Sunday, October 30, 2016

"My promise: If Trump gets elected, and he does anything that looks even slightly Hitler-ish in office, I will join the resistance movement and help kill him."

Scott Adams
Said : Scott Adams of ‘Dilbert’ fame about Donald Trump whom he had been supporting until last month.

According to Washington Post, Adams, switched his endorsement from Hillary Clinton to Trump last month, and then again to Gary Johnson this month after the “Access Hollywood” tape’s release. 

Michael Cavna in his post tries to analyse "why Scott Adams - who was long seen as a truth-telling champion of the beleaguered cubicle dweller - risked his reputation by sparking controversy in the election."

"Adams has repeatedly stated that the White House was Trump’s to lose, predicting a “landslide” victory. According to Adams, who is a trainer in persuasion techniques and hypnosis, Donald Trump was “a master persuader” — a man who knew how to stay expertly on message", Cavna noted Adams, in his blog, under a post titled "The Crook Versus the Monster."

Adams feels that "reality isn’t a factor in this election, as per usual." This is based on his observation that if the truth mattered, voters might care about the real issues and characteristics of their favoured candidate. They have a kind of illusion about their leaders. 

For example, "we think the people on the other side can’t see the warts on their own candidate. But I think they do. Clinton supporters know she is crooked, but I think they assume it is a normal degree of crookedness for an American politician. Americans assume that even the “good” politicians are trading favors and breaking every rule that is inconvenient to them. I’ve never heard a Clinton supporter defend Clinton as being pure and honest. Her supporters like her despite her crookedness." 
"Thanks to timely assists from Wikileaks, Trump has successfully framed Hillary Clinton as a crooked politician. Meanwhile, Clinton has successfully framed Trump as a dangerous monster. If the mainstream polls are accurate, voters prefer the crook to the monster. That makes sense because a crook might steal your wallet but the monster could kill you. As of today, Clinton has the superior persuasion strategy. Crook beats monster." - Scott Adams
Similarly, "Trump supporters know what they are getting. They know he’s offensive. They know he’s under-informed on policies. They know he pays as little in taxes as possible. They know he uses bankruptcy laws when needed. They know he ignores facts that are inconvenient to his message. They just don’t care. They want to push the monster into Washington D.C., close the door, and let him break everything that needs to be broken. Demolition is usually the first step of building something new. And Trump also knows how to build things when he isn’t in monster mode," he added. 

In yet another post Adams compares the leadership qualities of Jesus, Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. "None were bully leaders, and none encouraged their supporters to be bullies. So what did they do that worked so well? "I’ll tell you what. They described a better version of ourselves and let us find a way to it," he answered himself and went on comparing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for their leadership qualities. 

Adams has confessed that he had to pay a heavy price for his apparent support for Donald Trump. “My speaking career (his once-lucrative side business) ended because of this and licensing sales are down," he revealed to Cavna who reported "All told, Adams said, his income has dipped precipitously." But Adams regrets none of it.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"क्या कहा-चुनाव आ रहा है? तो खडे हो जाइए..."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I believe a developed city is not a city where the poor have a chance to buy a car but the rich are using the public transportation

Said : Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of Volvo Group in an interview with China Daily.

Swedish automobile conglomerate Volvo's CEO sees 'super opportunity' in China's e-commerce boom. He has been a believer of a fun workplace during his 24-year career in the commercial vehicle industry. Martin was unfazed despite the current downward pressure in China's economic growth. "We've a very thrilling vision about the future, for we are seeing very positive changes," he said in the interview.
Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of Volvo Group. [Photo provided to China Daily]
According to Martin, the government's growing emphasis on green initiatives, sustainable development and innovation are all bringing great opportunities for his company. In China for more than 20 years, the manufacturer of vehicles, engines and construction equipment now hopes to better tap into the country's booming e-commerce business. 

For reading the edited excerpts from the interview, please click here.

Timothy Wingerter
According to Timothy Wingerter, who works at Quora, Volvo Cars, which has a global market share of only 1–2%, has been separate from its former Swedish parent company Volvo Group since 1999, and is now owned by a Chinese company. "Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. Volvo Cars formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding," he wrote on Quora.

