Saturday, December 31, 2011

Different Times, Different Secretary-General


50 years ago the Mauritius Labour Party got herself a dynamic Secretary-General: a 30-year old who had been MP for two years already and had co-founded The Mauritius Times seven years before. Given that SSR couldn't get enough of that guy, he stayed in the job for two decades.

Guess this is what you do when you want to move the country forward instead of trying to stay in power until you are removed feet first without getting anything done. Save offering some serious competition to Pyongyang!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bheenick is 2012 Africa Central Bank Governor

So says The Banker. For having boosted credit in times of lazy banking, stabilised our rupee and helped educate exporters that depreciation of our currency cannot be a source of competitiveness. He also brought the double-digit inflation he inherited from the toxic duet when he took office on Valentine's Day 2007 back to single digits.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Should Up To 1/3 of Our Ministers Not Need To Be Elected?

That's one of the proposals in the Carcassonne report. Currently only the Attorney General and the Speaker may not have stood in general elections to get into our Parliament.

What do you think? And don't forget to vote in our poll.

48% of Poll Would Pick Vishnu As Finance Minister


Compared to the 33% who would select Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing. 18% would choose somebody else.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Meet The Electoral Boundaries Commission

As the name clearly indicates it is not involved in the preparation of gato batat. Nope. It is rather a very important and independent institution entrusted with a very important task: ensure every 10 years or so that our 20 electoral constituencies have roughly the same amount of people.

But the Commission is allowed to slice Mauritius differently to account for such factors as means of communication, geographical features, density of population and boundaries of administrative areas. The last factor is essentially about trying to make boundaries of towns and villages coincide with those of our constituencies for obvious practical reasons. When the Commission members are done they send their report which could contain recommendations for additions and distractions to the 20 ridings to our National Assembly where it can be approved or rejected but not modified.

Which is why the Carcassonne report didn't contain a wasteful duplication of the work of the EBC.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Carcassonne Report on Electoral Reform Available Here

To download. While you are there don't forget to download the four-volume report of the Truth and Justice Commission.

Maybe we should start with the Carcassonne report. It's only 25 pages long.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

French Banker Wants Britain Downgraded First

This comment by Banque de France Governor Christian Noyer is causing ripples and is considered to be retaliation to Britain's use of its veto to torpedo the French-German initiatives to save the Euro. Noyer cited the better economic fundamentals of France. The British responded that the markets believe the UK has a credible plan for deficit-reduction. Which would explain why they are able to borrow at lower yields than France.

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Much Do You Know Mother Teresa?

You probably think a lot and that can be summed up as an extraordinary human being attending the poor, needy and voiceless of Calcutta. Which is what you've essentially seen her doing on TV. Me too. But today I read about the passing away of one Christopher Hitchens on the BBC's website where he had this quote about Blessed Teresa of Calcutta:
"Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift of God. She spent her life opposing the only cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction."
I tried to find out more about this on YouTube and sure enough it was not difficult to confirm that she was against contraception and abortion. We learn something everyday, don't we?

And here's Hitchens description of Heaven:
"Endless praise and adoration, limitless abnegation and abjection of self; a celestial North Korea."
Looks like Chris never watched the MBC.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Get A Million-Rupee-Per-Year Job Without An Interview

If you have a Post Doctoral qualification and a committee of public servants deems you have what the Ministry of Finance needs. I think the Prime Minister should take a little pause in his ongoing political romance with the MMM and put, at least, his foot down to end this farce.

Hey, someone may have great qualifications but may not have the soft skills needed to deliver. And this scheme should be open to citizens of Mauritius only: we already have a very serious brain drain problem here and many young professionals want to leave because of a disease called bean-counting. Besides who wants to take the risk of hiring someone with impeccable qualifications like Hannibal Lecter but whose special dietary preferences would not always stay unmet?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who Creates Wealth?

