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

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Americans should be alert but not panicked about the threat of further terrorist attacks.

Said : FBI Director James B. Comey, as per a report in The Washington Post. The FBI is now investigating the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre as an act of terrorism.

FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch
speak to reporters about this week’s mass shooting in
San Bernardino, California during a press availability
held December 4, 2015 at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

In an official briefing on Dec 4, with respect to the San Bernardino shootings, Comey said the incident was "now a federal terrorism investigation led by the FBI and the reason for that is that the investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of a potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations." 
"We know that this is very unsettling for the people of the United States. What we hope you will do is not let fear become disabling but to instead try to channel it into an awareness of your surroundings."
According to the FBI officials, after the shooting, the Pakistani woman Tashfeen Malik, 29 - who teamed with her husband Chicago-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 29, in the mass murder - went on Facebook to pledge her allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, the Post reported.

The Huffington Post has profiled the victims of the San Bernardino shooting in it's Dec 3 edition.

Friday, November 27, 2015

We have been contacted twice in recent weeks by private PR companies representing Indian govt. officials. Good use of govt funds?

Annie Gowen
Said : Annie Gowen, Delhi based India bureau chief for The Washington Post. Annie's twitter profile mentions her email ID :

Annie's tweet goes as under :

Annie Gowen ‏@anniegowen 

We have been contacted twice in recent weeks by private PR companies representing Indian govt. officials. Good use of govt funds? @PMOIndia
Leaders of Congress party have taken up this matter seriously, specially on the social media, under the hashtag of modimediagate. The users have their own comments on this matter. One user's comment reads : "It seems Modiji has been misinformed that international news agencies work like Aaj Tak, Zee News and India TV."

Annie Gowen is The Post’s India bureau chief and has reported for the Post throughout South Asia and the Middle East. She spent the summer of 2011 in Iraq, examining the continued violence and ramifications of the U.S. troop withdrawal there. She is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas and lives in New Delhi.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

"This is the real reason why our history books are in tatters.."

Prof Dilip Chakrabarti
Said : Prof Dilip Chakrabarti, Dean, Centre for Historical and Civilisational Studies, The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) and Professor Emeritus, Department of Archaeology, Cambridge University to Rajiv MalhotraIndian-American researcher, author, speaker : Current affairs, inter-civilization, science. This was revealed, in a tweet, by Rahul Singh @Rahul_aryanab

It is worth noting that, in March this year, HRD Minister Smriti Irani had appointed Prof Chakrabarti as member of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). As per the media reports Irani appointed  Prof Chakrabarti overruling the recommendation of its chairperson Y Sudershan Rao.

I just stumbled upon this tweet on my TL and found it quite interesting. I am no expert in history, or for that in any other field worth mentioning, but this piece highlighted with yellow colour drew my attention and I got an opportunity to read it carefully. I must confess, however, that a significant credit for my interest in reading this tweet about history goes to Chetan Bhagat's recent tweet about historians.

Chakrabarti's starting point dates back to "many years since Independence" when he observed that academically bright students hardly opted for History/Indology. This eventually resulted in "only mediocre and academically gutter" elements occupying the teaching jobs. According to Chakrabarti, mostly those who failed the IAS exam a number of times used to try for these teaching jobs. Those who were bright and ambitious never opted for research or teaching.

Chakrabarti terms 'mediocre' academicians (History/Indology) as Marxists and finds them far better than the 'gutter' category, which he calls non-Marxists. According to Chakrabarti : 'Mediocre' i.e. Marxists researchers, can read books and express themselves better in English language. They muck up some Western theories and consider themselves a better class of scholars than the other group (non-Marxists). 

Having described the 'mediocre' researchers he clarifies : "It is these people whom we call 'Marxists in our history set-up. Most of them have not seen a book written by Karl Marx."

Chakrabarti hits the 'non-Marxists' really very hard : "The less we think of the 'Non-Marxists' the better. They are blissfully ignorant of all academic norms and knowledge. Essentially country bumpkins who cannot read possibly a whole book in any language, they fill up space in the history departments of most of our universities and research organizations."

"History/Archaeology/Indology - they are all professional disciplines in their own rights. Expertise cannot be acquired except with some love and commitment. Most of the characters who adorn the top level of the Indian academia in History/Archaeology/Indology are virtually semi-literates in their subjects and unmindful of anything else except their own interest,"  Chakrabarti's says, as quoted in the tweet. His concludes with the following comment.
"As things change politically in the country, the dichotomy between Marxists and non-Marxists in historical research will hopefully go away; but the scenario dominated by the mediocres and the elements of the gutter will not go away unless the study of India's ancient past acquires some respectability in Indian education and society."