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Showing posts from May, 2008

Albert Einstein on God

For many years, many theists and religious people have used some of the statements from Albert Einstein to demonstrate that he was a religious man, or that he believed in a personal God, or that he was ambivalent about belief in God, or that he was agnostic, and so on.
The religious people fought a long battle, citing many of his remarks, sometimes giving quite childish interpretations and conclusions to prove that Einstein believed in a religious God.

“God does not play dice with the universe”

For example, his famous quote, “God does not play dice with the universe” is wrongly interpreted as confession of his belief in God. One just cannot make such a direct conclusion. Many atheists refer to 'God' in their day-to-day speech. That does NOT necessarily mean they believe in a personal or religious God. The figure of speech using ‘God’ could mean differently in different contexts for different people, including atheists. But to conclude that Einstein was a believer from the above…

10 good construction stocks to invest in

Mega investments in infrastructure and the recent market correction offers an exciting investment opportunity in construction stocks.The robust GDP growth rate experienced by the country in the last few years is indeed commendable and was aided by investment in infrastructure. To sustain growth rates, it is imperative for India to make higher investments towards setting up world-class infrastructure.
As per the Planning Commission estimates, investments in infrastructure is set to go up by a whopping 130 per cent to $520 billion for the eleventh Five-Year Plan (FY 2008-12) as against the $226 billion made during the 10th plan (FY 2003-2007). Construction companies will be among the first beneficiaries of these investments and will deliver good and sustainable long-term growth. Since the investment plans for each of the sub-segments in infrastructure space varies, based on priorities, there is reason to believe that not all the segments or companies will grow at all times. For instance…

8 key ratios for picking good stocks

The following 8 financial ratios offer terrific insights into the financial health of a company -- and the prospects for a rise in its share price.1. Ploughback and reservesAfter deduction of all expenses, including taxes, the net profits of a company are split into two parts -- dividends and ploughback.Dividend is that portion of a company's profits which is distributed to its shareholders, whereas ploughback is the portion that the company retains and gets added to its reserves.The figures for ploughback and reserves of any company can be obtained by a cursory glance at its balance sheet and profit and loss account.Ploughback is important because it not only increases the reserves of a company but also provides the company with funds required for its growth and expansion. All growth companies maintain a high level of ploughback. So if you are looking for a growth company to invest in, you should examine its ploughback figures.Companies that have no intention of expanding are unl…

SPAC'ing Private Equity

Every time one thinks we have reached a peak of financial innovation, something new pops up and makes one realize how foolish it was not to think of it earlier. One such recent financial innovation has been 'SPAC'. SPAC stands for 'Special Purpose Acquisition Company'. The purpose of a SPAC is essentially acquiring some company - may or may not be a public listed company. Most interestingly SPAC are companies without any balance sheet and therefore most regulating stock exchanges didnt allow SPAC to be listed, however, this has changed now - with the first listing of SPAC in July 2007. Just recently both the Nasdaq and theNew York Stock Exchange have announced plans to allow listing SPACs in 2008 as 'Blank Cheque' companies.

Why SPAC (and difference from Private Equity)?
SPAC companies are formed particularly for the purpose of acquiring another company(ies). What makes it different from a Private Equity deal is that SPAC is essentially a bet on Listed company (t…

How Arjun Murti Has Made Commodity Analysis A Fashionable Career To Pursue

Arjun N Murti is the most talked about analyst on the globe today. The Goldman Sachs analyst tracks oil, and has now made commodity analysis a sexy career to pursue in finance. Murthi’s recent claim to fame is that he has predicted oil will cross $200 per barrel very “soon”. The oil prices have already shot up to $135 a barrel.

Murthi, 39, is no pushover. In 2004, the New Jersey-born Indian had predcited that oil would cross $100 a barrel, a prediction which many of his detractors scoffed at then. The crude was then trading at a modest $40 a barrel. Murthi clearly had his finger on the oil pulse. As the crude breached the $100-mark in March the following year, many of his critics had to shut up.
Murthi, who evidently owns two hybrid cars, was even criticised for his predictions and detractors alleged that Goldman traders benefitted from his reports. This was denied by Henry Paulson Jr, the then CEO of Goldman Sachs and currently the Treasury Secretary in the Bush Administration.

Murthi, …

Indians develop car that goes 250 km per litre?

From rediff news. I hope this really happens. would go a long way...
Ever heard of a car that gives a mileage of up to 250 km per litre? However, it may soon be a reality if a group of techies from Ropar are to be believed.Seven engineering students from Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, Ropar, on Thursday claimed to have developed a concept car with an amazing mileage of 250 km per litre after putting in five months of hard work.The seven-member team is led by Gaurav Aggarwal. The other members of the team are Mayank Tyagi, Bhavuk Makkar, Arun Salaria, Rahul Kumar, Ramandeep Singh and Navneet Kumar. Prof Juhar Singh and Prof Rajesh Chaudhary guided the students as faculty advisors.Presenting this car for the first time before the media in Chandigarh, the elated students said they would put it on display at the World Super Mileage competition being held at Michigan in the United States on June 5, 6 where contestants from 35 countries -- including the United Sta…

Stopping the PMS Abuse

Portfolio management services (PMS) have been told to change the way they operate. (From DNA) Sebi asked PMS houses not to pool assets of investors the way mutual funds do and also increased the minimum networth requirement for floating a PMS house. The networth required to float a PMS scheme has been increased to Rs 2 crore from Rs 50 lakh earlier, purportedly to weed out the smaller players. The number of PMS players has shot up to 205 as on March 31, 2008, from just 18 in 1999. These include several small and mid-size brokerage firms. This is unlike in the markets abroad, where PMS is run primarily by asset management companies. The second part - of having a higher net worth - is just to weed out the smaller players. The first part is important. But before I say why, a little history is worth looking at. PMS schemes were badly abused in the 80s and early 90s, and were at the time only for institutions (who would give money to banks to invest in bonds/shares). Banks …

Guest Post: Fighting Inflation The Wrong Way

V Anantha NageswaranA table of inflation rates in many countries around the world is beginning to reveal a disturbing picture. The lowest rate is found in Germany – at 3.0%. Many emerging countries that seem to be doing a truthful job are reporting inflation rates in excess of 10% and some in excess of 20%. Others, either out of deliberate intent or methodological deficiencies, report far less. India belongs to the latter category.Inflation is the world’s number one problem. Governments are pretending to respond. In the UK, Mr. Gordon Brown wants to assemble experts to debate solutions. The Indian finance minister says that western nations are diverting land for producing expensive bio-fuels to replace the expensive crude oil. Surely, that is part of the problem. But that does not explain the jump in the price of rice. Rice is not diverted to bio-fuel production.In India, the response has been to reduce import duties, impose export caps and accuse manufacturers and distributors of col…

Time To Be Fearful?

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We all know the famous words of Warren Buffett, "The secret to getting rich on Wall Street is to be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy."