Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Economic and Market Conditions

The business standard headline today screams "Inflation might choke growth: RBI report" and goes on the say that crude oil concerns, insufficient rainfall and growing global interest rates might increase inflation and put downward pressure on GDP growth this year.

Interesting in the context of a recent project report I had to prepare in the FIS course on bond trading strategies in post july 2004. Post july, there has been a huge volatility in the bond markets particularly in the short and long ends of the yield curve. Interestingly, we found that this volatility is a direct result of signals of the market stabilization scheme of the RBI. We found significant volatilities in the yield curve on Aug 17 and 26th - on 17th, the govt conducted an open market operation for 9000 crores and on 26th, it increased the MSS to 80K crore from 70K crore - suggesting that the MSS is actually destabilizing the market instead of its expected result in the short run. In the long run - there would actually be beneficial effect.

Its indeed interesting to see the effect of such signals by the RBI on market conditions. Today, crude oil is again on the upward path. Plus, today's RBI report and the news that SBI is raising its fixed home rates by 50bps - it would be interesting to see the effect of market volatilities.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Behavioural Finance Paper

Found this paper on Behavioral economics online - an awesome intro to the possible future of behavioral finance:

Behavioral Economics

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

An Interview with Merton Miller

Found an interesting article -
An Interview with Merton Miller - the famous Nobel laureate - the Modigliani Miller theorem guy.

testing image uploading through picasa - That's Xl when it rains :P. For those behind firewalls use http://www.hello.com/support/hello.php

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Spyware nuisance

Having a big nuisance with spyware, they seem to get installed automatically while i browse. Is really sick - seems to be a bigger problem than viruses. Apart from key loggers, they slow down the system and put up arbit pop-up windows while one is doing something.

Found a good spyware remover too from Webroot software called Spysweeper: http://www.webroot.com

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Sonia named the world's third most powerful woman

Well, sonia's namesake seems to have been crowned the world's third most powerful woman - Sonia world%27s third most powerful woman - so what will sonia do ? :P

i-banks on a hiring binge in europe

According to this recent business week article: Investment Banks Are Hiring In Europe: investments banks are on a hiring spree in Europe. But unlike earlier times, the hiring is focussed on niche area specialists - derivative whizzes, ABS security specialists and private-equity and corporate-debt experts. Seems that the i-banking industry is on a high in europe. Well what does it bode for us ? :)) - nothing

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

AXIOM Seminar

We had the Operations Management Seminar by AXIOM - the ops society yesterday - went off very well.

Article in The Hindu BusinessLine:XLRI student society to focus on operations management

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Citigroup tactics

Ha ha - looks like Citigroup has done a interesting raid on the European bond markets. According to this Times Online article:
Markets board meets on Citigroup raid
Citigroup on Monday sold more than 11 billion euroes worth of european government bonds in 11 markets on 13 different trading platforms. This forced prices down. After this Citigroup bought back 4 billion euroes worth of bonds causes losses to rivals worth around 800,000 pounds - :)). That's Citigroup pushing the system to its limits again. :P

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Murderous workload

Whoever said the second year of a bschool is chill should be murdered - this semester is the worst i've gone through till date - not one day goes by without a test or an exam and hazaar submissions or presentations. And it's so long since i've slept properly - and today's supposed to be the independence day and a sunday :( - am just waiting for this sem to get over and go home :D

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The World's Biggest Bank formed

Article on Forbes: Forbes.com: Update 6: Mitsubishi Tokyo, UFJ Agree to Merger Deal

With the Tokyo High Court removing barriers in the merger of Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. and UFJ Holdings Inc., the stage has been set for the merger of the World's biggest bank - the Bank would be called Mitsubishi UFJ Holdings. With combined assets of 190 trillion yet ($1.7 trillion), it would surpass Citigroup ($1.19 trillion) in assets.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Aravind Eye Hospital

Have been doing a case on the Aravind Eye Hospital. At the end we were shown a short movie clip on the hospital. Must say, was really moving.

Imagine, a retired man at age 58 starting a hospital, providing free service to patients who cannot pay, with the aim of eliminating unwarranted blindness - today, is the world's largest eye hospital and the most effective one too. And that too without a profit-making aim !! Takes all capitalist theories for a toss, eh :P

Citigroup going gung-ho on derivatives

Citigroup seems to be giving a real push to their derivatives business. They've recently made a $225 mn purchase of Knight Trading's option business.

