28 March 2009

What a Blackout!

My blackberry was in a mess, so couldn't blog for some days. Lot of things happened during these days, though not very significant but surely placing dots in life. :)

First my BB won't connect EDGE network. Did call up operators and call centre guys. Every time I got a text book solution. One day after calling 7 times in a day I got same old reply: "please switch off your cell and switch on!". Things were getting on my nerve, called up my relationship manager at Airtel, she did help me out with fixing up with a local airtel blackberry guy and he helped me with the concern. The good news I'm back on air. Funny thing is that, I then calls from the blackberry support asking about my concern. Typical case of right hand not knowing what left hand is doing.

In work front, started working on a research report about Banking industry in China. Felt good that I still get to do what I used to do during my MBA studies. Oh! With a slight difference it costs the client $30k.

Did start chat with a lady over the Intranet messenger, she seems sensible and nice. But everyone is like that I guess- no type casting intended though. Just the may be lost the endurance! Hope things improve.

H1B is supposed to be filed on 1st, finger crossed about the draw.

Rest is all peace, was little bit missing a girl... But life moves on!

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

20 March 2009

Marketing Basics

Marketing Concepts made easy! J

1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and say: "I am very rich.
"Marry me!" - That's Direct Marketing"

2. You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a
gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and
pointing at you says: "He's very rich.
"Marry him." -That's Advertising"

3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and get her telephone number. The next day, you
call and say: "Hi, I'm very rich.
"Marry me - That's Telemarketing"

4. You're at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up
and straighten your tie, you
walk up to her and pour
her a drink, you open the door (of the car)for her,
pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and
then say:"By the way, I'm rich. Will you
"Marry Me?" - That's Public Relations"

 5. You're at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks
up to you and says:"You are very rich!
"Can you marry ! me?" - That's Brand Recognition"

 6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" She gives you
a nice hard slap on your face. -
"That's Customer Feedback"

7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she
introduces you to her husband. - J
"That's demand and supply gap"

8. You see a gorgeous girl at a
party. You go up to
her and before you say anything, another person come
and tell her: "I'm rich. Will you marry me?" and she
goes with him -
"That's competition eating into your market share"

9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and before you say: "I'm rich, Marry me!" your
wife arrives. -
"That's restriction for entering new markets"

17 March 2009

LIFE without a Girl Friend is cool

Came across a Forward mail while busy fixing things at work! Surely had a good laugh! J


LIFE without a Girl Friend is cool


1. You can stare at any Girl....

2. You don't have to spend money on her

3. You won't get boring result in ur board papers

4. No girlfriend, no emotional blackmailing.

5. If u don't have a girlfriend, she can't dump u.

6. Having a girlfriend is hot, not having a girlfriend is automatically
cool, and every one loves to be a cool guy.

7. There can be more to life than just waiting for the bloody phone to ring.

8. You won't have to tolerate someone else defining, "right" and "wrong" for

9. Girlfriend can get so possessive that you can't do anything according ur
wishes anymore.

10. You can buy gifts for mom, dad, sis or grandpa instead of a girlfriend
and have a happier family life.

11. You won't have to waste paper writing love letters. No more endless
waiting for ur date to arrive at some weird shop place.

12. You can have more friends, as u will have more time for them.

13. You wont have to see boring love stories instead of sports.

14. You wont have to tell lie to anybody and, therefore, u'll sin less.

15. You can have good night's sleep-no need to dream about her.

16. You wont have to fight over having a 'special' friend with ur folks.

17. No nonstop nonsense.

18. You wont have drown in the pool of her tears.

19. No tension.

20. You can be "urself"

21. You wont have to hide your telephone bills.....


Excerpts: Ben Bernanke's Greatest Challenge (CBC)

Ben Bernanke's Greatest Challenge

Fed Chairman Discusses Recession, Financial Rescues And Recovery In Wide-Ranging 60 Minutes Interview


(CBS)  Aside from the president he's the most powerful man working to save the economy, but you have never seen an interview with Ben Bernanke.

Bernanke is the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, better known as the Fed. The words of any Fed chairman cause fortunes to rise and fall and so, by tradition, chairmen of the Fed do not do interviews - that is until now.

The Federal Reserve controls the economy by setting interest rates. But after the crash of 2008, Bernanke invoked emergency powers, and with unprecedented aggressiveness has thrown a trillion dollars at the crisis.

