Monday, August 04, 2008

Voice of Love - Emotional Maturity

Got this one through mail from a friend.. a wonderful read on emotional maturity...

The husband and wife gifted themselves a new car for their first wedding anniversary. They drove downtown, zipped through the beach road, watched a movie in a drive-in theatre, and finally returned home. They didn't have the garage facility. So the car was parked in the street. To their utter shock, when they woke up the next morning, the car was missing. The car was stolen. First car, first wedding anniversary gift, and they had enjoyed the car for just a day. The wife couldn't take it. With misty eyes she sank into the sofa. The husband too was a little jolted, but his love for his wife prevailed over the moment. He hugged her from behind, and said, “The car is lost. You can feel heavy about it. The car is lost. You can take it easy. Either way the car is lost. Then, why not take it easy.” She gave him a cold stare and the moment passed. Two months later the police recovered the car from one of the car-robbery-gangs, and the car was returned to the husband. That very evening, while driving back home from the police station, the husband rammed the car against a truck. This time it was his turn. He couldn't take it. On returning home, with misty eyes he sank into the sofa. Of course jolted, yet her love for him prevailed over the moment. This time, she hugged him from behind, and said, “The car is rammed. You can feel heavy about it. The car is rammed. You can take it easy. Either way the car is rammed. Then, why not take it easy.”

A logical question: When the car is lost or rammed, how can anyone take it easy? But what else can you do? Feel heavy, if you want; take it easy, if you want - either way, after the emotional drama, what has to be done has to be done.The police complaint has to be lodged; the car has to be sent to the workshop; the insurance has to be claimed… what has to be done has to be done.

The child has failed in one of the subjects. The father slaps the child a few times. The mother hits herself on her forehead several times and cries. After all the emotional drama, what? Now, you will have to take extra care on coaching your child on that subject - may be he will be sent for special tuition - what has to be done has to be done. You left the milk a little longer than required on the gas stove. The boiled milk is beginning to overflow from all sides of the vessel. Scream, wail, screech, get tensed, and let your BP to shoot up… after all the emotional drama, now what? You will switch the stove off, offload the milk vessel and clean the kitchen countertop. So, eventually what has to be done will be done.

From a stock market crash, to a key employee's resignation, to the death of a beloved… after the emotional drama, eventually what has to be done will be done.Here we are not discussing about not being emotional, but about avoiding the dramatic emotional reactions. Understandably, you will skip a heartbeat when you lose your vehicle, you will sink into helplessness when the child fails, legitimate tears will roll down at the loss of a beloved. Emotions - yes. Emotional

drama - no!

Emotional Maturity is not about avoiding emotions, but it is about avoiding the emotional drama. Anyways, what has to be done has to be done. Then, why the drama?


Manager: "Do you have any sales experience?"

Indian salesman: "Sir, I was a salesman back home in India."

Well, the boss liked the Indian so he gave him the job. "You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did."

His first day on the job was rough but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the boss came down. "How many sales did you make today?"

Indian boy says: "Sir, Just one sale."

The boss says: "Just ONE? No! No! No! You see here our sales people average 20 or 30 sales a day." If you want to keep this job, you'd better be doing better than just one sale. By the way, how much was the sale for?"

Indian boy says: " $101 237. 64"

Boss says: "$101 237. 64? What did you sell?"

Indian boy says: "Sir, First I sold a small fishhook, then a medium fishhook, a large one and a new fishing rod with some fishing gear.

Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down on the coast, so I told him he'll need a boat, so we went down to the boating department and I sold him a twin engine Chris Craft.

Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to our automotive department and sold him that 4X4 Blazer.

I then asked him where he would be staying, and since he had no accommodation, I took him to camping department and sold him one of those new igloo 6 sleeper camper tents.

Then the guy said, while we're at it, I should throw in about $100 worth of groceries and two cases of beer.

The boss said: "You're not serious? A guy came in here to buy a fishhook and you sold him a boat, a 4X4 truck and a tent?"

Indian boy says: "No Sir, actually he came in to buy Anacin for his headache, and I
said: Well, fishing is the best way to relax your mind."...

Hasselblad unveil their 50-megapixel H3DII-50 camera

Hasselblad H3DII-50

For those of you who aren’t into the camera scene, the Hasselblad company has been making some of the best cameras for many proud generations. In fact, these guys have been making cameras since photography was invented. If Hasselblad cameras are gourmet food, then all other cameras are like McDonalds.

The company’s newest flagship camera is the H3DII-50. It is so named because it has 50, count ‘em, 50-megapixels. It also features Kodak’s 36 x 48mm sensor which is about twice the size of the largest 35mm sensors.

