Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why You Should Add 3% To The Unemployment Rate

Simply because the labour force number of 2007 as pictured above is only 500 persons stronger than the preceding year. The only two things that could explain such a small increment -- about 20 times less than the usual change -- would be an emigration of about 10,000 people in that particular year. I checked but didn't find anything. Or it could be the result of a kink in our population pyramid. Nothing there either.

And when you adjust the numbers you get a labour force that's about 20,000 larger in the last three years than the official statistics. That translates into an unemployment rate of 10.8% at the end of 2009 instead of the 7.7%.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Of The 2.3 Million Americans That Had A Suicide Plan in 2008 39% Executed It

But as many as 8.3 million yankees thought about ending their lives in that year. This is according to a first-of-a-kind study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Young adults (18-25 years) were 3 times more likely to commit suicide than those over 50. People experiencing substance abuse disorders were also 3 times more at risk than those not having these disorders. And female adults thought slightly more about killing themselves than their male counterparts.

Mauritius had the 46th worst suicide rate out of 108 countries. Singapore was at 47th, Brazil 75th, Jamaica 99th, France was at 18th, India at 44th, America was 41th while Haiti had the smallest rate.

How Inequality Was Boosted in 3 Easy Steps

By the bean-counting duet with impressive speed:
  1. Create robust inflation (inflation is the worst enemy of the poor) by depreciating our rupee and ripping us off with abusive petrol prices and playing Russian roulette with important components of our welfare state
  2. Collapse a progressive tax system into an inequality-boosting flat tax
  3. Open the gates of Mauritius for a class of rich foreigners

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Price Stability is Always a Priority

Unlike what you heard Berenger say on Saturday. See it's such a crucially important policy objective that even a badly battered UK has kept its target inflation rate of 2%. That's the UK you gonna tell me, here in Mauritius the laws of physics or of economics don't apply. What do you make then of the European Central Bank not giving up on its inflation target of less than 2% either?

Most Visited Sites in Mauritius

Unsurprisingly Facebook is numero uno. Google, and YouTube are next. (Yes!!!!) is at no. 9 two spots lower than Wikipedia but one spot higher than is at 11 while L'express is at 13 and Rapidshare is in between. Twitter is at 16, BBC at 25, at 32 and MCB at 33. Le Matinal is at 39, Defimedia at 46 and Le Mauricien at 54. is 59th and Flickr is 60th. LinkedIn at 62 is two spots higher than the Mauritius Turf Club. SBMonline is at 74, Manu FC is at 78 while MBC is at 79. Finally Apple Inc is at 92.

Given that Mauritians visit blogs more than they visit any newspaper's site shouldn't the Prime Minister invite bloggers to his press conferences?

You can browse the full list on Alexa's site.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Former Miss Mauritius Found Dead in Mumbai

Mumbai Police reports Viveka Babajee's body was found hanging at her flat last night. She was 37.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Commission's Director Finds Anti-competitive Behaviour

In a press release for his first report published yesterday the Executive Director, John Davies, said that some of the discount policies of Kraft Cheese marketed by IBL Consumer Goods may be anti-competitive. He also added "that there may be lessons to be drawn by other businesses in Mauritius to avoid a similar investigation, as I understand that similar practices have become common in the absence of effective competition law until now."

Hmm. Interesting. And just in case you are aware of any abusive practices in any industry here's how to file a complaint with the Commission.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MPC Leaves Repo Rate Unchanged

Although it acknowledged that growth for 2010 has been revised downward to 4.1% it is worried about inflation picking up and rising to 4% over the next few quarters.

That makes a lot of sense because price stability should have priority over growth especially when the latter is of the depreciated rupee kind. We can also compare the performance of the last two governments and Sithanen's record vs. that of Singapore for support of an inflation target.

16 Matches in 4 Days: Are You Ready?

And these will close the group matches of the Waka Waka edition of the FIFA World Cup.

Group A: If Mexico and Uruguay slack it off today they both qualify to the next round but they might not because this group's runner-up will likely face Argentina next. For France to qualify Uruguay should beat Mexico 3-0 and France has to beat the Bafana Bafana 2-0. That's quite unlikely because France is one of the three teams that hasn't scored yet while South Africa has and will be playing for the last time in front of its crowd.