Ben Bernanke may be the most important Fed chairman in history. The question is, can he help lead America out of this deep recession and when?

"Mr. Chairman, I'm gonna start with a question that everyone wants me to ask: when does this end?" 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley asked Bernanke.

"It depends a lot on the financial system," he replied. "The lesson of history is that you do not get a sustained economic recovery as long as the financial system is in crisis. We've seen some progress in the financial markets, absolutely. But until we get that stabilized and working normally, we're not gonna see recovery. But we do have a plan. We're working on it. And I do think that we will get it stabilized, and we'll see the recession coming to an end probably this year. We'll see recovery beginning next year. And it will pick up steam over time."

Asked if he thinks the recession is going to end this year, Bernanke said, "In the sense that this decline will begin to moderate and we'll begin to see leveling off. We won't be back to full employment. But we will see, I hope, the end of these declines that have been so strong in a last couple of quarters."

"But you wouldn't say at this point that we're out of the woods?" Pelley asked.

"No," Bernanke replied. "I think the key issue is the banking system and the financial system."

"Unemployment, as we sit here, is about 8.1 percent. I wonder, do you expect double digit unemployment?" Pelley asked.

"Well, it's hard to forecast exactly where we're going. Unemployment is rising. Job losses are still very severe. And no doubt, the unemployment rate's gonna go higher than it is. But I think, again, that if we do succeed in stabilizing the financial system, that we'll begin to see a slower pace of decline, and eventually, a stabilization that will set the basis for a recovery," Bernanke said.

"You seem to be saying that we're not heading into a new American Depression?" Pelley asked.

"I think we've averted that risk. I think we've gotten past that and now the problem is to get the thing working properly again," the chairman said.

Bernanke, age 55, has been chairman of the Federal Reserve Board since 2006. He had previously served as a Fed governor, then chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, before being appointed as Fed chairman by President George W. Bush.

For this interview, he opened up the Fed headquarters, rarely seen by the public. It's a monumental building along the National Mall. Construction started in 1935 in the depths of the Great Depression.

"You know Mr. Chairman I think the Federal Reserve, for most people, is a mystery," Pelley remarked.

"Well, it's an institution that people don't hear so much about but it's a very important one. It manages monetary policy for the country. It's one of the main tools we have for stabilizing our economy and keeping prices stable," Bernanke said.

Asked when it was founded, Bernanke told Pelley, "The Fed was created by Congress in 1913. And its original purpose was to deal with financial panics, which is what we're doing right now."

Bernanke's crisis started in 2007 with the mortgage meltdown; lenders began to fail. Bernanke cut interest rates repeatedly. In 2008, the Fed stopped the collapse of Bear Stearns by arranging a sale to another firm.

But then came the end of Wall Street as we knew it. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were seized by the government. On Sept. 14, Merrill Lynch was sold in distress. The next day, the 158-year-old investment bank Lehman Brothers failed

"You didn't rescue Lehman Brothers. It set off a worldwide panic when it went bankrupt. And I wonder, looking back, whether you think that was a mistake," Pelley asked.

"There were many people who said, 'Let 'em fail.' You know, 'It's not a problem. The markets will take care of it.' And I think I knew better than that. And Lehman proved that you cannot let a large internationally active firm fail in the middle of a financial crisis. Now was it a mistake? It wasn't a mistake for the following reason: we didn't have the option, we didn't have the tools. All the Federal Reserve can do is make loans against collateral," Bernanke replied.

(CBS)  The day after Lehman, Bernanke's Fed did something astounding: it loaned $85 billion to a company that wasn't a bank at all - American International Group (AIG), the global insurance giant that was also involved in backing risky mortgage investments. Bernanke says, unlike Lehman, the Fed could make the loans based on good collateral in AIG's portfolio.

"There have now been four rescues of AIG, $160 billion. Why is that necessary?" Pelley asked.

"Let me just first say that of all the events and all of the things we've done in the last 18 months, the single one that makes me the angriest, that gives me the most angst, is the intervention with AIG. Here was a company that made all kinds of unconscionable bets. Then, when those bets went wrong, we had a situation where the failure of that company would have brought down the financial system," Bernanke said.

"You say it makes you angry?" Pelley asked.