Volvo Cars still has manufacturing facilities in Sweden and several other locations, including China. "Apart from the main car production plants in Gothenburg (Sweden) and Ghent (Belgium), Volvo Cars has since the 1930s manufactured engines in Skövde (Sweden). Production of body components has been located in Olofström (Sweden) since 1969. The company furthermore operates an assembly plant in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and a research and development center in Copenhagen (Denmark). Finally, Volvo has design centers in Gothenburg (Sweden), Camarillo (USA) and Shanghai (China)", he added.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Volvo Cars started serial production at its manufacturing plant in Chengdu, China. This plant produces Volvo cars for the Chinese and US markets. A second manufacturing plant in Daqing, China started production in the second half of 2014, while Volvo Cars also has an engine factory in Zhangjiakou, China. In the US, Volvo Cars is building a manufacturing facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina, which will become operational in the second half of 2018. This is Volvo Car Group.

Volvo Group (responsible for several operations including Mack Trucks, Volvo construction equipment, etc.) is a worldwide company, and is still Swedish.

At present there's only one Chinese-made car you can buy in the US.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"London is for the financial world what Madonna is for pop music"

Said : Chris Skinner, author, blogger and co-head of the Financial Services Club, a European financial industry network, in an interview with Martin Hesse for Spiegel in London. Martin describes Skinner "a man who can feel London's pulse." 
According to Skinner, London has reinvented itself over and over as a strong megacity as it posses all the required strengths : People speak English almost all over the planet, British law is acknowledged and applied in large parts of the industrialized world and London attracts talented, ambitious people. The city is both international and pragmatic.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

When you’re deciding whether to plunge into a marriage, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you’re marrying the person your partner is going to become, once he or she finally grows up.

Matt Bai 
Yahoo News Columnist
Said : Matt Bai, National Political Columnist, Yahoo News, in his June 9 column "The black hole within Donald Trump." 

He said this in context with key Republican Party leaders endorsing Donald Trump for the Party nominated presidential candidate, who totally believed Trump when he promised “I can be more presidential than anybody. I can be a totally faithful husband. You wait." 

[When you’re deciding whether to plunge into a marriage, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you’re marrying the person your partner is going to become, once he or she finally grows up or finds that perfect job or stops making meth in the basement. The only person you’re marrying is the one sitting right in front of you, and while some people do improve over time, only a fool would count on it.]

"On second thought, this advice probably comes too late for the Paul Ryans and Bob Corkers of the world, who were exactly this foolish when they wrapped their arms around Donald Trump and said: “I do.” But you know, they never asked," he added.

Commenting on Speaker Paul Ryan's refusal to un-endorse Trump, even after admitting that later's remarks about a Latino judge were racist, Matt wrote : "Deceived spouses always throw good money after bad. It’s hard to look in the mirror and admit you were had."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"I’m with her, I’m fired up, and I can’t wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary."

Said : President Obama while offering his formal endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

“Trump is not a policy-driven candidate. He is an attitude-driven candidate, and his attitude is pretty much belligerence.”

Said : Tom Steyer, founder of the California-based NextGen Climate advocacy group. 

According to yahoo news' digital editor, Dylan Stableford, in his post, Steyer was explaining what took him so long to endorse Hillary Clinton. 

“There is just a dramatic choice between these two presumptive candidates,” he said. “And it is really important that people rally around Secretary Clinton.”

Monday, June 6, 2016

“Elections are about people, they are not about policy. The biggest problem Hillary Clinton faces is, she’s the most famous person in the world who no one really knows”

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally on June 6, 2016,
in Lynwood, Calif.(Photo: John Locher, AP)
Said : Mo Elleithee, who was Senior Spokesman and Travelling Press Secretary on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, as reported by USA Today.

Mo Elleithee is currently the founding Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, the first institute of its kind in the nation’s capital. A veteran of four presidential campaigns, Mo was Senior Spokesman and Traveling Press Secretary on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. He’s served as a senior communications strategist for numerous United States Senators, Governors, has worked on numerous other state-wide and local races in every region of the country.
Mo Elleithee

Elleithee, highlighting Hillary's presidential campaign, endorsed the observation that, unlike eight years ago, this time the approach included showcasing individuals other than herself in paid advertising. “The message was about her,” emphasizing her experience, he said. “It never matched what people were looking for. This time it’s about fighting for you, and that matches this moment.”

Friday, May 27, 2016

“As a part of the election debate many things will be said there, who ate what, who drank what, how can I respond to everything?”

Said : Prime Minister Narendra Modi in conversation with Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker at the PM’s official residence in New Delhi on May 25, 2016.

Some other quotes of Narendra Modi appearing in the interview are :

  • I have actually undertaken the maximum reforms and I have an enormous task ahead for myself.
  • Today, unlike before, India is not standing in a corner.
  • Labor reform should not just mean in the interest of industry. Labor reform should also be in the interest of the laborer.
  • In any developing country in the world, both the public sector and the private sector have a very important role to play. You can’t suddenly get rid of the public sector, nor should you.
  • If we want to ensure the success of this interdependent world, I think countries need to cooperate, but at the same time we also need to ensure that there is respect for international norms and international rules.

