Tag Archives: Economy
It is no fun being a humor writer if the mainstream media takes over your job, aided and abetted by the newsmakers. If today (28.3.2012) be taken as a sample, the top news items give little scope for creating a bigger laugh. Still, let’s try to get behind the lines, and see if there is any further scope for improvement.
Army General drops letter bomb: Says Army tanks are running out of ammunition, air defence is going obsolete, the infantry is operating without critical weapons and the nation’s security is threatened. (Hindustan Times)
- World must be a safer place than we thought – an army of one of the largest military power in the world operates without ammunition.
- India’s relations with Pakistan and China must be better than what we thought – we have an amazing amount of confidence in our neighbors not knowing all this and not attacking us.
- Commissions in the purchase of ammunitions must be increased forthwith – or no one is interested in buying them.
- Top levels of government still depend on the postal system for communication – bodes well for the postal department, but does not reflect well on the performance of telephone exchange.
Free medical treatment to all, says Akhilesh Yadav: Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today promised that his government would provide free medical treatment to the poor. (Economic Times) This comes after the promises of free laptops and computers to those passing class tenth, unemployment grants….
- UP, one of the poorest regions of the world (not only the country) has suddenly found a treasure trove. Or maybe Sultan of Brunei has adopted Akhilesh…
- UP has found a new revenue model – but will not tell. It is a political/commercial secret.
- Read carefully – UP expects that no one will pass tenth, so no laptops; poverty line will be defined in such a manner that no one will be poor – so no free treatment; no one will be left employable, so no question of unemployment grant.
- Akhilesh has greater faith in the Central government to fund him than anyone else.
India to become world’s largest economy by 2050: Wealth Report 2012 by Knight Frank & Citi Private Bank. China will overtake US by 2020 and India will overtake China by 2050. (Daily Bhaskar)
- In this age of blind faith, we can believe in one more Guru – Knight Frank & Citi Private Bank. How much harm can one more religion cause?
- “In the long term, we are all dead,” thought Frank, and wrote his report. “Meanwhile, it will spread cheer among billions of people who constitute this overpopulated region,” he told Citi Private Bank and smiled kindly.
- “It was part of an internal competition for best fiction writers in the bank, but it was accidently released as report. We apologize for any happiness that it may have caused,” clarified Spokesman for Citi Private Bank.
- Indian government invites Knight Frank to become its chief economic advisor. “Frankly, we want more such opinion before the polls,” government spokesman told the media in New Delhi today.
As we wait for the promised doomsday (this year it is 21st December), we are not sure how much to invest in the event. My gut feeling is, the Mayans just ran out of paper to print their eternal calendar, or got bored at this very point, and left the task unfinished. In fact I saw my boy start with the noble mission of writing down ‘all the numbers’ only to leave the task at 3,100 – significantly short of infinity I would say. So I can understand how the Mayans would have felt at 21.12.2012.
But more than that, 2012 is so supremely boring that some of the mystical effect of 2012 may also have rubbed off them, making them a little less driven and goal oriented.
I do not wish to discourage the optimists, but I would advise that it would be a waste of effort to invest in bunkers and Mars rocket schemes, just on the word of the Mayans. In fact I had higher hopes from Iran earlier this year, but then, it is that kind of an year…
US and Iran tried to build up something entertaining, but then again, their heart was not in the job. They cannot match the Israelis for dedication towards goals, and both the sole surviving superpower, and the sole surviving ‘potential-evil-incarnate’ somehow went off to an unearned Spring holiday, and the world was once again left to bide time with the mug shots of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Between these two, humanity has yet to decide who is worse – it is touch and go as far as I see it.
Meanwhile, oil prices continue to rise, and the pundits continue to forecast that they are likely to rise further. The number of oil sector pundits has shot up to 60 million now (incidentally, the average sperm-count is also 60 million per milliliter, but I don’t know whether the two facts are connected in any way).
The business of oil-sector-pundits is doing well, as is that of the futurologists, but in other sectors there is gloom – the top MBA types in the West (including the bankers) are trying to survive at dollar 5 grand a year, with an assured ten percent annual increment. They predict that such a gloomy scenario is not good for the world – it is hurting the luxury yacht and casino business no end. Last heard, US President was very worried about these two sectors – he is thinking of calling a G-20 meeting on the issue.
Meanwhile, as we wait for the London Olympics, one wonders what it would mean for the city – financial ruin or revival in fortunes? (Make no mistake, Sports only mean business and entertainment now – they have lost their independent sectoral identity.) I believe that in the lethargic 2012, sportsmen would be struggling to match their own selection records, let alone beat the milestones. However one does have high hopes when it comes to WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends), Salman Rushdie and Dow Chemicals to provide some entertainment.
Some hope remains from the Femen protestors, who are working hard to make the world a better place – for males. I hope they will not be afflicted by the lethargy of 2012, and would find sufficient drive to peel off their tops and hound the eager and hard working cops of Eastern Europe. They could, I would suggest, give an annual calendar of protest to their governments, who could then use it to promote tourism in their (economically) depressed countries.
The Russian elections lived up to its promise of pure entertainment – at the cutting edge of fact and fiction – and Putin’s Russia continues to love and hate the man simultaneously. It is however the US, which is such a letdown – I promise you nobody outside of US understands a word what the 1300 Presidential candidates are saying. The fact that they all look frauds of the highest order, specially chosen by Obama to run against him, and speak on issues that may be relevant to small towns in the middle America, makes it a dull year for America watchers (approximately 50 % of the world – the other 50%, living in poorest of conditions, does not know what America is).
Will America finally leave Afghanistan? I don’t believe that this year the soldiers would have the energy to pack the bags. Their ammunition, their porn mags, their tiffin boxes etc are scattered all over Afghanistan, and it would not be possible to pack all that in a year. Therefore there has been a call to let the wives join the GIs for a while (but with Taliban and other lechers around, it seems hardly likely that the Christian fathers would allow Obama to take that decision in an election year.)
Meanwhile, the Apple Corporation has got its priorities clear – name everything with a small ‘i’ and go for the kill while the aura of Steve Job lasts. Facebook now has more individual on it than the global population, and denies rumors of a ‘bubble’. I have heard even Mark Zuckerberg is tiring of counting his money, and had asked Bill Gates for advice. Gates, I believe told him to just ‘grin and bear it’, and that he is yet to figure out how to stop the flow. Gates was investing in real estate, I am told, hoping for a 2008 redux.
Maldives awaits a slow death, with steadily rising water levels, even as the world sympathetically reassures the Maldivians that with doomsday around the corner, the island would not face a slow oblivion. But the Maldivians are a pessimistic lot – they are not impressed, and keep on harping on cutting carbon emission levels. Theirs is a new version of ‘quit smoking’ campaign at a global level, and to the developed world, just as quirky and fetishistic.
There is little hope that the year would take off – even the Wikileaks is not leaking any more. In my present despondent state, it seems to me that we are doomed to keep on counting meaninglessly till eternity – I mean till 31st December 2012.