Thursday, January 31, 2008

Symonds - Bhajji episode

Finally, it has come to an end. Times Now visuals and reporting was too good on this topic. Ponting reacted today saying aussies are upset that Bhajji got away !!!

My opinion is simple, if aussie players can get away from sledging for so many years, why cant Bhajji? I seriously believe, that they are upset that some one is giving it back to them. Andrew Nel of South Africa should be careful when he plays australia in future as he would become the next natural target.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

India's Republic Day...

We just celebrated our republic day on Jan 26th and this day marks the adoption of constituition of India. Some thoughts on this event...

I am happy that India is growing at 9% and we have forex reserves of 300 billion USD, we are indispensable market force for consumer products etc etc etc...

What scares me is the following in India:

Corruption - Corruption is something which we are used to. Very negligible people would have got their birth cirtificates, driver license or Passport without indulging in corruption. It has become part of system. Corruption also covers cases like kidney racket, fake stamp paper etc... Basically, these are failures of system and people exploit to make extra money.

Lawlessness - I know every place is crowded but it doesnt mean that lawlessness can start with simple signal jumping, lane violation to land scam, tax avoidance. The number of example are countless and people are happiply ignoring the basics of integrity, honesty everyday and they go scotfree.

Judiciary - The number of cases waiting to be resolved and the last i read (if my memory is correct) is somewhere around 3.5crore cases all over India. No fear of punishment exists in India for people who have plenty of money as they can go on appealing and prolong the case for 10 years or so.

I am bored with arguments like enough of tax, i dont get benefit for the tax i am paying, politicians are swindling the money etc... When will we make a new beginning and create a platform which will take us to the next level?

Societe Generale & Jerome Kerviel

Societe Generale (SocGen) revealed a shocking news last week that they had lost 4.9billion Euros due to illicit positions.

I worked for financial services industry for quite some time. I, myself was a stock trader taking care of proprietory trading (taking stock market positions on behalf of company). This episode puzzled me a lot and I started reading materials relating to this episode. My friends also suggested some links.

The accused trader's name is Jerome Kerviel and he is police / judicial custody and enquiry being carried out.

I personally believe that managers to whom Keriviel reported should be sacked first and the entire system of audit should come second in sacking. Third should be finance department who kept on releasing money as margin.

Bcoz, every manager should know what is the trading position and where it is heading.... trading strategy should be discussed with full team periodically and the same to be implemented. Audit team should know the trading entries which are entered in computer syste and afterall every trade should have got reflected in some account and back to back settlement should have also got tallied with exchanges for exchange trades and third party brokers for off-market trades.

Finance team should have atleast escalated the money requirements as apparantly Keriviel's trading positions ran above 50billion euros.

I feel, Jerome Keriviels would be created due to system failures rather than his fantasy to make money. Nick Leeson also exploited the system failures some 12 years back for Bearings Bank.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chiranjeevi's fans attack Rajasekar

Chiranjeevi announced his intentions to float a political party some time back.

Extracted from Rediff today:

When newsmen asked him if he would join Chiranjeevi's political party, Rajasekhar replied, "I will not join his party. Chiru has no political experience."

Angered by the remarks, Chiranjeevi's fans rushed to the Bhimavaram railway station and tried to locate Rajasekhar's family who were leaving by the Narsapur Express. Later, past midnight, they made another unsuccessful attempt when the train arrived at Guntur.

When the train arrived at Secunderabad railway station in the early hours of Monday, Chiranjeevi's fans gathered there. On learning that Rajasekhar's family left for their home in a car, they got into four cars and chased them upto Punjagutta, where they attacked the actor's car

Insane indeed !!! Probably, Rajasekar has become victim of their violent movie culture, gang attack, one man hero against society etc started showing on their normal life. or whether it is lawlessness when some crime is done by a gang, no one gets punished in India !!!

Saarang 2008 - rock show - IIT Madras

Good rock show. Lapped up by teens easily. IIT facilities are good. It turned out to be a excellent rock show.

Firebrands started the show around 7:30pm and it turned out to be a good performance. But some thing in the sound was lacking... i thought it was the singer's voice.

Prestorika took the stage by 9:20pm and they started the full blast as if what we had was not enough. Damn good performance and sound effect improved atleast by some 8-10 times when compared to Firebrands.

My gut feeling was Prestorika used some pre programmed loop in addition to 3 guitar and one drummer's music and bcoz of it the sound was indeed turned out to be super sonic. I Enjoyed real sound blast after a long time !!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Australian grand slam 2008

Lovely tournament this year indeed. Nadal, gasquet, Henin gone. Federer is seriously challenged this time and is likely to lose in Semis against Djokovic. Tsonga and maria sharapova played like as if they are possessed (by our own women god - mariamma)all through.