According to the WSJ, Mr. Modi declined to comment on U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump's proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from the U.S. “These are issues of debate in the election. A government shouldn’t respond to that,” he said. “As a part of the election debate many things will be said there, who ate what, who drank what, how can I respond to everything?”

Full interview on WSJ

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"Renzi may be able to remote control 90% of the 'journalists' but he will never be able to buy the thoughts and idea of free men".

Matteo Renzi (Italian PM)
Said : Italy's Northern League leader Matteo Salvini on Tuesday reiterated his charge that Premier Matteo Renzi benefits from bias in the Italian media, reported Italy's ANSA news. 

Wikipedia describes Matteo Salvini as "an Italian politician and member of the European Parliament who has been the leader of the Lega Nord political party since December 2013 and of Us with Salvini since December 2014." 

According to ANSA news Salvini has alleged on his Facebook page that "once again today there are 15 articles in Corriere della Sera (like in almost all the newspapers) on Renzi and the PD, and not one line on the League." 
Matteo Salvini

Salvini is reported as saying : "Renzi may be able to remote control 90% of the 'journalists' but he will never be able to buy the thoughts and idea of free men". According to Salvini, Premier Renzi is denying there is an "invasion" of asylum seekers in Italy because "he lives under escort".

Salvini feels that a large number of "Italians are hostage to thousands and thousands of gangs of immigrants who, if all goes well, do nothing and, if things go badly, pick pocket, steal, rob and rape." He has challenged Premier Renzi to explain his stance on  immigrants.


Monday, May 23, 2016

The decoupling of growth between industrial countries and emerging markets is probably illusory

Said : Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, delivering the Mahtab Memorial Lecture at Bhubaneswar on May 21, 2016.

The Global Outlook and India : RBI Governor
Delivering the Mahtab Memorial Lecture at Bhubaneswar on May 21, 2016, Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India emphasised that even though policies in the rest of the world could enhance uncertainty and volatility for emerging markets like India, because of measures taken by the government and the central bank since the “taper tantrum” in summer of 2013, India was much better prepared for global volatility.
Among the key points he made were:
  • The world is growing extremely slowly, and while the reasons for slow growth differ between countries, there were probably some common factors.
  • As a result, the decoupling of growth between industrial countries and emerging markets was probably illusory.
  • While final demand in industrialised countries was boosted by debt pre-crisis, which was subsequently held back by deleveraging, emerging markets needed to change their export led models because industrial countries no longer bought their goods in such large quantities. Further, the effects of ageing in industrial countries on savings and investments were poorly understood, as were reasons for the slowdown in productivity. This again makes it hard for countries to determine the right policies to boost demand.
  • Structural reforms to boost potential growth in industrial countries are probably still useful – for example, reforms increasing competition in services as well as reforms increasing the flexibility of labour markets -- but they are politically difficult.
  • Easy and unconventional monetary policy in industrial countries could increasingly be a part of the problem. For example, it could contribute to low productivity by allowing inefficient companies to continue in business. This may also depress new entry and investment by startups. At the same time, low interest rates could encourage savings as people find they need to save more to reach the amount they want for a comfortable retirement. Thus neither investment nor consumption may move up if rates are cut even further from really low levels. Furthermore, the adverse impact of capital flows, from industrial countries into emerging markets, induced by the low rates could also create volatility, which spread the slowdown to emerging markets. 
  • Unfortunately, even if aggressive monetary policy has little positive effect, with much of even that effect coming from depreciating the currency and taking demand from other countries, central bankers in industrial countries are mandated by their monetary policy framework to keep being aggressive. The difficulty is that there is no requirement in that framework for them to behave as a responsible global citizen, as their mandate to revive the domestic economy trumps everything.
  • Going forward, it would be good if large central banks started thinking more internationally. To give them an incentive to do so, we need to start discussing new rules of the monetary policy game in the international setting.
  • These new rules will take time to develop, perhaps even decades. In the meantime, emerging markets like India should focus on macro stabilisation, building buffers and reducing vulnerabilities. "Good policy is the first line of defence – including our focus on controlling fiscal deficits, reforms like the Bankruptcy Code and Aadhaar, and our steady fight against inflation".
  • To limit external vulnerabilities, India is also taking measures to control inflows, intervening in the foreign exchange market as a macro prudential measure to reduce volatility, and maintaining sufficient foreign exchange reserves to be able to withstand a sudden stop in capital inflows.
  • Given great uncertainty about outlook and policies of others in these times, a country like India should try to take sensible measures without getting too ambitious, as we have done so far. This will serve as a sound basis for strong and sustainable Indian growth as the world economy picks up.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

“You worry a little bit — and maybe more than a little — about China’s attitude”

Said : Carl Icahn, an American business magnate, investor, activist shareholder, and philanthropist.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said this while announcing that he has completely liquidated his entire stake in Apple. He is reported to be owning nearly 46 million AAPL shares at the end of 2015. At today’s stock close of $94.81 the total sale value comes to around $4.5 billion.

