Friday, October 24, 2008
As we speak, trading in the Dow Jones and S&P futures has been halted since they have fallen to the maximum permittable limit. European markets are down by 9-10% (only). Asian markets have closed down 9-12%. The Indian Nifty 50 index has closed down 14%. Why? Because everywhere, everyone thinks the world economy is going into recession. Not so the esteemed RBI.
So now, in more measured tones, I can blandly state the following - the Indian Finance Minister and the Reserve Bank of India are crazy lunatics (I wish to use stronger words but propriety prevents me from saying f***ing idiots since this is, after all, a family blog :-)).
True or False?
- The world is spinning rapidly into a period of deep recession
- Millions of jobs will be lost, in developed and developing economies
- Commodity prices (oil, metals, foodgrains) have crashed and are only going further south
- Consumption is declining (will decline even more) as people have less disposable incomes to spend
- India is not immune to the global slowdown (as seen by the 1.3% growth in the Index of Industrial Production for August) and is going to feel the shocks of a slowdown. Already Q2 results have been terrible and things are going to get worse before they get better.
If you answered True to any / all of the above questions, you are in disagreement with the esteemed Reserve Bank of India. In its mid year policy review, the honorable central bank has kept key rates unchanged (repo rate at 8%, CRR at 6.5%, reverse repo rate at 6%). It has not even cut the SLR. It thinks inflation will be at 7% for the year and GDP growth rate will be 8% (no, this is not a typo). At a time when Keynesian stimulus is the order of the day (this is not only my opinion, Paul Krugman, the Nobel Economics Prize winner for 2008 thinks so too), our central bankers prefer to be dyed-in-the-wool monetarists!
This attitude reminds me of the Indian economy in 1994-95 when similar bull-headedness (or should I call it bear-headedness?) in terms of interest rates cost India a full 4 years of lost growth. Anyone listening to history at the RBI?
One of you or the honourable RBI is smoking dope, and I dont think it is you!! By the time these esteemed gentlemen wake up and smell the shit, the economy will be in a shambles, credit growth will have crashed and investments would have been totally squeezed out of the system. But hey! who cares?? It will be time for a new election...
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
From this graph I can see that (before this post):
- On average, I have posted exactly 5 entries per month in calendar year 2008
- Each of the 50 posts have received exactly 2.0 comments per post
- The quality of the blog (comments per post - right hand axis - used as proxy) has been steadily declining - from a high of almost 5 comments per post in April (with one particular post gathering a relatively massive 14 comments!), the number has come down to a pathetic 1 comment in 5 posts of October. (And if I discount comments from family, this number would total up to zilch!!)
Clearly I am not writing about the right things (or in the right way). Time to put on the thinking cap!!
Amazing feat, given that chess is truly a global sport, played in almost all countries in the world, and that this would be the 3rd time that Anand would be winning the global crown! Anand's win is testimony to the tremendous practice and impeccable preparation he has made for the match. After having defeated Kramnik in the 3rd game, it was always going to be easier for Anand (since Kramnik would have to keep trying to take risks to win a game), but the domination that Anand has shown over his rival has been unprecedented.
More power to Vishwanathan Anand!!
Read all about the exciting game 6 here (courtesy rediff)
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
A quick trip to the US saw me indulge in my favourite activity - watching lots of movies on the plane. While 'The Happening' (M Night Shyamalan's latest) was eerie, 'Wanted' (Angelina Jolie's take on the Matrix) a total waste of time, and 'What Happens in Vegas' (the movie with the highest paid amount to any actor - Cameron Diaz got $$$$50 million for this movie!!) entirely predictable and stupid, there was one movie that made the journey worthwhile. 'In Bruges' (pronounced Bruge) is a fantastic movie.
A dark comedy, it is in the same genre as 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch'. Stupendous acting from Colin Farell and Ralph Fiennes, a haunting background score, stupendously beautiful settings, a twisted plot and extremely quirky dialogue mark the high points of the movie. Highly recommended!!
It made me want to holiday in Bruges and soak in the surroundings.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I think movies like this one (low budget, no unnecessary song and dances, author backed characters and strong scripts) herald a new wave of good Indian cinema. Aamir (reviewed earlier, somewhat gushingly :-) and A Wednesday, both coincidentally made by SpotBoy Films (UTV's low budget cinema division) make me lick my chops in anticipation of more of the good stuff.