Other features are improved controls and functionality, better sensor cooling, a new and more intuitive interface, plus a bright 3-inch display. It also has a terrific assortment of large and bright viewfinders, and a wide range of HC and HCD lenses.

Like I said, Hasselblad cameras are the gourmet of cameras, and this is the high priced food that you would get at a high-priced restaurant. Hasselblad cameras are definitely “for professionals only”, and the best photographers will probably trying like mad to get their hands on the H3DII-50 when it comes out in October. They probably pay top dollar for it, too.

Via [Engadget]

Why 13% inflation is a possibility

India Infoline News Service
Inflation is headed higher and may fall only after touching 13%. The headline inflation is likely to stay in double digits till the end of 2008 and may average out at 10% during the financial year 2008-9. By March 2009, inflation could still be in the 6-7% range, higher than the RBI`s target of 5.5%.

If you are worried about the wholesale price index (WPI) inflation hitting a 13-year high of 11.63% (for the week ending June 21), there's more bad news in store. Inflation is headed higher and may fall only after touching 13%. The headline inflation is likely to stay in double digits till the end of 2008 and may average out at 10% during the financial year 2008-9. By March 2009, inflation could still be in the 6-7% range, higher than the RBI's target of 5.5%.

There are several reasons why inflation is likely to be higher. The recent hike in fuel prices added about 1% to inflation. But this hike pushes up other goods' prices, adding another 1% to the WPI inflation indirectly. Secondly, with global oil prices ruling strong at around $140 a barrel, the prices of goods across sectors such as petrochemicals, plastics, textiles and paper, where petroleum products form part of the inputs, will also go up.

Besides, the prices of oil and industrial commodities such as metals show up in the prices of domestic manufactured goods after a lag of 3-6 months. So, even if the global commodity prices start falling from tomorrow, their impact on domestic prices will be felt only towards the end of 2008.

The weakening of rupee compared with the dollar and other major currencies is also increasing pressure on domestic prices. While domestic conditions normally determine the pricing power of companies, a strong domestic demand, capacity constraints and a surge in global commodity prices are allowing domestic manufacturers to follow the import-parity pricing. So, the domestic inflation has become acutely sensitive to global commodity prices and rupee value.

This is more true of the WPI, which has a large proportion of industrial commodities. While this means that the WPI inflation could remain higher than the consumer price index (CPI) inflation, which is currently in the 7.8-9.1% range, the CPI inflation will catch up and also hit double digits over a period of time.

Inflation outlook

The wholesale price inflation is likely to stay in double digits till the end of 2008. The average for 2008-9 may be 10%

Interest rate outlook The RBI may further hike repo rate and CRR by 0.5% each. The interest rates may go up by 1% or more

Tackling inflation Banning exports and cutting import duties won't help. The best way to tame inflation is to increase the interest rates. This would curb demand

Rupee exchange rate A stronger rupee can help control domestic inflation, but the government does not want to hurt exports

Global commodity prices
If global commodity prices fall, inflation may come down. But the full effect on prices shows only after a lag of 3-6 months

What is the government doing to tackle inflation? Here we need to remember that inflation is a global problem in the face of the sharp rise in commodity prices, and each country's response is tailored to its own macro-environment. In the Indian context, the environment of a strong domestic demand, comfortable forex reserve position and stable financial sector is conducive to decisive actions to tackle inflation.

However, the steps taken by the government, such as banning exports or cutting import duties, have failed to serve the purpose. This development discredits the supply side or the cost-push theories. The same theories were peddled in the US three decades ago in the aftermath of the 1973 oil shock. However, government intervention could not reverse the inflationary pressures and the US Federal Reserve had to resort to massive hikes in interest rates to break the back of inflationary expectations.

While it is true that inflation is a global phenomenon, claiming that it boils down to international supply issues is an invalid argument. In India, the record growth performance over the past five years has set the stage for inflation to accelerate to double-digit levels. A belated recognition of this fact as well as the limitations imposed by the state of government's finances have forced the government to take a backseat and allow the RBI to handle the problem.

The central bank has responded by hiking its key policy rate the repo rate by 0.75% in June and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by a cumulative 1.25% since the beginning of April. These measures were meant to suck out excess money from the banking system and raise the cost of funds for banks. The banks responded by hiking both the lending and deposit rates. Before the end of 2008, I expect the RBI to further hike the repo rate and CRR by 0.5% each. Over the coming months, all categories of borrowers corporates, households, traders will find the cost of their borrowings go up by 1% or more.