Article: Citigroup to Buy Knight Derivatives Unit

Seems very recently it had also become an electronic specialist on the CBOE. It also recently announced that it was buying Lava Trading. Knowing how meticulous Citigroup is, looks like they've spotted something :P.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Netscape's IPO Humor

We've been doing a case on the Netscape IPO valuation - came across this interesting piece - it's simply too good to resist:
Netscape's IPO

Some snippets:

Another "savvy investor" calls in:
Caller: Can I talk to the Chief Financial Officer?
Finance: I'm sorry, but he's traveling until at least August 9. Is there something I can help you with?
Caller: Well, I heard your company was going public and I was wondering if you could tell me what that means.
Finance: Well, that essentially means that our company will be trading a
certain number of shares of our stock on the stock market, which will raise capital so that we can expand our business.
Caller: What's the stock market?
Netscape: Dah....

Visitor: Older man in a tennis outfit came into the lobby requesting
PR: Can I help you sir?
Visitor: (Excited) I'm going to be a SHAREHOLDER!!
PR: Fantastic.
Visitor: I'm here to get some information and take some pictures.
PR: Pictures of what?
Visitor: The buliding, people. I've already taken some pictures outside.
(In his hand he was holding a yellow throw away Kodak camera.)


Saturday, August 07, 2004

XLRI: Helping The Non-govt Sector

Financial Express Article on SIGMA (Student's Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance)...

Amidst a hectic academic session, students of XLRI, have gathered to provide voluntary consultancy services to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) and small & medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

Working under the umbrella of Students? Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance (SIGMA), the would-be managers are ready to help those who are helping others. The mission, among other things, according to Prof Biswatosh Saha, faculty coordinator, SIGMA, ?is to promote the involvement and commitment of students to contribute to society through effective means of participation and to enhance leadership, managerial and entrepreneurial capabilities of non-profitable organisations (NPOs) and private sector initiatives on the social front by developing management consulting (with a high level of project responsibility) as a powerful tool?.


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Doom 3 is out

Wo-hu-hu!!! - Doom3 comes out today ! :P

article Technology Review: Much-Anticipated Doom 3 Finally Complete

IIIT Convocation Update

Update from The Hindu:
"The third convocation of IIIT saw 176 students getting their degrees."
"The Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dayanidhi Maran, on Saturday said the country's IT, software and services industry would capture 6 per cent of the global market by 2008. "

"The Chief Minister presented the IIIT Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance to Krishna Pratap Reddy and Banyan Award for technological support activities to P. Srilakshmi and P. Vandana"

Congrats Guys!!

Monday, August 02, 2004

AXIOM - Press Release

The Telegraph - Calcutta : Jamshedpur:

"Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) has decided to set up a new association to promote operations management and foster professional growth among students.

The aim of the Association at XLRI for Industrial and Operations Management (AXIOM) will be to raise awareness, interest and knowledge about operations management among XLRI students within and beyond classroom. At present, the institute has various associations, including the Marketing Association of XLRI (MAXI) for developing skills in the area of marketing and the Finance Association of XLRI (FINAX) to provide students with practical training in finance.

Taking a cue from the success of these associations, the institute is gearing now up to launch AXIOM, this month"

Corp Finance Link

Home Page of Aswath Damodaran

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Search Wars Begin

In right earnest that is: MS has entered the field in full offensive. Note Steve Ballmer's statement on July 29th:

?There's a lot of Google fascination out there and we share it, and we're going to compete," Ballmer said with characteristic bluster. "We're going to compete very, very hard."

Article: The Microsoft Offensive : HindustanTimes.com

Waves 2004

Have just come back from attending this program called Waves 2004 in the Tata Audi. Amazing! - that's just one word to describe it. The program showcased talent amongst school children from Jamshedpur. It had seperate classical and a contemporary sections. And my god, talent in the guys was amazing. Of particular notice was a band called 'zeitgiest' - raw talent.

At the end of the program, the XL band (The Bodhitree), composed of juniors and boka on the drums gave a performance - rocking, it certainly was amongst the best I've seen from the guys.