Personal Note: As can probably be guessed from the paucity of recent posts, I have been rather busy trying to set up a new partnership. So, though there have been a lot of things that have caught my attention, I haven’t been able to post much. I decided to take the medicine and do a few short posts when I get the time.
Yes, India is most definitely one of the few positive things we could look to in 2010 but there were more than enough warning signs that things might not continue to remain so rosy. Maoism coupled with the fissiparous nature of Indian politics —based as it is on race, religion, caste, and class — makes government and governance from the center difficult enough. Rampant corruption in federal & state governments doesn’t help. Nor does exploitation of that corruption by the large Indian corporates only recently weaned from the vicissitudes (that they so adroitly profited from) of the “Permit Raj.” The demographic advantages that everyone had been touting vis-a-vis China may also be a double-edged sword if not tackled adroitly and with some dispatch. Continue reading “Trade Notes: Some Tarnish on “India Shining” Might be an Opportunity”→
I’ve been coming to this place on and off for about two decades now but the contrasts can still leave you a bit more than bemused.
As our Kingfisher Airlines flight taxiied in to Kolkata — new name of Calcutta, a gift of their identity politics — airport, you can see the place hasn’t changed in the last two decades with that same air of “really can’t be assed” decay. But the airline I’m flying is new and swanky, with a young and rather good-looking flight attendant who smiles like she actually means it. And there are a lot more aircraft on the tarmac as well. You notice the Indian Air Force Embraer Legacy executive jet Continue reading “Background: Incredible India can do your Head in”→
Good old-fashioned partnership merchant banks lending out proprietary money is where banking started (hence the picture of Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena, the oldest surviving bank): a partnership with long money to lend, taking the risk and the profits of new ventures from the next crop to the next shipload of whatever coming into port.
Modern banks are built around the concept of borrowing short and lending long: borrow money short-term (from depositors or worse, short-term money markets) and lend long-term. That’s where the image of the bank (and the banker) becomes critical. Essentially, banks then become a legally sanctioned Ponzi Scheme: Continue reading “Background: Grameen Bank’s Model Under a Foreseen Threat”→