Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

Archive for September 2008

24 Things Indians Love : No. 23 – Mahatma Gandhi

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Father of the Nation (India), Mahatma Gandhi died in 1948, but he is still the most popular person who can be found everywhere in an average Indian’s life.

Most significant presence of ‘Bapu’ is felt when you deal with Indian currency.

Indian Currency

Most of them have his pictures and watermarks.

And that’s not all. All the major cities of India have a street named M.G. Road. M.G. Road? Mahatma Gandhi Road…. 🙂 

mg road

And wait, M.G. Road is just not present in India alone. Many countries have paid their homage to Mahatma Gandhi by having streets named after him. Below one is the one in Durban, South Africa. And he is omnipresent as statues, all over the parks of India. Recently, India caught the craze of ‘Gandhigiri’ – Living the everyday life and managing things like Mahatma Gandhi.

I would like to add here that Indian government should start printing currency notes with pictures of other great Indians too. It will bring a much needed variety to Indian currency as well as allow other great Indians to be remembered for a longer time by the newer generations.

The list of 24 things Indians love continues –

No. 24 – Eating with hands

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Business Book of the Year 2008 – The Snowball : Warren Buffet’s authorised biography has arrived

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Life is like a snowball. the important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.

snowball Wow!!!….Now how much more, can you be right, about life? As expected, Buffet’s life wisdoms continue mesmerizing me.

THE SNOWBALL – the much awaited and highly anticipated book with life experience and life-wisdom of the man known as “The Oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffet is live and available.

Though there have been ‘n’ number of books concerned about Mr. Buffet’s extraordinary gifts as a businessman and investor, THE SNOWBALL offers an unprecedented look into Buffet’s life, of his values and his strategies, of his total experiences—all of which combine to tell a great American story.

Unlike any book ever written about Mr. Buffet, this book will be both a life story, and a biography of his ideas. It even takes up the earlier secret topics of Warren Buffet’s Love Life.

Warren Buffet, one of the richest man in the world, having once again proved his financial genius in this latest US recession by becoming the Guardian Angel for Goldman Sachs, still maintains his reputation for frugality, wisdom, humor and straight talk which make him seem like just a regular guy, like he might be the billionaire next door! And as you might have seen (if you ever read the About Me section of this blog ), he is the guy who inspires me the most. He is one of my heroes.

The 976-page book is written by former Morgan Stanley insurance analyst Alice Schroeder. She first met Warren Buffet when she published research on Berkshire Hathaway. Her grasp of the subject and insight so impressed him that he offered her access to his files and to himself. Now we could have never expected to get much closer to the God himself than this…isn’t it??

My comments  on Snowball??

Go and grab this Bible!!!

Fernando Alonso read and replied to my letter!!!

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Now this is something amazing. I wrote a letter to the 2 time world champion Fernando Alonso.

You can read the letter – My Letter to Fernando Alonso.

Though I never expected him to reply, but amazingly, he did!! And how? He won the inaugural Night Grand Prix in Singapore after starting 15th on the grid!!

Fernando Alonso

And let alone us, even Fernando was surprised. This is what he said – “It was fantastic. I can’t believe it and I think I need a couple of days to realize we have won a race.”

Fernando…thank you for reading & responding to my letter.

India’s Most Macho Looking Motorbike – FZ16

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No!! Its not the bike shown just below. But, just for the sake of comparison, do you remember the bike shown below?

old yamaha

It is Yamaha’s RX 100. The same bike that used to run on Indian roads with the others like Hero Hondas (CD 100s), Rajduts, Bullets and others.

But the types of bikes that Yamaha made in India were nowhere near those of global Yamaha standards. And few months back, Yamaha (India) did promise to deliver bikes of international standard. And what a deliverance it has been…

Just have a look at the shots of Yamaha’s latest bike in India – FZ16

Seems like old Yamaha has died and new one is born from its ashes!


wp_fz16_ps1 wp_fz16_ps2 wp_fz16_ps3 wp_fz16_ps4wp_fz16_ps5 wp_fz16_ps6

Its simply the rockstar of bikes in India right now.

Move over Bajaj (read Pulsar), Yamaha is back!!!

And another surprise. This newest entrant in the 150 cc category is not as bad a fuel guzzler as it looks.

Priced at an incredible Rs. 70,000 (estimated)….its a steal.

Macho, Muscular are the only adjectives that come into mind. The bike gets its looks from the global FZ series known for awesome looks and tremendous power. Everything about this bike is big, the wide tyres, the huge tank, the beefy forks. Viewed side on it looks like a well built athlete on the start line flexing its muscles, waiting to smash all the records.

