8 May 2011

The Week That Was...

The week from 1st to 7th May, 2011 was quite an eventful one in context of happenings across the world. The killing of Osama bin Laden, Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer apologizing for the hacking of Playstations and offering $1 million per user in remuneration, more 2G scam revelations coming to light, the BSE rallying up and down, etc. were some of the events that occurred. We’ll focus on a few that really made the headlines in morning papers.

Osama bin Laden was reported dead on late Sunday evening. US Navy SEALS infiltrated into his Pakistan quarters and successfully killed him. This was timed perfectly to occur just before Obama begins his election campaign. Bin Laden wasn’t brought back to the US like Saddam Hussain and electrocuted on the chair! Instead, he was shot in the head and his remains buried at sea. A bit too convenient, it seems. And was bin Laden really responsible for 9/11? The documentary Zeitgeist proves otherwise; more so that it was an inside job. Also, the bin Ladens were especially close to George Bush Snr. and managed to get a lot of favours from Bush Jnr. right after 9/11. That is not to say that the news may not be true, but I have my reservations. What the news has done, though, is that it has spread a lot of euphoria amongst US countrymen. That, and additional jobs created, have increased Obama’s popularity drastically. He has almost reserved a stint for himself at the White House for the next few years. He can afford to spend nothing for his election campaign and still be a major contender for the position of President of the United States.
For the 9th time this fiscal year, the RBI increased interest rates; this time by 50 bps. This, they declared, was one of the key measures in controlling inflation in India, though it was not investor friendly. This policy, along with possibilities of a global economic recovery, led to the SENSEX dropping for 9 successive sessions before rising on Friday. A lot of people also lost money invested in silver as it lost its shine by almost 30% in this week alone. Experts cite the reduction in imports into China as the main reason for this slide in not only silver, but other commodities also. This might encourage those investors to enter the stock market and possibly help it rally upwards in the near future. Crude also dropped to below $100 a barrel after long. This could spell good news for India and other countries as the prices of fuel may now not rise as sharply as expected. Also, a reduction in dependant palm oil and other raw material could reduce input costs and margin pressures for many industries. Also, reduction in edible and cooking oil could lead to control in food prices and positively impact inflation. That being said, all we can do is wait and watch if the Indian government proactively takes some more measures to benefit the common man.
Kanimozhi has finally been named in the CBI chargesheet and was presented in court this week. She looked extremely tense, bordering on tears. Ram Jethmalani defended her staunchly in court saying she claims her main fault is she is Karunanidhi’s daughter and hence she is being targeted though she had nothing to do with the 2G scam, and that it was all Raja’s fault. She now wants to be granted bail on the grounds that she is a woman. Strange... she did not think of all this when she was one of the main perpetrators in the 2G scam, something the evidence accumulated by the CBI clearly shows. It is amusing how Kalmadi, Sheila Dixit, Kanimozhi and other politicians amass all the wealth when they can, but blame the entire world when they are exposed. Anyway, I am sure I speak for most people when I say that I hope justice is dished out to all those guilty, man or woman.
Of course, I have not mentioned the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The who’s who of the world were present, and the paparazzi ensured the high profile wedding was covered from all angles; attendees, fashion, celebrations, etc. I didn’t follow it to be able to write a lot about it, though.
We didn’t have only one headline repeated over and over again this week, though the media were more than keen on constantly covering the death of Bin Laden. So the world did see highs and lows this week, and it was fun. It’s a pity such weeks do not come often to keep us interested and thinking. Now, the consequences of the events that have unfolded remain to be seen. Hopefully they will be positive; the world has witnessed too much bad news in the past few months.


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