"It makes me angry. I slammed the phone more than a few times on discussing AIG. I understand why the American people are angry. It's absolutely unfair that taxpayer dollars are going to prop up a company that made these terrible bets, that was operating out of the sight of regulators, but which we have no choice but the stabilize, or else risk enormous impact, not just in the financial system, but on the whole U.S. economy," Bernanke explained.

By September, Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson went to Capitol Hill to urge a massive bailout of the banking system, which lawmakers soon passed.

Asked how close of a call it was, Bernanke said, "It was very close. It was very close. The Congress passed the bill that gave Treasury the right to put capital into the banks in the first week of October. And it was in the second week of October that the crisis reached its peak. If we had not had those powers, we could have had a much, much worse outcome. So it was a very dangerous situation."

"Was anyone on Capitol Hill skeptical? Did they push back at all, you know, 'Mr. Chairman, it's probably not quite that bad'?" Pelley asked.

"Well, I do remember one conversation I had where I was addressing a caucus of congressmen. And a congressman said to me, 'Mr. Chairman, you know, I'm talking to bankers in my town. I'm talking to shopkeepers in my town. And they say things are normal. Nothing's going on. We don't see any problem.' And I turned to him and I said, 'You will,'" Bernanke recalled.

That second week of October, the Dow fell 18 percent - its worst week in history. At that point, $8 trillion had been lost.

In the crisis, Bernanke had freedom to act immediately - he doesn't need permission from Congress or the president. While they debated on Capitol Hill, Bernanke cut interest rates nearly to zero; then he used Depression-era emergency powers to launch a dozen rescue programs of his own. There was support for money market funds, mortgages, short term lending to small business, and support for auto loans, student loans and small business loans - commitments of a trillion dollars, doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet.

Asked if it's tax money the Fed is spending, Bernanke said, "It's not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed, much the same way that you have an account in a commercial bank. So, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It's much more akin to printing money than it is to borrowing."

"You've been printing money?" Pelley asked.

"Well, effectively," Bernanke said. "And we need to do that, because our economy is very weak and inflation is very low. When the economy begins to recover, that will be the time that we need to unwind those programs, raise interest rates, reduce the money supply, and make sure that we have a recovery that does not involve inflation."

(CBS)  He's not kidding about printing money: the Fed issues U.S. currency, which is why it says "Federal Reserve Note" on all the bills in your wallet. The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing is just a few blocks from Bernanke's office. It prints the money at the Fed's request.

The Fed's mandate from Congress is to put enough money i the system for maximum employment, but not so much that it sets off inflation.

The Fed actually pays for itself and returns billions in profits to the Treasury.

In a sense, Bernanke has been preparing for this emergency his whole professional life. He got a PhD in economics from MIT. He chaired the economics department at Princeton, where his specialty was the Great Depression.

He's among many economists who now believe it was the Federal Reserve itself that helped turn a recession in 1929 into a global calamity.

"They made two mistakes, basically. One was they let the money supply contract very sharply. Prices fell. Deflation.  So monetary policy was, in fact, very contractionary. Very tight during that period. And then the second mistake they made was they let the banks fail. They didn't make any strong effort to prevent the failure of thousands of banks. And that failure had terrible effects on credit and on the ability of the economy to right itself," Bernanke explained.

Bernanke told 60 Minutes we were close to a second Depression and he is determined to not let the major banks fail on his watch.

"One of the things that I think many people watching this interview don't understand, is why there are multiple bailouts, four bailouts of AIG, three bailouts of Citigroup. There is a sense that this is a band-aid approach, that we're not getting to the root of the problem," Pelley remarked.

"Well, part of the issue is that, you know, the economy has gotten a good bit worse. You know, the first part of the crisis was subprime and other assets that were toxic. Now, we're in a second phase, which is that the economy is very weak," he said. "So the economy's weakness has meant that some of the initial attempts to stabilize the banks haven't been enough, and we've had to do more."

"You know, Mr. Chairman, there are so many people outside this building, across this country, who say, 'To hell with them. They made bad bets. The wages of failure on Wall Street should be failure,'" Pelley remarked.