Group B: Argentina and Korea should qualify.

Group C: My picks are Slovenia and USA (in that order).

Group D: I am expecting Ghana to beat Germany tomorrow while Serbia to win/draw against Australia. That would have Ghana meeting Donovan's side on Sunday.

Group E: Some stylish football is expected when Cameroon meet Holland on Thursday. Not surprised if Japan beats Denmark and play Paraguay on Tuesday.

Group F: Italy accompanies Paraguay and meets Holland on Monday.

Group G: Brazil beats Portugal 2-0 and North Korea need to be thumped 7-0 again for the Elephants to be still playing after Friday.

Group H: I am guessing Spain and Chile.

Monday, June 21, 2010

1,000 of Free Concerts Planned For Year's Longest Day

That's how the Big Apple is going to celebrate Music Day 2010. Greece will end a three-day country-wide celebration today with the larger events in Athens of course. In Mauritius there was something planned in front of the City Hall of Quatres-Bornes as from 10h00. Hmm, have we become dull?

Anyway, did you know that Sigmund Freud hated music? Some people have traced that back to a medical condition he may have had: musicogenic epilepsy.

Thank God, we've got Don.

Shouldn't FIFA Use Video Refereeing?

That would have avoided Brazilian move-maker Kaka from being unfairly sent off last night after he powered his team to a large victory against teammates of history-making Drogba. Tennis and rugby use it already and so does the IAAF.

What do you think?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Head To Bank of Baroda if You Need To Buy ZAR

They were selling South African notes at Rs4.40 each according to data from the BOM's page. That would be 8 cents less than MPCB. If you wanted to convert ZAR into rupees then you should have gone to Afrasia Bank which was offering Rs220 more for every 1,000 Rands than Thomas Cook.

The latter had the worst spread on the market at 13.23%: that's twice more than Afrasia's.

Save some bucks: shop around. And tell you friends about it on Facebook.

Who Will Win The Last Two Matches?

South Africa had a good match against Mexico but was outmaneuvered by Uruguay yesterday which looks poised to advance to the next round probably with whoever wins in the France-Mexico match-up tonight.

The two teams from Group B which are likely to move to round 16 are meeting today at 15h30 with Messi getting another opportunity to dazzle one and all.

Slovenia is ahead in Group C and will clinch its ticket to the next stage if it beats the US tomorrow. England didn't look particularly strong against Tim Howard's side.

Germany began very strongly by demonstrating impressive efficiency. Just like they did four years ago. Klose scored and is only 4 goals shy of Ronaldo's record of 15 goals. Ghana style is quite artistic and that may be enough to help it accompany the Mannschaft to play beyond June 23rd.

It was great to see Kuyt score one against Danemark but let's hope for some more Eto magic soon.

We are still at square one in Group F where current World Champions Italy landed.

Brazil started slow against a surprisingly strong North Korea side maybe because they were studying a team they probably never played against. Also many of the big names have been left out of Selecao probably after what happened in Germany: Brazil had a star-studded team but they didn't seem interested to play their best football. Wouldn't be surprised to see North Korea advance to the next stage.

And finally Spain will not win all its matches in the first round this time but should still make it with the other 15 teams hoping to raise the world cup on July 11.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

O Importante E Vencer

That would be "It's important to win" and was Pele's recommendation a few days ago. Dunga, the coach of the Selecao, agrees. But a lot of Brazilians and the rest of the world don't want them just to win they want them to win Samba-style. They may have a point because although football was invented in England beautiful football was invented in Brazil.

We'll find out at Ellis Park tonight. But first we have to watch Christiano Ronaldo battle with Didier Drogba in less than an hour.

Central Bank Suspects Market Manipulations

So said a communique issued by the Bank of Mauritius. The Central Bank is not happy with the way the forex market functioned on some days last month and has hired Insight Forensics Ltd to investigate the matter.

The bank has also invited anybody who can help the investigation to get in touch by e-mail.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When A Boycott is Not One

If you are being boycotted against but you don't happen to be the most read newspaper of the island. That's what you need to deduce from an observation that Rabin Bhujun made on his Face-a-face radio show on Monday. MP Nita Deerpalsing was his guest and he was her punching ball.

