28.01.2010

Politics & the Nation
  • Ashok Chakra awarded
    • Major D Sreeram Kumar, late Major Mohit Sharma and Havildar Rajesh Kumar were honoured with the country's highest peace time gallantry medal - the Ashok Chakra on Republic Day.
  • Mujib's assassins hanged
    • 30 years after he was assassinated, Bangladesh hanged the assassins of the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.
    • The five convicts who were hanged after a trial that dragged on for 13 years are sacked lieutenant colonels Syed Faruq Rahman, Sultan Shariar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and AKM Mohiuddin (lancer) and sacked major Bazlul Huda.
    • Bangabandhu (as Mujibur Rahman is popularly known as) was killed along with his wife and three sons on 15th August 1975.
    • A total of 28 people, including domestic staff, were killed when a group of junior army officers stormed Bangabandhu's private residence in a pre-dawn swoop.
Finance & Economy
  • A bit of history that you would surely enjoy about our budget
    • This February will mark 150 years since James Wilson gave what was India’s first Budget Speech, in his capacity as finance member of the India Council that advised the Viceroy of India.
    • Do you know that he was the founder of The Economist, founding director of Standard Chartered Bank, among others before becoming effectively India’s first finance minister — the original idea was to call him the Indian Chancellor of the Exchequer — a post he held from November 29, 1859, when he arrived in Calcutta, to August 11, 1860, when he died there from dysentery.
  • Low interests lead to higher NPAs.
    • A low interest rate regime driven by an easy money policy rather than macroeconomic fundamentals leads to excessive expansion of credit. It incentivises banks to take on more risk in search of higher returns and to misprice risk.
International
  • An interesting snippet from The Economist
    • Rrelative to the size of the economy banks in the UK are 10 times bigger now than they were 40 years ago.
  • Toyota recalls eight models from American market
    • Toyota halted US output and sales of eight models because of a part that spurred a 2.3 million vehicle recall.
    • Toyota’s move covers the top selling Camry and Corolla sedans, along with the Avalon and Matrix cars; RAV4, Highlander and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles; and Tundra pick-ups.
    • Toyota recalled the vehicles because of a potential flaw in parts made by CTS Corp that could, “in rare instances, mechanically stick in a depressed position or return slowly to the idle position”. In November, Toyota recalled 4.3 million vehicles to reshape accelerator pedals to prevent them from getting stuck.
  • Apple unveils iPad
    • Trying to expand beyond the Macintosh, iPod and iPhone, Apple introduced a tablet computer with a touch screen. The iPad can display full web pages and has a touch-screen keyboard that’s almost full size.
    • Analysts are predicting that Apple will be able to sell about 3 to 4 mn of these iPads if they are priced at about $750 per piece.
  • Some stats on bank bailouts
    • The Bank of England estimates governments the world over have spent or committed a staggering $14 trillion to prop up the financial system following the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
  • anon: Adverb
    • At another time; (old-fashioned or informal) in a little while
    • eg: Then he would ever and anon exclaim that the country seemed bursting, as it were, with vitality and industry.
  • schmooze
    • Noun: An informal conversation
    • Verb: Talk idly or casually and in a friendly way
    • eg: And yes, people do more than just schmooze.
  • cygnet: Noun
    • A young swan
  • elan: Noun
    • A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favour of a person or cause); Distinctive and stylish elegance; Enthusiastic and assured vigour and liveliness
    • eg: And while the home ministry’s administrative √©lan has gone up significantly, it is far from clear that politics informs and modulates internal security operations as it should.

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