Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mauritian Citizens Experience Their Excellent Constitution, Again

So six ministers resign while the Head of Government is abroad. No problemo. Latter makes up his mind and instructs the President, as per our Constitution, to flip the relevant ministries to other Ministers. And all of this happens seamlessly.

It's the same Constitution that presided at the four orderly changes of governments we've witnessed since Independence and established our reputation as a stable democracy.

God bless our Constitution!

Ramgoolam Should Mint New Ministers

And here's a suggestion from a comment on Kozelidir.

Nita D: Finance
Patrick A: Civil Service
Suren D: Tourism
Rihun H: Health

Looks good to me. And to you?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How To Calculate Economic Growth

We are not talking about average growth rates here. Nope we are instead looking at how to compute growth rate in any one period given the structure of the economy in the preceding period. And to make our point fun we're considering three cases. 

First, an economy with only one sector. Piece of cake: the growth rate of the economy is equal to the growth rate of the sector. 

Next an economy with 2 equal sectors. Here we just need to calculate the average of the growth rates of the two sectors to get the growth rate of the economy. 

But if we have 2 unequal sectors  -- as illustrated in the rightmost part of our chart -- we need to do the weighted average growth of the two sectors. For instance if the biggest sector is 4 times the smaller one and they grew by 5% and 10% respectively then the growth rate of the economy would turn out to be 4/5x5%+1/5x10%=6%. Naturally if the two unequal sectors grow at the same rate so will the economy. 

This explanation will become quite handy to discuss a number of interesting things. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ramgoolam Can Do Plenty With Paper-Thin Majority

He just have to take a look at what was achieved by the Labour Party between December 1976 and June 1982. Of course at that time the leadership of the MLP knew how to assemble strong and dissenting teams that could be trusted with a schedule.

Something which has eluded Navin Ramgoolam until now.

Hanoomanjee Resigns, Followed By Other MSM Ministers

With Pravind Jugnauth speaking to the press later in the day. Recall that the constitution provides the President with powers to nominate as PM the person who commands a majority in Parliament.

Ramgoolam is out of the country. I guess we should now expect him back soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meet Uruguay, A Football Powerhouse

It has won two World Cups although it has only 3.4 million people. That's a lot of World Cups per capita if you ask me. 0.59 per million people as shown in the above chart if you want to know. Which is almost 9 times the number for the next country in the list: Italy. And 22 times that of Brazil which has yet to win one at home. From what we have seen in the Copa America, the Selecao has still a lot of work to do to avoid a repeat of the 1950 Maracana final in 3 years.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FIFA Ranking: Does Population Size Matter?

To some extent yes if you consider that three-fifths of the Top 20 spots are occupied by countries with less than 50 million people. This proportion drops to half for the 10 best teams. Mauritius is at spot 189 in case you're wondering. In Africa, only Seychelles and Djibouti do worse than us.

Long live the Doing Business ranking!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

So, How Big is The Toohrooh?

We know from our previous conversation that it's in the billions. But how good an estimate can you come up with? And how quickly?

I am starting my stopwatch now.

Minister Loses Son in Car Accident

20-year old Shiva Chedumbrum was on his way to school when his car was involved in accident.

I have stopped counting the number of fatal road accidents. It seems that Mauritius is putting an increasingly smaller value on the life of her citizens.

Host and Defending Champ Exit Copa America

Messi's side beaten by a splendid Uruguayan team at penalty shoot-out yesterday and tiny Paraguay embarrasses uninspired selecao at penalty kicks a little while ago to advance to the semis. In fact Brazil did not even get one penalty past an in-form Villar.

And Japan has defeated the US to clinch her first women World Cup by scoring two extra penalties.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jugnauth: Second Miracle On Its Way

That's what he said in parliament this week. The trouble is that a year has already gone by since he's been in the driver seat and nobody has seen anything yet. Save water cuts for almost 12 months and an inflationary budget in November.

Don't hold your breath.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kozelidir Breaks Through 2,500-Comment Barrier

So I have to say a big thank you to the fans of this blog for the conversation.

Do I have to issue a little note as to what kind of comments don't get through? Nah, you have a pretty large sample here to figure out the DNA of this blog.

