Friday, September 17, 2010

Queen in A Classroom

That would be Queen Rania of Jordan visiting schools throughout the world including surprise checks in her home country.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jean To Step Down As Governor General of Canada

The former Haiti-born journalist is to complete her term as Governor General of Canada this 1st October. She will be replaced by David Johnston. Toronto may well have seen the last of the popular Viceregal last May. You may wish to browse her private album on the official site.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mansoor Circular Misleading Nation

In it the Financial Secretary (FS) is saying that he was expecting our economy to ride on the coattails of a rebounding world economy. That of course made sense to him and to his university buddy as they had been attributing some of the worst growth rates in decades our country has clipped to unfavourable international factors only. Now that the world economy is growing faster than Mauritius Mr. Mansoor has had to come up with a new set of external culprits to justify a fresh round of unnecessary budgetary cuts. So as not to look too silly.

But the above equation reminds us that the FS is not telling the whole story. Indeed the amount of money our government collects depends not only on the size of the economy (GDP) -- and therefore indirectly on its growth dynamics -- but also on the average tax rate. Flattening our progressive taxation system to 15% besides creating a lot of social injustice crucially depended on the arrival of higher growth rates if we didn't want to end up with the worst of both worlds: more debt and getting nothing much accomplished.

We never got the required robust growth rates. We know we couldn't. We only contracted more debt and our problems in 2010 are worse than what they were 5 years earlier.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Competition Watchdog Not Happy About How Insurance is Bundled With Loans

After sending out mystery shoppers to investigate. John Davies, the Executive Director, said banks may be offering too little choice in terms of insurance to people who take housing loans. You can read the statement released to the press a few days ago here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

At Least 80,000 Eat 3 Rotis For Free Everyday

At the Golden Temple in Amritsar. They actually eat a healthy vegetarian meal. Read the NYT article to meet the people who run this massive volunteer operation which gobbles up about one ton of red chilies every 3 days.