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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Wish all my readers a very happy new year 2008!

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Here’s wishing each of you a very happy, joyous, prosperous, healthy 2008! Watch this space for more as we plan to come with exciting posts over this year!

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Written by Naveen Athresh

January 2, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Multitude of tasks on my plate right now

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I have been inundated with multitude of tasks right now. Will explain the position later in detail. This might contribute to reduced blogging in the coming days but I hope to pick up pace soon.

We had been to a resort yesterday and it was a refreshing outing!

Written by Naveen Athresh

December 24, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Driven to extremes!

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Have you come across this concept of trying to use every which way to advertise and gain popularity in the initial stages of your career only to later shy away from the limelight once you are a celebrity?

This is one of the biggest paradoxes of life!

One tries to seek attention when one does not have enough of it and one tries to shy away from the same attention when one has a surplus of it!

I have enough examples to put across on this. Give it a thought and share your experiences on this.

Written by Naveen Athresh

April 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Made some changes to my blog appearance

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I made some basic changes to make my blog look more presentable and make access to information for my users a little more easy.

I hope you will like it. You can drop in a quick line if you don’t. As always, suggestions are most welcome!

Written by Naveen Athresh

March 31, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Why do I blog?

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Why do I blog since 2.5+ years (since my 1st day at my MBA course at IIFT when this concept was relatively new in India)?

The answer is a 1-liner and extremely lucid: I have always liked writing!

I want to express my interest in a form that would help others and enhance/share knowledge. Knowledge is power – which is why I read all sorts of books/periodicals/business websites in my free time.

If you look at the Yahoo! group Eco_Fin, that is exactly what I did – share knowledge.

I learnt a lot just by surrounding myself with people more intelligent than I am! It helps raise my bar and I am able to perform better at my workplace and discuss better with people on a myriad number of issues!

Its just a simple yet such a powerful concept to just share your thoughts with like minded peers that I wonder why blogs are not used extensively by people more often!

If you look at why I started my IIFT EMIB blog, it was to help potential joinees to IIFT’s prestigious MBA degree and they could take a calculated decision based on experience of folks who do their part-time/full-time and then take their call.

There is no tangible benefit I get (nor do I expect!) from writing this blog (its purely for personal interest to share my interests).

Written by Naveen Athresh

December 10, 2006 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Reasons for me to dig deeper into the economic fundamentals of the world!

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Let me give a brief explanation as to why I chose such a vast and a diverse topic. Is this out of academic interest or is there more to it?

I believe my interest in the world economy was spurred on early on in my career at the age of 23 when I was curious to know what exactly does the term ‘economic fundamentals’ really convey? In my quest for knowledge, I tried seeking answers. I got a myriad number of them – most were largely theoretical with no practical emphasis and I was not convinced else it was the other way round – all too much to do with numbers and I was lost!

I wanted to bridge this gap with a set of defined tools/techniques. I am not here to do research on this topic nor do I intend to bore my readers with this.

What I seek are answers.

The world economy changes by the second. Its the most fluid of all the parameters and almost all the markets are directly / indirectly dependant on the ‘economy’. You have a hot economy, people have jobs, there is more disposable income, people are worried about inflation. On the contrarian viewpoint, you have a slowing economy, people lose jobs, there is less disposable income and suddenly people are worried about deflation!

Everyone agrees that cyclical ups and downs in the business world are normal but why is it that no one is able to predict with certainty as to why this happens? What is so elusive about the “world economy” that people are baffled to arrive at definite predictions.

In my experience, the only thing that is as non predictive as the world economy is the human life itself!

Like I said before, my quest to seek answers began in 2000 and peaked in 2001 when the world economy collapsed.

The US was in a short recession, people lost jobs, the world followed. Germany sank, the Japanese economy was, as it is, in doldrums since the 1990’s and its economy was in deflation.

Today, we hear all the above economies have picked up after business confidence picked up from 2003 till date. Will this sustain? For how long? Who predicts these? What role do Central banks have in all this? Do they use definite tools/techniques? How accurate are those methodologies?

I am going to try to do a “Roopa Purushottaman” here. For people who do not know her or have not heard of her, she is the popular ex-Goldman Sachs economist who came out with the very interesting BRIC report in 2003 that took the world by storm! It interested Indians immensely because the ‘I’ in the ‘BRIC’ report stands for India. It summarized that by 2050, India, among its peers such as China, Brazil and Russia, would be the world’s 3rd largest economy after the USA and China!

Currently, while the rest of the world economies are trudging along at about a 1-2% GDP growth, the Indian and Chinese economies are streamrolling at over 6-10% GDP growth every year!

Moreover, the demographics of the Indian and the Chinese population (rated the #2 and #1 most populated countries in the world respectively) indicate a larger working class population unlike their American and European counterparts.

So, while the populace in America and Europe ages and starts relying on the Social security benefits that will cause a huge hole in the Government kitty, the Indian and Chinese populace will see increasing earnings and more disposable income. This trend is only set to accelerate towards till 2050.

A link to that article can be found at the Goldman Sachs website. They have even made available a PDF link of the same and it really made for interesting reading! 

Anyway, lets turn our attention back to the present reality: What happens if there is a slowdown in 2007? How would the Chinese and the Indian economies get affected? Indonasia is hit by an earthquake almost every week. There is economic tension due to the political tensions prevailing in the Middle East (rising oil price worries – will oil touch $100 a barrel – it is currently hovering around the $70 a barrel mark – the OPEC is a cartel with a collusive oligopoly market structure), there is an ever increasing threat by anti-social element threatening world economies. Global warming is rising – the Arctic ice is melting. Weather has become unpredictable in most continents of the world. Is globalization here to stay? How does that impact the world economy? How will a unified European currency impact the world? Is the US Dollar being challenged? When will the EURO reign as the standard currency for all world currency transactions? Do stock markets really follow the random walk theory? Is there a link between the world economies and the world stock markets?

We seek answers to some of the most basic questions posed above and I seek them with a number driven analytical approach.

Why is it that we did not realize the slowdown of 2001 till it was almost too late to correct? Can no one predict with some degree of certainty as to what happens next?

How effective were the recent chief’s of Central banks such as the legendary Alan Greenspan or Wim Duisenberg in defining monetary policies and defining the economic governance of sustained interest rate hikes and controlling / tiding over the difficult times of the late 1990’s and early 2000/01?

Who can forget Alan Greenspan’s term “irrational exuberance” used first in 1996?
http://www.irrationalexuberance.com/definition.htm
(Source: Irrational Exuberance, by Robert J. Shiller – http://www.irrationalexuberance.com)

How are their successors faring (Ben Bernanke of the US Fed and Jean Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank)?

Welcome to the global space. The economy rules! All of the rest follow. Stock markets, currency markets, real estate markets and the like!

Written by Naveen Athresh

October 17, 2006 at 9:16 am