The Battle for Billy has temporarily been won but the war has just begun.
I disdain people who mix politics and cricket. People who protest by hurling slippers onto sportspeople should be banned for life from the stadium. I am originally from Bangalore. I was in Bangalore when the Cauvery riots broke out. I am sensitive to the sentiments of all the parties involved. Like it or not there is no easy answer to the water sharing problem. Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan are two actors who I really like but his statements are absolutely uncalled for. Chennai Super Kings are back in the IPL after a two-year hiatus. The people in Tamil Nadu and Chennai should be given something to celebrate. CSK has had two great wins against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. I support the idea of wearing a black. Andy Flower and Henry Olango did it successfully. They did give up their cricketing career too because of that. The question then is what can be gained if the CSK players wear black armbands. Will it make any difference to them? How many players are actually affected by this issue? How many players are from Tamil Nadu who can make it to the playing XI of CSK? Will RCB and their fans be safe or will there be a bloodbath? Understandably the IPL decided to move CSK home games. I feel sorry for the people in Chennai. The timing though was bad. As always Cauvery has become a hot topic in the forthcoming elections, The BJP does not want to do anything lest they upset the apple cart. South India is important for the BJP because they have found it difficult to form the government there, The North-South divide is clearly felt. The enforcement of Hindi by the centre does not help. The sad truth though is people love Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan more than they do CSK. The Tweets by CSK clearly shows how saddened they feel. The fans deserve more and I am certain they would have got it this season.
I hope better sense prevails. That seems to be in short supply though after Shahid Afridi’s and Shoaib Akhtar’s tweets on Kashmir. The Australian Prime Minister should not have made statements about the ball tampering issue. My wife’s father fought in the Indo-Pak wars. He drove a tank. Some of the stories he told me made Saving Private Ryan look like a Disney movie. The other stories I heard are those that made my heart melt. During the ceasefire, they were very cordial with each other. Cricket is a game that should strive to unite people and not divide. The ICC has appointed a panel to hear the dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board and BCCI. The best way to settle the dispute would be to start playing the bilateral series once again. Due to politics, it will be hard to play the games in India and Pakistan, I would propose having Pakistan play their home games in Sharjah and India host Pakistan in Afghanistan. That will be something to look forward to.
I came across this article. It proved to be an inspiration. When I look back at life I do wonder what would have happened if I had to get into humanities rather than finance. Writing is something that has always attracted me. I love the way that random words can be put together to create an immortal thing of beauty. Don’t get me wrong. I love finance. I love the way the markets dance like lovers under a starry sky. Sometimes they tread on each other’s toes and sometimes they seem to glide like shimmering silk. Getting into finance is like being bitten by a vampire. It changes your life forever. The thrill of seeing the decisions you make paying off. The disappointment of looking at lost opportunities. The new things you learn every day.
Writing is like watching life being born as soon as your fingers come off the keypad or the ink from your fountain pen starts to dry. The happiness I get from writing a story or a blog is completely different. You leave yourself exposed on a pedestal. You start to instantaneously wonder whether anyone cares about what you write because you have not got any views or likes.
I have always been a macro person. I do not want to concentrate only on one topic. I am a complex person with interests in diverse topics. Why should I shackle myself to just one topic? Yes, it is easier to get followers like that just as it is easier to get a job when you concentrate on one particular sector in the equity market. However, there is no fun in that. I want the world to read what I have to say about everything I want to write about. I want to do that without having to become a leader of a country who has a twiddly finger and a twitter account. I think I have just set myself a lofty ambition. Let me see where it gets me.
