related choice was going for medicine. Oh GOD..--..Thinking about a long 5-6 year of graduate course and followed by 2-3 years to get a masters degree at minimum to start a pro life was a huge investment of time, effort and persistence and with not a very promising result with high probability of it happening. I took the short-cut and join Engineering course. Hadn't thought what lies ahead and was confident of at least a decent life there after. Definitely I had thought of pursuing what would be more appealing after a 4 yr graduate degree. Defintely I was a frugal guy in terms of putting in effort what was really not very iontersting irrespective of the END it was leading to. I wanted to achieve the attractive END with least amount of effort to put. While put in rest of time into what was more enjoyable - READ what was not considered worth investing time and effort by teachers and other class mates. But it was so interesting, how can one not like it. I still feel the same way when I think of school days. I was so lazy that I was into reading mathematics in stead of crunching the integral equations of geometry and Trigonometry. Unlike others I always felt it was better than aching your knees and elbows to score high in mathematics. I use to put in only 4 hours week into really solving equations and probability sums to pratice for sitting thru a exam 3 hours long. I guess rest one hour per week to ward off the fear that students dont score in mathematics if they dont practice it on paper. I use to take samples[draw number from a lot for each odd/even chapter] so that I have to put least amount of effort in crunching them on paper instead of reading them:) In fact I use to do the same for even PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY[Physical mostly]. Reading the books on all these was so much fun. I really miss it even now. It's so much better than reading story books and novels. I guess I had left reading novels some where in 11th standard and had become very selective in picking up any new novel. Only based on recommendations... Other difficult part in student life was drawing all those boring lines and curves for Boilogy and practical books for Physics and chemistry as well. It still doesn't make sense what the syllabus prescribers had/have in mind when they have introduced thing like drawing those testubes/Screw- gauges/Pendulum/.... Sheer waste of time for student I think. If you go out and play garden cricket with socks balls and hockey stick it so much more refreshing. I think this is the only think about games/sports I miss to date. If you have spent more time playing then it fills you with a guilt with in - I should read now. You see - In encourages you to study - may be for the sake of scoring if not for the sake of inquisitiveness - but then it's the seed which draws you to read about things which are beyond the syllabus. So I guess in school days my life been self indulgent from 9th onwards. I use to read and research a lot about things which use to arouse and make my thoughts wander off. I use to get into day dreaming most of the time.
One DREAM which I always use to harbor and I guess it got crushed during the engineering degree is as follows. These days I have started seeing the same dream again. It goes like this :)
It sounds funny and I laugh at my self thinking about it. Now I have started getting this dream again but it has been altered a little as I have observed and read more during the course of my life since the day I had above mentioned dream. Do you want to go thru my version of altered dream that I am harboring these days:)
Wasn't it interesting dream of a dreamer :)) don't share this with hollywood sci-fi authors and movie industry fellows. They would milk money out of ideas like this !!! Wasn't few of the sci-fi movie made in Hollywood having some nice dream like this. I wouldn't say the same about bolywood movies though. All Bollywood movies have lot of emotions packed around a sci-fi theme else it would not sell for the producer to make next one. Though few of them have NICE DREAMS too into them if you just look at it from sci-fi point of view. Anyway isn't it that what is sci-fi today became truth or scientific theory/law tomorrow with little bit of alterations and into well known fact day after there after !!!

I think it's becoming too long for a single post, but I wont publish it till I complete all the parts. I have dropped many a things/topics in between in my posts promising to come back and write about it later :) So I will do the same again for now  - I guess I will sit and write again to read it again few years later when I turn 40 and am financially free to pursue it :)) I will definitely come back type in more of these dreams till I am 40 and fincially free - WILL I BE ????

October 20, 2008

Amway & BWW - One of the $ pipeline

There was 2 day event organized by BWW to teach how to excel in AMWAY biz model. I couldn't attend 1st day because of unexpected allergy leading to nasal imflamation and sneezing. Though I really wanted to attend the event - actual reason behind it was building network instead of really excelling in the AMWAY biz. In the post below I am not going to typically bragg about how AMWAY biz model works and flount about how a nice way it is to make money. I am sure many a blogs would have been written about it. I am going to just put down what I saw on the 2nd day in the FED[Free Enterprise Day] event organized by BWW.

Definitely of this 6 hours event each day, I attended only 3-4 hours but it met the purpose for me. Though it's called "Free Ent..... Day" - It actually costs SGD75/- to get an entry ticket for all the 5 sessions on both day. There is no way that you can buy tickets for 1/2 of the total 5 session. There was a big and very energetic crowd at the venue. People were full of energy and they were all dancing around the floor in between the sessions. Achievers in the AMWAY biz were the speakers and sought after people who the entired crowd wanted to emulate. It indeed fetches good money if you succeed in the biz. There were mngmt pro, bankers, engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, house wives, students, marketing pro, etc..... in the crowd. It means it all it takes is common sense to participate in it. Model is based on human networking and self use of the products from AMWAY or marketed by AMWAY.
What I liked about the event is that so many people being present at the event with not many a raised hands for first timer means that many people were persisting with the biz and were some money, though some had made huge amount of money.
What I liked about the event is that many a professional in this associated biz were from different walks of life which in turns means it's definitely possible to carry it on as a side biz and should be fine if I devote less than 5-6 hours per week.
Over the period definitely it will mean improved network which would prove beneficial later in profession and other $pipeline I will like to build.
Intial investment is very minimal - in fact just one time registration fee. I am not paying this fee over web to a party I dont know so I know I am thorwing away this small sum of money.
Some of the speakers did make fun of the highly energetic behavior of the crowd re-inforcing that it takes discipline and planned approach instead of just sheer brut force to make it good in the biz.

I have joined the crowd and have registered for the biz. Please pray GOD for me that I successfully create $ pipeline out of this AMWAY and build many more pipelines.

October 18, 2008

One down - New life with new set of people

Lately I had been very lethargic to do another post. But during the today office Deepavali party I really felt that I have go and type it down. I had felt similarly before as well on certain occasions but had not been able to sit down on the computer to write a post :) I guess the reason was not that today's event led to my thoughts being more strong than they were before but the difference is that today is Saturday and I am not stressed out because of office work. Full day in office really saps me out of all energy. I don't why don't feel this as long as I am in office once I start to near my home on my way back I start to feel very very tired.
I guess the title of the post is very vague but then it's really for me and some people who really follow these posts on my blog.
There are two related posts on my blog related to this. Please check out before reading this. You may want to read them after reading this as all three posts are related.
1) Is everything okay at my workplace !!! (Part 1)
2) Is everything okay at my workplace !!! (Part 2)

