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Coming up: Economics of ebooks/readers – a detailed study

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Watch this space closely as I collate information and present an analysis on this shortly. Someone left a feedback for me that I was totally deviating from the primary objective of this blog – Economics and Finance and I think their point is indeed valid. I have been all over the place again. I need to refocus my priorities on this blog’s original objective with which it was setup 3 years ago and that is to concentrate on Economics and Finance.

Just look at the competition in this field:

1. kindle e-book reader

2. Barnes and Noble Nook e-book reader

3. iRex, (a Royal Philips spin-off in 2005) e-book reader

4. PlasticLogic e-book reader

5. Sony e-book reader

and many more!

This will be an interesting analysis.

Written by Naveen Athresh

November 9, 2009 at 8:03 pm


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IIFT EMIB 2004 - 2006 (Source:

IIFT EMIB 2004 - 2006 (Source:

It’s been exactly five long years since I joined for my EMIB (Executive Masters in International business) from the prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi! I joined it on 9th August 2004. Time flies! But can say for sure that this degree has been my best investment made on education till date. With zero opportunity cost (it was held only on weekends – non stop for one and a half years) and the schedule was honestly grueling with no respite and kept us busy on weekdays with assignments, quizzes every weekend, mid-term exams, classes and of course, the end terms. Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Hathaway Annual report 2008 / a must read

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You can’t be mistaken when you are reading from the greatest punters in the Financial space – Warren Buffett. The Chairman’s letter to shareholders did not dissappoint me. It was filled with the usual interesting titbits on his insurance ops and business, the concept of insurance ‘float’, his profit margins, the stake he took in Goldman Sachs, GE etc. during the troubling cashflow starved times of late 2008, the usual caveats on on the derivatives business and the future of Berkshire! Oh btw – there was no mention of “fruit of the loom” as marketwatch said there would be!

As I have said many times before, I am a self proclaimed protege of Warren Buffett and anything he does interests me. His annual reports are always looked forward to by much ado and this time was especially different to get the views of the man who I consider is king in stock market investing alongwith with his mentor Ben Graham and associate, Charlie Munger.

The Satyam fiasco – Ramalinga Raju’s misadventures

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Sorry for not blogging about this earlier. I did not have access to broadband Internet at my home for the last 3 days and was working off my Blackberry for office related tasks.

While the economic and financial implications have been written about far and wide and everyone is busy reading the tea leaves, what are the lessons one take’s away from this? Before I begin my analysis, I would like to remind my readers that I had blogged on Corporate governance and sound accounting practices as early as 1.5 years ago on this very blog: and on AND on Corporate Ethics here: more than TWO years ago! Read the rest of this entry »

Wall Street – the movie / 1987

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I saw this captivating movie on TV today and it really sums up what has been happening. A great movie about a young broker who decides to go the fast track unethical way of conveying insider information but thankfully stops short but does get nailed towards the end.

Michael Douglas (Gordon Gekko in the movie) and Charlie Sheen (Bud Fox in the movie) have acted well! Can’t believe that 21 years ago, they still had good old PC’s and big satellite phones to communicate which is pretty much what we have today but more compact and sophisticated machines – as one would expect. But, the point is, it could well have been 2008 and not 1987!

US Government bails out CITIGROUP

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As expected, the US Government bails out CITIGROUP. They are extending a lifeline of $20 billion at a higher rate of interest than that given by the TARP plan. Also, they plan to absorb some of the bad assets provided CITI takes the initial $5 billion followed by the US Government followed by the FDIC (the total gurantee amount by the US Government, FDIC and Federal reserve might amount to almost $300+ billion). In return, the US Government gets preferred shares of CITI (NYSE: C). Bonuses of executives (executive compensation) would have to have the Government’s approval.

Let’s see how it pans out but allowing a 200 year old bank operating in 106 countries to fail would have proved catastrophic.

Can large banks fail / CITIBANK on the brink

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I saw the developments of the last week where CITI (NYSE: C) shares really fell to $3 a share and was in danger of going bust as public confidence was eroding sharply. CITI faces a real threat of a collapse.

There were two options open to the board: 1. Fire the CEO, Vikram Pandit as a sacrificial lamb, 2. split the company and sell the parts or whole of the company. Read the rest of this entry »

Are we staring in the face of a depression in 2008?

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If you look at the above link, some of the linkages are chilling. There was a liquidity crisis then too (forget what trigerred it), loans were hard to come by, banks collapsed like nine pins, unemployment soared and the US triggered it followed by a worldwide collapse (nearly 3/4 of a century ago when there was hardly any communication at today’s speed) that got rejuvenated only with the onset of the second world war. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

October 9, 2008 at 12:49 am

Wells Fargo makes a counter bid pipping Citi’s Pandit

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Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup is not a happy man and is frankly red faced. Their exclusivity agreement with Wachovia notwithstanding, Wells Fargo made a counter bid for Wachovia and Citi ‘which never sleeps’ was really caught napping!

Now, Citigroup (NYSE: C) has filed a lawsuit against Wachovia for trying to sell itself to a higher bidder though they (Wachovia) had an exclusivity agreement with Citi. They have a quiet period for the next few days but the arguments will begin again. Its interesting to see whether Wachovia will be split with some geographic areas and branches going to Citi while the rest go to Wells Fargo.

Written by Naveen Athresh

October 9, 2008 at 12:29 am

Security analysis: The classic 1934 edition – Benjamin Graham

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I finally managed to get hold of this book before the book stores could so I beat them! I now need to read this book that is regarded as the Bhagvad Gita of value investing. I will treat it as my textbook on value investing.

It will be heavy on the head so will wrap up my read of the Intelligent investor that is a less complicated approach to the same principles listed in the Security analysis.

Meanwhile, Alan Greenspan has to wait as I wrap up reading up on my legend’s (Warren Buffett’s) legend – the great legendary Benjamin Graham!