Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Written communication

Today, we had a class of management communication and the topic was written communication. Prof: "You people must have written letters. A lot of love letters. So put up your hands and tell us who over here has written love letters." A few hands go up. Prof to student1:"So, you have written a love letter?" Student1:"Yes, but I did not give it to the girl." Prof to class:"What is the main purpose of writing a love letter?" Student2:"Well, it was to express my feelings to her." Student3:"To Add on to Student 2's point" Backbench students:"Was it the same girl?" Student3:"It was not for expressing feelings but to convince her to accept my proposal." It has been such a long time since I have seen or even heard of love letters. Those were the days, when love letters were written in secrecy and passed on in between books and through common friends and secretly responded back. In today's world it is all about kissing and hugging on the yahoo or skype chat (something my roomie does very often) to express feelings.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Of kissing and covering backsides

Quoting my prof "If your customer is an a**ehole and he is your number one customer, then you kiss his a**e. Else, you dont get sales and you lose your job." Reminds me of the dialogue from the movie "Top Gun": Slider to Goose: "Whose butt did you kiss to get in here?" Goose: "The list is long but distinguished." After the class, I had a discussion with an accountant classmate who worked for one of the big 4 accounting firms. He told me that the first thing they were thought is "Cover your a**e."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Financial glut

The summarised Raghuram report on the Indian Financial reforms:
A description of the roles and functions of the Reserve Bank of India:

Weird job advertisements of the week

Colorado: Tiffany & Co. Diamond Jewelery and Diamond Ring

Jewelry that I have for trade:

-A women’s diamond ring with 7 round cut diamonds in 14k white gold, (from the day we got engaged) -An 18k yellow gold cross necklace with 11 diamonds, (from the night I caught him lying about staying late at the office. You don’t come back from a late office meeting with Johnie Walker on your breath and lipstick on your abdomen, no sirree)

-A Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti open heart necklace in sterling silver, (from the night I found a studded leather g-string in his dirty laundry, which he said was just a designer storage bag for his spare laptop battery)

-A Tiffany & Co. Return to Tiffanys bracelet in sterling silver, (from the day he bought a 1967 Corvette without asking me first)

-And a Tiffany & Co. 18k yellow gold ring with a single diamond. (from our wedding day)

I would be interested in trading for a nice men’s watch or ring. Also interested in a rifle or shotgun or a handgun in nice condition. (I will lure him into our bedroom and present him with a gift. I will then shoot him in the head and drive the Corvette to Mexico)


Virginia: Victoria’s Secret- The worlds sexiest lingerie brand is hiring!!!!

Victoria’s Secret- The worlds sexiest lingerie brand is hiring!!! We are currently looking for part time sales associates, stock associates, and merchandising crew to join our team!!!! If you are energetic, love fashion, enjoy working with people and are looking for a fast paced work environment then we are looking for you!!! Please stop in the store to fill out an application or forward your resume for consideration! Please be enthusiastic!!! And at last a 36C!!!

Solar bicycle

I had thought of this before: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1061777/Pedal-power-The-amazing-bicycle-powered-sun.html

2 interesting points

I went through some of the blogs,opinions and news websites and found 2 interesting points about all the US mess: 1. Why hasn't the SOX(Sarbanes Oxley Act) been used to make the CFO's and CEO's of the doomed institutions personally liable and put them in prison? 2. How come Warren buffet got such a neat sweet deal from one of the best institutions of the world (A 5% preferred stock with a hefty 10% dividend and an option to buy 5% common stock which is already in the money) whereas the US treasury is buying everybody's s**t? Interesting... I guess we will never know the real reasons, would we ?

Odd couple

He Pingping from Inner Mongolia, China's autonomous region, the world's smallest man sits on the lap of Svetlana Pankratova from Russia, the Queen of Longest Legs, as they pose at Trafalgar Square in London. Pingping, born with primordial dwarfism, holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest man at 74.61 cms (2 feet and 5.37 inches) and Pankratova holds the Guinness World Record for the longest leg of any woman at 132 cms (4 feet 4 inches) in length. (SANG TAN/AP / September 16, 2008)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