About 2 months now one of the director has since left to join another well known competitor bank who have not been hounded at all by recent financial turmoil globally. Behind all the good words he had to say in his farewell speech, story emerging from behind the curtain is that he felt that it's enough. Enough of useless unproductive politics. He was a my favorite of the two and a candid manager and leader. There was lot of hope when he was around of my organization coming back to past glorious days.
Only remaining king now was having a free hand to set things right. To twist and trun things so that there will no voice of dessent. All the while he had been putting all his people in critical positions though they had no experience about the work the organization was involved in doing. Only 2 of old people are their in his team as they showed comeplete loyality towards him. In fact these two gentlemen/ladies are such that they would lick any one up and look down upon anyone below them. There is another lucky guy in this director's team. He had planned his moves well and time too favored him. Though if we look at what he had achieved to deserve this - then there would be only failures to be shown without any success. But all this still got him the necessary visibility to fetch him a place as new Director's one down. I will not be surprised if new Director will not be able to turn things around then this lucky guy would one of the first people to leave the sinking ship. Of course the other one would be the Director him self as at my work place captain dont sink along with the ship. They only force others to sink with the ship and later as well by throwing staff out of the life-boat to make a place for them selves:)
Other important that affected me was that with the exit of the wanted director my boss to decided to move on. With this there was a set of staff including who were prized catch for others but none of us wanted to work with anyone around as over period none of them had shown the necessary leadership and managerial skill worth look upto. How ever none of us had a choice to moe out as department was in such a bad shape that BIG BOSS[Director 2 up] has closed all exits from our department. Only exit was to leave the bank. My boss relationship with BIG BOSS was good enough that he let him move as he subtly explained the stress relationship he had with the director who was now in charge of entire organization.
In todays party I felt like being in a new place. None of the old timer who have been forced to stay with the organization were present. In fact I was having running nose and heavy sneezing due to some allergy but I made it a point to go because I felt not going there would as well put me into the group who is not liking or supporting the new organization. With none of the old timer present in the party was a clear signal that they were not their in the department anymore with their heart and soul. They were just there like machines from which you will get good output as long as input is good. BIG BOSS too was there. I respect him for his organizational leadership and people management skills. I am sure he must have noticed this as it was so obvious. He would surely try to set things correct or find a way out for the department to succeed. There is no way that he can allow the organization to fail and then to replace the Director. Doing anything like this would be too costly for the bank. This department product is the face of the bank for customers through out the world.
Positive thing that I observed/felt about the party that new set of people were showing life and were gelling well. Now the thing is that it will depend upon how quickly they are able to learn the department's business and achieve it's old glory. As of now things seems to be settling down but as a 2nd grade compared to what the department was in it's shiny days. Having worked with a set of people who knew the job and systems, I feel so akward to work with a set of people, most of whom are 2nd grade. There is a growing urge to move to another department as I still feel like working with best team, building a great team and delivering mesmerizing stuff.
Please wish me LUCK so that I succeed in doing the same.

September 13, 2008

Profession of Finance & Forecasting - Making others a fool

A lot has been happening in my office and still so as to keep my focus away from work and feeling sic I have determine not to think of work on the week-ends. At times I feel that I am working at a sic place. In fact it's not the work which is sic but the people you work with especially peers and seniors. What can be done!!!! Life has to go on and work is very important part of life. I am just hanging on at the same work place as in remote corner of my heart, I am getting a thought that things have become so bad that soon I will get a chance to correct them.
Anyways this post is not about my work life which is going thru a very bad patch. God save my office and some of the diligent colleagues who have got stuck. I wanted to write a little about the profession of finance. While this profession has seen the likes of Warren Buffet who has a methodical approach to investing and prooving the same in terms of returns that he is generating for his investors. There have been few others like George Soros also but this industry is also filled with cons and most of the people employed in the industry have not done well and mis lead their investors. See the below example related to the developments in Sterlite Industries.
Sterlite industries part of Vedant group[based in London and owned by a NRI] has announces restructuring plans. Upon aanouncement it's shares started tumbling and this diff investment houses have differing opinions which I feel is very absurd. All the information about the company is in public and all of these investment house follow same principle of finding a predicting future of the company. It makes sense that their target price would differ based on certain assumption that is made in calculations. How ever it does not make any sense to predict the movement in different direction in days ahead as long as theories and laws of finance and economics remain same for all.
Morgan Stanley and Emkay global have forecasted increase the future price of sterlite industry securities where as Karvy has forecasted sharp drop in the price of this counter based on nagative sentiment about the metal industry[check out moneycontrol portal - news section]. To me it just doesn't make sense and seems like regulators should still have a role to play and regulate the industry of falsification and save the population/investors.
I would like to share following write-up sent to me by a wise friend about the same. I am not telling all in the industry of investing are cheats but definite a wiser population seems to be of dubious nature. Enjoy the story below :)
The confession of a finance professional Every morning in the southern part of the country, mostly in my home state of Tamil Nadu, hundreds of astrologers sit below a shade, usually a tree and predict the future of their 'clients'. Their tool is a caged parrot. The mechanism - the parrot when allowed to come out of the cage is trained to pick one booklet from many that the astrologer spreads out.
And based on the clues printed in that particular booklet the astrologer predicts the future of his clients. Mostly the questions are predictable - problems relating to cash flows, business, finance, health, children and of course marriage. Years of experience has taught the astrologer to give non-standard yet satisfactory replies to these standard questions even to the most intelligent clients. Interesting, isn't it? Or is it mastery of the human psyche?
Cut to the metros. Every morning across the country, we the finance professionals begin our work as meticulously as the parrot-astrologers mentioned above, but with a crucial difference. Instead of the parrots we use laptops, and instead of the unsophisticated printed booklets, we
rely on Microsoft office.
Without Excel spreadsheets and Power Point we will instantly be rendered hors de combat. Ask us any question about anything we will answer you only through these tools - even if it means introducing ourselves, our company or our services. We will use jargons or acronyms even for silly things. We have our own grammar for our operations.
The idea is to bamboozle our clients and give them an impression of being in a hurry. If a client is a multi-product company we would advice them on de-merging and concentrate on core competencies. If it is a single product company we would ask them to diversify to de-risk
themselves. Never mind, in both cases we are actually experimenting with our clients at their cost.
And should a client have a rupee term loan we would advice them on a foreign currency loan and exactly the reverse should they have a forex loan. For the former we would predict the depreciation of the dollar, for the latter, the appreciation of the dollar. Who said cheese for the
goose is cheese for the gander?
If we find a non-finance professional on the other side of the table we reckon that they are lambs to the slaughter. When we encounter fellow finance professionals on the other side, things are no different. After all, he would be compassionate to our cause, understand our jargons and
empathise with our constraints.
In effect, others' ignorance (or their negligence) is our strength. We sell from the mundane to the complex, in the process warranting far above what we can deliver, causing much more havoc than what the clients could have ever imagined and charging much more than want is apparent.
Welcome to the world of finance professionals and consultants.
You dream, we make money
We understand the fundamental human psyche far better than any other professionals with the sole exception of the parrot astrologer. We know the proclivity of businessmen to make quick money and the power of greed. We love such people. In fact, we encourage them to dream big,
bigger and better. After all when you dream it is money for us.
Most of you don't waver. But if some of you do, we have the ready quotes of Shiv Kheras and Robin Sharmas of the world to motivate you, chosen with outmost care to be quoted out of context. Added to these are the real life stories of Narayana Murthys and Aziz Premjis. And when all these weapons are used, most of you fall. Only the extremely lucky escape from the heady brew that we concoct.
So, to a small timer we will recommend public issue. From being a partner of a small firm or to a private limited company, we play on his psyche and encourage him to go for a public issue. If his capacity today is 1000 MT, we easily work his profitability for 100,000 MT, never mind the availability of raw materials or ability of the person to market or any other fundamentals. Naturally profits one-hundred times the present levels can excite even a saint. Why talk of lesser mortals? Surely, Excel spread sheets has made life easy for us. But to make life far simpler we have ready made templates, of course, with the usual disclaimers to cover our backs should something go wrong. Yet we occasionally goof up by denominating steel in litres or some liquid
chemicals in meters. Our clients are very understanding - they do not find fault with us. How can they when we have bamboozled them in the first instance?
Our fundamental mantra is to calculate the earnings before Depreciation, Interest and Tax. Then we extrapolate such calculations to the next few years adjusting the prices to what we think is 'reasonable', never mind that the commodity prices are gyrating by the hour. If we decide, a four per cent variation can be serious. In the alternative a 40 per cent can be immaterial.
But if you still understand what we do, we will talk in terms of IRR, cash flows, MAT, dividend tax, tax-shield, leverage etc so as to flummox anyone. Management of most corporates wastes millions of precious man hours to check and recheck all these as if it were Bible, Koran and Veda
all rolled into one. When all these happen, no wonder, we chuckle in front of you and have a hearty laugh behind you!
The next step is to approach banks for financing or other non-conventional lenders viz. venture capitalists and Private Equity. Here it is very easy for us. Since we have our own people on the other side of the table speaking our language, jargons and lingo, it becomes so easy. As we try to sell the dream of our clients, the finance professional sells his 'products'. And it takes two to a tango. Isn't it?
For us short term is few hours. Long term is a few days. And when something goes wrong we blame everyone from Bush, Iraq, Oil, Pakistan, Taliban and for that matter everyone except ourselves. And when people succeed we ensure that media covers the same adequately. On such
occasions naturally we act with extreme alacrity and appropriate the credit.
Our relationship with these lenders means that it only we who can get you the funds or the facility. And when things go bad, it is only we who can bail you out. It is only our restructure package that will be accepted by these lenders. In tennis parlance - it is game, set and match for us. In chess, it is check and mate.
Horse multiplied by an ass is equal to a pig The earnings of 30 companies that determine the BSE index is approximately Rs 1000 crores. We multiply the same with a price earning (PE - the Holy Grail) multiple of say 12 or 15 or even 21 to arrive at the BSE index. Much as all this is voodoo economics, when it is a bull market we point to markets that have a higher multiple and justify such higher prices. When it is a bear market we point out to markets with lower PE multiples to justify the market prices of shares. Either way you will lose.
Worse still, we move from channel to channel and from columns to columns using charts and what not to justify either the rise or fall in stock markets. And for the past six months we have first suggested resistance to NSE at 5,800, then at 5,400, then at 4,800, subsequently at 4,400.
In the process we had encouraged every small investor to stay invested. When all these levels have been broken, we have now suggested 3,700 little realising that an umbrella is of no use when you face a tsunami. Yet we continue without any shame or remorse to pontificate. How can you shame the shameless?
And when people survive all these, we tutor them to repurchase their shares or better still de-list. And should they have surplus cash even for a movement we move in silently as the big cats move in for their kill and make the gullible invest in commodities, real estate or some other exotic markets.
Better still, we advice on mergers or amalgamating with some other companies or better still sell the stake to others. Yes, in all these transactions we are interested.
And on all these, whether you make profit or loss, we would ensure that we make money first-up. Naturally, we see money in every transaction, why every part of a transaction. We would encourage one set to sell and other set to buy, and broker the deal both ways. Of course we do profit both ways. Did I hear that dirty word called ethics? Remember, we see value in everything except in values themselves.
But what is surprising is that despite what we do blatantly remains beyond the comprehension of many. Consequently as a class we remain un-critiqued. No wonder as the cliche goes, what is obvious is usually the most oblivious. This allows us, like the astrologer in the streets of South India, to endlessly play on the psyche of men and their greed.

