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Showing posts from August, 2013

Jobless engineers turn salesmen, clerks in Andhra Pradesh

Medak: A television set plays the debate on India's economy in Parliament as Vikram attends to customers at a provisions store in Shankarpalli mandal of Medak district in Andhra Pradesh. Scornful of the deliberation far away in India's capital, he sees no hope of things changing for the better.

Vikram has a reason. The 24-year-old has an engineering degree in Information Technology, and yet is forced to work in the shop after a desperate two-year-long search for a job.

With the economy in shambles, jobs are hard to come by in Andhra Pradesh. Just 15-20 per cent of the aspirants are landing up jobs in a state with the highest number of engineering colleges in the country. 

For the remaining engineers, job means working as salesmen selling grocery and electronic goods, or working as government clerks or nursery school teachers; anything that comes by as long as you can earn a living.

"Out of 130 students in our college, just 20 got into IT; that too call centre technical suppor…

Swiss banks cutting ties with American clients, Average of 3000 americans surrendering citizenships yearly for being citizens of better countries.

Here is a sign that life is getting complicated for U.S. taxpayers with assets abroad: More of them are deciding they are better off cutting official ties with America.
In the first half of 2013, 1,809 people renounced their American citizenship or permanent-resident status, according to a tally by Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer who tracks U.S. data. At that pace, the 2013 total would double the previous high of 1,781 renunciations in 2011.
Daniel Kuettel, a Colorado native who lives near Zurich, says he gave up his U.S. citizenship in October because he feared he wouldn't be able to get a mortgage now that some Swiss banks are cutting ties with American clients.
"It was a really difficult decision. I had to think about what was best for me and my family, to reduce the risk," says Mr. Kuettel, a 41-year-old software developer. He says his income was below the limit the U.S. allows overseas taxpayers to exempt and he owed no U.S. taxes. Enlarge Image
Close Associ…

How to avoid injurious sitting posture at work? Take care of Ergonomics

The impact of poor consideration of these, as well as other, ergonomic elements can be very hazardous to our  well-being. Some of the effects include increase chances of suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome, decreased eye sight, cramps in our joints, strain from overworking certain muscles and joints,  and decreased blood-flow circulation. Work productivity also decreases when we are in environments that are not designed for proper ergonomics. One other important thing to consider is the lighting levels in the space. I actually did not even think of this as an ergonomic design issue, but it truly is.  Our eye muscles are the most used muscles in our entire body.  We use our eyes in every situation throughout our entire day.  Poor considerations for lighting causes very negative short and long-term effects.  It is recommended that we use mixed levels of lighting in our environments. This allows for multiple options for each user depending on his or her preferences and physical needs.…

Economic cold war on the horizon? Russia prepares to tighten borders if Ukraine signs on with EU

Published time: August 19, 2013 14:23Get short URL Ukrainian customs and border service officers at the Hoptivka car border crossing on the Ukrainian-Russian border. (RIA Novosti/Alexander Mazurkevich)
Russia has signaled it is ready to hit back and tighten customs controls on Ukrainian exports if Kiev signs a ‘suicidal’ customs agreement with the EU. Such a trade war could cost Ukrainian producers an estimated $2.5 billion in losses. “We are preparing to tighten customs procedures in case Ukraine suddenly makes this suicidal step of signing the EU association agreement,” Sergey Glazyev, a senior economic advisor to President Vladimir Putin, told RIA Novosti.

Last week Russia stopped nearly 1,000 cargo cars at the border, although the country’s authorities denied the move was political.

Gazyev told RIA Novosti the delays were a one-time occurrence, but that Ukraine could expect more scrutiny and time-consuming checks if they go ahead as planned and join the EU trade bloc.

Ukraine has reje…

Jim Rogers: Why I’m shorting India

The hedge fund manager on the financial crisis, his bets for the future and his decision to be extremely negative about India in his just-released book
Hedge fund manager and Rogers Holdings chairman Jim Rogers says the main reason for the correction in gold prices, other than the fact that it needed it, was on account of Indian politicians who suddenly blamed their problems on the metal. Photo: Bloomberg Updated: Tue, Aug 13 2013. 08 15 PM IST Singapore: Hedge fund manager Jim Rogers, who moved to Singapore in 2007 because he thought the centre of the world is shifting to Asia, says India is set to miss out on the Asian century. The chairman of Rogers Holdings says that if there is one country an individual must visit, it has to be India for its “spectacular sensory feast, beautiful, food, colour and religions”, but it is also the worst country to do business in. Rogers also slammed the Indian government’s recent curbs on gold imports, saying Indian citizens had no choice but to buy th…

History shows humble onions can deep fry politicians and change governemnts

NEW DELHI: It is no big deal that for a Parliament used to discussing and dissecting scams worth thousands of crores, the dissipating odour of onions hasn't reached its hallowed portals. 
For more than a week of the Monsoon session little work has been done, and even less time has been spent discussing spiraling prices of essential commodities.
After all, it has only touched Rs 100/kg and not yet vanished from the subsidized food plates of honorable members of Parliament. Is it the reflection of a changing politics or have our leaders completely forgotten that a politician who does not know h/his onion cannot curry favour with voters? 