"Let me give you an analogy, if I might," Bernanke said. "If you have a neighbor, who smokes in bed. And he's a risk to everybody. If suppose he sets fire to his house, and you might say to yourself, you know, 'I'm not gonna call the fire department. Let his house burn down. It's fine with me.' But then, of course, but what if your house is made of wood? And it's right next door to his house? What if the whole town is made of wood? Well, I think we'd all agree that the right thing to do is put out that fire first, and then say, 'What punishment is appropriate? How should we change the fire code? What needs to be done to make sure this doesn't happen in the future? How can we fire proof our houses?' That's where we are now. We have a fire going on."

Bernanke told Pelley that "fire" is still burning.

Asked if all the big banks the Fed regulates are solvent, Bernanke said, "I believe they are, yes. But we are doing a stress test right now, where we're looking at what the positions of the banks are under a tougher economic scenario than the one that we currently expect. And what we plan to do is to say how much capital would each bank need to be well capitalized. Not just solvent, but well capitalized, even in these more adverse scenarios."

"Are you committing in this interview, that you are not going to let any of these banks fail? That no matter what their balance sheet actually looks like, they are not gonna fail?" Pelley asked.

"They are not gonna fail," Bernanke said. "But what we can do, should it be necessary, is try to wind it down in a safe way."

In other words, Bernanke thinks government should stabilize failed financial companies and take them apart slowly. "So, for example, in the case of AIG, we've prevented a bankruptcy, because of the chaos that would create. But we're also demanding that AIG divest itself, sell off its subsidiaries, and use the proceeds to pay back the government," he said.

"What are the dangers now? What keeps you up at night?" Pelley asked.

"I think the biggest risk is that, you know, we don't have the political will. We don't have the commitment to solve this problem, and that we let it just continue. In which case, you know, we can't count on recovery," Bernanke said.

The Fed estimates the wealth of American families fell 18 percent in 2008, the worst since the Great Depression.

(CBS)  Ben Bernanke is doing things with the Federal Reserve that have never been done before. It may be because he's not a creature of Washington or Wall Street.

He grew up, middle class, the smartest kid in a town now falling on hard times. He told Pelley, because the Fed is so powerful, it should be more open.

Bernanke meets with his six fellow governors of the Federal Reserve - all of them appointed by the president of the United States - at the Fed's headquarters. Bernanke also chairs the Federal Open Market Committee, which decides interest rates.

Those meetings, which take place inside the Fed’s boardroom in Washington, are secret. Asked why, Bernanke took Pelley inside the boardroom and explained, "If we held those things with a TV camera on us it would create lots of volatility and problems in the market. But I should say that, you know, we've come a long way. In 1994, when the Fed made a policy decision to change interest rates, wouldn't even announce that we made a change. But now, after every meeting, we put out a statement, say what we did, explain what we did, why we're doing it. And three weeks later, we put out minutes to describe everything that happened in the meeting. So we're becoming much more transparent."

"When I called and proposed this interview about a year ago, your representative laughed out loud. And said, 'The Fed chairman never does an interview.' Why are you doing this?" Pelley asked.

"Well, it's an extraordinary time. It's an extraordinary time. This is a chance for me, I think, to talk to America directly," Bernanke said.

It's also a chance for America to understand where he comes from.

Ben Shalom Bernanke grew up in one of the few Jewish families in Dillon, S.C., today a town of 6,000 people.

His grandfather, Jonas, immigrated from Eastern Europe, landed at Ellis Island, and came to Dillon to start a drug store.

"Our family came here in 1941. My grandfather, Jonas Bernanke bought this building, made it to the JB Drugs, after his initials," Bernanke told Pelley.

Later, his father and uncle took over the store which has since become a restaurant.

"We're sitting on this corner where your family's store was. And I see it's Main Street. People feel like guys like you are tuned into what happens on Wall Street and you forget places like this," Pelley remarked.

"I come from Main Street. That's my background," Bernanke said. "I've never been on Wall Street. And I care about Wall Street for one reason and one reason only because what happens on Wall Street matters to Main Street. And if we don't have stabilization in the financial markets, if we don't take the steps necessary to make sure that credit is flowing again, then my father couldn't get a loan to build his new store."

Bernanke and Pelley went to the old neighborhood the Bernankes left years ago. A recent owner couldn't quite make the mortgage, so the economy literally hit home.

"When you first heard that your childhood home had gone into foreclosure, what did you think?" Pelley asked.