September 7, 2008

My flu made me think of this

These days I have been a bit more busy and occupied mentally because of mutating equations in the office. Before I understand and develop an antibody to fight the opposition, equation mutates itself to infect me and others around :)

I had a nastly flu and I am still recovering from it. I am on M/C today so could find some time to type this post. I have a bad habit and an urge to attend office when ever possible, because of this I am in office at times even when I have a M/C in my pocket. This time I tooo did the same. I took only 1/2 a day M/C when I should have had gone for 2/3 day of rest and the result was that after a delay of about a week, I came down with heavy headache, vohmittting and body pain. Well, everyone knows what is the lesson lesson learnt from this, but will I correct my self. Will I stay at home when there is need to stay :))
Anyway the thought which is crossing my mind is not related to my work & office and the field I work in at all. But related to medicine and microbiology. I have an interest in almost all things/subject/field arouond the world. You see name of this blogsite is "Aakaashganga" - Milky Way. Universe is an exiciting thing to read and know about. So is everything - Physics, Chem, Bio, His, Geo, Eco, Fin.. etc... Now days I even find Political Science intertesting :))
So All of know that flu is a viral infection and it infects us time to time if our immune system is not strong enough to cope with new Virus infection. We have also seen that it infects us during WINTER and RAINY seson more. In the WINTER season though what we suffer from may be flu like sypmtoms but may not be a viral flu. How ever in tropics and equator side during rainy season flu which spreads is definitely viral. Since entire population suffer more during this season, could it be that VIRUS MUTATES itselfs FASTER IN THESE CONDITIONS - HOT & HIGH HUMIDITY. As it's well known that once a virus has attacked, it wont be able to inflict any more damage in our life time unless and until the subject is HIV positive.
Any one of you who knows more on this subject, please let me know if my thoughts are correct or could be correct.

August 8, 2008

Mobile phone habits - better be safe

It has been a long time. Was very deeply involved in the work. Successfully got the project to an end. In the time developing spiritually too. I will talk about it some time later.
Today I saw this nice piece of advice coming out on CNN website about safe way to using mobile and cell phones. I am sure you all must have read many survey/studies and their results about relationship between brain activities and how brain is affected because of radiation from cell phone. Some studies claim brain cancer and high cell phone usage are related while others claim it's not. So there is no clear verdict regarding it. After all it's related to huge cell-phone industry and they will let the biz die so easily.
Some say strict no-no to carrying cellphone in your pocket because it roasts the bone marrow near it because of the radiation. So, will the man kind stop using cell-phones :) No of course not.. If there is problem or a probable problem then there is a solution or a probable solution. It's well known that cancer or tumor is a slow activities and takes at least 10s of years to manifest but it does it's deadly. So let be safe and continue to use mobile and cell phone to our advantage for social/economical reasons. Here is the advice from :-
[if the below text is not clear - just click on it for it to appear in proper font.]

Hope it was useful and healthy for all of you !!!!!

July 4, 2008

Is rising oil prices good for man-kind - Seems so !!!!!

