Archive for July 19th, 2019

Niti Aayog looking to establish India’s nudge unit..

July 19, 2019

Interesting development.

Niti Aayog is looking to hire behavioral economists/researchers to establish India’s nudge unit…

Zimbabwe’s inflation and economic mismanagement impacts its cricket..

July 19, 2019

International Cricket Council has suspended Zimbabwe as its member:

Zimbabwe have been suspended from the ICC with immediate effect. ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket has been frozen, and representative teams from Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events while under suspension, making Zimbabwe’s participation in the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in August and Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in October highly unlikely.

After several rounds of meetings in London this week, the ICC Board unanimously decided that Zimbabwe Cricket was in breach of Article 2.4 (c) and (d) of the ICC Constitution, and that the actions of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) in suspending the board in June constituted government interference in Zimbabwe Cricket’s affairs.

“We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said. “What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC Constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.”

Reason? ICC knows that the funds released to Zimbabwe cricket will be used by the Government for its own expenditure:


Names of new digital banks: N26, 86400!

July 19, 2019

Australia has licenced a new digital bank names 86400 which draws its name from 86400 seconds in a day. Move over 24*7 banking, we are talking about banking every second. What next?

In Germany, we have a bank number N26 which has been shortened from Number 26. In a rubric cube, we have 26 number of small cubes. The idea is a rubric cube is complex but if you the correct combination, one can move quickly.

I wrote this piece which tracked how names of banks have changed in India over the years. It is interesting how banks were named based on the times. Thus most earlier banks were named either on the place name or the family name which was prominent. Bank names based on community were also important. The idea was to build trust.

Now bank names are based on digital technology and the idea is to show it will be fast and always connected.

Facebook is dangerous and really arrogant to launch Libra currency

July 19, 2019

US Banking Senate Commitee held a hearing on Facebook’s Libra currency on 16 July 2019.

Ranking Member Sherrod Brown in the Opening Statement says:

Facebook is dangerous. 

Now, Facebook might not intend to be dangerous – but they certainly don’t respect the power of the technologies they are playing with. Like a toddler who has gotten his hands on a book of matches, Facebook has burned down the house over and over, and called every arson a learning experience. Facebook has two competing missions – make the world more open and connected, and make a lot of money. And as Facebook attempts to serve both of those missions, they wreak havoc on the rest of us.

Ouch. Further:

Facebook has demonstrated, through scandal after scandal, that it does not deserve our trust, and that it should be treated like the
profit-seeking corporation it is, just like any other company. He and his executives have proven over and over that they don’t
understand governing or accountability.

They’re not running a government, they’re running a for-profit laboratory. No Facebook executives have been harmed by
Facebook’s experiments. But look at what has happened everywhere that Facebook has run its social experiment on us.

Their motto has been “move fast and break things.” And they certainly have. 

They moved fast and broke our political discourse, they broke journalism, they helped incite a genocide, and they’re undermining our democracy.

More ouch!

On Libra:

Now Facebook is asking people to trust them with their hardearned paychecks. It takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance to look at that track record and think, you know what we really ought to do next? Let’s run our own bank and our own for-profit version of the Federal Reserve for the world.

I understand that given the financial crisis and given the massive inequality and unfairness to workers in our economy, it’s
tempting to think anyone could do a better job than the Wall Street megabanks.

But the last thing we need is to concentrate even more power in huge corporations.

Look at Facebook’s record. We would be crazy to give them a chance to experiment with people’s bank accounts, and to use powerful tools they don’t understand, like monetary policy, to jeopardize hardworking Americans’ ability to provide for their families. 

This is a recipe for more corporate power over markets and consumers, and fewer and fewer protections for ordinary people.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. 


Though, some would argue that government and Federal Reserve’s own record on monetary policy has been terrible. This is what is leading to all these experiments at the first place.

Rules in cricket and economics are fallible

July 19, 2019

My new piece in Business Standard

Cannot get over the WC final match! 🙂

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