"Well, I was sorry to hear it. But, you know, in a way, I wasn't surprised. Dillon has taken, you know, a pretty big hit in the economic downturn. Unemployment rate's about 14 percent. And there have been a good number of foreclosures and plant closings and those things I think about that," Bernanke said.

Numbers were always Bernanke's thing: he taught himself calculus and got an SAT score of 1590 out of 1600. A friend talked him into aiming high for college.

"I came home from school one day and there was a phone call for me. And I picked up the phone. They said, 'This is the Harvard Admissions Department. We'd like to let you know that you're accepted in the freshman class.' And I said, 'Come on, who is this really?' But my parents had their doubts about my leaving and going too far from home," Bernanke recalled.

"No! Wait a minute. Your parents weren't thrilled that you were going to Harvard?" Pelley asked.

"My mother was definitely against it. First of all, she said, you know, 'You don't have the clothes. You won't be able to dress properly for Harvard. And it's a long way from here. How you gonna come home on holidays and so on.' So, my parents ate into their savings to let me go, which I'm always grateful for."

(CBS)  Bernanke helped pay for college working construction and working at "South of the Border" - the future chairman of the Fed wore a poncho and waited tables.

Asked what he learned about work, Bernanke said, "Work is hard, that in order to feed your family and to give your kids opportunities you, it's not an easy thing."

Back in the marble confines of the Federal Reserve, Bernanke told Pelley he understands that many Americans are afraid.

"I've been kicking around the country. I spoke to a woman in Ohio, who took her son out of college, because she got laid off. I spoke to a woman in Nevada, who has an advanced stage of cancer. And she was told by her county hospital that they couldn't treat her because a hole had been blown in the state budget. What do you say to those people?" Pelley asked.

"Well, I got into economics, because I wanted to make things better for the average person. When I see a job loss number, 650,000, like we saw last month, I know that's not just a number. That's 650,000 lives that have been disrupted. Families that have had to move or take children out of school. Houses that may be in danger of foreclosure. I know something about what people are going through," Bernanke said.

And that makes it all the more outrageous when he hears of financial firms handing out perks and bonuses after they've taken bailout money. "The era of this high living, this is over now. And that they need to be responsible and use the money constructively," he said.

"And you would say what to those bankers right now in this interview?" Pelley asked.

"I'd say that their job right now is to find a way to make loans to creditworthy borrowers, to get their banks back on the path of making good loans, safe loans, and to have a reasonable sense of humility based on, you know, what's happened in the last 18 months," he replied.

We asked Bernanke what it's been like at the office the last 18 months, with his staff working 80 hour weeks.

"I noticed when we were in your office. You have a couch in there. You [have] been sleeping on that couch?" Pelley asked.

"Once in a while," Bernanke said. "And sometimes, it goes through the weekend. Sometimes it goes overnight."

The Federal Reserve is the life blood of the banking system. Its 12 regional banks are clearing houses for commercial banks.

One of the vaults associated with the Reserve Bank is in New York. Robots carry cash in the vault that's as big as a football field and four stories high. Each pallet, loaded with $100 bills, is worth $64 million. The Fed has 22,000 employees. It clears your checks and your ATM withdrawals. And it provides economic forecasts.

But one of its most important responsibilities is regulating the nation's biggest banks, to be the watchdog.

"You're supposed to keep them out of trouble. So, how did all this happen?" Pelley asked.

"Well, a lot of mistakes got made. No question about it. But, you know, this was a much bigger thing than any single firm or any single individual," Bernanke replied. "Over the last dozen years or so, enormous amounts of savings have flowed into the United States, and some other industrial countries. That savings has come from China and East Asia. It's come from oil producers. And hundreds of billions of dollars, it has come into our financial system. And, you know, that would be great if we took that money and invested it wisely, and got a high return. But instead, our financial system didn't do a good job. We had a regulatory system that was like a sandcastle on the beach. When you had little small waves just lapping up against the sand castle, everything looked good. But when you had a big breaker come in, suddenly the system wasn't strong enough to deal with it."

(CBS)  "Does the Federal Reserve bear any responsibility for missing what was happening to the banks, as it was happening?" Pelley asked.

"Well, like other regulators, we probably could have done more. We've already done a lot of - put a lot of effort into reviewing our practices. And reviewing the bank's practices. We are trying to strengthen our regulation at every point that we can. So, I don't want to deny that we certainly could have done a better job, and others could have done a better job," Bernanke conceded.