This is another contradiction from me against the popular view. I still urge the reader to read through as I decided to post this after lots of deliberation over last 15 to 20 days. It was not easy for me to accept too that how can high fuel price be a good thing but at the end of repeated NOs, I felt YESSSSSSSSSSS, looks like it's good for the human race.
Over last few months I have been reading effects of rising oil prices over world economy. Many economies including developed, developing and under developed have started reported slowing down of the growth. This is not helping to pull out vast populations in the economies from below poverty line to live a better life. There are reports that high food prices are also a result of high oil prices. Reasons given are (1) Transportation cost :- Food is often consumed are far off places than the place of origin. (2) Processing and storage cost :- Many of the produce of the nature has to be processed before it can become edible and at many times needs proper storage solution so that it can be consumed later. All these need energy and with oil/crude prices spiraling these prices are going up. (3) Moving resources toward bio-fuel production :- Because of high oil costs it's economical to produce and convert bio-fuel to be used in vehicles and factories.
All of the above mentioned stuffs are correct. High oil prices are partly responsible for throwing many economies out of gear and high inflation is being experienced. High oil prices contribute to rising food cost as well which affects poor population of the world more than better-off population. How ever lets think of the following effect of high oil prices on the society and population which are equally true and seems to be better from a long term perspective.
(1) High oil prices in free economies[mostly developed countries] are making think of moving away from using more of fuel. There are lots of people who have stopped using personal transport and have switched to public transport. There are lots of people who have switched to bi-cycles from motor bikes and cars. There are report booming sells for bi-cycles in Europe and America. This is leading governments to improve public transport at faster pace as it's becoming more and more important for the economy. People moving to bi-cycles is leading people to exercise their body making the population fit, reducing health care costs :) Think of it friends !!!
(2) Many closed or semi-open economies are being forced to withdraw oil subsidies and move toward open and free system. They don't find it any more affordable for the national exchequer to continue to subsidize the oil and food prices. This is doing a lot of good to them though they have been forced on this path because of high fuel prices. I think most of you will agree that open and free economy is the way to move forward in comparison to a economy where good and prices are not tuned to the demand/supply rule. This will lead to a better life for people in the economy.
(3) Certainly less/efficient oil consumption is good for the environment and earth. We owe it out future generation and other co-habitants on mother earth. It's not really lesser consumption but as oil production is not going down but instead it's going up. It's more of efficient consumption - this means it's ensured that burning the fuel is not causing to have detrimental effects on environment. If this is continued for 1-2 years it's will become a habit of society, industry and regulators. There after even if the oil prices come down good habit developed will not get wiped out. I have been reading few reports where by it's being predicted that oil price rise is temporary and with in 2-3 years time it will have to come down to about USD100 level. Many reasons have
been given for this to happen. Anyways for me what I see high fuel prices doing is reduction is detrimental effect on the environment and nature.
(4) Necessity is mother of invention :) You must have read of reports of governments increasing research budget for alternative budgets and green environment. Again it's because of high oil prices. They want cheaper energy sources and are therefore scouting of other ways of harnessing energy. So we can look forward to new invention is days ahead to take the human race forwards in the journey of time and space.
These things are definitely better for long term then the temporary blip we are facing because of high inflation and food prices. Food prices have in fact started coming down specially for rice though we can look forward to going back what it used to be 6 months back but it looks like will adjust some where in between. Man and animals can adjust to these fluctuations but we can not be assured of the same adjustment to be done by nature and trees in favor of humans. And the adjustments/changes nature will make may be something to which we/humans can not adjust
:) So I feel that high oil prices is good for us for about a year or two.
Comments are welcome !!!

June 14, 2008

Did the Chinese quake helped quell bad vibes about Bejing Olympics

I think this very very quaint thought came to my mind. I know many of the readers to this post will think that this is most rubbish thing that anyone can write or think of. But still I felt so and I think I am not really wrong. Let me put it out why I think so.
If you remember days before the Chinese quake. Media was full of negative talks about different events connected to Beijing Olympics.
- London, Paris, San Fransisco torch relay marred by protests against Chinese abuses in Tibet.
- Quality of air in Beijing may not allows athletes to bring out their best. There were talks of that we might witness scenes of athletes vomiting and crashing during events.
- Major world leaders giving a miss to the Olympics opening ceremony and in some cases giving it a miss all together.
- Steven Spielberg's withdrawal as artistic consultant of the Beijing Organizing Committee citing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, which he believed the Chinese government could do more to prevent.
- Sentencing
China’s leading human rights activist, Hu Jia in April 2008. Human Rights Watch said the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) failure to raise Hu Jia’s case with the Chinese government was at odds with the letter and the spirit of the Olympic Charter.
- Beijing Olympics broadcasts at risk. As per report in "The Australian":Saul Shtein from Australia's host broadcaster, Seven Network, has told an emergency meeting in Beijing between Chinese organisers, high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials and TV executives from nine host broadcasters that "if this story gets out that these difficulties are being experienced, it will have a very negative impact, not only on the Olympic ideals, but also on Beijing and China".
These are few items that I could remember. There could be more that I am not able to remember. However When Cyclone Nargis arrived with all its fury to loose hell upon Burmese people all these reports revolving around Beijing Olympics lost media focus. Media was abuzz with views and reviews of how apathetic Burmese ruling Junta were towards their own people. How about more than thousand people have lost their lives in the Burmese Island which had faced of the cyclone fury and about millions would be impacted in absence of timely help. While this event was still in its prime in media China was jolted by the massive earthquake. China being more integrated to the rest of the world got more aid from rest of world and entire world media was covering the Chinese quake now though may be number of souls impacted would be about one-tenth in comparison to Cyclone Nargis. This went on for about three weeks when Cyclone Nargis aftermath again started getting attention as UN General Secretary could persuade Burmese Junta to let foreign aid and professionals flow into Burma. Then there was minor events like smaller earthquakes in African Continent, Japan, flooding in US.
In the background Beijing Olympics date kept coming nearer and nearer. Before the earthquake China was looked upon very differently by most of the people and administration in the world. With the quake and post quake effects Beijing was looked upon in a very different view. There was no more an image of cruel China which has caused pain to Tibetan people or had a role in Darfur humanitarian crisis. Image of China was as a society who had recently faced the nature fury and needed help to save human lives and agony. This perception change brought about by quake which makes me think that Chinese quake did bring some thing good for Beijing Olympics as it helped it to avert more bad publicity which was doing a lot of damage to China, it's image in other parts of world and even it's economic relationship with some part of the world.
Note: Any comments on this is most welcome.

June 10, 2008

Biz evolves - Ladies as recovery agents

This news/article that I read in the Economic Times[financial news] was really inspiring. It kind of set me thinking that how competitive things are in biz world. I will of course provide the link to this article but first I would like to share my thoughts that started criss-crossing my minding.
For last few months Indian who read newspapers and non Indian who track FI industry in the Indian market must have noticed how the Judicial system had come heavily on the high handed tactics that banks and lending institutions were employing for loan recovery. And with the number of such incidents appearing in media it's sure that this was definitely working for the lending institutions.
Now lets think of Indian society and how woman fair in the society in social and security sense. Some where I remember reading India was second most infamous country after South Africa when it cames to abuses against woman. Indian definitely know and understand what I am trying to convey. For NRIs and international readers of this post, I would post some links at the bottom of the post which will give you some idea about how women are placed in Indian society socially and from security point of view. There is no distant comparison even among workforce equality in terms of numbers in India and in defense, police and other private security industry women hardly have any presence.
Coming back to gist of this post which really set me thinking. I had never thought such a solution to the problem was possible. With Judicial system coming heavily on the high handedness of recovery agents and slapping multiple fines lending institutions were in problem. There was serious risk of high rise of problems in loan recovery and bad debt rise. Today I read in this article that woman have swapped placed for their male counterparts and new companies have opened to take over this bizes and they have providing great results. Lending institutions have got what they wanted and Indian economy has got what it wanted. Higher female participation in work force as opening of a new kind of service industry to the female work force.
Now how did the system worked out so well!!! What women did that was forcing men to use high handedness approach for the same job. It's a very common sense that it's not easy for anyone to make some one part with his money[read capital]. In India where judicial and political system is so slow and such that for the lenders it will take years for getting fair deal and outcome and by then they would be out of bizes because of loss of all invested capital as bad debts. A member of management of such a company which provides loan recovery bizes to FIs says that main reason for their business principle to work is "Our principle is persuasion is better than prosecution. We make defaulters understand the problems they may face if they don't pay". She further adds "Defaulters, who are generally men, find it embarrassing to be addressed by a woman and hasten to pay up large parts of the loan". She goes on to add "Those who find it easy to bribe male recovery agents realize that they can't do the same with women.".

