Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ending of an Era

The newspaper business seems to be coming to a close. What an amazing run. With the advent of the internet, search based avertising, the Kindle, etc -- across the board, the world that the printing press ushered in, is slowly going to RIP.

Here's the commomorative final front page of the Seattle P-I.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Welcome to the Savings Economy

So, America starts saving again.
It's about time if you asked me. Just that it is a bit inopportune time. Unfortunately and ironically, we need consumers to spend first so that we can get ourselves out of the ditch we are in. Then, start saving.
Saving right now might be the best thing to do on an individual basis, but collectively, it would bring the world economy to a greater halt. As it is, every day, you now hear factories across the globe (including and most importantly, in China), closing shop and laying off people. We also hear how the shipping rates for containers crossing the oceans have come down. And how containers are piling up at the docks. Finally, the holiday spending/retail figures that came out today aren't looking good either.
We need to spend. We need to save. We need to spend... we need to save. It's confusing.
I think Saturday Night live captures this the best.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

India's Enron?

When things like this happen, several thoughts come to mind:

  1. How could you do this for so long, not get noticed?
  2. What's the role of the auditors? How come they didn't figure this out?
  3. What's the role of the Board of Directors?

It's a sad day in general.

It's a sad day for the thousands of employees (and their families) as well as the customers of Satyam.

It's a sad day for India because rebuilding trust (once eroded) takes a lot of time. Since Satyam was traded on NYSE, there are going to be a lot of people all over the world who would be losing money. For India to be a global player, it must strengthen it's corporate governance laws and ensure regulatory and judicial bodies have the spine to ruthlessly enforce them. Today, this is lacking.

Finally, it's a sad day for global finance and the entire corporate-world. In the current global economic climate, what we need is shining examples of leadership and excellence. Not examples of cheating, cutting corners, or fraud.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Goldman Sachs Slashes Pay by 45%

Now, that's a serious pay cut.

One could argue that it is a result of weak performance, prevailing conditions, poor decisions, etc.

I personally believe the high-paying financial sector jobs are now seeing what the manufacturing jobs have seen for the past decade.

To quote what is in the article:
“We think the industry is in the process of repricing its labor pool,” Guy Moszkowski, an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York, wrote in a Dec. 3 note to investors. “We think it’s reasonable to expect this given the very weak earnings and outlook for next year and the fact that the labor environment is inhospitable.”

Globalization's premise of moving labor and capital to areas where the costs are low will have an impact. It is unsustainable to have such huge disparities between nations. There will be a "great levelling". Or as Tom calls it: "The World is Flat".

I wonder if this is the beginning of the trend where pay scales & quality of life in industrialized nations will drop sequentially.

Until of course, there is a massive investment in new technologies and innovations that breed local jobs. Local jobs that are difficult to be outsourced. Local jobs that are attract people community college graduates and PhDs from Ivy league universities, alike.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Choice of Biden as Obama's Vice President

There is one specific thing that I am really pleased about, when it comes to the pick.

One word: Amtrak.

Here's the guy who used to board the Amtrak every day, from DC to Delaware. I am truly hoping US finally gets and understand the true benefits of public mass transportation. That's one more way to address the issue of America's addiction to foreign oil.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Indian Stock Analysts

Of late, I have been watching CNBC India, to understand the Indian Stock Market. One thing really strikes me as really odd.

I have been watching this for a couple of weeks now, and I am amazed at all the talking heads on the channel. All the so called experts are basically & purely "technical analysts". Almost everyone on the channel is obsessed with reading charts & interpreting momentum, moving averages, resistances, etc.

Whatever happened to good old fundamental analysts??

Friday, June 13, 2008

It is a sad day...

My Sundays will never be the same.

Among all the news/PR personalities, Tim Russert was at the top of the game.

May he rest in peace.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We found 23 stores that may have this book...

... but, actually none do.

I was looking for this book: "India: From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond", by Shashi Tharoor. I heard a speech on this book by him - and I decided that it should be the next addition to my book collection.

I was checking if the local Barnes and Noble carried this book - so that to buy this today. Yes, every now and then, I am an impulse buyer to every retailer's delight.

Here's what I found.

"We found 23 stores in or near 20814 that may have this item in-stock as of Apr 20, 2008." Only one minor problem. Except that that each one of them said in the Availability column: "Not in Stock".

I wonder. What's the point of this feature? How hard can it be to show only those stores that have this book in stock? (and in this case: zero.)