How will Federer and Nadal talking to themselves over dinner before leaving australia... my imagination goes like this...
"Yaar ivanga, engenthu varanga, edukku ippadi velayadaranga, nammalai gali pannuvanga pola, okkanthu, room pottu strategy discuss pannalama !!!"

IPL Auction

BCCI does it again. They almost collected 6000 crores by selling team franchisee to biggies like UB, Mukesh Ambani, India Cement, GMR, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta etc... We need to wait and see how it helps young cricketers to perform, how the tournament is conducted etc... But, cricket gets excellent push as again !!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar Music

Jodhaa akbar music is out finally !!! What a composition from our beloved A R Rahman... Mindblowing indeed. This music CD is a must buy for for real, un-biased, music lovers. Chuck the pre-conveived notions... go for it...

Stock market global crash Jan 08

What a crash.... Historical... Never before crash witnessed so far...People call it meltdown, mayhem...

One question which i cant answer from my friends is... How come you guys dont know that the US economy going into recession 3 weeks back... & what changed your view in 3 weeks.... difficult to answer.

The point is markets melted when someone started selling, herd mentality created panic in everyone's minds, people ran to sell stocks... I dont think, people are selling in profits, they are selling what ever they can to avoid payment crises...

We will see better time for indian stocks from 15000 levels of sensex for 2008. If you are an investor, go ahead and buy nifty stocks with 6 month holding view. You are unlikely to lose money.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sri Lanka trip photo link - revised


Revised path of my srilankan tour photos...

Stock market - update - Jan 17

"I feel that some of the stock prices shows irrational exuberance so I predict correction in Sensex from 20500 levels to 19000 to 19300 levels for Jan 08. If at all the bull rally continues, it will have resistance at 20800 levels for Jan 08." - I have written this as part of outlook for Jan 08.

As expected and predicted, market came down and recovered from today's low of 19650 levels to 19900 levels as of now.

I strongly feel, de-coupling with global market would happen shortly when the earnings comes out in full swing from today onwards to Jan 26th or so. Buy on declines and keep an eye on markets until budget. Volatile days are ahead.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chennai Book Fair - 2008

Went to Chennai Book Fair on Jan 13, Sunday. Book fair has really become big this year than compared to any previous years, i felt. So huge, close to 400 shops. Faithful, huge crowd thronged the place at Poonamalle High Road.

Observation # 1 - Too many tamil books than English (i should even say 75:25)... Cant figure out why so much of change... Is it bcoz of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's influence? or Tamil Appeasement? ...

Obsevation # 2 - Sighted books on Che Guevara everywhere !!! Dont think, one will find so many books even in Cuba on him :)

Observation # 3 - Vairamuthu's works, Character building books are in demand. Saw some new books on "hindu beliefs".

Chennai Sangamam

I happened to visit Chennai Sangamam programs on saturday. I first went to Nageswara Rao park, Mylapore - I didnt like the ambience, no place to sit, sound was too loud, found it difficult to even stand and watch the program from under one huge tree.

Got fed up and went to Natesan park - T Nagar. Lovely set up. Road was blocked after 7:30pm and performances were exciting. Bommallatam was class apart. Enjoyed a lot. Some senior DMK members were also participating including Kanimozhi.

Request Chennaites not to miss it but choose the neighbourhood location carefully. Good and interesting effort indeed by organisers!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cricket & Umpiring

In my opinion, cricket is at cross-roads once again after the strong match fixing controversy. Why?

a. If umpires keep referring decisions to 3rd umpire, then what is the big responsibility while standing in the middle of the ground?

b. Let us assume, young umpires (in early 30s) can be recruited, then, how will they control hard headed people like Ponting or Smith.. for example?

c. What is match referee doing is something i am not clear at all. What did he do when 2007 World Cup played in twilight? What did he do when England Vs Pakistan match fight happened?

d. It is agreed that Umpires are human and they would make errors. What is the tolerance limit per match or per innings?

e. How can ICC manage billions of arm chair umpires who watch TV replay and keep commenting? How to ensure fairness between viewers and umpires... obviously, viewers today are far better placed when compared to umpires on the field.

f. Proper use of technology or whistle blowing from match referee or third umpire needs to be explored and some time based decisions would augur well for the future of cricket.