Deerpalsing also brought up a couple of interesting points: when an investigative magazine called Le Mag was facing a boycott in the 1990s Jean-Claude de L'Estrac happened to be no. 3 in the government and Le Matinal didn't receive any government advertising when Berenger was Prime Minister.

Make sure to listen to the last segment where you get some even smarter observations from Mr. Bhujun: boycotting one newspaper cannot be compared to boycotting a whole media group... and the boycott against Le Mag didn't last even a year and it was not the most read publication of the island at the time.

Guess Mr. Bhujun will find it perfectly ok to be discriminated against once La Sentinelle loses a couple of spots in the local media rankings.

Lawyer Says Nomination Process Opaque

Urmila Banymandhub-Boolell published an interesting open letter to the Chief Justice Sik Yuen in the Forum pages of Le Mauricien on Thursday. In it she deplored that, unlike how it's done in the UK, nobody here really knows how a lawyer is elevated to the rank of Senior Counsel. There were no women in this year's promotion.

She followed up with an interview in Week-End today where she said that she received a lot of support since the open letter but wished more of this support had been public.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup Essentials

Match Schedule: 1st Match is host country vs. Mexico 18h local time tomorrow while France meets Uruguay at 22h30. Messi's in action the day after before the interesting match-up between USA and England. Italy is in action on Monday while the Verde-amaleros play on Tuesday.

Wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

German Bankers Say ECB's Independence Compromised

By buying bonds issued by Greece even after the latter was bailed out by the EU. They suspect Trichet has given in to a request by President Sarkozy and that may be benefiting French banks which have tons of them on their books.

Read the interesting article from Spiegel Online to also find out about the risks involved in managing market yields in this particular case.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Government Plans For 2010-2015 Known

You can download the program here. Paragraph 2 (that's how far I have read) couldn't be any further from the truth. If Ramgoolam is still Prime Minister it's because he dumped Sithanen while the MMM wanted to continue the bean-counter's toxic policies. The population never endorsed these crappy policies.

The Prime Minister need to act and to act fast otherwise he has already lost the 2015 polls.

Kozelidir Media Resources 3

Hein, ala enn lot ti deposit.

Eski u met sulye avan soset (pu kompran toll road)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dealing in USD Notes Improves Marginally

4 short days after, the difference between the best and worst deal to sell USD has collapsed by 21% (Rs250) to Rs928. That's because Shibani is giving 25 cents more for each of your dollars. And that has reduced its spread, still the largest on that BOM's page though, by 150bps to 7.87%.

Standard Bank still has the best deal for your dollars while Forex Direct will get more dollars for your rupees. The latter has also joined Africa's biggest bank as the place with the smallest spreads.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Best Places To Deal in USD Notes

If you wanted to sell USD1,000 yesterday then you should have headed to Standard Bank which was offering Rs32.68 for each dollar. That would have put Rs1,178 more in your pocket than if you had visited a Shibani Finance Foreign Exchange counter (we are assuming there are no service charges or that they are the same across dealers).

If you were into buying a thousand bucks instead then it would have been wiser to bring Rs34,080 to Forex Direct. If you wanted to buy them at the MPCB they would have cost you Rs870 more.

Standard Bank had also the smallest spread on USD notes: Rs1.63. Shibani had the largest at almost Rs3.

You can access all the rates in one page from the BOM's website.

Isn't this something l'ACIM or the ICP should have on a blog everyday to help citizens? The Competition Commission should also track the spreads to bring them within international levels.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ce Qu'il Faut Savoir

About the empowerment fund is that it has been a resounding flop and is a component of Shaitanomics. You can think of it as a sister to the aborted Mansoor plan. All of this of course has ensured that five years have gone by and we're pretty much stuck with the same old problems.

Not exactly what you would call progress.

BOM Publishes 4th Inflation Report

It has to get at least two reports out every year on price stability according to section 33(2)(b) of the Bank of Mauritius Act 2004. It makes a good read and will probably generate some food for thought or some posts if you suffer from blogging addiction like me.

The thing that's missing from it though is an inflation target which has been around for more than 20 years elsewhere. And if you think 3.9% is low enough, think again.

Finally, you may wish to take a look at the British version of the inflation report.