Some of our GLDs* want us to believe it's only them and would more than a little appreciate that Government and the rest of us to never forget this. And they seem to need policy interest rates all the way to negative infinity and our cute rupee heading to the centre of the Earth.

But that's easily debunked with a simple question: is the GDP of communist countries equal to zero? In fact wealth is created whenever you get out more than you put in and need not be measured solely in monetary terms. As the Cree remind us, our alimentary tract cannot handle what comes off De La Rue printing machines. Besides humans do not own other humans nowadays. Which is why we had go through the interesting CJV process.

*GLD stands for gurma laminn dipin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011: The Year in Review (Q3)

July: Audit report confirms PBB is an eyewash. Jugnauth announces second miracle on its way. Minister loses son in accident. Hanoomanjee resigns followed by other MSM Ministers. Ramgoolam gets chance to measure up to the Gods of the Labour Party: do plenty with paper-thin majority. Mauritians experience their excellent constitution one more time.

August: US votes on debt deal hours before going into default. Seetaram crosses floor to give Ramgoolam breathing space. MSM leaves government without delivering new miracle. Mansoor wants Mauritius to pay for bean-counting mess, again. For Paul and Pravind it's still love at first sight. Our Parliament found already too big. Manou re-explains BOM's role to MEXA.

September: IMF confirms bean-counters indulged in Voodoo accounting. Jamaica 100m relay team too strong for world. Universe gets new Miss: Leila. Interest rate spreads hurting our competitiveness. Team-builder extraordinaire turns 111. Debt service to exceed education budget by 40% in 2013. Palestinians rejoice as Abbas requests UN membership. Sugar syndicate unhappy world not frozen.

Read the review for Q1, Q2, Q4.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sargent Has 40 Pages Ready For Nobel Speech

So I read in this nice NYT article today. Tom had this interesting observation:
"I think you've got to watch out for anybody in high-school who says he wants to become an economist." 
And this one when he got to Harvard where fellow Nobel-winner Chris Sims was already a rock star:
"He was so brilliant I was afraid to talk to him."
You also don't want to miss the prediction of Sims's math teacher. And you can read the 40-year-old Sims article that Sargent said got him going.

Dev Anand Dies in London at 88

How Much Value Does Water Master Plan Add?

The MBC said that it recommends the creation of an independent unit for the management of our water resources. I don't think we really need another layer of red tape. We already have too many of these. Just like we have all the information and people we need to quickly solve our water problems. And there are some good blogs out there which have already addressed this water issue to quite some depth.

Probably a new report was ordered so as to kill some more time or maybe someone has been eating too many funny mushrooms. Not a good strategy. 

Classy Football Legend Socrates Dead At 57

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011: The Year in Review

January: African leaders get wonderful opportunity to benefit from advice that could be lethal to their political careers. Water problems confirm Ramgoolam's economic model is junk. Planning maverick barely recognisable because Labour Party forgot who she was. State could have spent our money better. Bunwaree makes access to A-level education easier.

February: IMF analysis too bland to pick up social volcanoes that had been brewing right under surface of Arab world. Journalist remembers SSR's last public meeting. Minister magic needed at earth's driest place. Union boss wants price of basic foodstuffs controlled.

March: Nobel puts feet in mouth. Powerful earthquake sets off deadly Tsunami in Japan. BRIC and Germany say no to military action in Libya. Boolell says he's not there to serve fat cats. Proposed 10-20% hike in water charges has no basis. MPs want answers from Financial Secretary. Free guide to understanding the infamous stimulus package published.

Read the review for Q2, Q3, Q4.

Bheenick Delivers Significant Speech

On Thursday at the BOM's Annual Dinner in Honour of the Economic Operators. Didn't go. Was overworked. But just finished listening to it. You don't want to miss this.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adoption of Equal Opportunities Bill Creates Amusing Situation

Because this bill which is essentially saying that there is only one category of citizens was passed by people who, in the last general elections, accepted to be thrown in one of four arbitrary categories of citizens.