Now President Obama and the Congress have a fiscal stimulus plan of nearly $800 billion. There's that separate bailout for financial firms - at least $700 billion. And plans are developing for a way that would take on the bad debt of crippled institutions.

"There was a panic in 1907. So the Fed was created to prevent that from ever happening again. And then we got the Great Depression. And now we have this. How do we prevent this from occurring another time?" Pelley asked.

"Well, tougher regulation of large firms. It includes having a set of laws that allows us to wind down. A large, internationally active firm, without the adverse impacts on the markets that a disorderly bankruptcy would have. It includes possibly having a systemic regulator. A regulator that has some responsibility to look at the system as a whole," Bernanke said.

"Your response has been to do what the Fed didn't do in 1929, and that is pour money into the system. But there's an argument made today that that's not what the problem is. The problem isn't that there's too little money in the system. The problem is there's too much fear in the system. That with these companies being propped up by the government, no one on Wall Street can tell who's solvent and who's not. And therefore, business does not move," Pelley pointed out.

"Well, I absolutely agree that confidence is key," Bernanke said. "People don't know what's happening. And they're afraid. And they're not sure what, you know, whether or not the system is gonna recover. So, how do you get confidence, that's the question. And I think the way to get confidence is to show progress."

Asked if he's seeing any progress, Bernanke said, "I think all of our efforts, so far, have produced results. We're buying about $500 billion in mortgages, in package and securities by the G.S.E.s, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And that seems to have brought down mortgage rates significantly. It allows people to refinance. To get out of high rate mortgages. We are seeing progress in the money market mutual funds, and in the business lending area. And I think as those green shoots begin to appear in different markets and as some confidence begins to come back that will begin the positive dynamic that brings our economy back."

"Do you see green shoots?" Pelley asked.

"I do. I do see green shoots. And not everywhere, but certainly in some of the markets that we've been functioning in. And we've seen some improvement in the banks, as well," Bernanke said.

Asked what the first signs of recovery will be, Bernanke told Pelley, "Well, I think that one sign would be that a large bank is successful in raising private equity. Right now, all the private money is sitting on the sidelines saying, 'We don't know what these banks are worth. We don't know that they're stable.' And they're not willing to put their money into the banks."

"If you had a message for the American People in this interview, what would it be?" Pelley asked.

"Scott, I'd say three things. I'd say, first of all, that the Federal Reserve is here, and is gonna do everything possible to support this recovery. The second thing I would say is that we have to understand, though, that recovery is not gonna happen until the financial markets and the banks are stabilized. And we do have a plan, we have a program for that. But it's gonna take some patience," Bernanke said.

"But the third and final thing I'd just like to say to the American People is that I have every confidence that this economy will recover, and recover in a strong and sustained way. The American people are among the most productive in the world. We have the best technologies. We have great universities. We have entrepreneurs. I just have every confidence that as we get through this crisis, that our economy will begin to grow again, and it will remain the most powerful and dynamic economy in the world."


Some good news has started to trickle in

India back on FDI radar, beats recession blues


At a time when the world economy is facing the worst credit freeze in several decades, India attracted USD 2.7-billion FDI in January, up 58.8 per cent from a year ago, and remained a favourite destination for cross-border investments.


"January numbers are very good...it is an indication of the confidence that the rest of the world has in India," Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Ajay Shankar said.


The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows for the April-January period aggregated to USD 23.8 billion and is expected to cross the last year's target of USD 25 billion this fiscal.


Though the government had set a target of USD 35-billion FDI for 2008-09, it looked rather ambitious in the wake of the global downturn.


Up to September this fiscal, the monthly inflows were in excess of USD 2 billion. However, the following three months saw a sharp dip in the overseas investments.


The January figures bring a renewed hope that India is back on the radar of global investors.




CPI(M) Election Manifesto - 2009

Thought to include an article I read about the manifesto of a communist party based out of India.

By Surojit Gupta Surojit Gupta Mon Mar 16, 5:59 am ET

Reuters: Communist Party of India (Marxist) supporters hold their party flags during a public rally in Kolkata

NEW DELHI (Reuters) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), Indias most influential hard-left party, called on Monday ahead of a general election for state control of the financial sector and restrictions on foreign investment to overcome an economic slowdown.