This is a painful, but right step. Over a period of time, higher interest rates will have the desired effect on demand for goods and services and curb the pricing power of domestic firms. More pertinently, these actions will send a signal to the companies and workers that the RBI will not tolerate high inflation and accordingly decide their pricesetting and wage-setting behaviour.

Assuming that the global supply situation does not deteriorate further, these steps should start bearing fruit by early next year. As a corollary, domestic growth should cool off from the current unsustainable levels, but India will still continue to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The decisive actions by the RBI and the anticipated drop in inflation will have a salutary effect on the Indian economy over the long term. A central bank that gains control over inflation and expectations of future inflation will be able to deliver a stable macro-economic environment that will set the stage for an extended period of high growth.

In India's case, it is imperative for the RBI to deliver such results as the record of fiscal policy in contributing to growth is weak. After a few years of improvement, the government's finances could worsen this year, adding to the pressure on interest rates.

Of course, there is another way to tackle inflation by allowing the rupee to strengthen against the dollar and other currencies. While the decline in Indian companies' share prices has had a negative impact on the rupee, it is also true that the RBI and the government do not fancy the currency option. A stronger rupee will push down domestic prices but will hurt exporters when they compete in foreign markets. So in order to protect the margins of exporters, monetary measures will necessarily mean higher interest rates possibly higher than those warranted to curb inflation.

So far, so good. Is there any flipside to the above arguments? In the coming months, domestic inflation may abate if global commodity prices, especially crude oil prices, fall from the current levels. Such a development could persuade the RBI to not raise interest rates. While I do not subscribe to this view, such a fall in commodity prices cannot be ruled out. So if you are worried about inflation, keep an eye on the global oil prices and do your bit for energy conservation.

Reproduced From Money Today. © 2008. LMIL. All rights reserved.

Logitech launches Tri Color Mouse for this I Day

We share the feeling of patriotism. We don’t mind fighting against terrorism, standing in the theater for the national anthem or even hoisting a flag in our office but using a mouse to show how patriotic we are doesn’t seem to work for us. Logitech’s brainy marketing team decided to come up with something unique to appeal to the Indians and voila, here is a mouse with Indian tri colors sans the Ashoka Chakra.

Nothing extraordinary here except the visual appeal. And if it triggered your patriotic senses, head over to a retailer to grab one for Rs. 640 ($15).

Why India will beat China ?

An excellent article discussing India's real strength and weakness.. Read it from Buisness week...

BusinessWeek - By William Nobrega

An entrenched and vibrant democracy will ultimately drive India to outperform China socially and economically

Authoritarian regimes often yield impressive short-term economic results, as seen in Germany in the 1930s, the Soviet Union in the 1950s, Brazil in the 1960s, and China in the 1990s. Unencumbered by such things as property rights, legal recourse, and public debate, the authoritarian regime can harness significant economic and political resources to create impressive industrial and economic feats.

Conversely, democratic regimes tend to be sloppy affairs with loud public discourse, a vocal press, stubborn land owners, and a myriad of civil liberties. Far from being able to harness economic resources, the government often must act more as a regulator. The result is that there are very few grandiose government-sponsored projects. Instead, there are countless private-sector initiatives driven by the invisible hand of the market. While the authoritarian regime is envied by some, the fact is that longer term, this type of socioeconomic model has typically led to economic and social distortions.

That is the dilemma that China faces today. Since the 1980s, the Chinese government has focused on developing an export-driven economy supported by an artificially undervalued currency. Foreign direct investment was encouraged while domestic consumption was limited. Massive infrastructure projects were initiated, fueled by a growing trade surplus, with cities sprouting up in the hinterlands like some mythical phoenix. For years, the Chinese economy benefited from these policies with double-digit gross domestic product growth, vast foreign currency reserves, and ever increasing capital inflows.

Inflation Could Spark Social Unrest

But now the economic and social distortions have begun to appear with rising inflation rates, numerous asset bubbles, looming overcapacity, and rampant institutionalized corruption. The Chinese government finds itself in a quandary. If the government allows its currency to rapidly appreciate to reduce inflation it will drive down exports and fuel unemployment. If it fails to quell inflation, social unrest will quickly unfold.

But even if the hare is running into obstacles of its own design, how will it give India the competitive edge? The advantage comes in the form of an entrenched and vibrant democracy that will ultimately drive India to outperform China socially and economically. Messy, frustrating, and more often than not agonizingly slow, India's democracy would seem to be chaotic at the surface. But if you look deeper you will quickly see why the tortoise will win this race. Let's take a look at two of the major advantages that India's democracy provides:

• Property Rights: As India becomes urbanized many families will choose to sell or borrow against their land so that they can start businesses, buy apartments, or provide education opportunities for their children. India is at the beginning of a gradual migration that is being driven by the development of high-end manufacturing and other sunrise industries that will require a vast pool of semiskilled and skilled labor. This migration will create an increasingly urban India that is expected to attract more than 200 million rural inhabitants to urban centers by 2025, primarily in what are known as secondary or "B & C" cities.