I love alternate indices. RAFI which can be invested through PowerShares is probably my favourite investable index. The other index I really like is the Christmas Price Index. I had written a post on the following topics
I am still in the process of tweaking my cricket index. The common assumption in all this is my strong belief that the methodology used to measure certain indices is not completely accurate and some like the ICC cricket ranking is completely wrong. One decision I really liked was a recommendation to buy the shares of Apple when the news that Steve Jobs had cancer broke out. Yes, I did feel sad that Steve Jobs had cancer but I absolutely was furious at the people who thought that Apple would collapse because Steve Jobs would no longer be involved and would die. Today I feel the same way about the negative ratings given by analysts about Apple. The good thing though is that the fall in the share price of Apple is a good opportunity to buy it. Apple is an innovative company and will continue to do so. Everyone initially predicted that the cost of the iPhone X would under perform the iPhone 8 and would eat into the profits of Apple. Analysts more often than not get their calls wrong. Does it really matter if a company distributes less dividend than analysts expected? The important thing is that Apple is a good company. I read an interesting astrological article on the numerology analysis of certain tech companies. I am not a great believer in astrology or horoscopes. I do consider that there is a certain amount of science in numbers. It does not matter whether it appears as numerology or the significance of numbers in various religious texts. This post on the thirteen tribes of Israel is extremely good. There is a logic in Shmita. Apple will always be an attractive company to buy into. Buying it when the share price is down is a bigger bonus.
Matthew Lynn who is a columnist for Bloomberg wrote a very interesting article on whether the seriousness of Steven Jobs health was of material consequence to release the information earlier than when Apple actually did. I. believe that this is a grey area. A line should be drawn. However the question is where the boundary between public and personal space should start for a prominent public figure. Humans are voyeuristic in nature. This is not about which celebrity is sleeping with whom. Yes there are people who feed on this but Katie Price breaking up with Peter Andre will not have as much of an effect on the world as the health of Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett. The value of companies and funds are associated with the people who lead it. Will the successor of Apple and Berkshire Hathaway be the same without Jobs or Buffett? The performance of Absolute Capital Management fell dramatically after Florian Homm who co-founded the company suddenly walked out of the company. The point of all of this is that there is a big possibility of people losing a lot of money if something had to happen to prominent people in industry. I am not insinuating that CEO’s twitter their life but if there is any issue that will potentially influence a company or a fund then full disclosure should be made as soon as possible. As usual I have to bring cricket into the picture. The very next day after the first test match was over a public declaration was made that Andrew Flintoff had to undergo a scan on his knee. The results were not published but immediately Steve Harmison was called up as a precaution. However there were also pictures published of Flintoff practicing in the nets and the announcement by Flintoff that he was going to step down from Test cricket after this series. Flintoff is the talisman of the English side and a very important part. His departure will have a more profound effect on this series than if Andrew Strauss who is the captain on the side got injured. I do not know if Flintoff will play today but the English Cricket Board handled his situation in a significantly better way than Apple did with Steve Jobs.
(Originally posted on June 3rd 2009)
Last evening to this morning has been busy with meetings I have been in meetings, conferences and seminars before where it mostly was useless and a waste of time. To quote a song by Brad Paisley; it was “Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday”. Starting the day with Janwillem Acket the Chief Economist at Julius Baer was nice. He always has interesting and solid comments. Attending a meeting where Marc Rowan from Apollo Management was the main speaker was insightful. This was later followed by another event where James Caan of Dragons Den fame. Both of them were at opposite ends of a scale. Marc Rowan is someone who keeps away from the limelight,down to earth,approachable and warm.James Caan on the other hand is in the spot light, distant and slightly pompous. What he had to say about the markets made a lot of sense and his approach to investing is sound. You can read his interviews on the Bloomberg website. The most charismatic person I have heard speak was Colin Powell. He has a powerful aura about him. The most chilled person was Sir Richard Branson. He spoke via a teleconference from Necker island in the Carribean which is part of the Virgin Group. How cool is that? The most passionate person I have heard is Sir Bob Geldof. In the finance world in addition to Janwillem Acket; David Darst, John Paulson and Ken Griffin are absolutely brilliant. Warren Buffett is another person whose interview I love to watch. However unlike James Caan I cannot make a claim of sitting next to and having a chat with him. The thing that impressed me about them is their humility. Everyone knows how good they are. They know how good they are. However they do not parade themselves and blow their own trumpets.