Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What the world is NOW saying about the financial crisis...

I like the analysis on the financial crisis 'Reversal of Fortune' by Joseph Stiglitz, in the November issue of Vanity Fair. On CNBC, we can see & hear him as well. He as ever, is the most cogent thinker and economist out there. Some of his views on how to prevent the next Wall Street crisis is great reading as well.

But nothing like black humour to drive home the message. Closer home, Great Bong's take on the meltdown is brilliant, - he uses, of all things, a Mithun B Grade movie list of characters as metaphor - Bullah, Lucky Chikna, Chutiya et al... And it works! I figured what all those words 'sub prime', 'insurance' 'derivative' really meant, never to be forgotten now.

My friend sent in this link - a must watch - the last word in British humour, on investment bankers.. 'dodgy debts' become 'Structured Investment Vehicles' and with a straight face, indicates the importance of 'names'.
As versus reputations : hedge funds instead of being hedgy and dodgy, sound really 'high' when called 'High Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leverage Funds', and loved the role of market 'sentiments' (like 'OHMYGOD, I'm losing MONEY...')

My question tho' is not about understanding the intricacies - it is a tad different -
why did none of the 'finance' whiz kids and experts ever write an article last year or the year before that - explaining this system and its potential fallout.
I mean, if these were the facts of the money market and the housing bubble, this did not happen overnight, na? How come not a single blowing of the bugle happened, and today we have a million and half explanations/ discussions, after the horse has bolted.

And to think Day Zero, Day One companies at the IIM A, B, C , at my alma mater as well - have been Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Barclays etc. etc. in the past few years... Investment banks, international banks all.
Oh oh oh...
What does it tell us about the ability of our future managers (and our blue blooded finance professors at the creme de la creme IIMs) to dig below the surface? What about the toppers and winners who get placed on Day Zero and One?
Is it all about the crores that a 'freshie' could draw just out of the institute, that became that mirror - what's it called - in Harry Potter's Hogwarts.
The fat bonuses that then in turn paid for fancy first class holidays, diamonds, branded attire, seven star hotels. Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Vertu, Corum, Mont Blanc, Parmigiani, Lladro, Bugatti, Porsche, Bvlgari, Mercedes. Also Rolex, Tagheuer. (sorry, these names are in my 'future' blog coming up :-) )
With no one bothered about how the other more-than-half - more like 95% plus of the planet lives.

Which is why - I tell you - one turns more and more to the strikingly handsome Paul Newman, Sunil Dutt. The vanished breed of REAL men. Who quietly gave their all to society (blogged last time.)

P.S. : Crossword the bookstore has at last located a copy of the book 'Ugliness of the Indian Male'. Nearly six months after I asked for it. Expect to receive it later today by courier.
I even emailed author Mukul Kesavan whose write up on Dharmendra in Outlook touched a deep chord - as to why Dharmendra who ought to have been seen as the best thing that ever happened to Bollywood, instead missed the bus... I pointed out to him the lack of visibility of said book. Strand Book Stall had asked in surprise 'Ugliness? What Ugliness? Indian Male? Are you sure?', and said knowledgeably 'Mukul Kesavan writes on Indian cricket, you know'.
Crossword fished out 'Ugliness of India' . Which anyone will agree is not even remotely as exciting a concept. While both might be true. Truly ugly I mean.

Mukul said he would ask his publisher to send me a copy - got the impression this was yet another male (he called his publisher, well - let me just say its droll wording could not be aimed at a woman imhfo - in my humble female opinion). Anyway, the book never arrived.
Was beginning to believe this was that ultimate 'male' conspiracy.

Where even the publisher would rather the truth not be out.. The insight of 'Indian men aren't born ugly: They achieve ugliness through practice. It is their habits and routines that make them ugly'.
Dunno about the author hiding the book as well - Very Woody Allen-like, and wonderfully circular reasoning ... Male author writes 'Ugliness of the Indian Male' and then proceeds to keep it as best kept secret...

Moti baat : It's reached me at last. And from the few pages I have glanced through, am already laughing. Guffawing actually. Going to have a simply marvelous time reading it.
Definitely, shall write about it here - I mean, what are blogs for anyway?
Mediocre reviewers relish reviewing books painstakingly put together :-)

In case anyone seeks a copy of this rare and vanished book, suggest you ask Mukul directly !

And may the Force be with you...

(A friend Prakash Iyer, when asked if he had read 'Ugliness of the Indian Male' said this to me and I quote verbatim : "I don't read fiction" !!)

1 comment:

Jade Graham said...

instead missed the bus... I pointed out to him the lack of visibility of said book. Strand Book Stall had asked in surprise 'Ugliness? What Ugliness? Indian Male? http://proactfinancial.co.uk