Link to the post in TOI. Open it. []

Some links about central bank and Indian courts coming down heavily on banks using muscle men for loan recovery.
(1) Central bank sets norm for loan recoveryOpen it.
(2) ICICI Bank fined Rs 50 Lacs(INR 5 Million) Open it.

June 1, 2008

Body control us or we control our body - Concious vs Unconcious

These two weeks were very very busy. Many many different kind of thoughts keep coming to my mind at different times. I have not written anything about them because these may be momentary and if it sustains more than about 2 months then I would start writing about them. These will be mostly office management and corporate psychology. In between a different kind of thought also kept coming to me. Isn't there an innate way that me and my team transforms to a super performers? Then thinking along these lines different kind of thoughts about training, tools, management and communications kept coming to mind for dealing with work and people. At times have you thought that you will have to keep a team member just to keep all others senior management and at times even dumb middle management updated who are supposed to know the nerve of the project and update senior management:). This burden just adds to the project team strength and cost unnecessarily.
Then going along these lines of random thoughts this cam to my mind and I thought of writing it down. Is our mind the best thought machine which is most capable of solving all our problems or there is something with in us[in mind or somewhere else or distributed all across the body] which is even more smarter and capable of getting solutions to our people. Yes, looks like there is !!!!
Have you thought why our bodies starts to readjust itself to any external stimuli or change in environment. When there is scarcity of food body reduces it metabolism so that body can manage on less amount of food and contrarily when there is extra food body increases it's metabolic rate so that extra calories can be burnt to the keep the body weight in control. When we move to darkness after a few minutes we can start to see objects hazily and contrarily when we move to very bright area then our pupils contract so that less light enters our eyes. Similarly there is countless instances when you can observe this phenomenon in play. In fact on each and every instance you will see this innate body behavior to start coming into play.
However the ability of develop this is mostly driven by need to survive and continue the process of recreation. And if our body or for that matter any living organisms body is able to get the signal it start to change itself to the new environment and over a period this starts to get exhibited from birth after few generation. I think this is what evolution is all about and differentiates living from non living things. Looks like this is the reason why we all believe in GOD as body made of non living shows this behavior only as long as it is alive and there is soul it in.
Anyways, so coming back to from where I started or rather how this thought came to mind. Stressful and long working hours for me and my team in office. I definitely is reducing sleep for all of us. It's reducing the time we can spend with our family and friends. It's definitely reducing the time we can rest and time we can give to revitalize ourselves. I am also sure that mankind must have faced such stressful situations before so my bodies defense to face these situations will kick in soon. I think all the while I have read of human body adjusting it self to visible conditions like, food, temperature, pressure, Humidity, Predators, mates and procreation etc... Here I am looking forward to human body adjusting to white collar job mental fatigue and stresses.
Some interesting links on human body adapting itself.
[1] Human Body Adaptation To Overeating. Open it....I want to read.
[2] Human adaptation to space. Open it....I want to read.
[3] Generic human body adaptation story. Open it....I want to read.

May 16, 2008

Innovative ways to save mother earth. Reduce global warming.

There has been lot of attention world over about global warming, Earth not able to sustain high environmental strain because of increased human activity. Even I have written one or two posts on the same and related topic. If you like this post you can search and read other posts on related by using the search at the top or bottom of the page. In this posts I am going to write about what would happen if global warming continues or in other words affects of global warming. Then I would mention numerous ways and methods that have been suggested by humans all over the world to stop or reduce global warming. In fact some of these ideas are very innovative and most have been backed by sound rational and good amount of study.
Firstly talking about the affects of global warming. Some of these are already visible and some are predictions based on assumptions. There have been prediction of :-
1) Rising ocean level because of melting glaciers in the poles and even on mountain ranges.
2) Rising ocean level means human establishments near sea shore would be undress stress and substantial amount of populated land mass would get submerged. You can imagine the rehabilitation effort required for this.
3) Now coming to the impact it would have on areas which is in center of large land masses. These land masses depend hugely on river system and which in turn have their sources in the mountain glaciers. With rising temperature as these glaciers would melt faster, it would lead to flood and deluge initially followed by these river system becoming seasonal. It's estimated lot of fertile under cultivation will no more remain fit for cultivation. Think of what would happen to the world food supply problem.
4) Higher CO2 and other green house gases is leading to depleting ozone layer. There have been pointed holes even in the ozone cover and thinning of ozone cover above all of us. This is likely to result into living beings exposed to more radiation which is mostly harmful for us. Likely to lead to more deadly diseases and cancer is predicted to leading this. You can faintly compare this to being on the outer zone of a nuclear disaster or working in a radiation zone without protective gears.
5) It has been observed that wild animals and birds have started their migration earlier than ester years. This is believed to be because their bodies gets tricked to think of change in season earlier because of rise of world temperature. Again world food chain so intricately balanced that these events will disrupt the food chain.
6) There has even been report that earth to become like Venus over time. You might be aware that Venus is twice as hot as Mercury is but Venus is twice as far from Mercury. This is because of high CO2 in the Venetian atmosphere. But I think this is too far an extension of human imagination and studies.
There could more such predictions but what we see there are mostly two problems. Food & Water problem and temperature problem.
Now good part after this bleak picture that I have shared with my friends who read my blog posts. However it's good to be aware and prepared of this so that we thinking being can get cracking get our house and planet earth in order for future human generations to continue to inhabit the planet. So here are some of the most innovative ways that has been suggested. Some of these are really radical.
1) Burying trees might solve global CO2 problem:- Here the idea is that trees capture CO2 and it gets recirculated back into the system. So by burying the tree especially fast growing huge trees we are taking CO2 out of the system. Go to the below mentioned address to read more on it.
2) Obesity contributes to global warming, so get slim and trim physique:- This idea is simple but bold enough as human population is very sensitive towards their own looks. Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and the problem will worsen as the population literally swells in size. Go to the below mentioned address to read more on it.
3) Use a laptop to save energy:- As more and more human population have become dependent on PC as a necessary tool saving some energy here will save a lot of fuel because of huge population. Laptops use 5 times less energy than desktops. At least move to use LCDs instead of CRT monitors. This applies to mobile and other commonly used gadgets as well. Use fuel efficient vehicles and if possible use public transport. Inculcate fuel saving driving habits. Have you thought about it - Every litre of petrol saved keeps 2.5 kg of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
4) Ponds can absorb as much carbon as the world's oceans:- This one is really a savior if practiced well. This will go a long way is reducing CO2 from the atmosphere. A study has shown that small ponds absorb a lot more CO2 than trees, large ponds and oceans. So let small ponds sprung up everywhere. When ever you see one, feel good about it. Think of the way it is helping the environment which general public may not have been aware of. To read more about this go the below mentioned link.
5) New grass to tackle global warming:- I am sure you knew that it's not only CO2 which captures heat in the atmosphere leading to global warming. In fact gases like Methane[CH4] capture many times more heat than CO2 but good thing there quantity is minuscule. How ever it would be good if we decrease it even further. Our benevolent cows emit substantial amount of Methane in their excreta and burping. This is because of their diet mostly consists of raw grass. So scientists have developed a grass which can reduce the methane emission by the benevolent cows who supply human the diary products and meat. To read more on this go the below website page.
6) A solar bra to charge your phone. Use solar and wind energy:- Wow!! This is great. In Japan a bra is being marketed which allows mobile phone to get recharged as it captures solar energy and converts them into electrical. Anyway I think the underlying message is using more and more renewable sources of energy like Hydroelectricity instead of Thermal generated electricity. More usage of Solar energy, wind energy and tidal energy. In case you want to read more about the solar go to the this page.
7) Use veggie diet:- Even if you can't become a complete vegetarian try to use more and more of vegetarian food. Use as little meat as possible. See food is still acceptable from point of view of food conservation. Underlying idea is that meat come from animals which are fed vegetarian food and same land can be used for producing crops for human population.
8) Growing giant veggies in zero gravity:- This one is also really innovative. If it can be brought into practice it will go a long way in serving to the food crisis. Scientists have said that vegetables grown in zero-gravity conditions in space can grow up to huge sizes, which could help solve the world’s food crisis. Go to the following page to read more about it.

