Wednesday, November 24, 2010

STC Hedging Mess is Rs1.7 Billion Bigger

So we were told a few weeks ago. That's 57% more than the huge Rs3 billion figure supplied in Parliament two years ago. And quite fishy too because the STC doesn't have any price risk to manage: it just passes it on to us through the APM. Besides, two years that's an awful long time for so many eyes to be fooled.

My hunch is that the STC never had any billion-rupee hedging losses but that we were forced to pay abusive gas prices to make up for the fiscal shortfall created by the Sithanen-Mansoor's flat tax experiment given that the proverbial robust growth rates never arrived. 

This aspect of Shaitanomics has already played a part in preventing us and our economy from participating in the global rebound underway by making a dent in our overall competitiveness. And Pravind Jugnauth's intention of increasing excise duties on petroleum by 10% will make sure it will have another one to play in keeping us in our economic slumber. He should instead increase the special levy on banks or nudge corporate taxes upwards.

All of this doesn't look good for Mo Ibrahim's poster child for governance, does it?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How the MOF Can Improve Productivity Right Away

By allowing citizens of our country the option to download all the Program-based budget estimates for 2011 and the indicative estimates for 2012 and 2013 in one large file instead of the close to 90 individual files.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No Labourite Good Enough To Be President

Well at least for Navin Ramgoolam who was not able to find one on each of the two occasions he could have rewarded a loyal party servant. Indeed he used them to grant second terms to both Cassam Uteem and Aneerood Jugnauth.

And these have been surprising choices. I mean granted that you may have trouble remembering Cassam Uteem as the ultimate die-hard labour. But you are unlikely to forget an ex-President going back to partisan politics to save the country from an apparently impending dictatorship. That of course after attempting to broker an alliance with the same dictator-designate who had kindly allowed him to sleep 5 more years in a chateau and not before he told us that he had finally understood that a President should remain above soapbox theatrics.

SAJ getting a second mandate is even more comical if you recall the level of animosity between him and the PM-elect at the start of Ramgoolam's second mandate. But Navin had little choice given the dedication with which two university buddies had relentlessly screwed up the economy.

The history-making nomination of Monique Ohsan-Bellepeau as Vice-President is also kind of weird. As someone commented a few days ago nobody can understand why Ramgoolam did not try to find out first if the MMM would have voted an amendment to abolish the Vice-Presidency. Which would have allowed the PM to remain consistent with what he recently told us he wanted dearly.

He could also have appointed Bellepeau as President in 2008. Or the late Chettiar. Instead of SAJ. Maybe the guy is not a Real Labourite afterall.

Monday, November 8, 2010

41% of Poll Says 3 Towns Would Go To MMM

If municipals were held these days. None of the 17 voters thought Berenger's side would get all 5 but 23% believe Ramgoolam would not give up any. 17% thought Alliance du coeur would win 3-2. In my opinion the results will depend a lot on the budget Pravind Jugnauth reads in our Parliament soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pamela Asked To Leave Radio

Although she still has 5 good years before normal retirement. She apparently has had shortcomings as the boss of MBC Radio but she hasn't been told which ones exactly. I don't have all the details but this sounds a little bit fishy at best. After all, Ms. Patten has spent several decades of her professional life at the national station and the general feeling is that she has done a pretty good job.

And who should be fired for the poor quality of our evening tv news bulletin?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lula's Record Powers First Woman To Brazilian Presidency

Her name is Dilma Rouseff, she is 62 and defeated Jose Serra 56% against 44% in the second round of the Presidential race yesterday because Brazilians want Lula's policies to give better life prospects to many more of their fellow citizens.

One intriguing perk of President Rouseff could happen if she hands the World Cup to the selecao in the Maracana stadium in 2014. Which would settle an old score.