Call it the demise of institutional memory from our polity or plain cynicism that there was a time when growing onion price contributed to the fall of otherwise credible Janata government in 1981 forcingIndira Gandhi, who made a big comeback after her unceremonious exit in 1977, to call it the Onion election. 

Soon, she realized onions had made her cry …

Guy does to bank what banks usually do to other people

The idea of beating the banks at their own game may seem like a rich joke, but Dmitry Agarkov, a 42-year-old Russian man, may have managed it. Unhappy with the terms of an unsolicited credit card offer he received from online bank Tinkoff Credit Systems, Agarkov scanned the document, wrote in his own terms and sent it through. The bank approved the contract without reading the amended fine print, unwittingly agreeing to a 0 percent interest rate, unlimited credit and no fees, as well as a stipulation that the bank pay steep fines for changing or canceling the contract. Agarkov used the card for two years, but the bank ultimately canceled it and sued Agarkov for $1,363. The bank said he owed them charges, interest and late-payment fees. A court ruled that, because of the no-fee, no-interest stipulation Agarkov had written in, he owed only his unpaid $575 balance. Now Agarkov is suing the bank for $727,000 for not honoring the contract's terms, and the bank is hollering fraud. "…

Why Americans are giving Up Passports in ? Numbers Jump Sixfold

Aug 9, 2013

Expatriates giving up their nationality at U.S. embassies climbed to 1,131 in the three months through June 2013 from 189 in the year-earlier period, according to Federal Register figures published today. That brought the first-half total to 1,810 compared with 235 for the whole of 2008.
The U.S., the only nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxes citizens wherever they reside, is searching for tax cheats in offshore centers, including Switzerland, as the government tries to curb thebudget deficit. Shunned by Swiss and German banks and facing tougher asset-disclosure rules under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, more of the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas are weighing the cost of holding a U.S. passport. “With the looming deadline for Fatca, more and more U.S. citizens are becoming aware that they have U.S. tax reporting obligations,” said Matthew Ledvina, a U.S. tax lawyer at Anaford AG in Zurich. “Once aware, they d…

Are you providing value to your customers?

When interacting with your customers, are you selling a product, or are you selling what that product will do to make their lives easier? In other words, are you providing value? The competitive environment for virtually all products now stretches to the far corners of the globe. Increasingly, companies that have enjoyed market dominance are experiencing the commoditization of their offerings and find themselves competing primarily on price. One such example stems from the global shipping industry, where companies became accustomed to selling space. Customers made their choices based on the least expensive containers, and their was no guarantee they would arrive on time. In the 21st century, one Denmark-based company, Maersk Line, realized that the industry was letting customers down. They determined that increased timeliness and reliability would have a major impact on the customer value chain. Maersk transformed their sales approach from commodity-based to value-based, to the tune …

It Costs $5 Billion To Create A Drug- where are we headed?

There’s one factor that, as much as anything else, determines how many medicines are invented, what diseases they treat, and, to an extent, what price patients must pay for them: the cost of inventing and developing a new drug, a cost driven by the uncomfortable fact than 95% of the experimental medicines that are studied in humans fail to be both effective and safe. A new analysis conducted at Forbes puts grim numbers on these costs. A company hoping to get a single drug to market can expect to have spent $350 million before the medicine is available for sale. In part because so many drugs fail, large pharmaceutical companies that are working on dozens of drug projects at once spend $5 billion per new medicine. Click here to see cost-per drug estimates for 98 companies over a decade. “This is crazy. For sure it’s not sustainable,” says Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the chancellor at UCSF and former head of development at industry legend Genentech, where she led the testing of cancer drugs …

Mobile apps: vast majority of developers will find themselves with an unexpected revenue calculation

The consensus around the industry is that Google dominates the mobile market with 900 million users, while Apple follows with 600 million iOS devices purchased, and Microsoft comes in third place with an estimated 12 million Windows Phones sold (the vast majority of those, 81%, being sold by NokiaNOK+0.72%). With different forums aimed at attracting developers, each company handles announcing the size of their markets differently. Apple, at its WorldWide Developer Conference, talked about 1.25 million apps in the app store accounting for 50 billion downloads and $5 billion paid off to developers in the last year. To the company, it is a sign of pride to be able to pay this developer community. Internal data from the app store, gathered from sources close to the company, indicate that the numbers are in line with the actual payments made to developers. At Google I/O, the largest Android developer conference, Google touted 150,000 developers responsible for over 800,000 apps. While the…

Question of the month- What is Creative Destruction? ask Godlman Sachs

3D printing could literally break the mold; a growing new asset class threatens the reinsurance industry, and E-cigarettes aren't just blowing smoke at tobacco titans. These are among eight industry themes that Goldman Sachs analysts described as "creative destruction" - trends that are big and disruptive enough to reshape industries and draw in an increasing number of investors. Cancer immunotherapy. LED lighting, natural gas engine technology, software defined networking and big data are among the trends Goldman analysts see as mega trends that will change the behavior of consumers and force companies to "adapt or die." 
The analysts likened these innovations to the sweeping changes that brought about the fall of Polaroid's instant camera business, and the rise of Wal-Mart. The Goldman analysts declined to be interviewed on their report. As for E-cigarettes, sales have doubled in the last two years and are closing in on $1 billion, and Goldman says they …