So dear friends I hope that my article will help spread the message and we will pass on an inhabitable earth to future generations. Any comments from any one of you.

China Earthquake eclipse Myanmar Cyclone !!!

While I was extremely busy this week as it seems work momentum going back to how bad it was about 2 months back. I definitely have to find a way out of this. Life has to take priority over work. I don't think people in society should live to work but should work to live happily. Without it would become like new form of bonded labor. Anyway I am going to type down my thoughts on this in some other posts as this is one of the subjects which has been criss-crossing my mind and thoughts these days.
In this busy week in the back of head thoughts of Chinese and Burmese[Myanmar's cyclone] had been making rounds. I was more than happy when during my course of work this week there was something to be done towards the good cause of helping the Chinese people affected by the earthquake. It seems the death toll will cross all other previous historical earthquake to have befallen on Chinese people except for the deadly 1976 earthquake. I think this time the death toll will keep rising in days to come because of modernization drive that China has gone through over last 32 years since 1976. There are reports coming out of the earthquake affected area that Dams and Rivers seem to have been stretched and could cause more disaster if they break their banks and walls. I am happy for one of my co-workers who returned back safely from the tour to Sinchuan province in China where he was on Holidays when the quake struck. He just had to take round about arrangements as the airport does not seem to be operating any more. All most all infra structure has been badly damaged around the area. Good that it has not affected the facilities which was host 2008 Olympic events. Anyways 2008 Olympics seems to doomed as it has been marred by Tibetan up rest. It's also that during this Olympic record number of people will face the gallows as Chinese lead the world in dishing out capital punishment. If you want to briefly know about some of previous deadly events humans have have braved, go to this page. There have been news of entire generation of Chinese families getting wiped out, part of it contributed by one child policy that Chinese authorities have in place. Among these bad news there are pocket of news like - No damage was done to red giant pandas and to Olympic facilities. Chinese like Burmese counterpart have allowed foreign aid to flow into the countries but have denied foreign personals to come in.
Looking at the Burmese cyclone catastrophe which seems to be outnumbering populous China and Sinchuan in terms of death tolls. Here the government and authorities seems to have utter disrespect towards human lives and fellow countrymen. Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal have been facing violent cyclones recently. India, Bangladesh seems to have been braving them of recently. They have done much better when disaster has struck especially cyclonic disasater. Indian authorities claims to have given advanced warning to Burmese authorities of the Cyclone Nargis but they seemed to have ignored the warnings completely. This could be because poor countries may not have infrastructure in place to taken on massive evacuation to avoid human life losses. At least relaying this message should have allowed agile human race to make their own preparations to save them selves. There are reports that authorities have not allowed even local wealthy and influential people to distribute supplies to the local stranded people dying of hunger and disease in semi nude stage. Local people have been blaming authorities to be hoarding foreign supplies and dishing out mushed and rusted rice to locals in name of aid from foreign countries. Check out this page which talks about plight of Burmese people who have been forced to turn into baggers where alms comes only from authorities. All the UN could do was to suspend supplies when Burmese authorities seized UN aids supply. I think UN should either intervene militarily and led Democracy usher in in future soon if it could not muster the courage to do that in past. Let Myanmar flourish at least to the stage of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
If we do comparison between how things have moved in China and Myanmar during these time of crisis you will see that initially world media was flush with news of Burmese tragedy but soon all over the media there were talks of only Chinese quake. It was all because how the authorities have worked for their people post tragedy. Chinese government much to respite of our Chinese brethren have given wide coverage and have been very candid in reporting the situation on ground. This was in contrast to how China in past have been very close during such events. Remember the recent Tibetan protest and Chinese authorities coverage and reaction. World over there was so much foul talk about Chinese oppression and this time world is going gaga over Chinese authorities effort to save people. I think this time only thing where Chinese authorities have lagged behind is not allowing foreign logistics professionals to take charge of aids distribution and human life saving effort. I think world will surely understand this and allow Chinese some more time as this change has been very positive for human civilization. Secondly Chinese system can definitely be trusted for their know-how in logistics for aid distribution unlike Burmese who have no expertize to handle such mass human saving cause. Thirdly it could be remotely because of Chinese militarily sensitivities. Recently there have been media reports about two[one land based and other under water] huge Chinese missile facilities being uncovered by commercial satellites. If Burmese would have allowed media coverage and aid distribution then things would have been much better in Myanmar after about 1 and 1/2 weeks post cyclone. More media coverage would led to more aid and who knows this would have led even Economy turning for better and Burmese becoming a part of main stream world.
I would love to see reader comments on this. In case you want to know past Chinese earthquakes, take a look at this.

