Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Economic Mess is Actually Bigger

Than previously reported. Although I had forgotten to add the budget of Jeetah's Ministry I didn't include the much larger capital repayments either. So that now -- based on the same budget 2010 numbers -- we have debt servicing 82% and 80% larger than the education budgets for 2012 and 2013 respectively. It was already 38% a couple of years ago.The total debt service for these four years is a staggering Rs69.25 billion and the corresponding figure for education spending is only Rs42.62 billion -- Rs27 billion more. That's roughly 10 Midlands Dam or one LRT plus a couple of billions to spare. In case you're wondering.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nordic Countries Offer Best Start in Life

According to a newly built index by the Economic Intelligence Unit which measures the quality of early school environment in 45 countries. Finland, Sweden and Norway take the first three places while India grabs the last one. China is ranked 42nd. Japan sits at no. 21 but would climb about 9 spots if it made its high quality program compulsory writes the EIU.

In the meantime, Singapore students are moving out of their classrooms to expand their vistas as they get ready to widen their competitive edge. Again. Dodoland of course is planning to make students do the reverse trip during the winter holidays for another dumb dose of rote learning. And get closer to the twelve-month school year. Youpi?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mansoor Resigns, Almost

So mentioned Le Mauricien yesterday. Which is saying that the FS crossed unauthorised lines and was cut to size by someone in government. He apparently wrote a letter of resignation but was convinced by a Senior Minister to take it back.

Why on earth did the Minister persuade him? He didn't like the font used?

Looks like AM could make use of this extremely useful guide.

How Crazy Are You?

Moody's Downgrades 15 Big Banks

Because of the tail risk -- the likelihood of huge losses -- that their capital market operations exposes them to. They also got slammed for the opacity and complexity of these activities. Opacity? Hmm, this reminds me of how opaque the irrelevant stimulus package was at the beginning before rapidly becoming redundant.

Have a look at the interesting report which some claim is five years late.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Starts in the Northern Hemisphere

With the Music Day. As usual. Pretty quiet here in Dodoland. Way too quiet. Sign of the bean-counting times, eh?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Manou and Rama Agree On

That would be the crucial importance of savings for our economy. Read us. Makes kind of sense right? That's what left over after we make our purchases. The Governor's views are currently on display in the media for consumption so no need to repeat them here. What you may have forgotten are how close they are to those that Sithanen held when he became Finance Minister for the second time back in 2005. Here's what he said:

CSO is forecasting a very low savings rate of 19.5 per cent for 2005. Here again, we must be utterly concerned. Firstly, because as a nation we are consuming at a faster rate than we are producing. Secondly, because the savings rate is below the investment rate. This will exert demand pressures on prices and will have an adverse impact on the current account of the balance of payments [emphasis mine].

Which gives us a beautiful benchmark to evaluate the so-called reforms he initiated. I guess.

BOM To Cap FX Spreads

So concluded Manou Bheenick in an interview to L'Express. That's excellent news for exporters which complain of not getting good enough FX rates from their banks. It's also long overdue for the small consumers given how wide the spreads have been recently.

I am starting to like 2012.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Who Influences Our National Policies The Most?

Is it Big Business? Or maybe the World Bank? You think it's the Prime Minister and religious organisations?

Make up your mind and vote in this interesting poll from Dr Zoom. It closes in 29 days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

BOM Gone As Far As It Could

With the key repo rate given that savings haven't improved after two university buddies messed up our macroeconomic fundamentals. The bank is also making FX credit lines available essentially because cry-babies have stopped using swaps.

Listen to the post-MPC press conference. Or have a look at the slides used.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hungry Rafa Wins 7th French Open

In four sets a minute ago. That's one more than Bjorn Borg. And prevents the current No. 1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic, to make some history himself.

So, the best clay player ever just confirmed his status. The tennis scene should become a little bit more interesting for the balance of 2012.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How State Can Fight Brain Drain

By giving tax breaks to companies who provide Mauritians with decent and meaningful work. And by seriously limiting the number and type of jobs that can be filled by foreigners. Because Mauritius got talent. Lots of it. But first the Government has to restore enough progressiveness in our tax structure to regain potency.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Former Chief Justice Lallah Dead At 78

He had an interesting and busy international career including being selected as one of three eminent persons to assess existing material relating to the genocide in Cambodia and to recommend appropriate measures. Rajsoomer Lallah was also responsible for drafting the rules for the 1967 general elections. Here he is talking about Malawi failing to meet its human rights reporting obligations.