Now this monster is a great urban bike built for great performance and easy-living functionality, because that’s the whole idea of a bike like this. It has got heart-pumping knockout performance and it’s got serious attitude on top of that, a lean and mean look that’s all about raw power. It keeps it simple, with street-tough naked styling and super-civilized power delivery and a specially designed riding position that gives riders extra confidence at lower speeds.

yamaha fz16The meters on the FZ16 are installed in a Full Liquid Crystal Display. The speedometer, tachometer, trip meter, fuel gauge and other indicators are set in optimum position to keep the field of vision clear. Also, the engine starting signal is an example of the spirit of innovation. And lets be honest. This type of digital meter console has not been seen in India till now.

Yamaha is planning to commercially launch FZ-16 in the festive season of October after which the bike will go on sale throughout the country. The bike is evidently going to shake the entire two-wheeler segment. And I am dead sure that Pulsars, Stunners, Apaches are going to have a really tough time competing with this bike. But I must confess that I have doubts regarding the marketing capabilities of Yamaha (India). I just pray that a good bike like FZ16 doesn’t wither away due to lack of proper promotion

For those who know what I mean, is this not the Howard Roark of Indian bikes…???   😉

yamaha fz16

Written by Dev

September 28, 2008 at 4:47 am

Even Warren Buffet made mistakes in his love life

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And you though that it was only you who made mistakes in your love life. The man who never makes mistakes in his investments, did confess after all that,

“the biggest mistake I ever made” was letting my late wife, Susie, walk out the door of our Omaha home.

This has been revealed by the revered investor in his authorised biography ‘The Snowball.’

According to Mr. Buffet, he gave his wife Susan [Susie – this is what Warren called him], a number of reasons to leave. One was Mrs. Katharine Graham, publisher of ‘The Washington Post’ and ‘Newsweek’ . Graham was really impressed by Buffet’s investment genius and they even spent time together in her mansion. Susan Buffet “made it plain to several friends that she was furious and humiliated,” but astonishingly sent Graham a letter granting her permission to date her husband !!

Buffet's New Family And even when Warren Buffet was at home, he spent most of his time in his study. And expectedly, his wife, not getting much attention or love as she desired, began a romance with her tennis coach, John McCabe. Then, in 1977, she and McCabe, after informing Buffet, moved into a small apartment in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Susan, expecting that Warren would not be able to look after himself and fall apart without a woman to look after him, arranged for attractive blond Astrid Menks to cook and clean for him. Susan and Warren never divorced. After her death in 2004, he married his companion for 27 years, Menks.

I would like to say here that I am not here to gossip about Mr. Buffet, because he is a man to be respected and not gossip about. And the respect is not because he has made so much money, but because he lives his with such purpose and humility. I am talking about his personal mistakes here for the sake of those who think that their mistakes in love have no parallels. Guys, everyone makes mistakes. Even Warren Buffet did. So cheer up. 🙂

And Buffet being a really down-to-earth person, goes on to say –

Susie’s departure “was preventable. It was definitely 95% my fault. … I just wasn’t attuned enough to her, and she’d always been perfectly attuned to me. She kept me together for a lot of years. … It shouldn’t have happened.”

An open letter to Fernando Alonso

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Hi Fernando,

It would be very stupid to ask you about you well being. I know you are not good right now. And its the Renault’s useless shit-on-wheels that is troubling you this year. But, how could you sign them on for 1 more year? You should have waited a bit more to see if they are getting any better or may be some other team might be interested in you.

Never mind. The point is that you have been the world champion twice. But if I did not tell those watching the race about your previous victories, your current form won’t prove your heroics at all. So that’s a serious problem for you dude. But now my confessions to you. I always was and will remain a big fan of Schumi. Michael was literally a rule changer. I don’t think that anyone was ever, in sporting history of any sports, was so instrumental in getting the rules changed, just because, he was too good for others!! But Michael is not in game anymore. Lucky you. So here comes my next confession. You are the best that we currently have in all the drivers. Your aggression of Spanish Bull, your maneuvers with terrible Renaults, your moving up the ranks having started at the back of the grid, are all awesome. So why am I telling you all this? Because I want someone deserving to win the championships. And for that you just need 2 things. First is a good car. A driver is not complete in himself. A car and driver are one unit. So find your better half and do it soon. Secondly, you should learn from this guy,…..what is his name….lemme see… yes….. Kimi ‘I AM ICE COLD’ Raikkonen. I am sure you might have heard about him. 😉 Aggression does not always pay. Just see how cool this Kimi man is? And did you see that last year when he won the championship from you and Lewis, he did not even celebrate too much. I know that you are more aggressive while you are unconscious, than he is in his F1 car. But still, you need to take some yoga classes or ice pack treatments from him to cool yourself down. So won’t I suggest some lessons from Lewis Hamilton. No. Never. You are far better than he is.

