Sunday, August 16, 2009

Baltic Dry Index Falls Sharply

The News:

Baltic Dry Index slumps 35% from year's high

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of shipping costs for dry bulk commodities, slumped around 35% on August 14 from this year's high of 4291 on June 3. This is the sharpest fall registered by the index since June 3. The BDI went below 3000 to close at 2685 on Friday, after being through a troublesome week.

According to experts, one reason leading to such drop in BDI is the slowdown of Chinese demand for shipments of coal and iron ore. Moreover, as delivery of new ships has started to happen, it is impacting the freight rates.

"Slowdown in Chinese demand is a concern. Moreover, the delivery of new ships has started, due to which freight rates are going down impacting the BDI. The new ships are leading to a gap between demand and supply, as the demand situation is yet to gain pace," commented S Kulkarni, secretary, Indian National Ship owners' Association.

China's coal and iron ore imports in the first half helped the index to advance as much as five fold this year, reversing some of the record 92% collapse in October 2008. So far this year, China has imported nearly 355 million tonnes of iron ore, compared with 440 million tonnes for the whole of 2008. Hence, the worry for the shipping industry is that Chinese buying will slow further as its mills struggle to work through that enormous inventory.

My Views:

While Central Banks around the world have been pushing hard to create another bubble with their loose monetary policies but its The Chinese who have become successful! They are competing directly with the US on who is bigger fool and seem to have won the bet for now...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brtish MPs in Trouble

The News:

British PM Brown apologises for politicians' perks

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised on Monday for politicians' expenses to try to staunch a damaging parliamentary scandal but a newspaper published new revelations about lawmakers' extravagant claims.

The disclosures in the Daily Telegraph newspaper were the latest in a string of embarrassing headlines about expense claims by ruling Labour legislators -- including Brown and his cabinet colleagues -- and opposition figures.

The reports have prompted widespread public anger and calls for an election, not legally required until mid-2010, to be held immediately.

"I want to apologise on behalf of politicians ... of all parties for what has happened," Brown said in a speech.

The Daily Telegraph said on its website late on Monday that opposition Conservative politicians had received tens of thousands of pounds to maintain manor houses and stately homes.

One claimed 2,000 pounds ($3,000) for clearing the moat around his manor house. Another claimed for cleaning his swimming pool but told the Telegraph he would repay the money. A third claimed 380 pounds for horse manure for his garden.

The reports of how legislators have used allowances on top of an annual salary of almost 65,000 pounds -- more than double the national average -- are particularly damaging at a time when Britain is suffering its worst recession since World War Two.

My Views:

This is not a surprise at all. Politicians do not run for office to serve people, they have ambitions which do include monetary gains and in this case there was nothing "illegal" as per the laws. If people think politicians are there to "serve" them then they are in delusion.

Coming to people, they are angry on the lavish expenses by elected politicians. This anger is not what it looks like - "aware public response". Most of the people should expect it anyway. The real reason behind this outcry is ongoing Depression which makes people "cry foul". In times like these, emotion of envy is bigger than anything else and so the entire drama.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A New Trend? Or Trend Reversal?

The News:

Worldwide recession may reverse the direction of modern societies

Washington, May 10 (ANI): A psychologist has developed a new theory of social change which suggests that the current worldwide financial crisis may reverse, at least temporarily, the direction of modern societies.

The theory was developed by UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) distinguished professor of psychology Patricia Greenfield.

"In the United States and in other parts of the world, we are now moving in the other direction," Greenfield said. "I see signs of people becoming more community-minded as people are getting poorer," she added.

For example, former executives who are out of work are doing much more volunteering for nonprofit organizations, moving toward a focus on the common good.

My View:

I agree with the theory and good psycho analysis by Patricia Greenfield of societies turning styles. This is what happens when there are drastic changes as we are facing today and not in times of mild recessions. This also suggests that today's crisis is not a mere recession but a Depression, which requires fundamental changes before any real recovery.