Finance & Economy
  • Controlling inflation; whose responsibility is it?
    • While combating inflation is the joint responsibility of the Centre and the states, the latter can at best play a supporting role, say, by ensuring a more efficient public distribution system. In contrast, fiscal and, to a lesser extent, monetary policy, both of which have a major role in determining the overall demand-supply balance in an economy, lie squarely in the Centre’s domain.
    • Hence Centre has a major role in taming inflation than do states.
  • What makes us possessive (materialistic) about things that we like?
    • Research has shown that the most meaningful objects that one possesses were rarely chosen on the basis of some intrinsic, rational property, like marketplace value, cutting-edge quality, simple aesthetic pleasure or anything that an economist might describe as “use-value” or “utility.” They were chosen instead for connections to something else: family or social ties, a particular episode in the narrative of the subject’s life, perhaps religious faith or some other belief system affiliation. That is to say, their “meaning” tended to be a function of what the thing represented.
    • Confusing and philosophical? This is not about philosophy or some such abstract science. It is about marketing and branding.
    • If you are a marketer or brand builder, you should read this small article that dwells on the subject. Take a look.
  • Is the current IPL spat between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor harmful for marketers?
    • Not even one bit, is the feeling among marketers. Take a look at this story to know why.
  • On the raging IPL controversy
    • Here is a funny but absorbing editorial take on the controversy. Worth a read.
  • BRIC declares 2010 target for World Bank and IMF reform
    • With a confidence borne of their successful role as a caucus at G-20 meetings over the past year, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China on Thursday demanded the commitment to reform the Bretton Woods financial institutions that the advanced economies made at Pittsburgh during the G-20 summit be completed by this year itself.
  • Ash clouds close most European airports stranding thousands
    • Ash clouds from Icelandic volcano continued to hang over European skies shutting down major airport hubs like Frankfurt, London and Paris for the second day disrupting air travel.
    • A volcano beneath Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier began erupting on Wednesday for second time in less than a month spewing smoke and steam miles into the air.
    • The ash plume from the volcano is hanging between 6000 and 11,000 metres where it could suck into aircraft engines causing them to shut down. The black smoke has also reduced visibility to almost zero.
Language Lessons
  • panache: Noun
    • Distinctive and stylish elegance; A feathered plume on a helmet
    • eg: In the eyes of the respondents in the survey, he’s obviously handled the challenges with panache.
  • brouhaha: Noun
    • Loud confused noise from many sources; A confused disturbance far greater than its cause merits
    • eg: It's a bit puzzling. This brouhaha about franchisees and who owns what in the IPL.
  • chow: Noun
    • Informal term for a meal