This photo taken on May 14, 2008 above Bex, Switzeland shows Swiss professional pilot Yves Rossy, the world's first man to fly with fitted jet fuel powered wings strapped to his back, flying during his first official demonstration. Rossy flew into the history books on September 26, 2008 by crossing from France to Britain on only a jet-powered wing, describing afterwards how he felt "like a bird" over the English Channel. Yves Rossy, 49, touched down in a field on top of the white cliffs of Dover after completing the 35-kilometre (22-mile) journey over one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images / May 14, 2008)

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/ny-mmliphoto,0,1550106.photogallery Photo 12

The new punk on the block

Dudes and dudettes, look at his hairdo... For more pictures and info:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Of essence and glances of women

I am sure the heading sounds kind of Mills and Boon titles.... :) Today, we had a public speaking class. The speakers have topics given to them a couple of days earlier to prepare for and they come and give the presentation. One of the speakers had this topic: "Are women the weaker sex?" The guy had each depicting some photograph and some one liners. One of them read "Women are the essence of life". But what came out from his mouth was "Women are the essence of my life". Hmmm..... Looks like he spoke some truth from the heart, huh? After the presentation, the other students are asked to give feedback about the presentation. One guy gave the following feedback/comment to a girl: "You had a three point eye contact. One on the left, one on the right and one in the center. You should give more glances. One atleast."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The chosen ones

Prof: Israeli's (jews) considered themselves as "the chosen ones of God". Just look at them. There they are in the desert with no oil, while all their neighbours have so much of it, then they are surrounded by all enemies and they consider themselves "the chosen ones of god"? I dont understand it.

Security guards

Today, in one of the classes we were talking about GCC(Gulf cooperation council) consisting of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Oman. The prof describes Kuwait: These guys have a strange problem. They have a lot of money from the oil. But they are weak and have a lot of wealth and are surrounded by thugs. So what do you do if you are Kuwait? First, stash the money outside the country by buying assets abroad. Then to protect the money in the country, hire cheap security guards. So who are these cheap security guards? These are the US guys. They even pay you to protect you. When asked about what they give in return, the Kuwait guys reply "we buy a lot of their US made cars. But then it is dirt cheap and it is for the security guys. These is the least we could do for those security people." I bow to my prof for this wonderful insight.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My dad just got transferred to Trivandrum two weeks ago and he will be joining the new organisation tomorrow. It has been a decade since I have been involved in a proper one-to-one transfer with my family. You must be wondering what a one-to-one transfer is. Well it is a situation where all the items from the one house in one city move to just one house in another city.

Well what other kind of transfers are there? There is the other one-to-many transfers -> this involves separating the items in one house in one city to multiple locations based on the need and user of each item. I have personally handled and have overseen a one-to-two transfer and a one-to-four transfer. Trust me, one-to-one transfers are the fun ones, not the others. It needs a lot of guts and nerves of titanium and experience to get through the one-to-many transfers. It is definitely not for the light hearted.

I miss one of the last one-to-one transfers that my dad just had. During my school days, the one-to-one transfers were the times where the family has had intense conflicts and difference of opinions as the priorities are quite different for everybody and the roles and responsibilities are not exactly defined like in a company. This was the time of doing. No postponing, no giving excuses, but just do it and more importantly do it smartly, effectively and efficiently. Looking back, these are the times I have learnt the maximum lessons, tips and tricks about organising, packing, prioritising, safeguarding precious items, loading, supervising, delegating, ordering, confirming, unloading, unpacking the stuff and managing the pressure. Lessons nobody else can ever learn so easily without actually being in the midst of it all. Lessons I am proud of. These are the times of real decision making, however small the issue, if not resolved in a particular time frame, some other higher authority(my mom or dad) will do it, sourcing information and material, asking for help when necessary, not undoing done things. There is a sense of urgency, so many things are to be packed before the truck people come, so many loaders to keep a watch on(not just of stealing, but also how they are handling the items). You dont look at the watch, until the workers stop working to take lunch.

You look back, see the kind of mess the house is in. You walk on cardboard, newspaper and ropes everywhere. And then you start processing the info and start reorganising and reprioritising the stuff to be moved, cleaned and personally supervised. At the end of the day, you are tired, so tired that the back or the legs or the whole body aches and you desire to sleep well for the night after knowing very well that a job has been done well. As kids(my bro and I) had our own priorities during transfers and used to miss the big picture. There would obviously be times when my dad or mom would ask us to do things we have never done before and it was an opportunity to prove ourselves and gain experience and trust.

