12.02.2008

  • What is the ranking of our IAF?
    • Indian Air Force is the fourth largest in the world.
  • About Shah Rukh Khan
    • We all know him as the ‘badshah’ of bollywood, the ‘heartthrob’ of many a girl etcetera, etcetera… (Remember the use of this phrase “etcetera, etcetera from the movie “King and I”? This is one of my all time favourites.)
    • But take a look at his astuteness in business.
    • He turned a producer in 2000 with the film ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’. His other productions include Asoka, Chalte Chalte, Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om among others.
    • He started his career with the TV show “Fauji.”
    • For many of you it may be old hash. But for me, some of it is really news!!!
  • Tier IV data centre to come up in Hyderabad
    • Pioneer Group, a city based IT provider is coming out with this. Looks like this is a first of its kind in India.
    • Tier IV data centres provide the highest level of reliability and will be available at least 99.995% of the time. There are reported to be only around 25 such data centres in the world at present.
    • A Tier III data centre provides uptime of about 99.982%.
    • It costs about $3000 to establish a square foot of Tier IV data centre.
    • This assumes importance in the context of the following facts:
      • About 25% of Internet users throughout the world are losing data worth $12 bn a year.
      • India has just about three or four small sized data centres deploying Tier I, II and III technology.
      • The data centre space in India constitutes a meagre 1% of the world market.
  • Carbon trading
    • We have noted about this quite often in our blogs. But a recap would not be a waste of time at all.
    • Carbon trade was born out of one of the many initiatives taken by the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) to control the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Emission levels in developing nations are much below target set by the Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand there is tremendous pressure on the developed countries to reduce their emission levels. Under the Kyoto Protocol, companies from developing countries can earn carbon emission reduction certificates through reduction in their GHG emissions by shifting to environment friendly technologies. The CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) Executive Board of the UN awards one CER for each tonne of carbon dioxide emission avoided. CERs can be sold to companies and governments from the developed countries who can offset their strict emission reduction targets by buying CERs. CERs can also be traded through commodity and futures markets.
    • The market for trading in carbon emissions is estimated to be in the range of $60 to $70 bn annually. Analysts predict that this could touch about $100 bn in two years time and that India’s share in it could be as high as 25%.
    • Currently CERs are trading at around 15 to 17 Euros.
    • “Going green” refers to activities aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprints.
  • What are fungible securities?
    • Some securities issued by the same issuer are said to be fungible if they can be replaced by each other since they provide the same rights and privileges.
    • Fungibility of listed options enables buyers and sellers to close out their positions by taking offsetting positions whenever they please.
  • India lags behind China in capturing Africa
    • Looks like it is colonialism of the third kind. India and China are competing with each other in wooing the African countries, for more than one reason.
    • African continent is expected to grow by about 7% in 2008.
    • Most of the developed countries appear to have been outwitted by India and China in wooing the African countries. These two countries seem to be carrying more credibility with the African nations than the developed west.
    • But India is lagging behind China in striking more deals with these nations. Do you remember the China-African summit hosted by China? It attracted close to 50 heads of state from the continent and resulted in clinching about $1.9 bn worth of business deals in November 2006.
  • Can you be a critique like Martin Wolf?
    • He is a columnist of The Financial Times (London). Look at his comment on the world’s big banks:
    • It is an industry with an extraordinary talent for privatising gains and socialising losses… [and] get[ting]… self-righteously angry when public officials … fail to come at once to their rescue when they get into (well-deserved) trouble….[T]he conflicts of interest created by large financial institutions are far harder to manage than in any other industry.
    • Not only should we know how to critique so effectively. We should also learn and practice to quote such criticism with the same √©lan as is exhibited by Bradford Delong. The above is from Delong’s article in today’s ET.
  • Expected food grain production in the country during 2007-08
    • 219.32 mn tonnes.
  • Why should we remember Charles Darwin now?
    • Because today is the 200th birth anniversary of this great scientist. Next year will be the 150th anniversary of his great work “The Origin of Species.”
    • Darwin was not alone in believing about evolution. Two of his contemporaries who believed in it and who had arrived at more or less the same conclusions as he did were:
      • French zoologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck.
      • Alfred Russel Wallace (Britain)
  • Can you elucidate the measures that were taken recently for strengthening the corporate bond markets? What are the factors that are inhibiting the growth of corporate bond market? And what suggestions can you offer further?
    • If you are asked such a question, you have the perfect answer in today’s Hindu editorial. Look at it here.
  • Who is Amy Winehouse?
    • I know many of you may know by now about her.
    • She is the winner of a record 5 Grammy Awards this year.
    • She is all of 24. Been through a rehab for drug use. But still won 5 Grammys!!!
    • Want a better example for spirit?
    • Her trophies:
      • Record and song of the year (ironically titled “Rehab”)
      • Female pop vocal solo performance
      • Pop vocal album (Back to Black)
      • Best new artist.
    • And I tell you she is as beautiful as many of my other favourite singers. But alas, I don’t really enjoy her songs; as yet.

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