I know you secretly desire to join the ranks of Ferrari. Oh come on… its not a surprise find by me. I know your ‘BULL’ish instinct and I am not color blind that I could not notice that Ferrari is you favorite or most ‘hated’ color. But dude, there will be certain problems for you at Ferrari. You are a hot tempered man and so is the Italian team. And sooner or later, Schumi will start running the team. And its very obvious that you don’t want to answer to Schumi, do you? So be cool and don’t take your decisions with your hot head. You can always contact me for further directions.

And yes…don’t worry if you don’t make any significant contribution to the first night GP at Singapore. I am not expecting anything with you, in that SHIT Renault.

Be brave

A Ferrari Fan

Goldman Sachs find their guardian angel – Warren Buffet buys into GS

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It is said that nothing brings out the vultures like smell of death. We can use it for Mr Buffet too..

Nothing brings out Mr. Buffet [ invest..] like the smell of a ‘undervalued’ company ready-to-die.

GoldmanSachs_buffetWarren Buffet’s through his ‘legendary’ Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is investing at least $5 billion in Goldman Sachs. Now this is a huge thumbs up for one of the survivors of the credit crisis that felled two of its investment banking peers.

But that’s not all. In addition to buying $5 billion in preferred stock, Berkshire also got warrants to buy another $5 billion in Goldman’s common stock. Goldman on its own, would raise another $2.5 billion in its own public stock offering.


I was actually planning to title my post as Warren Buffet Strikes Back. But I thought Mr. Buffet as the guardian angel of the market and so the title. 🙂

So why did  Mr. Buffet, buy into Goldman Sachs? This is what he had to say –

“Goldman Sachs is an exceptional institution. It has an unrivaled global franchise, a proven and deep management team and the intellectual and financial capital to continue its track record of outperformance.”

A very important point to note here is that Buffet’s latest investment comes two days after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, the last two independent investment banks on Wall Street, won approval from the Federal Reserve to change their status to bank holding companies. That is, Mr. Buffet invested in the model of banks and not investment banks. It seems he has no faith left in the investment bank model.

What would have happened if GS had not converted to a bank holding company? The question can best be answered by Warren Buffet himself… 😉

By becoming commercial banks, Goldman Sachs gets broader access to borrow federal money and the ability to build a stable base of deposits. But it also comes with closer regulatory oversight that likely limit its ability to generate the kinds of sky high profits that were topped by few others companies.

Another major thing to notice here is that Buffet prefers to invest in organization that are usually present in ‘unregulated’ or partially regulated sectors. But here, Goldman will be under close watch of the Fed. So is Mr. Buffet changing his investment style?

To tell the truth I was really surprised to see Goldman Sachs panicking out, since Goldman stood alone among the investment banks in refraining from participating in the subprime market. Its balance sheet was the strongest, and it was still making money up to the present. Profits fell, of course, but at a time when others are writing off billions, a black bottom line should have kept its stock at healthy levels. When your competitors are all dying, hardy survival should point toward future dominance in your sector. But Goldman had other ideas…

Mr. Buffet was actually asked to buy its assets for 10% of their value; he wanted to pay just 5%, so it wasn’t a good enough deal. Buffet only commits his money when there is a very high chance of profit. He would have made money on even at 10%, and clearly the firm’s positions appeared to be eventual winners when the market settled down, but on short notice saw no reason to take on any risk. Buffet has passed on other potential deals as well, including Bear Stearns last year.

For a long time, Buffet had avoided Wall Street since he came to Salomon Brothers, when it was hit by a trading scandal in 1991.  He had bought a $700 million stake in the company four years before. He eventually turned a profit on the investment, but it was a long and difficult experience for him.

A really interesting observation of mine is that I think Warren Buffet’s $5 billion are much more important than Fed’s $700 billion. You must be thinking that I am out of my mind. But just think about it. Warren Buffet is THE MAN OF THE MOMENT.  He is a deep value investor and always picks the bottom. So he seems to have sensed the bottom. And that should be a very pleasant news for the people. 

And yes, during the credit boom, there were some idiots who kept on saying that Warren Buffet had lost his touch. Now the Berkshire Hathaway boss has collected what looks like a canny investment in Goldman Sachs. And those idiots are nowhere to be heard. Why? They have been crushed by their own stupid-high-risk portfolios. 🙂

Hail Mr. Buffet