What better to do than to record or give an account of  some of the latest events that must have caught the eye of many in this world ?  I just present below the two important events – as I see –  since Sep 15 to Oct 15.  Forgive me, if I have not mentioned any other event that remains close to your heart and I accept and respect everyone of them.

     1.  Dr Raghuram Rajan took charge as the Reserve Bank Governor of India on Sep 4 in turbulent times amidst huge expectations.  He announced his “BIG INITIAL PACKAGE” on 19/20 Sep which received accolades from many Quarters of our Economy.  Here are some excerpts from the Package :

         (a)  Shift in focus from inflation control to boosting growth;  (b)  Primary role of Central Bank is MONETARY STABILITY to sustain confidence in the value of Rupee; (c) Strengthening monetary policy framework, financial stability, financial inclusion, NPAs;  (d) RBI to take steps to reduce SLR and introduce greater regulatory & supervisory control over domestic operations of Foreign Banks;  (e) Freedom to banks to open branches without RBI permission;  (f) Raise overseas borrowing limit of 50% of unimpaired Tier I Capital to 100% for banks;  (g) Reduce the requirements for banks in Govt securities in a calibrated manner;  (h) Enable foreign banks to set up wholly owned subsidiaries;  (i) Panel of experts headed by Bimal Jalan, former RBI governor, to screen applications for NEW BANK LICENSES to be issued from January 2014, mostly;  (j) Examine introduction of interest rate futures on overnight interest rates;  (k) Enhance limits for exporters to rebook cancelled forward exchange contracts (50%) and open a special concessional window for swapping foreign currency non-resident (FCNR) deposits and dollar funds;  (l) Introduce cash settlement in 10 year interest rate future contracts to develop the money & G-Sec markets;  (m) resumption of stalled projects;  (n) Attract funds from overseas by subsidizing hedging costs for banks making it easier for exporters/importers to hedge currency risk;  (o) Liberalize markets, Lift restrictions on investment.

     (2)  Nobel awards ( $1.2 m;   handed out since 1901) are being announced since 8th of Oct 2013. Here are the winners :

           (a)   Physiology & Medicine :  James E Rothman; Randy W Schekman & Thomas C Sudhof for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.

           (b)   Physics   :  Francois Englert; & Peter Higgs for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the Origin of mass of Subatomic particles.

            (c)  Chemistry  :  Mark Karplus (Harvard);  Michael Levitt (Stanford Univ);  and Arieh Warshel (Univ of Southern California)  for developing Computer models that can predict chemical reactions for use in creating new drugs and other tasks.

            (d)  Literature  :  82 year old Canadian author,  Alice Munro,  –  “Master of the Contemporary Short Story” chronicled the lives of girls and women before and after the 1960s Social revolution including “The Moons of Jupiter”,  “The Progress of Love”  and  “Runaway”.

              (e)  Peace  :  The  Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,  the investigation and enforcement arm for a 1997 treaty banning  the use of Chemical weapons, – for its mission planning the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles and facilities in Syria, the most recent nation to accept the arms-control accord.

                (f)  Nobel Economics Prize ( to be announced yet, even as I post this) may go to Yale’s  Robert J Shiller – a longtime favorite.  He  wrote a prescient book, “Irrational Exuberance” about Stock market in 2000 and followed it up with a second edition in 2005.

              P.S.  (The above is not complete and exhaustive.  I intend to make this a weeklyy/monthly column with some interesting notes added. Need the blessings of everyone.)

             “Dieu avec nous”



P.S. It is now 4.45p.m (IST). Economics Nobel just announced : Eugene Fama, Lars Hansen, and Robert Shiller win the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their “Empirical analysis of Asset Prices.” “There is no way to predict the price of stocks & bonds over the next few days or weeks. But it is quite possible to foresee the broad course of these prices over longer periods, such as the next three to five years.”
“a bientot”


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