Archive for January 7th, 2015

Ajinkya (Rahane) who?

January 7, 2015

A brilliant piece by Abhishek Purohit of Cricinfo. It requires a subscription (which is free) and for all cricket fans is worth reading even for the subscription hurdle.

When the world cricket is all gung-ho about India’s new test captain there are players like Ajinkya Rahane who are making their own silent contribution. Infact likes of Rahane are really special as they give you that old time feeling of cricket being a gentleman’s game. They remain so humble despite getting some success at international level. He does not take anything for granted and wants to just improve on his batting.

The piece by Purohit goes into detail on how Rahane became a cricketer after much struggle. There were many times people felt Rahane will not be able to go to the big league. He slipped on key occasions. He was someone who needed more time which was not there given how competitive the Indian batting line up has been. The team needed instant performers.

Though I think Rahane had one big advantage of playing for Mumbai. Yes, it is super competitive but at the same time the chances of getting noted are far higher for Mumbai cricketer than other regions. This does not take anything away from the humble man though.

Cricinfo should feature more such articles on cricketers from lesser know regions to show the making of a sportsperson (am sure there must be few already, those who know of them please send)..

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Comparing education systems – Korea vs Finalnd

January 7, 2015

In Indian school system, it is all about finding the right (read branded) school.

Countries like Korea and Finland have redone their systems to provide good education to all students who wish to study. Yeyt both are different. Korea is hypercompetitive whereas Finland is more chilled out. Here is a superb article comparing the two systems:

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Bank of England fails its transparency test..

January 7, 2015

Barry Eichengreen and Petra Geraats review the various measures taken by BoE to improve transparency.

They say the measures do just the opposite:

This blog used to believe in all this central bank transparency earlier. Not any more. Too much noise and less substance.

What BoE is trying to do:

The Bank currently provides a drip feed of releases.  First comes its monetary policy decision, a week later its quarterly Inflation Report, and with a delay of two weeks, the minutes of its Monetary Policy Committee meeting. The Bank now proposes instead to release these items all at the same time, as a single combined monetary policy announcement.

But replacing a drip feed by a deluge will make the information provided harder to digest.  The result, ironically, will be to leave most observers less well informed about the rationale for monetary policy decisions.  Academic researchers, and indeed the Bank itself, will no longer be able to identify the separate impact of the policy decision, the Inflation Report and the minutes by looking at how asset prices react to each, since they will all be released together. 

Moreover, in order to publish the minutes along with the policy announcement, the Bank will have to alter the policymaking process in undesirable ways.  The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) currently meets on two consecutive days.  Free-flowing deliberations on the first day are followed on the second day by set-piece presentations, known as “policy discussion”, in which each MPC member explains his or her policy decision. The decision supported by a majority of members is then announced on the same day, and the minutes follow two weeks later.

The Bank now proposes replacing this two-day MPC meeting with three separate meetings stretching over a week to allow the minutes to be prepared in time for the policy announcement.  The genuine deliberations would take place seven days before the policy is announced and would be excluded from full transcripts to be released after eight years.  The “policy discussion” would be staged three days before the policy announcement. The MPC would then vote on the eve of the big, all-in-one policy release.

Under this scheme, MPC members would be restricted in their public engagements for a prolonged period.  The blackout on public statements, which starts five days before the MPC meeting and ends the day after the policy announcement, would have to be extended to 14 days. This would leave MPC members with less opportunity to explain monetary policy in speeches and interviews, perversely reducing transparency.

Moreover, new economic data, geopolitical events and developments in financial markets could significantly alter policy considerations over the course of seven days.  At best, this would be inefficient, since the MPC would have to redo its deliberations.  At worst, policy decisions would be distorted if MPC members, having already deliberated, disregard the new information.

Moreover, publishing the MPC’s minutes together with the policy decision is not a good substitute for a concise statement that summarises the rationale for the decision of the majority.  The minutes already run to around a dozen pages. They would now cover an entire week, during which circumstances would be changing, affecting the coherence of any explanation.

The tamasha runs for a much longer time..


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