Thursday, February 12, 2009

What is the reason for the optimism?

Been traveling and working late the last few days. There seems to be a muted optimism in the markets, almost as if people expect a breakout. I am not very good at this predicting thing, so lets see what has been dished out.

A flurry of positive news
1) We did (will do) 7.1% growth apparently, what grew that much you might want to ask?
2) The Govt. will announce a new stimulus plan on Feb 16th, they have a lot of room to play with the interest rates how far will they go and how soon
3) Implied change in FDI classification, I mean implied because the fine print is what determines the validity of any of these announcements
4) A host of real estate firms have rolled on their debt, falling interest rates hence are making home owners come back
5) The worst is over, Q 3 is possibly one of the worst ever quarter, but you cant really go down on earnings from here

US collapsed yesterday, but India (along withe Asia actually) held pretty strong. Deal flow seems to be pretty good and fund managers seem to be more inclined to listen to stories.

Everybody is a friggin realist now. Bhalue is king.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

5 lakh jobless; Stats and wicked stats

Sample size of 2581 units covering 20 centres across 11 states was taken up for the survey. Eight major sectors like textile and garment industry, metals and metal products, Information Technology and BPO, automobiles, gems & jewellery, transportation, construction and mining industries were also included in the survey.

5 lakh? ~0.04% ? Not a chance, must be way higher. Ports are at a standstill, house construction has stopped (when was the last time you heard of someone you know buying a house), auto sales/CV sales are down, bank disbursements are down, industrial productivity is flat, tax collections are down....

This should be seen as to be in the category of the "quick" estimate released by the Central Statistical Organization (they have two revisions from their first numbers - this is the first revision). GDP will still grow spectacularly. Election tactic? Not so sure. Heard that the 'noodle strap' agitation is being done in national interest, if you wear more cloth it will mean more employment in the textile industry. In the same vein the well draped Sushma Swaraj is going to ask all of us to wear more, now that she is not contesting.

Anil Bhai and Mukesh bhai, all their 'refined' and 'power'ful troubles not withstanding are still close the top of the Forbes list... among other news.

Monday, February 02, 2009

It takes great courage to cry....

In what turned out to be an extraordinary ending to an extraordinary Australian open, Fed Ex, the great Fed Ex broke down. Federer - the expressionless almost cold demolisher. Match after match, game after game, tournament after tournament Fed Ex played his impersonal game. Till he faced his counter at the other side (both are of the gentlemen kinds tho'), a guy who knows his limitations, a physical player and a guy who has nerves of steel.

"God, it killing me", he said and then he started crying. He could not stop it even if his life depended on it. I guess modern sport is unforgiving, putting you under the scanner. Every single shot analyzed. Every statistic replayed. And then there were the records. When you ve lost the chance to make it to the history books, it becomes lonely.

Was Nadal into his psyche - making his task near impossible? Was it being so close to greatness? Was it just the reaction because he blew it, this time more than any time ever in his 13 defeats. It was his match to lose after all, and he lose he did. Spectacularly falling apart in the final set. Why could nt he, arguably the greatest player ever effectively conquer his only true competitor? What more could he do?

Some week it was? Murray and Djokovic - the new entrants to the drama were blown apart. The French Triplet (or how many ever there are) Tsonga, Monfils, Simon all played their part. Verdasco stopped everybody in their tracks and he seemingly should have taken out Nadal too - he hit 90+ winners in that epic match. That match was atleast 2 notches above the tennis quality of the final and Nadal had stood his ground.

Thats precisely what you love Nadal for. His sheer will, his game honed through enormous practice and a steely determination and his superstitions. Banana, bottles, undie .... and the guy is a sportsman. Nobody will ever doubt that Fed Ex is possibly the greatest tennis player of all time --- its only unfortunate that he has to face Rafa Nadal the greatest tennis athlete ever seen.
I thought after winning the US, Federer would regain his confidence. Thats not to be...