May 10, 2008

Is your PC a tool in your hand or your master

This simple but powerful machine entered into all our lives very dominantly over last 10 years or so. Advancement in networking and as a result improved internet connectivity made humans to remain glued to the computer more and more time. Slow a brilliant and useful tool discovered by man became its master. For most of us now it's difficult to comprehend life without PC and it's an norm to spend about 8-10 hours daily on the computer for work and social reasons. Let's take a while to skim through the health hazards and dangers for using PC or laptops for such long duration. I easily spend about 10-12 hours of my time everyday in front of the computer. What does it do is that it makes us sit in fixed posture for long hours and making few of our body parts go through same movement pattern and stress continuously. Over prolong duration these develops into different kind of body ailments and many different syndrome have been known to be named after computers and increased usage of computers. Lets go through few of them and how to save our selves from it while we go through our daily chores whether for work or other reason.
1) Mental problems:- These days our productivity, social circle, friends seems to related to number of hours one stares into the computer screen and rubs on the keyboard. There are even reports about young people attempting suicide when their parents have removed the PC or any of the associated parts like modem.
Likely solution to these is that from begin you have emphasize to your kids to look at computer just as another tool for work, fun and play. Reemphasizing this again and again would encourage them not to put in so many hours in front of the computer. when it comes to adults and if they are addicted I guess only option left out is to treat them for addiction at any psychological therapy institute.
2) Back or other related orthopedic problem:- Most common of these is back problem. As it has always been told for any one who sits long hours in front of computer or related job - treat your back with respect. You will find lots of material on this, use the search option at the bottom of the page. Do watch your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, thighs and even feet as well in addition to the back. There have been reports about increase in problem from these body areas from computer professionals. Look out for other body joints as they remain in fixed position for long hours - wrist pain, elbow pain, and shoulder pain. Find proper position and resting place for all of them.
3) Eye problem - Most common computer problem:- All problems of the eyes associated with using the computer can be clubbed under the Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes. CVS generally occurs because we don’t give our eyes enough rest while staring at the screen, and also do not blink at regular intervals, to lubricate the eye. Use the search function at the bottom to find out more about it. Some simple advice would be to use LCD instead of a CRT monitor. Keep appropriate distance between monitor and eye. One very commonly observed habit is that during the course of work people get engrossed and slowly moves close and close to screen as of they are going to pluck out the problem from the computer and throw it away. Also keep the monitor at appropriate height, this will be soothing to your eye as well as neck. If there are window near your computer terminal and it gives you a good view, every hour try to look out of the window on some distant object for about 2-3 minute. This is good for eye-retina as fatugue must be building up for looking at close range for long hours.
So I would say exercising helps. Whether or not you are one of those who spends long hours in front of the monitor and chugging away at the key board it help. It helps more for some one who spends lot of time on computer. Try very simple exercise for your Neck, Wrist, Thigh, Hip, Elbow etc. Just ensuring that these body parts gets a healthy dose of all possible movement would be good. Don't try to strain your self doing it as aim is not to become a body-builder but to stay fit keeping your job and other responsibilities for spending long hours in front of computer.
Develop and inculcate good food habits. Don't addict your self to junk food to stretch the available time. As you have very less time to burn away calories it will not be good for your body to take in huge amount of junk food as they normally have lot of calories and undesirable quantities of fat.
Thanks...Take care and remain healthy.

May 5, 2008

Helpless US balmes rising food and oil prices on India and China

With all the noise all over the world about rising food prices and crude oil prices world leading countries and leaders have started pointing their guns on one another in the blame game. Looks like they are no more able to keep silent after UN and world bank hold US and EU squarely responsible for the rising food prices [Read previous post in the blog].
US president and their admistration blamed India and China for rising food prices. Some of secretaries there after tried to portray the same thing in a positive manner. Read this coverage by an leading Indian newspaper where by it's being reported that US president feels rising affluence in India and China is leading to increased demand for food and this is prime reason for the sky rocketting world food prices. This statement is coming soon after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's controversial statement about apparent improvement in the diet of Indian and Chinese people. So looks like it's a researched report to the US administration by the federal agencies and watchdogs. They argue that Indian middle class population is more than entire US population. Though they admit that diverting agricultural resources towards biofuel has a part to play but that seems to having a minor impact on the world food prices.
I did not read sharp response from Chinese goverment to these comments but Indian political class cutting across party lines including those who are not in power. I don't understand the silence on this by Chinese authorities who are very fast to rebuke or issue statements otherwise. How ever Indian side has retorted back data supporting their claims in this blame game started by US president. Looks at this report again in the Indian media. Report notes that as per US Department of Agriculture for Yr 2007:-
Total foodgrain consumption — wheat, rice, and all coarse grains like rye, barley etc — by each person in the US is over five times that of an Indian., Twice that of EU and thrice that of China.
In order to do past comparison as US president is blaming increasing prosperity report quotes US per capita grain consumption was 946 kg per year in Yr 2003 which increased to 1046 kg last year in Yr 2007. In comparison comparison, India’s per capita grain consumption has remained static over the same period.

Milk consumption, in fluid form, is 78 kg per year for each person in the US, compared to 36 kg in India and 11 kg in China.
Vegetable oils consumption per person is 41 kg per year in US, while Indians are making do with just 11 kg per year. These are figures for liquid milk, not for cheese, butter, yogurt and milk powders which are consumed in huge proportion in the more advanced countries.
Beef consumption, for example, is 42.6 kg per person per year, compared to a mere 1.6 kg in India and 5.9 kg in China. In the US, 45.4 kg poultry meat is consumed every year by each person, compared to just 1.9 kg in India.
In the European Union, 42.6 kg pork is consumed per person every year, while in the US, 29.7 kgs are consumed. Pork is a staple for Chinese, and so over 35 kg are consumed per person per year. It's negligible in India.
Indian politicians were taking potshots at US president remarks with comments like "President Bush has never been known for his knowledge of economy.....". Looks like these were double meaning words commenting on US president for where he has taken a strong US economy to in current days. Good that US Ambassador David Mulford dismissed suggestions that the president had made any critical comments and was quoted saying "hostile political commentary is not productive". Read another report where he tried to cool tempratures in the political blame game.
Shortly after this US administration has again targetted developing world like India and China for significantly contributing to soaring world crude oil prices. It remains to be seen how Indian media/politicians reacts this time. Looks like this will not draw so much criticism as US was mostly silent during the anti US comments in Indian media about food price except for a comment by US ambassador.