And as far as posts go this one is number 729. Which makes reading the guide an interesting stop for many. I have also cleaned up some of the labels so that the experience becomes still better. Here is one sexy baby: all the charts on Kozelidir.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Duval Wants Poverty Line Redefined

Rs5,000 per month per family may be ok for small families but not for larger ones says the Minister. With that in mind he wants to talk with his colleague at the Finance Ministry about some adjustment for family size.

What do you think about this?

Understanding Resilience: Part 3

We know that too much foreign debt can make a country bankrupt: ask Thailand. Here too we've been taking up too much of it for the past 5 years. Indeed, the share of foreign debt in the total debt of the central government has literally doubled between 2006 and 2010. That's all the more worrisome given that these monies have not been used to improve our competitiveness or reduce frustration levels of the common citizen. Far from it.

Berenger is Disciple of Goebbels Says PM

At an impromptu press point at the Treasury Building yesterday. He was responding to allegations made by the Leader of the Opposition an hour earlier that he had met Dr Malhotra, the owner of the Medpoint clinic, and had then called the chief government valuer.

The Prime Minister forcefully denied these accusations and said that he would come back to them once the visit of the President of Congo-Brazzaville comes to a close.

Joseph Goebbels was Propaganda Minster for the little guy with the moustache.

Friday, July 8, 2011

CFA Institute Offering Free Primer For Trustees

This handy 120-page document offers a nice coverage of topics including governance structure, investment policy, investment objectives and risk tolerance and ethics in investing. And if you want to delve deeper into the ethics part of it then you should go for the Institute's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Handbook. These will help you navigate safely through ethical dilemmas. Both are them are also available for a free download.

Happy reading!

168-Year Old Newspaper Closed

By the Murdoch family. News of the World apparently hacked phones of thousands of people and paid police to get private information. Andy Coulson, its former editor and until recently the chief spokesman for the British Prime Minister is expected to be arrested today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Petals of Dust Turns 30

So reminded us Le Mauricien on Monday. I for one recall being told by the management of Gangatarang to show up at The Triveni appropriately dressed on that Tuesday. Had a front-row seat, saw the familiar faces, listened to speeches, checked the book-signing part, had a few snacks along with a Fanta in between. Got back home. Camera crews followed a few days later to interview SKJ.

It's only way after that I got to appreciate the contents of the book. And the fascinating road travelled by its author. I still do. Haven't fully digested it yet. But that doesn't mean you cannot start enjoying it. Nope. We have already placed 8 chapters on its own blog so that your blood get stirred in the right way.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Audit Report Confirms PBB is An Eyewash

It's that period of the year again when the audit report affords us an opportunity to become totally outraged at how our tax rupees are wasted. And why bean-counters cannot hide under the cover of PBB to mask their miserable failure.

It's not getting better is it?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Understanding Resilience: Part 2

Halving top tax rates and easing the purchase of big cars may have provided Ramgoolam with bragging rights: Ferraris, Lamborghinis and loads of other expensive cars routinely slide on our velvet roads.

But as we don't make these gas-guzzling vehicles we had to import them. And we've paid for these babies essentially by selling our land to rich foreigners probably after telling them that we're building a society for the few not for the many. That's not sustainable. And what's not sustainable cannot make us resilient.

And this folly has come at a heavy cost: a carefully crafted masterpiece, our welfare state, has been upset. So that Mauritius has become a less exciting place and FDI has collapsed in the first quarter of the year.

Looks like the toxic party that was sold to Ramgoolam is pretty much over. He should now revert to basic governance. Right away.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rafa To Meet World No. 1 Player on Sunday

That's Novak Djokovic who's been having a terrific year so far including beating Nadal no less than 4 times. But before make sure to watch the Maria Sharapova-Petra Kvitova match-up tomorrow.

I am betting on Rafa and Maria.

Minister Baichoo Good With Synonyms

This was clearly visible in his speech during the inauguration of the access road to the Reduit Triangle yesterday: Mo bizin remersye promye minis, Dr. Navin Ramgoolam, san so vizyon, san so sutyen, san so kolaborasyon, san so sipor, san so ed nu pa ti pu kav fer li.

Not bad, eh? Having trouble with synonyms? Don't despair, you can get some help here.