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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

Should a recession affect your purchasing decision making?

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Is the reduction in purchasing decisions/actual purchases made a good thing or a bad thing during recessionary times. While technically, India is still motoring along at over 5.5% GDP growth and is tipped to be the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world for 2009 (a miserable year for other world economies), should the discerning consumer cut down on his purchases of items? Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Naveen Athresh

March 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

Berkshire Hathaway Annual report 2008 / a must read

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http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2008ar/2008ar.pdf

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.

Has the retail bubble in India burst?

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I had blogged about retail opportunities in India about an year and a half ago here – https://ecofin.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/retail-opportunities-in-india/

It was not even an year ago that we witnessed almost every large corporate worth their salt open up stores in the name of “retail” looking for every opportunity to outwit and throw out your neighbourhood “kirana store”.

But, less than an year later, they have a sad story to tell. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

February 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Barack Obama – Mr. President of the United States of America!

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He is the ultimate modern tech savvy Blackberry wielding Mr President of the United States of America. For once, I see genuine hope in the way the US will go about sorting out its financial mess and it’s foreign policies.

Checkout: http://www.whitehouse.gov

As with most Americans and millions from other countries and their citizens, I did not miss his swearing-in ceremony that was held in Washington DC on 20th January 2009 on television – that marked a new era in world history!

Good luck – President Obama. May god be with you in all your endeavours! We have hopes on you to revitalize the world and of course, with it, the United States and my country, India!

Brand Obama is sure flying high!

Written by Naveen Athresh

January 22, 2009 at 7:52 pm

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: https://ecofin.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/importance-of-accounting-for-the-business-world/ and on http://www.accounting101.wordpress.com AND on Corporate Ethics here: https://ecofin.wordpress.com/2006/11/16/corporate-ethics/ more than TWO years ago! Read the rest of this entry »

Wall Street – the movie / 1987

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_(film)

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.