Saturday, November 21, 2009

Corruption index - followup

This is in continuation of my earlier blog on the corruption perception index released by Transparency International for 2009.

I had posted comments in the  Transperancy International Blog   about the ratings assigned to Switzerland and the need to give negative ratings for such countries, which promote secret investments. While acknowledging my remark, one Mr.Neumann referred me to the Financial Secrecy Index  developed by Tax Justice Network.

Initially, I was under the impression that in the entire world, only Switzerland entertains such secret investments. But, I was surprised to know a lot many countries entertain such investments. USA (Delaware) & Luxembourg are rated even ahead of Switzerland in the financial secrecy index ranking, though Switzerland scores 100/100 on opacity. The avenues available for parking the illicit wealth are just too much.

Ghajini shayari

I was just listening to aamir khan's ghajini song "thu meri adhuri pyas pyas ...". The song begins with a shayari. Aamir's movies mostly have shayaries. The wordings of the shayari was wonderful & I reproduce it below:

"bas ab ek haan ke intezaar me raat yunhi guzar jaayegi,
ab toh bas uljhan hi saath mere neend kahan aayegi,
Subah ki kiran na jaane kounsa sandesh laayegi,
rimjhim si gungunayegi ... ya pyaas adhuri reh jaayegi" 

The shayari clears reveals the tensed & anxious mind of a man, who has just proposed & waiting for the next day morning to know the girl's response.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Corruption Perceptions Index

The Transparency International(TI) has released the 2009 corruption perception index. Countries are given score on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 for the most corrupt & 10 for the least corrupt. Then, the countries are being ranked according to the score. 180 countries have been ranked by TI in the index.

With a score of just 3.4, India has been ranked 84th on the list. New Zealand is least corrupt nation and Somalia is the most corrupt nation.

Ratings of certain other countries:

It's really strange that Switzerland, which "enables" the politicians & business tycoons of a lot of countries to safely keep their corruptly earned money & wealth amassed by tax evasion, is ranked 5.

I am not sure if the constitution of a country has anything to do with corruption. For example, Oman is a monarchy & Nepal was also a monarchy, till recently. But, see the difference between these two countries' ratings.

India is a democracy. The people have the power to throw away corrupt politicians from the Government. But, unfortunately, when all are corrupt, this "concept of democracy" does not hold any value. When Telecom Minister Raja is being charged with a multi-crore corruption, he doesn't bother to refuse the charges; he simply talks about the corruption happened during NDA rule. When Koda is charged with a multi-crore corruption, he simply says that he will reveal the names of the Congress leaders involved in the scam. These corruption cases will go on & on ...

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Queen & 11 presidents

No one can break this world record, The same Queen-Elizabeth of England , with 11 presidents of USA ..!!

Queen Elizabeth with Barack Obama

Queen Elizabeth with George W. Bush

Queen Elizabeth with Bill Clinton

Queen Elizabeth with George Bush

Queen Elizabeth with Ronald Reagan

Queen Elizabeth with Jimmy Carter

Queen Elizabeth with Gerald Ford

Queen Elizabeth with Richard Nixon


Queen Elizabeth with John F. Kennedy

Queen Elizabeth with Dwight D. Eisenhower

Queen Elizabeth with Harry S. Truman

Saturday, November 14, 2009

China's gift to Pakistan

It's now official!!! China gifted uranium and a do-it-yourself kit for Pakistan. This fact was long known. The toolkit has been casually passed to Iran, Libya & to many other countries by the A Q Khan network.

The Chinese intentions are crystal clear and very much worrying. Our politicians are busy fighting with each other and China is busy building up bases around us in Pak, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Nepal & Burma. It would be very difficult for India if China & Pakistan open a two front war, which seems to be a likely scenario. The probability of such an event is increasing day by day.

If the Indian politicians believe that the US will intervene, then they are definitely wrong. The recent action of Obama in refusing to meet Dalai Lama during his US visit, clearly underscores the US dilemma over angering China. Obama's action is obvious. When you are deeply indebted to a person, obviously, you have to dance to his tunes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Get gr8 @ life....

I like Robin Sharma's (author of The Greatness Guide) writings. I happened to read an article on getting great in life & reproduce it below:

Life is a skill and like any other skill, once you know the ground rules and make the time to practice, you can get better. A lot better. If you really devote yourself to life, you could even reach a place of mastery. Some have.

I suggest that there are three simple things you can do to get great at life.Pay attention to life. Make the time to reflect on what you want your life to stand for, what you have learned from your years and what your legacy will be. Time slips through your fingers -- like grains of sand -- never to return again. Use your days to realise your talents. Makes me think of that line by Erma Bombeck: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'

Try to write in a journal each morning before you walk out into your world. Think about what goals you need to accomplish for you to feel the day has been a success -- and write them down. Think about your most closely held values. Think about what lessons you've learned from the previous day. What good is making a mistake if you don't learn from it?

Engage in life. Angelina Jolie spoke truth when she said: "The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy." I've learned something as I've grown older: Life returns what you give it. Donate your best. Over dinner last night with some friends, we began to speak of goal-setting. "But why set goals when life can be so uncertain?" one friend asked. My reply: "Just because life is so unpredictable doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise your power to be great. Set your goals. Make your plans. Take action and chase your dreams. That's what personal responsibility is all about. But once you've done your best -- let go. And let life do the rest."

Enjoy life. We take life so seriously. But at the end, the billionaire gets buried next to the street sweeper. We all end up as dust. So let's have some fun. "Few of us write great novels," observed Mignon McLaughlin. "But all of us can live them."
True...generally, we get struck up in our 10-5 (7 or 8 wud be appropriate) job and live life like a robot. We should have some hobbies, we should venture out & see the world & try out doing something different. We should have some aims, academically & professionally, & make efforts to achieve them. These things will help us to "live" our life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Interest Rates

SBI has reduced interest rates on deposits... Really strange !!! I thought the interest rates would start rising due to the inflationary pressure that is building up slowly. Whatever...I am damn sure that this would be the last reduction in interest rates.

If this move of SBI leads to reduction of the bond yields a bit, I wud be glad !! Let's see...

My blog

Monday, November 9, 2009

A memorable day for me !! My wife will say that it's a tough job for me as I am weak in memorising dates. Still, would like try to memorise this memorable day...

This day is memorable because I have created my own blog today. The credit for creating my blog should undoubtedly go to my friend Haricharan, who enthused me to this concept of blogs. My first question to him about blogs...."Don't you think writing blogs is a waste of time?". But, my opinion slowly changed & now, even I have started to blog.

To start with, I intend to cover a range of topics in my blog like current affairs, life, banking & markets. Going forward, I may add a few more topics.

Though I am eager to blog a lot, I am not sure how long this will go on...