Today, it is different. We(my bro and I) have during the two decades have witnessed dozens of transfers and have learnt tremendously without any specific concious learnings. During the one-to-many transfers, we(My mom, my bro and I) as a team, have done really well and have learnt many unique aspects of the one-to-many transfers. In the last decade, my parents have moved some 9 different houses in 5 cities and I have missed almost all of it. I had wished I was there during the Bhavnagar to wherever transfer, but unfortunately, that did not happen. Looking forward to the next fully loaded one-to-one transfer. Waiting to do a complete one-to-one transfer with all my expertise with my father just overlooking things. One treat that would be when the job is well done!

P.S: Here is a breakdown of my family members' total transfer/house moving experiences/involvements after my parents got married: My mom: 29 houses My dad: 27 houses My bro: 24 houses Me: 24 houses till now.
error(+ or - 1)for each member.


The stuents had a short meeting with our college president the other day. he just wanted to meet us and ask us how things were going on. This is how he addresses the crowd after the hello. "I am very surprised all of you are still alive. We must be doing something wrong." :-|


One of my classmates has come to the class with a big bandage on his forehead. The guy asks a doubt to the prof. Prof: what happened? why the bandage? Student: I fell down from the bunk Prof: you know that the bed is meant for one person only, uh?
Even after 2 minutes, his neighbour is still laughing prof to the neighbour: you are still laughing. Are you the other guy involved?
***************************************************************************** Words of wisdom from our prof: "Here in the mba you cannot have both a love life and a study life. They are incompatible unless of course your love life is with one of your CAN group members." *****************************************************************************

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My guru's article

At last I get to see a photo of Mr.Satyajit Das. He is a derivatives' guru in the finance world and writes articles in newspapers including the economic times. His explanation of complex topics in finance in a simple way and his comparisons and one liners make his book "Traders, guns and money" a must read. I have to find some time to read the below article though...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New age millionaries


Risk and uncertainty

"One can have uncertainty without risk, but not risk without uncertainty." Uncertainty: The lack of complete certainty, that is, the existence of more than one possibility. The "true" outcome/state/result/value is not known. Risk: A state of uncertainty where some of the possibilities involve a loss, catastrophe, or other undesirable outcome.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


What the heck is Capital Asset pricing Model? In my simplest understanding, it is the measure of the rate of return per risk taken. Which do you choose? Option A: You can get a 40% return for a certain amount of risk taken. Option B: You can get 20% return for the same amount of risk taken. Answer: Any rational [one of the assumptions of CAPM model :) ]person would choose option A over option B. The CAPM allows you to represent this. The per risk taken is the risk free return (Rm - Rf). For actual market risk (beta=1), the expected return is the market return.

But what if the expected return of an investment is more than the market return for the same market risk? Will you go for it? Of course, you should. The point of this investment in the CAPM graph will be above the security market line(SML). The SML is the line depicting the expected market return for every value of market risk (If the risk is less than the actual market risk, beta is less than 1 and greater than 0. if the actual risk is more than the actual market risk, then beta is greater than 1. And yes, beta can be negative when the asset price varies inversely wrt the market movement).

If an investment is below the SML, it means that the investment is not worth the risk taken and it is possible to invest in the market itself and get a better return for the same risk. One of the disadvantages of CAPM is that it measures standard deviation as a measure of risk. There are better ways to measure risks like the coherent risk measure.

I am back!!!

Dear Readers, It has been more than a month since I blogged here and some of you must be wondering why I stopped. Is it because of the hectic schedule in AIM or nothing new is happening that is not worth writing about? Well, the matter of the fact is that I had an opinion that I should be regular when I blog. Today, after desperately seeking to understand something that I had previously understood and now forgotten, I plan to make a change on the objective of my blogging. As opposed to the previous objectives, my new objective of the blog is to store my insights and key understandings of forgettable topics apart from some good websites and web pages I have come across and an additional section on class jokes. This last part has been requested by two of my previous readers to be part of the blog. One of the main constraints for me will be the time and hence I may not be regular at blogging. So here's hoping for a new comeback with more variety and hopefully more reader's comments, brickbats and appreciations. Cheers, Ajit.