However, appearing on CNBC news, he acknowledged that Apple was a “great company” and CEO Tim Cook was “doing a great job.” The main reason for his liquidating the Apple stock, according to him, was because of his worries about Apple’s growth in China. This was clear from his statement that if China “was basically steadied,” he would buy back into Apple.

His take on China as a whole was “You worry a little bit — and maybe more than a little — about China’s attitude,” Icahn said, later adding that China’s government could “come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there… you can do pretty much what you want there.” 

Carl is a New York City native and grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens. After receiving a degree in philosophy from Princeton University in 1957, he attended medical school at New York University and then joined the Army. In 1961 Carl began his career on Wall Street. He has gone on to become one of the most well-known and influential investors in America. In 1968, he formed Icahn & Co., a securities firm that focused on arbitrage and options trading. In 1978, he began taking very substantial and sometimes controlling positions in individual companies. Over the years, these positions include RJR Nabisco, Texaco, Phillips Petroleum, Western Union, Gulf & Western, Viacom, Uniroyal, Dan River, Marshall Field, E-II (Culligan and Samsonite), American Can, USX, Marvel, Revlon, ImClone, Fairmont, Kerr-McGee, Time Warner, Yahoo!, Lions Gate, CIT, Motorola, Genzyme, Biogen, BEA Systems, Chesapeake Energy, El Paso, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron, Mylan Labs, KT&G, Lawson Software, MedImmune, Dell, Herbalife, Navistar International, Transocean, Take-Two, Hain Celestial, Mentor Graphics, Netflix, Forest Laboratories, Apple and eBay.

Carl Icahn sells Apple stake over China concerns   

You can watch his interview on CNBC here.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Obama: Trump doesn't know much about nuclear policy, or the world – video

President Obama said on Friday that Donald Trump’s recent comments that South Korea and Japan should acquire nuclear weapons show the leading Republican presidential candidate is not well informed on international relations. ‘What the statements you mentioned tell us – they tell us that the person who made the statements doesn’t know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the Korean peninsula, or the world, generally,’ Obama told a news conference at the conclusion of a nuclear security summit

Thursday, March 31, 2016

I do not mind practicing a bank patriotism as I practice an industrial patriotism, common indeed to all major Western countries. It would not occur to the mind of any American to question the nationality of Microsoft or General Motors....

Said : Bernard Esambert in an interview with Les-crises, a French blog intended to provide maximum information on the current crises - economic and social. The interview was conducted on January 14, 2013.

Born in 1934, Bernard Esambert was Industrial and scientific adviser to President of the French Republic Georges Pompidou from 1969 to 1974. He was also the President of the Institut Pasteur from 1994 to 1997. 

According to Bernard Esambert, French banks have been constantly increasing their cash flow for two reasons. The first, not to get eaten by a large British bank, German or American, and second, to eat the neighbor.

"Therefore, both to guard against a takeover bid from elsewhere, and in order to make a takeover bid for a domestic bank, these banks have sought to greatly increase their income so as to have a substantially increased market capitalization. But how can you massively increase earnings without attracting by making extra deposit accounts which requires enormous efforts," he added.
"We worship the bank size in France but it is not unjustified. To support our major industrial champions in the world requires a large bank and for my part, I do not mind practicing a bank patriotism as I practice an industrial patriotism, common indeed to all major Western countries. It would not occur to the mind of any American to question the nationality of Microsoft or General Motors ..."
Bernard also made it clear that in order to escape from a foreign predator and to become one domestically, banks needed to develop new business products, and not just any, risky product to achieve significantly improved results. But it wasn't easy to massively increase earnings without taking risks. Most large banks, therefore, started to introduce new original products - from low risk to very risky ones. 

Agreeing with the interviewer, Olivier Berruyer, Founder of Les-crises blog, Bernard said : "Yes, we have almost forgotten that it is difficult to have high profitability without having a high risk.."

Read full interview here : Part 1 - Part 2