Archive for the ‘naan niruthanum modhalla’ Category


July 28, 2009

Writing shortly after the 2001 recession, a famous (Nobel) economist had this to say

The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

We live and learn. The current recession, as we know resulted from the burst of the housing bubble. Therefore, to get out of it, we need to create another bubble to replace it. It is reasonable to assume that the next bubble will be either in clean/green/whatever energy sector or health care information technology. The big contributor to this bubble will be google – overvalued stock, clean energy initiatives and flu trends. All this will be brought down spectacularly by an Antitrust case. In light of this, you could make money by

a) going appropriately long/short on GOOG.

b) copy-pasting this post in longbets. Any win/loss is yours. I only demand credit for my idea.


unsolicited advice

May 23, 2009

Obama wants to revive the US automakers and lower tailpipe emissions and pollution. Given that a new SUV is less polluting than a battered sedan, I propose

1. Institute a emission-certification program for vehicles that needs renewal along with registration plate renewal every year. Vehicles that fail the emission certification will not be allowed on the road.

2. For owners of vehicles that fail the certification, provide subsidies/tax credits/low/zero interest loans if they choose to buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle.

The process of certification will generate jobs, GM and Chrysler could purge excess inventory and everyone is happy that emissions are lowered.


March 7, 2009

For someone who grew up with the imposing presence of Meenakshi Temple in the backyard, it is difficult to summon the same level of piety in a Hindu temple in America. Even more so, if the said temple happens to be one of those syncretic ‘religious centers’ in liberal land. First, one has to come to terms with the absolute disregard for all known aalaya nirmaana vidhis and the priest making announcements in English. Second, thanks to the enterprising nature of vadakkathis, the rituals hardly resemble the ones in TN. The one run by iyengars in a small office building replete with satari is out of favour with the wife who seems to prefer flamboyance. Third, as a thumb rule any place where NRIs congregate sucks. Finally one has to contend with militant desi kids, whose very presence is an annoyance.

However, this time it all felt closer to home. There was a Barathanatyam show by a Tamil teacher who had prepared her students for three kauthuvams. The kids did admirably well. Then she had a composition with the moms of the kids. Not to put down their effort, they were second rate in comparison to their daughters. There was even a caucasian lady who looked as convincing a Bharathanatyam dancer as I would be a banker if I wore a pinstripe suit. Or for that matter, a scotch whisky critic.