Archive for September, 2006

September 30, 2006

The Night of Oslo Marathon

Well, I am up at 3:30 am… I have been feeling awful, I don´t know how I got the cold. I was feeling funny when I woke up after my short nap around 4:45 pm yesterday and my throat was itching and my nose was running. I could not believe it, I have been so careful with water, trying to eat carefully and keep myself warm. I think it was the change in weather yesterday, everything was great until around 12pm and then it started raining cats and dogs.

I am really worried about tomorrow but I am positive and I am going to smile even if I feeling miserable. I woke up because of a dream or rather more like a nightmare! I was late to the start of the marathon and I was struggling after the 3rd kilometer :( anyway, I should be sleeping and I just cannot go back to sleep.)

But the night before I ate
1. Plain Pasta
2. Grilled Chicken
3. Green Salad

The dinner was great, almost everyone part of the Glitnir Marathon team was there with our CEO and it was a lot of fun. We shared a lot of funny stories and the mood was very positive. I like Oslo a lot… we had dinner at Brasserie located in Aker Brygge. We were also very close to Glitnir’s new Norwegian headquarters. It is a great location in Aker Brygge and we had tour of that by Bjorn Richard our managing director of Corporate Communication.

September 29, 2006

British Airways – my worst airline experience ever!

I flew from London to Oslo last night and I lost my bag, it has my gear for the Marathon run on Sunday. I was fine with it, until I found out that British Airways decided to send my bag in the last flight out of London to Oslo… I have absolutely no idea why, quite frankly I don’t care what the problem that BA faces… So, I wrote a letter to the Customer Service department and I am planning to post it to BBC website as well.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am extremely disappointed and frustrated with your
handling of my lost baggage. I flew from London Heathrow to Oslo and my checked
in bag did not arrive with the flight and I was just informed by the Airport
Baggage Service authorities here in Oslo that I will get my bad on the last
flight out of london.
It behovees me to ask the question why was the bag not
sent on the first flight from London. I really don´t think think there is any
reason other than fact that you simply don’t care about your customer’s distress
or comfort or lack there of due to your poor service.
I am planning to copy
this letter to BBC and ask them to remind their viewers that when they see the
British Airways advertisement talking about comfort and luxury it is a farse!
Comfort and luxury is needed when your customers are in troubled due to your
lack of service not in fancy advertisements.
I will try my best NOT to FLY British Airways again if I can help it.

A really dissatisfied customer!
Bala Kamallakharan

September 27, 2006

Google’s implication to online banking applications

Intuit has done it, they have Googled their Quick Books application! I wonder how long it would be when a consumer will switch a Bank Account because the Online experience is better than their current banking online application or for that matter how long is it going to be before a consumer starts demanding banks that they provide connectivity from the banking transactions to their financial management tools like Quick Books or Microsoft Money.

I am not too far off on the above claim read this article, here is an excerpt “Banks whose Web sites are easy to navigate, provide quick and accurate responses, and have solid uptime and reliability are keeping and profiting from customers

September 27, 2006

Should CEO´s Blog?

Jonanthan thinks so, he was the first CEO participant in “The Scoble Show”

here are his reasons and I thought were interesting

1. It has enabled him to show Sun as a transparent company
2. Enabled him to connect with all the key stakeholders (analysts, employees, geeks etc)
3. Enage the core audience in a discussion
4. Has put a face next to Sun

What do you need to do to be able to blog
1. Type fast :)
2. One should enjoy communicating and engage in a discussion

I think most CEOs should focus on doing the above things and there are different models that work, I think Jonathan may have hit a nerve with the changing face of the world…

September 26, 2006

NNP = GDP – Natural Resource Depreciation

New way to calculate the wealth of a nation. Joseph Stiglitz talks about changing the equation we use to measure a country’s wealth! interesting discussion… wonder if it will ever be implemented.

September 26, 2006

I agree with Greg Mankiw… this post is a must read

Greg Mankiw talks about this posting in Wall Street Journal as a must read… I could’nt agree more… Read Greg’s post for excerpts, I don’t have a subscription to WSJ maybe I should get one.

September 25, 2006

Subsidizing America the global consumer and Economic Paradoxes

The article in Economist talks about how the emerging economies are subsidizing the American consumer and giving rise to some economic paradoxes. Here are 3 paradoxes that I thought were interesting:

  1. America’s current-accout deficit is at a record high, yet the dollar has remained relatively strong
  2. Global interest rates are still historically low, despite strong growth and heavy government borrowing
  3. Oil prices have tripled since 2002, yet global growth remains robust and inflation, though rising, is still relatively low

The article argues that all of the above can be explained by the growing impact of emerging economies.

The 1st point about the dollar’s refusal to plunge and the low bond yields are partly due to the way the emerging economy countries have been piling up foreign reserves almost always denominated in the American dollar.

The 3rd point is driven by strong demand from developing countries rather than by an interruption of supply, so they have done less harm to global growth than in the past. The rise in oil prices and its impact on inflation has been offset by falling prices of goods exported by emerging economies… this is probably one of the shocks that is going to have huge global impact. I am positive that there will be case studies and scenarios described in Economics books. I am just glad we are here to see it and learn from it.

The above scenario keeps Central Banks, from raising interest rates as inflation is balanced by cheap goods and services produced by the emerging economies. This action by the Central Banks answers the 2 paradox.

I believe the phenomena is the second half of globalization, where some in the developed economies are hurt by the emerging economies… the concept of Creative Destruction was put forth in 1942, it is now happening to some of the jobs and industries in the developed economies.
Greg Mankiw has written about it here with a different perspective and Ed Sim has written about it here and I had a response to the post by Ed.

September 24, 2006

1 week before Oslo Marathon

I cannot wait for the Oslo Marathon, I am really excited to run again and feed on the energy that everyone will exude there.
Some numbers
1. Total distance run from 8/20 to 9/24 = 165.22
2. Average Pace = 5 min 45 sec per kilometer
3. Average Heart Rate = 159 bpm
4. Average Speed = 10.44 kilometer per hour
5. Total Calories burnt = 19,873
6. Max Heart Rate during training = 190
7. Total Run Time = 15 hours 26 min 20 sec

September 23, 2006

Repeat After Me by Greg Mankiw WSJ

Repeat After Me by Greg Mankiw I wish the politicians and Lou Dobbs would read this and bang their heads against the wall when they argue against it!

It is so simple and drives home the point, government should try to maintain Peace, levy easy taxes and establish a tolerable administration of justice… when your government stops doing this try to remind the people around you to read “Repeat After Me”

September 23, 2006

Framing – everyone should learn to decipher this

Greg Mankiw’s Blog: Ip is caught framing.
Greg talks about how statistics and number can be “Framed” to push your cause whether political or otherwise. I think everyone should learn to read between the lines on political debates and well as companies publishing numbers, one can really play with the words and bias the conclusion.

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