Finance & Economy
  • The case for deregulating savings bank interest rates
    • Savings bank (SB) deposits interest rate is the only regulated rate and has remained unchanged at 3.5% since March 1, 2003 even as the RBI’s policy rates have moved up and down over time.
    • Savings deposits account for about 13% of financial savings of the household sector. Presumably, deregulation will improve monetary transmission. In the present context, it will raise both real and nominal rates. It will also encourage product innovation as banks will try to compete, not only on rates, but also on product design as, for instance, by offering differentiated rates depending on the size of the deposit (something they are not allowed to do at present).
  • Is there a compelling opportunity for India from China?
    • You must take a look at this interesting op-ed from Manish Sabharwal.  It discusses the issue at great length and very convincingly at that.  A must read.
    • Some interesting statistics that he reels out in his article for buttressing his argument deserve a look from us:
    • Five labour market megatrends that can reward politicians:
    • The demographic dividend (one million people joining the labour force every month), the increasing unviability of agriculture (56% of our people produce 18% of our GDP), the high incidence of poverty among the self-employed (50% of the labour force), the stagnation of organised employment (8% of the labour force) and the low share of manufacturing employment (12% of the labour force).
    • India accounted for only 1.8% of global manufacturing value added (MVA) last year versus China at 23.3%. Our per-capita productivity was a disappointing $107 versus China at $842.
    • Budget 2011 plans a new manufacturing policy that aims to raise the share of manufacturing in GDP from 16% today to 25% in 10 years.
  • Trends: Users snap deals on discount sites
    • You would have most probably heard or experienced group buying by now.  
    • Collective buying through the Internet, originally started during the dot-com boom, took off in late 2008 when startups such as Groupon and Tippr offered discounts on small local businesses in US cities. Since then it has become a rage. Today, there are more than 500 group-buying sites worldwide. Internet giants Google and Facebook recently entered the field with Google Offers and Facebook Deals.
    • Some other sites that enable group buying include: mydala.com, snapdeal.com, taggle, deals and you, sosasta.com, groupon, and tippr.  
    • If you want to check them out, Google for them and explore.  This graphic will help you more.
  • Is moving to a consumption based economy good for India?
    • No, says Chandran Nair, an Indian origin Malaysian based out of Hong Kong, who shot to prominence with his concept of ‘constrained capitalism.’  
    • His world view deserves our attention and thanks to ET, we have this very well conducted interview.  Take a look.  Shouldn’t miss this.
  • IMF Chief Strauss Kahn arrested in a sexual assault case
    • Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and a potential candidate for the French presidency next year, was charged with attempted rape and a criminal sex act on a woman in a New York hotel.
    • The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on Saturday against a 32-year-old female at a Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan.  The alleged victim is a maid at the hotel.  
    • Strauss-Kahn was arrested aboard an Air France flight at John F Kennedy airport.  Strauss-Kahn, 62, denies the charges and will plead not guilty, according to reports.
    • Strauss Kahn is a leading contender for the post of French President.
Language Lessons
  • egress: Noun
    • (astronomy) the reappearance of a celestial body after an eclipse; The becoming visible; The act of coming (or going) out; becoming apparent
    • Verb: Come out of
  • claque: Noun
    • A group of followers hired to applaud at a performance
  • conurbation: Noun
    • An aggregation or continuous network of urban communities
  • outre: Adjective
    • Conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual