Thursday, April 2

Why 'secular stagnation' matters


A fascinating debate has been running over the past 3 days. Read this little article to get a summary. 

I've got another point here. People aren't including the impact of technology and automation. More technology and automation and more the economic activity goes outsides the purview of economic levers. 

Secondly, why isn't there any mention of productivity? After all, if you can improve productivity by doing more investments and education, then secular stagnation can be addressed. 

Anyway. Fascinating minds at work son. Hugely influential and amazing debate. Reminds me of the time I read the proceedings of the Bretton Woods agreement. Keynes was the guru then. 



I saw this on the BBC News App and thought you should see it:
Why 'secular stagnation' matters

A debate between three major economists highlights a key macroeconomic issue.

More cities should have more of these signs


Instead of putting in photo spots or ooo ahhh points like this.

which reminds me of the joke about Japanese tourists who stop whenever they see this sign on British Roads to take photographs


which is ok when the landscape is like this but …


But I am sure the Japanese tourists will be puzzled with this view.

Wednesday, April 1

Enactus in the National Finals

Is very chuffed that two of my universities where I am the Business Advisor have gotten into the Enactus National Competitions. LSE and Bedfordshire. I was informed about this yesterday and I am looking forward to coaching them through the competition. And hopefully one of them will go forward to the International Competition.

Its truly humbling to see these very passionate and committed students learning about capitalism, entrepreneurship, economics, management to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world. Truly amazing to see how we harness the power and make things happen. 5-6 years now and every year, these students make a giant amount of difference to the homeless, the students, the poor, the mentally ill, or what have you.

What’s Enactus? I quote


Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.

Our Commitment

Together we pledge to take action. Together we commit to apply our passions and talents and ideas to impact as many lives as we can. Not to hand out help to people in need, but to work side-by-side with them to create opportunity. So every person and community we touch is empowered to live up to their fullest potential.

Tuesday, March 31

Birth of a country


You missed a great afternoon, when Salil uncle read from his book, the Colonel who would not repent. About the death of Bangabondhu, Mujibur Rahman, the President of Bangladesh, and the history of this great but truly god-forsaken country. He mentioned about this book of photographs, by Kishor Parekh, which I am enclosing. Don’t read it if you have a bit of a sensitive tummy because there are very distressing photographs in here. But it’s not a big book, hardly 40 odd pages, but very powerful photographs, son. Sometimes photographs can be truly heart wrenching. Two of which I have written about before.

1. Bhopal: Here is the photograph in question.


2. Vietnam: Here is the photograph

Vietnam Napalm 1972

I have mentioned to you about my memories of this refugee issue, son. I was in Calcutta when this happened, hardly 4 years or so old, but I can still remember the cries of “phan de go” “please give me phan” echoing in the nights in the roads of Tollygunj which is a Calcutta neighbourhood…Phan is the water which remains after you decant the rice after cooking. People were so poor that they wanted that rice water. There were 10 million people who got into India in a matter of months, you cannot have an organisation which can handle this load of refugees so they were all in huge trouble despite all the help that the Indian government and civil society gave. Plus the second memory I have is of these refugees fighting over the garbage bins where people had thrown their left over food, fighting with dogs. Truly barbarian situation. Bangladesh is where our ancestors came from, son, so they are our people in a way. You are a Bengali and despite you not knowing Bengali, there are roots here. So you need to know because people who forget their history do not have a future. Remember what I told you about the Russian Georgian Girl? She said that you Indian/English people are lucky, you have a history to remember and be proud of.

So some of the photographs are really wrenching. People do not see this level of destruction, son. Why do you think I hate war? That’s why when people go all gung ho about war, I hate it. Absolutely hate it. Just saw a great cartoon, 2500 people died in 9/11 and 2.5million people died in wars which were launched because of 9/11. See? everybody has a reason to fight and kill, but when will it stop? We thought after the cold war, peace will break out but no, more and more wars have happened, and that’s why we need to stop people from fighting, starting with our own country, United Kingdom. Its stupid, its expensive and it creates havoc far beyond and for much longer than the people who did it will remember.

So read and weep for our compatriots, son. And think about not letting this happen again, as much as possible.



PS: Here are some of the photographs which were totally brilliant

image image image image

Monday, March 30

How To Be Happy According to 20 Authors

It’s pretty safe to say that writers are strange people, eh? Kannu, I may have shared this link with you before.

but there are quite a lot of articles out there about dating writers.

then again, as with everything in life, kids, there are downsides as well

so it was with trepidation that I read this and wondered if I should share this with you two. But what the heck, you should know this. Writers, of any kind, are strange people. Today for lunch we will end up with a houseful of writers, two who have recently published their books and will be reading from it. It will be fun and games to check it out.

Anyway, the interesting factoid about this list was the number of authors that I have no idea about. Kurt Vonnegut was an author I knew about but have just read a book by him which blew my mind. Crazy writer. But others are new. For example, Gillian Flynn…no idea, Dennis LeHane…who?

But you would expect that writers would know about what life is all about eh? I was speaking to a friend about romantic novels. They are happy books, and I love reading them. I know people look down at them, but that’s being snobbish. Why be snobbish about romantic novels? Whenever somebody says so, I smile inside and think, your opinion is no different to all those who sneered at Shakespeare or any of the countless authors like Jane Austen when their novels first came about. So if anybody is snobbish about a particular genre, you immediately can paint that person as not a true reader. A true reader doesn’t care about these generalisations, what matters is the joy of reading. But to go back to reading, these writers do understand life and would be expected to write in their books about how to be happy.

But I am an optimistic chap, and love being happy. Which is why I will never be able to write fiction (heheheh), and since I am happy, I have to be insane if I believe in Mark Twain who said that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.  So if you ask me which quotes resonate with me, I will point to the following:

Don’t let you happiness depend on something you may lose. -C.S. Lewis

"I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Be happy kids, don’t rely on somebody else to give you happiness. You are both lovely, handsome, smart, intelligent and you will do very well in your lives, loved by all and hated by none.

Love you



How To Be Happy According to 20 Authors

Writers have a reputation for being introspective, sensitive and passionate. Although the most prolific writers have a melancholic streak, we often forget that a writer is an observer of the human experience. Usually, writing is not born from happiness; it is nurtured by experience, struggle, survival, and inspiration.

"I don’t know what makes a writer, but it probably isn’t happiness." -William Saroyan

Below, you will find twenty quotes on happiness from some of the best authors:

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” -Mark Twain

“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.” -Ayn Rand

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” -Chuck Palahniuk

Don’t let you happiness depend on something you may lose. -C.S. Lewis

"I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” -Hunter S. Thompson

"But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.” -Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” -Ernest Hemingway

"And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” -Kurt Vonnegut

"Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.” -Sylvia Plath

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

"I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.” -Gillian Flynn

"And yet I am happy. Yes, happy. I swear. I swear that I am happy…What does it matter that I am a bit cheap, a bit foul, and that no one appreciates all the remarkable things about me—my fantasy, my erudition, my literary gift…I am happy that I can gaze at myself, for any man is absorbing—yes, really absorbing! … I am happy—yes, happy!” -Vladimir Nabokov

"Happiness consists in realising it is all a great strange dream.” -Jack Kerouac, The Lonesome Traveller

"Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.” -Virginia Woolf, Orlando

"Happiness doesn’t lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home." -Dennis LeHane

"Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself." -Alice Walker

"I think by the time you’re grown you’re as happy as you’re goin to be. You’ll have good times and bad times, but in the end you’ll be about as happy as you was before. Or as unhappy. I’ve knowed people that just never did get the hang of it." -Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

"People who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you."-Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book