This transition will facilitate the sale of land holdings by an estimated 30 million farmers and 170 million other individuals indirectly tied to the agricultural sector. The sale of these holdings is expected to generate more than $1 trillion in capital by 2025. This capital will have a multiplier effect on the Indian economy that could exceed $3 trillion. The development of the mortgage-backed security and asset-backed security markets, driven by financial institutions like Citigroup (C), will create the liquidity required to free up this capital.

China, by contrast, has no rural property rights. China's 750 million rural residents who lease land are at the mercy of the local and regional government as to what compensation they will receive, if any, when they are forced from the land as a result of development, infrastructure improvements, etc. Additionally they have no right to borrow against their lease, and as such they have no assets. In fact, the Chinese government's official figures state that more than 200,000 hectares of rural land are taken from rural residents every year with little or no compensation. According to some estimates, between 1992 and 2005 20 million farmers were evicted from agriculture due to land acquisition, and between 1996 and 2005 more than 21% of arable land in China has been put to non-agriculture use.

The result is not unexpected, with over 87,000 mass incidents (or riots) reported in 2005, a 50% increase from 2003. Many provincial governments in China have begun to use plainclothes policemen to beat, intimidate, or otherwise subdue any peasant that dares to oppose these land grabs. And, as would be expected, the beneficiaries from these policies are developers and corrupt government officials.

• Rule of Law: The rule of law is a fundamental cornerstone of any modern society. India has a legal system that has been in place for well over 100 years. This legal system is internationally respected and includes laws that protect intellectual property as well as physical property. The rule of law creates predictability and stability that allows entrepreneurial behavior to flourish. This is clearly evident in India, with more than 6,000 companies listed in the stock exchanges, compared to approximately 2,000 in China. More telling is the fact that of the 6,000 listed companies in India only approximately 100 are state-owned. This stands in stark contrast to China, where more than 1,200 of the 2,000 companies listed on the exchanges are state-owned.

Can there be any doubt as to where the next Microsoft (MSFT) or Intel (INTC) will be created? Certainly not China!

More than 100 Indian companies that completed initial public offerings as midcap companies now have a market capitalization of over $1 billion. Companies such as Jet Airways (JET.BO), Bharti Tele-Ventures, Infosys Technologies (INFY), Reliance Communications (RLCM.BO), Tata Motors (TTM) (which just acquired Jaguar), Wipro Technologies (WIT), and Hindalco Industries (HALC.BO) are becoming multinational competitors with globally recognized brands. China also has numerous companies that have a market capitalization of over $1 billion, but the majority of these are state-owned behemoths recognized by their sheer size and not their nimbleness.

When the rule of law is recognized by investors and foreign companies as something that is beyond question it serves to facilitate additional investments in research and development. For instance, 150 of the top global multinationals now have research and development bases in India. Additionally the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has certified more companies in India then in any other country outside the U.S., a testament to the innovation that free markets and the rule of law foster.

Little Protection for IP in China

China has a legal system that does little to protect intellectual and physical property rights, a fact highlighted in the 2007 edition of the International Property Rights Index, which ranks China with Nigeria in protecting intellectual property rights. In fact, China's illegal copying of movies, music, and software cost companies $2.2 billion in 2006 sales, according to an estimate by lobby groups representing Microsoft, Walt Disney (DIS), and Vivendi (VIV.PA). This figure may in fact be understated as it does not include pirated products that have been shipped to overseas markets by government-controlled Chinese companies.

The rule of law when applied evenly and justly in a democratic society also helps to ensure that wealth accumulation does not favor those individuals in political office or individuals connected to those in political office.

Democracy is a messy thing, especially when you have an electorate that exceeds 600 million people who are motivated to vote. However, democracy also helps to ensure that individual liberties are respected and that the government is responsive and beholden to the will of the people, rich or poor. A democracy also ensures accountability through impartial courts that help enforce and protect such things as property rights, environmental rights, human rights, and good governance.

India's democracy is far from perfect, but it is also quite young, and as incomes rise and the populace becomes more informed we can expect that India's government institutions will become more responsive and transparent.

And what about the hare? Consider this fact: A recent survey found that of the 20,000 richest men in China, more than 95% were directly related to Communist party officials. Where would you place your bet?

Copyright 2000-2008 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved.

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