Archive for December 16th, 2014

How 5,10 paise coins help Mysuru tea vendor track his debtors…

December 16, 2014

Interesting story in Bangalore ToI today. The article shows how a tea vendor in Mysore keeps track of his debtors using 5/10 paisa coins.

Another case whch shows poor are not as stupid as we make it out to be. They design their systems using indigenous ways that are simple yet useful. In particular the systems of accounting and credit management are really worth looking at.

So what is the story here?


Building family businesses in Arab world..

December 16, 2014

Nice interview of Sulaiman Abdulkadir Al-Muhaidib, chairman of Saudi conglomerate Al Muhaidib. Gives you glimpse of the strong tradition of family business in Saudi.

First some bit about the group. It is an investment company:


Rise in options trading from small cities..

December 16, 2014

Interesting article on the topic.

SEBI is seeing trends of rise in option trading in small cities. As expected, it is worried:


Russia raises rates by 6.5% to 17%..

December 16, 2014

The feeling of 1998 is back in Russia.


How bad government makes cool-looking things sometimes…

December 16, 2014

K William Watson of Cato points to this interesting story.

Airbus which has been developed by European governments. There is this thing called – Airbus Beluga – which is another plane developed to transfer the Airbus parts etc. Check the pictures on the link. Looks like a really cool design:

A more modern consequence of big government causing cool things to happen is the existence of the Airbus Beluga Super Transporter. The Beluga exists because Airbus manufactures different parts of its planes in different European countries. Why does it do this? Subsidies! Lots of subsidies.

Airbus is based in France, where most of its planes are assembled. But the company is also subsidized by the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain, and they each get at least one factory that makes some airplane component. In order to transport giant airplane parts like fuselages and wings from country to country, Airbus has designed a plane for the sole purpose of carrying plane parts between its factories.

I think it’s pretty cool looking. It’s also absurd. When your business model involves flying airplane parts around Europe in an airplane, it’s very possible you are inadequately concerned about efficiency.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with international supply chains.  In today’s globalized economy, it is not at all uncommon for manufacturing activity to be spread across multiple countries, particularly for complex or high-tech products. Today’s automobiles, regardless of their brand, contain a varied mix of foreign and domestic-made parts. An iPhone may be assembled in China, but its components were made in Korea and Japan, and its software was designed in California. Lots of factors go into deciding where to source manufacturing components, and when other factors outweigh transportation costs, global supply chains are born.

Perhaps, then, the Airbus Beluga would still exist in a free market, but I doubt it. The curious part of Airbus’s operations is not the fact of transportation, but the method. You may think it’s only natural that an airplane maker, when devising a logistical scheme for its supply chain, would gravitate toward air shipments. However, despite all the subsidies at home, Airbus has also set up factories in China and Alabama, where they somehow manage to send parts the same unexciting way all profit-maximizing global companies do—by sea.


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