May 3, 2008

Hypermilling - Chip in to save earth and reduce emission

This is not an new concept but not too old an concept either. Hypermilling is becoming increasingly popular among drivers who are cost savvy and who are environment conscious. Undoubtebly it's catching everyones attention because of cost saving but think of it - amount of cost you save you contribute equally to save mother earth by reducing CO2 emission and other associated vehicular exhaust emission. Less fossil fuel you burn less you pollute. To me this is the biggest advantage of hypermilling.
I will not be explaining in detail about what hypermilling is as there is lot of material on internet to know how to get started and save your purse and the environment. I will still touch the basic steps so that my friends who read this and did not have time to read other related articles will still start praticing this concept to save money and mother earth. More about that down the line in susequent paragraphs.
Let close our eyes for about 5 to 10 minutes and go back in time as far as we can. You would be seeing your self as a kid playing in the park, walking across field, running across streets. You might be seeing your teenage years along with your favorite bunch of friends or that one special friend and sweetheart of yours walking across the spring holding hand trying to find a cosy corner for romantic chat. Are you with your bunch of favorite friends fishing and cycling. Or is it that you are getting across for shade against the huge tree and enjoying a ball game among mates passing to each other trying to hide from the blazing Sun. If you are old enough you might be seeing yourself teaching your kid at park or fountain or in the mooring who has grown into handsome or beautifull adult human being over time. Okay!!!! Let's come back from the dream. Do you still see those fixtures and natural stuff around you which you had enjoyed once with your lovely companions years back. Chances are that half of those stuff are not around any more. So looks like with time world has been slowly loosing beautifull things in the quest of economic growth and leaving us environmentally poor. If we continue at this pace which seems slow we may not leave what ever remaining left for future generation. Our future generation will be left even more poorer environmenatlly. Is this what we want to do? Don't we want our future generation to live in a more beautifull and natural world with good health and vigour and even longer life span. If you want and cherish all this, please act and be religiously serious about the environmental degradation that is happening around us and negative impact it's having on human life in terms of health and quality. Now lets learn some of the tricks of hypermilling amongst many other activities and ways to save environement and mother earth. After all human as an intelligent creature deserves to live longer on earth. If you compare time humans have been the dominant species on earth it's to small to other dominant species in past like Dinosaurus.
So here are tricks of hypermiling. If you start praticing, you will get nearly 30% more mileage from the tank fills and your purse will start filling 30% heavier and air you breathe will start getting 30% better in quality.
1) Start calculating your vehicle's MPG[Miles per Gallon]. Of course this is not going to increase the MPG performance for your vehicle but you will start becoming conscious and this is what you will measure you hypermiling performance against. How to calculate MPG? Try to crunch the numbers in your mind as you drive away from each gas station fillup.
2) Are you braking a lot? Possibly like other drivers you are applying breaks 10% to 25% more than what is required. To avoid this maintain adequate gap with the vehicle in your front. Braking turns motion into heat via the friction of the brakes, slowing down your car. Fuel was used by your engine to achieve motion. While driving if you can let up some of your thoughts and focus more on driving. Focussing more on driving will lead to apply less brakes.
3) How long is your engine running and your vehicle is static? Minimize the time that you spend with your car stopped. You get ZERO MPG when this happens. Let your foot off the accelerator the moment you see a red light in front of you. And think ahead, even if you don't see a red light: maybe there is a big street coming up, or maybe there is a 'stale' green light. The moment you see brakelights in front of you, take your foot off of the accelerator pedal, or hit the cancel button on your cruise control.
4) Are you in a traffic Jam or creating one? Learn to break traffic Jam. If you master this art of driving smoothly and breaking traffic waves you are not just saving some dollars slip out of your purse but because of you others too are saving their dollars and imagine how immensly you are contributing towards reducing fossil fuel emission. Entire fleet of cars and vehicles behind you are suddenly saving more than 50% of their fuel. So this *article* by William Beaty an electrical engineer in 1998 has the tricks. These have been proven in experiments too. Thanks for prarticing these driving techniques and giving us all clean air to breathe.
5) Fast accelerating burn more fuel. Do you really need to zoom off - I guess no. If you can control your testesterone and urge to zoom off you can save some precious fossil fuel. If you drive an automatic transmission vehicle give an extra second of pause when you switch between break pedal to accelerator pedal. If takes less energy and hence less fuel to speed up a moving object comapred to a static object. Accelearting a bit slowly will enhance the MPG significantly. This is the number you are gunning for a cleaner environment and lesser fuel cost for your trips.
6) Cruise Control. It's not for highways only. Mix it with item#4 above. Cruise control allows for slow accleration and brakes. This means less fuel requirement for doing the same job. How ever please master the cruise control functions of your vehicle before you start using it. Safety comes topmost in driving. Few things about cruise control - it work only above a certain speed. Once you apply the break pedal it's gets disengaged. How does cruise control work?

Thanks for reading thru this. Please pratice and share this article with friends and save mother earth and our environment. Help in the effort to reduce global warming.

April 29, 2008

Inflation - Biggest of all demon

Soaring food prices but it's not just food prices and rice in particular whose prices are heating the roof. All other commodities used by society in day to day life has become dearer. It can be that seen that Inflation in most of the countries are running high these days in mid 2008. Let's see India for example and count the steps the govt and central bank is taking to contain inflation. You will find similar reports coming from China and other economies of similar size like Russia and Latin America. Ideas and measures that have been taken by these economies and discussed below can be extended to other similar developing and under developed economies.
1) Letting the local currency appreciate if it is not pegged. It is hoped that this will allow imports to become cheaper as the local currency will appreciate. This is supposed have some cooling effect on the soaring prices. This has been helpful to keep the price rise of imported items low but general public may not be able to feel it as most of Asian economies is highest impacted by crude oil only in the list of items to be imported and crude oil is already subsidized by most of these government. This option can not be used by China and similar economies whose currencies have been pegged against standard currency like USD or EURO or similar basket of currencies.
2) Raising CRR instead of raising Repo or Reverse Repo rates. Most of the economies in region prior to the sub prime bust in US and food problem were registering robust economic growth. This was leading to good poverty eradication in those economies. Though the distribution of newly generated wealth from booming economy was not evenly distributed which was another problem to be addressed in order to stop future social division. Still wealth was flowing into the economy and standard of life was going up. So political brass is very sensitive against killing the growth story the economy was registering. This is leading the government and central bank to raise CRR as a result trying to suck money out of circulation. Thinking of money as another commodity means lesser availability of it will make it costly. So less of this commodity[money] would lead to buy more of other commodity[Rice and other food items]. At least increase in interest rates were done lot more cautiously as it was certain that killing the growth story of the economy means being thrown out of power in next elections/voting.
Seen a report in Indian newspaper reporting increase of CRR.
3) Raising Deposit rates. Economies like China and similar economies where political stability is virtually guaranteed and there are very little if any chances of govt being overthrown have used this option very frequently. This option compared to hiking the CRR leads to controlling the inflation much sooner. More ever China GDP growth rate has been very high and there was worries about government to cool off the economy and avoid over heating. So this mechanism works well for Chinese economy.
4) Removal of duties and banning exports or levying high taxes for exports. Most of economies which import edibles to feed their population had certain duties in place for import. Since then in order to contain inflation and making these items come in more to the country at a cheaper cost government and authorities have abolished the duties or reduced it to bare minimum. This has not been very helpful for all food items but have certainly been helpful for certain food items and commodities like Metals. Reason for this not working for all food items is that economies which were exporting these commodities have banned exports in order to be more cautious and to ensure supply in the local economy in future. In cases where banning exports completely was not feasible because of local of international equations high export taxes have been slapped.
5) Price control by government instead of market determined price for certain commodities. In certain economies government has moved to the extent of fixing the prices of certain food items and commodities like metals to keep the inflation in control. Though these are not prudent measures at all and if last longer than endurance limit of the economy[This again depends upon how robust the economy is] will lead closure of businesses and if it is government control then fiscal deficit ultimately leading to currency devaluation. This is again calling for higher inflation. For weak economies with poor democratic roots and head strong government and authorities these can even lead of hyper inflation causing even more pain to the consumers and producers of the economy.
Many political and economic leaders have been crying foul that problem is emanating because of supply side constraints. Over time demand for these commodities have been increasing either because of population growth world over or because of increasing life standard around the world. So if it is a supply side problem then there are only two solutions :-
A) Increase supply. This would call for more focus and investment in R&D by the economies. Given the current money supply which government have been tightening it will not be an easy thing to do. How ever going through and enduring the hardship in planned and sustained manner is the solution to these kind of systemic problem economies face.
Bring back the resources which have been diverted towards other causes back. There has been an report by UN slamming developed world for doing this and throwing the entire world into this chaos. Developed world have to give and donate and help in the human cause to eradicate poverty world over and improve standard of living in poorer economies.
Additionally some unscrupulous element in the market who are in involved in hoarding. There idea is to make some money to sell later inflation will cause prices of these commodities to rise. Though most of the economies have rules against such practices but corruption makes the implementation more difficult to implement them. As has been traditionally seen Corruption is normally higher in poorer economies.
B) Reduce demand. All the consumers have to give up part of their non essential consumption even if it is affordable for them. This will lead to reduce demand for those items and reduced price. This will allow these resources to be diverted back to produce more essential commodities and increasing their supply.
Other option is teaching common about birth control in poorer economies. This will certainly means in long term demand will decrease and consumers would be reduced.