Politics & the Nation
  • RIL contemplating to shift its registered office out of Mumbai?
    • An RIL board meeting reportedly discussed this move 'informally.' What could have prompted the move?
    • First of all Gujarat has proved to be the darling of business class by being very business friendly.
    • Secondly, Mumbai has been losing sheen, as services sectors such as technology and telecom began to get bigger in the national economy, while manufacturing industries such as textiles got crippled.
    • Thirdle, soaring real estate prices and infrastructure bottlenecks are making the capital of Maharashtra unattractive.
    • Lastly, the recent war-ofwords among politicians on who has the right over Mumbai has caused unease for some.
Finance & Economy
  • RBI to introduce new base rate in place of PLR for banks from April 2010
    • The RBI is reportedly coming out with guidelines on the concept of 'base rate' for lending by banks. This will be the rate below which a bank will not be permitted to lend.
    • At the same time banks are also being given freedom to price loans below Rs. 2 lakhs so that they can compete with MFIs in lending to the financial excluded.
    • Some of the highlights of the move include:
      • Each bank to set its own base rate which will be linked to cost of funds
      • Deposits cost, cost of maintaining CRR and SLR and operating expenses to be factored in for arriving at the base rate
      • Banks can now compete with microfinance companies for small loans
      • Floating rate loans will automatically come down when cost of funds for a bank declines
      • Credit pricing set to become more transparent
  • Have any idea of the war that is going on between NSE and MCX?
    • National Stock Exchnage aka NSE is the leading stock market in India and it also is a promoter of NCDEX a commodity exchange. Multi Commodity Exchange aka MCX is the leading commodity exchange in India.
    • With a view to build up volumes in NCDEX, NSE is roping in Jaypee, a Delhi based stock and commodity futures liquidity provider, as an anchor investor in NCDEX. This is because Jaypee reportedly is responsible for about 25% of the trading volumes in MCX.
    • If Jaypee is roped in as an anchor investor in NCDEX, its volumes are likely to see a big boost.
    • But the proposal is currently under regulatory glare i.e., it has to be vetted by the commdoity markets regulator viz., the Forward Markets Commission.
  • An excellent essay on tackling fiscal deficit
    • A must read. Good one. Read it here.
    • The fiscal deficit is the excess of spending over non-borrowed receipts, financed through borrowing.
  • Here is a list of all the things bad about black economy
    • Black money has long been regarded the bane of our development process. It results in huge wastage of resources, lowers the rate of growth, leads to criminalisation in society and breakdown of institutions, undermines the capacity of Indian businesses to face the challenge of globalisation, jeopardises our security, leads to poor governance, in short, to every conceivable ill we can think of.
  • Obituary: KN Raj
    • He was an eminent economist. He made significant contribution to the preparation of India's first five year plan.
    • Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao counted on him for advice when the country’s liberal economic reform process was launched in July 1991, notably on issues such as devaluation of the rupee, focus on farm sector and decentralised planning.
    • He was one of the main forces behind the prestigious Delhi School of Economics. He also set up the Thiruvananthapuram-based Centre for Development Studies (CDS).
    • He was vice-chancellor of Delhi University, where he worked for 18 years till 1971. Raj also had a brief stint as a journalist for an English daily in Colombo, during which time he covered the aftermath of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in Sri Lanka.
    • An economist, teacher, researcher, pragmatic reformer, a Marxist and a Keynesian, all rolled into one, Raj was conferred the Padma Vibhushan — the second-highest civilian honour — in 2000.
  • Tasting whisky
    • We are sure many of you know that wine tasting or whisk(e)y tasting are serious professions.
    • Those who are curious take a look at this interview that appeared in today's ET. It is given by Jim Murray, who is considered the world's first whiskey taster.
    • You will be surprised to know that an Indian whisky made it to the top three in his list of best whiskies. That Indian whisky is Amrut Fusion which is distilled in Bangalore. The first two are: Sazerac Rye 18 year old and Ardbeg Supernova.
Language Lessons
  • antipode: Noun
    • Any two places or regions on diametrically opposite sides of the Earth; direct opposite
    • Adjective: antipodean
  • Tweedledum and Tweedledee: Noun
    • Any two people who are hard to tell apart
    • eg: So, as far as the government crowding out private investment goes, disinvestment and borrowings are like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
  • haiku: Noun
    • An epigrammatic Japanese verse form of three short lines
  • adieux: Noun
    • A farewell remark