30.04.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • An excellent editorial comment on Modi in the context of the Supreme Court ordered probe by SIT into the responsibility of Mr. Modi for the post-Godhra carnage
    • It is hardly a secret that, despite the current effort to deviate from his foundational vitriolic rhetoric, Modi retains an almost subliminal appeal for communal polarisation. 
Finance & Economy
  • Don't bank on an early recovery; warns IMF
    • Even as we were gleefully noting yesterday about PMI, LEI, CLI and a couple of other developemnts that were pointing to an early recovery -- at least in India -- the IMF and the RBI are pouring cold water over our hopes.
    • The IMF expects the global economy to contract by 1.3% in 2009. Recovery will happen in 2010 but it will decidedly be sluggish — growth will be only 1.9%, way below the 4.5-5% growth we saw in 2004-07. The RBI projects growth of just 6% for the Indian economy in 2009-10 which would be lower than the 6.5-7% growth estimate for 2008-09. 
  • Will the world see another Great Depression?
    • Giving us the above bits and pieces of information, TT Ram Mohan discusses this question in his op-ed piece in ET today.  Looks like he prefers to not take a definitive stance on the issue.  His take on the question:
    • There are striking similarities. As in the Great Depression, the present crisis is centred in the US and its effects have been felt by the rest of the world. Both crises have been marked by rapid credit expansion and high leverage. So also by funding problems at banks. 
    • But there are also reassuring differences. One is that policymakers have learnt how to respond and how to coordinate their responses. Secondly, global economic conditions before the Depression were much weaker. Germany was already in recession and prices in several countries, including the US, were already falling. So, with further slowing of economic activity, deflation set in quickly. 
    • In contrast, the global economy boomed for four years before the present crisis and inflation was above target until mid-2008. Moreover, the world was on the gold standard during the Depression. Under the gold standard, currency can be issued only in relation to the gold available in the country, so this limited the scope for monetary expansion during the Depression. 
    • The world is today far more integrated financially than at the time of the Depression and this is a huge negative. American banks and investors have pulled out funds from elsewhere, including emerging markets, partly because they are strapped for funds and partly because the American market seems safer in troubled times. 
  • India could make up to $100 bn in carbon trading
    • This estimate is based on the fact that there are about 930 carbon credit projects already in the Indian carbon trade basket, while around 180 more such projects are likely to be added every year. 
    • India has already sold carbon credits worth $300 million. 
    • Companies in the developed economies buy carbon credits to offset their excess emissions. Carbon credits are issued to companies in the developing countries by an international authority for reducing emissions. 
  • Satyam's ADS money goes missing
    • All of us were first astonished at the revelations made by Satyam.  Some of the charges levelled against the company looked incredulous at least for some time.  But now it appears as though the skeletons are tumbling out of the closet one by one -- slowly but steadily.
    • Read this report.  You will know the import of what we are saying.
  • Kingfisher's cheque to AAI for Rs. 77 crore bounces!
    • It's an event that makes every one of us sit up take notice.  If such a thing is happening in respect of Kingfisher, what else is in store from the rest of the players in the aviation industry? 
    • The Indian aviation industry is faced with mounting losses due to falling passenger traffic and excess capacity. With revenue from sold seats dropping significantly in the past many months, Indian carriers are expected to post a combined loss of $2 billion this year. The hardest hit are bigger carries such as Air India, Kingfisher and Jet Airways. 
    • Kingfisher Airlines along with its low-fare subsidiary, Kingfisher Red is one of the largest debtors with AAI after national carrier Air India and Jet Airways. The airline industry together owes more than Rs 1,000 crore to AAI, which is the largest airport service provider.
Health
  • Titbits about some of the past pandemics
    • 1992, Mad cow disease; 
    • 2003, Sars; 
    • 2006, Bird flu; 
    • 2009 Swine flu.
    • The 1918-19 ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
Language lessons
  • starry-eyed: Ajdective
    • Unrealistically or naively optimistic
    • eg: "a starry-eyed reformer"; "starry-eyed idealism"

1 Comment:

BK Chowla said...

Have you noticed,every time Modi is expected to walk into a trap...he jumps and takes it to his advantage.