CPI-M held the balance of power for most of the tenure of the Congress Party-led government before withdrawing its support last year, and has often played a role in shaping coalition government policies.

In its manifesto for the April/May general election, released on Monday, the CPI(M) also proposed a complete halt to privatisation of profitable state firms, a ban on foreign investment in the retail sector, and guidelines to prevent entry of foreign firms into some of Indias domestic markets.

The main battle in the April 16-May 13 election will be between a coalition led by the left-of-centre Congress Party and an alliance led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharat Janata Party, traditionally more pro-business.

"The CPI(M) will work for the creating of a non-Congress, non-BJP government, which will strengthen democracy, ensure equitable economic development and social justice," the party said in the document.

After years of blocking economic reforms, the CPI(M) and smaller leftist parties withdrew their support for the government to protest against a civilian nuclear deal with the United States. The deal gives India access to nuclear fuel and technology on international markets.

The party has since said it wants to be part of a "Third Front" alternative of smaller parties to the main national alliances.

The CPI(M) said it wanted to review the nuclear deal with the United States to remove "harmful" clauses. It says the accord damages Indias ability to have independent security, making the country reliant on Washington.

The communists may struggle to retain the same number of seats in this election amid problems in some of its heartlands, such as West Bengal.

But it could still muster enough seats to hold the balance of power, political analysts say.

The manifesto had little impact on Indian markets, with traders saying that the CPI(M) does not have the same clout as in previous years. Indian 30-share BSE stock index was up 1.7 percent in late afternoon trade.

Its leaders believe an economic slowdown in India sparked by the global financial crisis could see a backlash against foreign firms and lead voters to support more regulation of the financial sector.

In the manifesto, the CPI(M) said it would also stop joint military exercises with the United States, a country of that it has traditionally been suspicious.

(Additional reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee)
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News I Read Today

Today Fed Chair Bernanke says the risk for further troubles in the credit market as "exceptionally low" while at the Press Club Wednesday.

Where as AIG today disclosed names of conterparties who got some of the bail out money thanks to its (in)famous CDS trade, with Societe Generale getting almost $4.1 billion. Though the disclosure was forced by Congress, on the flip side AIG the largest insurer paid $163 million as extra bonus to executives for doing their job well. It doesn't matter even you are on life support you can surely enjoy the wine!

This is what is called self-imposed-market regulation. I'm getting Green.


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16 March 2009

Devil is in details

“The moment you leverage the tool for client then we can use it to optimize the client relation. Work in a co-sourcing model i.e. give and take model among different vendors. Identify the key persons who are involved, models view has to come from the current application team and the moment you do that you have a better feel of the architecture. This is what I’m assuming. Identify the start point, end point, how much bandwidth required – it’s basically planning the execution and driving the execution. That’s how I’m thinking right now. How do you think about the practical purposes? How we package the solution is important. How shall we come to know about all the application is important? Identify the “next to the vision” operation. Instead of starting from the scratch you are starting those applications that we are currently working. Going forward this will help identifying how the collaboration will work. This will come from the visionary level not from the team. When you are sharing this information for that engagement, they will have a good insight about what you are going to do. The only difference is level of understanding. We need to have an executive buy mind.”

This is how my day begun. By 15:30 I was confident that we are not taking in relation to the stock market but to grab a pie of business in this down-time. By now I have at least 5 different strategies for approaching this problem the only problem is the amount of confusion it is there in my head. Given the lack of confidence in the main street, imagine doing a BD chase with so much option/confusion. In the hindsight, it remembers me when I was sitting for my Programming Lab some 8 years back; I was to code a program in 8085 architecture. After executing successfully the code I was literally grilled by the interviewer in all “what if scenarios” – incidentally she didn’t like my logic and couldn’t comprehend the end objective can be met with difference in path.

If I have not confused you enough, let me get to the matter. In times of crisis of this nature can’t we do the simple things in a simple manner? Clarity of thought is important we should always keep a tab of the bigger picture before getting into too much of Glocalization. The simple rule of thumb would be let’s own what we do and lets be accountable. This will create confidence which will reflect in us and the main street.

Till that time comes I wish Amen!


Who will Rate this

[This one I published some couple of months back in my company’s intranet, thought to upload it here]

We have chronic dissidence.  Not with the world but with ourselves.

