Archive for May 5th, 2017

Lessons on ethical investments from Norway’s Pension Fund Global

May 5, 2017

Speech from  Mr Øystein Olsen, Governor of the Norges Bank:

Norges Bank aims to be at the forefront of global efforts in the area of responsible investment. Responsible investment is an integral part of the investment strategy and includes the exclusion of companies on an ethical basis. In 2016, the Ministry of Finance, at the request of the Storting, introduced two new criteria for ethics-based exclusions: a climate criterion and a coal criterion. Norges Bank has conducted extensive research to collect data and perform analyses to identify the companies that fall under the coal criterion. Based on the results, the Executive Board decided to exclude 69 companies and place 13 companies under observation in 2016. On the advice of the Council on Ethics, the Board also decided to exclude a further eight companies and place one company under observation, while the exclusion of one company was revoked. The exchange of information and division of responsibilities between Norges Bank and the Council on Ethics functions smoothly.

Hmm..

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World Cricket’s harsh reality: No India, no cricket…

May 5, 2017

Governance of International cricket is a really interesting topic.

Indian cricket team for Champions Trophy is not yet announced due to tiffs between International Cricket Council and BCCI. BCCI was recently snubbed in the ICC meeting leading to this delay. Champions Trophy was announced by ICC as the Council wanted to have a seperate competition under its own name apart from World Cup which started much earlier.

But without India, there are no takers for Champions Trophy. Star TV the sponsor is obviously worried:

With the ongoing tussle between the ICC and the BCCI making India’s participation in the Champions League doubtful, Star Sports has made it clear to the international body that the mega event will have few takers as far as advertisers are concerned if Virat Kohli and his boys are not a part of the event.

Speaking to Cricketnext, a source in Star India said that the host broadcasters were forced to write to the ICC after major multinationals started sending feelers to the broadcasters that they weren’t willing to buy inventories unless India’s participation was confirmed.

“It is unethical and so I won’t take names, but one of the major multinationals wrote a mail to us asking about whether India would indeed participate in the tournament or pullout because they would decide accordingly on investing money in buying ad time in the tournament,” he said.

He went on to further explain that it was a clear case of demand and supply and there was nothing wrong on part of the advertisers to feel the heat because very few people in India would have interest in the tournament if India is not a part of it.

“See, the companies will buy inventories because they want to reach the consumers through Star. But then, the reality is that the Indian market and the Indian viewers will be interested in the tournament only when you have the Indian boys in action.

“Hypothetically speaking, if a company like Maruti wants to buy inventories for the Champions Trophy, they will only do so if India is playing. Otherwise, their quarterly target will not be completed and in such a scenario, they will want to invest in other companies. So the concern on whether their investment is secure is normal,” he said.

And the source says that the broadcasters were forced to write to Star as investors want clarity on the issue.

This takes you back to the time when few good men decided to bring World Cup to India and changed the location of global cricket forever. It will be interesting to see how ICC coaxes India to send its team. Eventually it will be sent but not after the usual drama of ego battles..

How global elites prefer xenophobia and racism to anti-austerity politics in today’s elections..

May 5, 2017

This article is on Delhi’s CM and how establishment will never entertain an outsider like him.

However, it has some important lessons on how global elites pick electoral candidates:

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Andhra’s Banganapalle mango gets Geographical Indications tag

May 5, 2017

One is amazed by different varieties of mangoes which grow in India across different regions.

In South we get this really bit bright yellow mango by the name of Banganapalle. Now this variety has got Geographical indication tag:

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Is modern central banking an elaborate waste of time?

May 5, 2017

Anantha Nageshwaran is one of those rare columnists who hits hard through his columns. (His Mint column is titled as Bare Talk but should be Bold Talk).

He points me to his recent post which hits modern central banks out of the park (in response to my post):

With all their self-importance, modern central banking (has been in the service of financial markets. It takes care of their post-central banking career, speaking engagements and book contracts.

In reality, they should be ensuring financial stability and hence, economic stability. If they do, they would be hurting the financial services industry and its short-term fortunes, profits and executive compensation. Buddies would not be buddies anymore. Friendships formed in Universities would be in vain.  They won’t help to secure chunky speaking fees.

So, in the name of the economy, of labour, central bankers of advanced nations (with Federal Reserve being the principal villain) continue to serve the most unproductive and predatory capitalists – the financial markets and the financial services industry!

This blog had labelled this coterie with central bank at its head as Finocracy a few months ago.

It is incredible how deep the nexus of elites of financial world.


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