Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The 161 million punishment

so the major news to hit the financial market today is that merrill lynch's ceo stan o'neal "stepped" down admist the $8.40 billion write down, most coming from CDO investments. So as investors lose money, pple lose their jobs, the ceo will pocket 161 million as he "resigns", an office and an assistant all courtesy the Bank, (read shareholders) . this just proves not everything in life is fair. in the coming months, merrill lynch and other banks too will probably announce that they are cutting employees.

i dont get it, what kind of message is this giving. Thats its ok to take higher risks and aim for high profitability, just so you look good, but when things go rough, you can easily bail out whereas the taxpayers (yep thats rite, tax payers ) and investors face the brunt of your bad decisions. Logically speaking when a company does well, the guy who "owns" the company or rathe rthe head of the company gets the most profit, so shouldnt the same logic apply when the company does bad! The govt too seems to be joining onto the bandwagon and is supposedly doing the "right thing" by supporting those companies like countrywide finance who are making bad decisions and giving out bad loans. and when the company goes bust despite the brotherly gesture of the govt, who, other than tax payer, is going to bear the brunt?

I dont really know the politics invovled in merrill lynch, nor do I know who is right or wrong. But i dont think changing the CEO is going to fix things, if it were that simple, this action would have been done long ago. maybe its a classic case of having a sacrificial lamb. or maybe not. one can never know. but i do think the problem is deeper than having a captain that was steering the ship too fast that it hit an iceberg, the problem is much deeper than that. to continue the analogy it lies in the make of the ship, the risk management team should have been able to see it, should have hedged the risks it were taking, the pricing of these products should have been more transparent and more accurate. its not just a single thing. and something tells me, this isnt the end of it.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

sometimes its just better to shutup

K: you're worthless
H: no....im not worthwhile
-Harold and Kumar go to whitecastle.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

hum tau aise hai bhaiyaaa...

ok so the movie of the week is laaga chunari mein daag directed by pradeep sarkar of "parineeta" fame. who is unarguablely a good director and knows how to shoot a scene, but the script is poor and even though the acting is good, one can only do so much. the movie is based on the small, poor but obviously super happy family in benares, and then due to the money problems, the eldest (rani mukherji) becomes a high class escort and supports the family and theres a track where the younger daughter (konkona sen) who is first oblivious to her elder sister's profession, and then comes into the know. I am quite mixed on this movie, there are hardly any light moments in the movie, but its not even a fully blown emo drama as well. I think the promos give the movie away and we hardly see the eventual growth of rani mukherjis character. one day she cant speak english and the next day shes flying off to paris to attend some conference. its a bit strange. then it doesnt make sense why she continues in this profession when she has enough money to do something else. i couldnt really sympathize with the characters. and the ending scene is just ridiculous. i dont know, i guess we have already seen the fairytale ending (i.e Pretty Woman) and thought it was cute and romantic, but here it was absurd and forced.

my only reason to watch this movie is kunal kapoor, who is so naturally cute that you cant look at anyone else when hes there (again that may be only me who feels this way). but all the actors have done a good job, especially the bengali ladies jaya bachan,rani mukherji and konkona sen who are very natural.

all in all a movie that can be watched on dvd on a rainy day, not necessarily the line-up-at the-ticket-counter-four-hours-before-the-movie nor the buy-online-since-we-think-the-tickets-will-be-sold-out.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

of the yins and yangs

so after a whole 2 month of coming home after 9 at nite i finally got time to go get a haircut and do my eyebrows. i.e self grooming. and look like a human for a change. filmy dialogue translation "ab insaan ban gaye hoon". ive been getting the subtle hints at work, of course polite ones, "why dont you straighten your hair, it will look good on you". "your hair is finally looking nice". i know. im perpetually having a bad hair day. so much that im contemplating buying badges that they sell in central park that say "bad hair year".

anyway so i normally get all this done at my neighbourhood desi salon, coz of the extra added "pyar" (read scolding) that i get when i show up after months looking like a junglee. they always yell at me saying why dont you come every two weeks like we tell you too. what can i say, i appreciate the yelling it reminds me of home.

anyway so i ask for a haircut and the hairdresser turns out to be a gay guy. and yes i know this is totally absurd and shallow of me and hypocritical, coz the laundermat where i do the dry cleaning of my work clothes is done by a chinese man, but i still find it weird to get a hair cut by a guy. and obviously i couldnt refuse at that moment and be like no no its fine i dont want the haircut now. especially after the manager had fit me in.

so i ended up getting the haircut. and it wasnt the greatest haircut ever. but it wasnt that bad either. however that being said, there are somethigns that no matter how old you grow, things that go out of your own comfort zone and its nothing to do with religion or culture or anything really, its just the way it is. like talking about "the" relationship with the elders in the family, its something you arent super comf doing. like even going to a doctor, i wouldnt want my mom to do my checkup. i am just too embarassed in front of my mom. there are pple who being desis dont want desis do their medical checkup, they feel embarassed and prefer someone else.

i guess we all have some hangups which we sometimes dont realize, and sometimes do realize although we know they really are quite stupid to have.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

a thousand splendid moons

so im not really that knowledgeable on politics, but i really cant understand what is it about power that makes people do what they do. in other words why would benazir bhutto after being exiled, after having seen the nawaz sharif episode where he was sent back to saudi, after having received many death threats, after being in the middle of several controversies, after facing the possibility of being jailed etc, why would she decide to come back?
i really dont get it.
and i dont even understand why her party would spend millions on her "homecoming" when they can spend that same money on something more constructive. i mean isnt that enough reason not to vote for her party.
what is it about power that makes pple go a little mad. its not just the big power i talk about. even small things like attending recruiting events, where you are on the other side now and graduate students approach you and try to impress you by asking you some "insightful" questions. and no matter what you say,pple hang on to pretty much every word you say. and though you knew you really arent that powerful in terms of hiring them, you feel good that pple think you can.

sometimes power is more to do with what others perceive of you and not so much the power that you are "given".


Saturday, October 06, 2007

A croire qu'aujourd'hui s'arreter etait exclu
(To think that today, stopping was out of question)
theres always something fun about watching wedding videos. watching pple, who are sometimes unaware that they are being caught on camera, let go and dance their heart out. with all the bollywood steps and all. oblivious to the fact that they arent the best dancers that ever were. but the sheer joy on their faces is (to quote mastercards catchphrase) priceless. this also can have adverse affects when someone is caught on camera picking their nose (thats where editing comes in). but i think more than that it even to the pple who actually watch their own wedding in polaroid form, it feels like an out of body experience. its the same i think when you watch your home videos of days gone by. its like you are watching another person, someone who you were, someone you may have been but are now not, and that time has passed, that moment is gone, and though it is something you look back at with lot of good memories, its still not where you want to be again.
you are happy to be in your present.
PS this is more to do with your home videos of your bad haircut days and not so much wedding videos. lot of pple want to go back and repeat their wedding day again with a whole lot of changes.
le contexte est plus fort que le concepte - MC Solaar.s


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