The current financial stress world over is again magnified with words like, biggest fall in recorded history, Dow loosing in a single day more than the GDP of India, World in recession, Re-living the ‘30s et al. These are the first things that glares when one open the newspaper in the morning.  This news almost creates nausea as it was a forte of pink papers now migrated to the whites.

On a quite stroll of nearby market in Kolkata I’m surprised to see that the person selling vegetables sitting in street is still selling vegetables, the milkman still comes in the morning. What am I thinking! Am I expecting them to talk in terms of futures & options or will they sell Nasdaq futures tomorrow. Then why is it we market the stress of financial downturn as if it’s Armageddon.

Oh come on! I know it’s quite easy to comprehend that the market players should be part of the market not in speculation. Imagine our poor vegetable seller asking you to deposit money for price of cabbage that s/he will deliver month end and charged a differential rate on it. Will you buy the deal? What is the difference between a person gambling in Las Vegas and the broker doing a reverse swap on inflation-interest of an economy? The answer is the second person is wearing a tie.

We have invented too many products to satisfy our appetite. God must be wondering it’s safe to be in heaven rather than to see what amount of re-packaging is done in this world (that will in effect mean we have to wait some more time to have any other re-incarnation). To regulate it we have created agencies which publish the rating of those products judging by the “fundamentals”. The interesting fact is all the ratings are nothing but a mere advisory and the agencies are not in any ways responsible for their god-sent-gift of ranking product. To complete the circle most of the compliance/regulatory laws require following the rating and having risk-mitigation exposure on that. I wish I could advice on something like this and get away with a fat pay check and zero downside – true Nirvana.

Before we reach the Buddha in ourselves, we will persists to have the chronic dissidence about thinking of everything is counterbalanced force in things we create and marketing sediments & rocks as a potential ingredient of oil. Just that we need patience for 10 million years. May be oil will be AAA+ commodity then.


Dirty Drawing Anyone?

Interesting forward mail that I received thought to share with you!










































Just another Sunday

Spent the entire day trying to organise myself... As we are having nation election round the corner and particularly being from a state where communists ruled for more than 3 decades it throws up some interesting debate. Excerpts of some heated debated thanks to the flurry of local news channel:

Mamata Banerjee speaking at the election campaign kick off: "The ruling government need to have land at any cost and will snatch it from poor, tell them to go to the moon like Rakesh Roshan"

My comment: Incidentally it should be the Rakesh Sharma rather than Rakesh Roshan famed father of a bollywood hero! :)

Congress leader (forgot the name): "Dr. Manmohan Singh deliberately slowed down the GDP in this year to protect the country from recession created by the west"

My comment: Thank God he is not in a miles radius from finance ministry!

The ruling MP from my area used a train in full media galore to commute and even played football match. The contesting MP from my area made a mockery of things by suitable penning down a song for this and singing all along.

My comment: It always pays to be in a good mood! :)

Looks like things are going to be interesting in coming days. But I promise to blog from the voting queue in a months time.

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15 March 2009

Watching Surviving Everest

Today evening I along with mom and dad was watching the Nat Geo documentary-"Surviving Everest". It's a great piece where the sons of Tenzing Norgey and Edmund Hillary try reaching the Summit a good 40 years after humans first reached there. I was amazed to note that it took more time for mankind to reach Everest than to go to space!

Well, three things came out, my mom was sad watching sherpas as young as 12 years old carrying 25 kilos weight for a day and climbing the base camp (5333 meters). My dad was consumed with the different tribes in Nepal who are good at mountaineering as well as giving a thorough prescription of the socio-cultural divide that exists and the religious belief along the mountain. I was glued to the human endeavour of reaching Everest.

The purpose of "Surviving Everest" has three connotations for three people, is this how we are groomed or is it our intrinsic nature that makes us so individualistic? Someone may say, It's all in stars!

Whatever be the case one should attempt Everest in a life time. Altitude is such a leveller. Oops! Was it Time?

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In times of Need

It's been quite some time since the last time I scribbled. Almost 2 years! Lot of things have changed, the impulsive feeling of being into studies has slowly eroded. But one thing that stuck me, I should write about what ever I see around and try to figure. This is a post to welcome you once again and to officially proclaim I'm out of hibernation... Let's get rolling!
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