For the interim period, Head butt sounds like an good idea to resolve issues :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Travel tips for Sri Lanka

Travel tips for Sri Lanka

1. Sri Lanka is a humid country.

2. The food is mostly non-vegetarian. It is seldom served hot for eating.

3. Rice and bread are staple food.

4. Exchange Forex or TC in banks. Countryside Hotels offer unfriendly rate for exchange.

5. Sinhalese smile a lot. They have customer service mentality.

6. Females look good and wear western wear comfortably. They wear tight dress and children tend to wear jeans, mini skirt and adults wear skirt mostly.

7. The food looks Indian but it does not have indian taste.

8. Fish and Chicken related food available through out the country. Pickle concept not practiced in Sri Lankan hotels.

9. Strict vegetarians have to adjust to rice, dhal and some kind of salad when they travel outside Colombo. Colombo has got Anjappar, Amaravati and couple of vegetarian restaurant in a neighbourhood called Bampalapitiya.

10. Liquor is sold in neighbourhood shops in Sri Lanka for a moderate price. Hence, no need to stock the liquor.

11. Train services connect the entire country. Trains also have a one observation compartment with transparant glasses.

12. Sri Lankan people wake up early and goes to bed early say 6:30am to 7:30pm. Tourist need to plan their work accordingly.

13. Laksala is a good souvenir shop of Sri Lanka.

14. I didnt explore the night life in Colombo hence could not comment.

15. Carry and Keep your passport ready to show during security check-ups.

16. Pre-paid SIM Card buying in Sri Lanka requires Local ID proof !!!

17. Sri Lanka follows patriarch system. Dowry system is prevalent for arranged marriages. But majority of marriages happening out of love life.

18. Hundreds of people travel out of Colombo to Kandy, Anuradhapura, Galle (pronounced as goal) regions on weekends. Hence, plan your appointments accordingly.

19. Internet facility is available only in major cities.

20. Textile shooping is recommended in Sri Lanka for price sensitive tourists.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Vodafone - Elevator - TV Commercial Lyrics

I fell in love with Vodafone - Elevator - TV Commercial. Here is the lyrics:
The commercial can be seen in Vodafone website.

Blue skies
in open air
there's a place
for us somewhere
take me away
somewhere far away
beyond the sun
take me away
somewhere far away

Sri Lanka trip - thanksgiving

On Yasith - Our Reluctant Guide

Yasith named as our co-ordinator for our official project. Also, he ended up co-ordinating the entire branch trip. He is very quiet, humorous and always smiling. He is very knowledgeable about landscape, culture, places, history and geography. He was very proud of his country and was forthcoming and explaining a lot throughout the trip. We enjoyed his companionship very well.

On Sarath - Our Mr Discipline

Sarath was the driver and responsible for steering us. He is well mannered. He drove comfortably without violating any signal or taking on rash driving. He wore seat belt through out the tour, locked the doors before moving the vehicle and never got upset when he had to circle back. He kept his eye on us when we walked through the streets of Kandy. He ate very little food as if a person on diet and hence got a nick name from me as Mr Discipline

Photo: From Left: Yasith, Self (Vijay), Sarath

Monday, January 7, 2008

Indian Cricket - 2nd Test at Sydney

What a test match... The twists and turns can match only movie script !!!

BCCI should initiate proceedings formally / professionally to relieve Harbhajan from 3 test ban instead of withdrawing from the tour. That would be the long term solution rather than short term headline making emotional withdrawl.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

Movie Lyric which i loved most in recent past

Song of Hope in the recent tamil movie Katrathu Tamizh:

Mudhal Murai Vaazha Pidikuthey
Mudhal Murai velicham pirakkuthey
Mudhal murai murindha kilai ondru pookuthey
Mudhal murai kadavu thirkuthey
Mudhal murai kattru varukuthey
Mudhal murai kanavu palikuthey

Translation to English

First time, i feel like living
First time, i can see light
First time, flower blossoms from broken branch
First time, door has opened
Firs time, i can feel the fresh air
First time, i can feel the dreams are coming true

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Market Outlook - Jan 08

I predicted that Dow would top out around 14000 levels in December and it had topped out around 13800 and it is back to 13000 levels yesterday.

I also predicted that DLF, IVRCL for upward rally for Dec 07 which materialised. My other prediction of Reliance and Amararaja have not materialised.

Jan 08 would be a tough month and bulls would find it hard to take it beyond 21k levels. Dec 07 was extremely strong due to strong all round rally in stocks and the buyers were mainly Insurance companies than MF or FII put together.

I feel that some of the stock prices shows irrational exuberance so I predict correction in Sensex from 20500 levels to 19000 to 19300 levels for Jan 08. If at all the bull rally continues, it will have resistance at 20800 levels for Jan 08.