Responsibility, Balance and Growth – Three Main Pillars

Responsibility brings existence. Living responsible life is necessary in all forms. It is difficult to maintain discipline and responsibility in all parts of life. However, it is necessary that we should maximise the responsible behaviour. In current environment of internet, it is difficult to train the person on time management. Owning the behaviour and mistakes are necessary.

Balance brings sustainability. Balance makes us more controlled and bring sense in our life. Balancing financial life, family, personal, and social life is necessary for well managed development. Any imbalance creates long term chronic problems. Eating imbalance meal may lead to physical problems. Physical, emotional, and intellectual values should be inculcated.

Growth brings happiness. Pushing things to next level is necessary to celebrate human existence. Making something memorable will make our existence meaningful. People live in mirage what brings happiness ultimately it is growth which press us to achieve more. It is difficult to achieve first two pillars are missing.

All personal problem’s solutions lie in these three pillars.

Are rating agencies reliable for investment decisions?

India has five rating agencies currently. CARE, Crisil, and Fitch are three main contenders in this business. As I understand, before getting loan or debt , one has be get validated by one rating agency. These are third parties and independent parties to give view on investment. They get some percentage from company to get it reviewed at initial stage and years afterwards. Investor makes decisions based on their ratings. It is very hard for investor to go and review all investment options. BBB is supposed to be investment grade decision. There are internal and external reviews of rating after getting final numbers. There are some risks on relying on their decisions

1. Conflict of interest: They get paid by the company who is looking for loans. Both parties look for business.

2. Sudden change of business perception: Recession and good times have two different perceptions about a business. People go by brand name and rely more on owner than business ideas. In recession time, overall risk appetite changes so “A” grade company may get BBB. Mean of risk keeps changing. Satyam got best rating and just after few months they were on verge of default. Similar is case of 3i InfoTech. Crisil confirmed rating as “A” last month and this month they changed it to junk.

3. Highly risky products/Projects: It is very difficult to judge a company on project stage. No one where company can falter. Company can be good in one execution and may be bad in another. Even the finest director can’t guarantee success of a film. It is mix of product, marketing, demand, external environment and execution. A simple default may lead to fall in idea. Even Google is finding hard to face Facebook in social media despite having in-house technical skill and large user base. People were apprehensive in investing in Reliance in earlier days. Now they may find investor easily.

4. Complex products: Companies are so linked together. Stakes are so unclear in today’s market that most of the things lead to insurance. Derivatives have created very risky world. Generally, a big daddy supports small projects and his credibility is used to back small innovation.

5. Sovereign Issues: Credibility of rating agencies have been affected by EU and USA’s debt crisis. Despite having slow and steady growth rates during last 8-9 years, these countries are enjoying AAA or AA rating. India (BBB) and China are giving 9-10% growth year on year and their GDP is also getting stronger. Still rating is poor comparatively. Some perception matching should happen to get credibility back in rating agencies.

Media control and value system

News is flashing on various TV channels about control of content on Facebook and Twitter. Indian leaderhips is demaning screening of information. In China , it is already there. State press is supposed to be loyal to the state heads. Controlled news should be published. I worked in an organization which had open discussion forum. People started using the forum to discuss about company policies. Suddenly, one day forum shutted down. Why leaders are so scared of information flow ?

There are two thoughts. One is supporting free information flow. It creates transperancy and trust. Many organizations talk about open door policy. Problems comes when it become too vocal. Controls may become redundent. Leadership loose faith. Democracy has its own disadvantage. It demands a true and morally strong leaders.

Another thought is controlled content and information. Parents generally try to control their kids from porn and other abusive content. It also has negative side, more you control them, more they go towards it. Kapil Sibal is trying to do the same which is impossible in today’s world. Controlling the source of bad ideas or abuse may not help. These are realities of today’s world. We Should train our kids how to handle such situations and their disadvantages.

Companies may talk freely about their policies and decision with logics. On other hand, they should teach their employee how to build trust and confidence. It should be win-win situation for employee and company. Disadvantage of rumors should be a training subject.

Human resource has bigger role in it. Each decision should be properly communicated. If we take good and strong value based decisions. People supports us. Criticism is best tool for gap analysis. Alas, only few people , take it seriously.

A journey through the Earth’s climate history

As world leaders prepare to meet in Copenhagen to discuss climate change – how did the Earth’s climate arrive at its current state and how do scientists delve into the secrets of our planet’s past?

The layers of ice laid down each year in Antarctica and Greenland store a record of the Earth’s climate. Bubbles of air trapped in the ice as it froze can be analysed to give details on temperature at the time it froze, and on atmospheric concentrations of gases.

The oldest ice core so far extracted belongs to the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (Epica). It allows scientists to look back 800,000 years.

Over time, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun varies slightly. This changes the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface, alternately warming and cooling the planet’s surface.

In a warming phase, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are released from the ice and amplify the warming – increasing the natural greenhouse effect. They are stored again when an ice age starts.

So over this period, we see temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations changing in step, in cycles lasting about 100,000 years.

About 10,000 years ago, the Earth emerged from its most recent ice age. Agriculture developed, and the extra food supported a growing global population.

The last 1,000 years saw development of international trade – and eventually, in the 1700s, the birth of the Industrial Revolution. This ran largely on coal and later, oil.

The human population was also growing, reaching one billion around the start of the 19th Century.

By this time, a growing network of weather stations was taking daily measurements of temperature, a record that increases in precision as time goes on.

In the 20th Century, fuel use, industry, land clearance and agriculture all increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

The temperature curve for the last 100 years shows two distinct periods of warming with an intervening period of cooling around 1940, probably caused by increased industrial emissions of aerosols, tiny particles that reflect sunlight.

In the second half of the century, highly accurate measurements, taken initially in Hawaii and Antarctica, proved that carbon dioxide concentrations were steadily rising in a regular manner. Other greenhouse gases such as methane showed similar trends.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes it is more than 90% probable that the warming seen in the second half of the 20th Century is mainly driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Source – BBC

Denmark: 65 world leaders for UN climate summit

COPENHAGEN (AP) — A Danish official says 65 world leaders so far will attend the Copenhagen climate summit in December and several more have responded positively to invitations.

The official says those coming include the heads of state or government of Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not an official spokesman.

Denmark last week sent out formal invitations to world leaders in 191 countries to attend the Dec. 7-18 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen.

The conference aims to reach an accord on curbing emissions of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming. The new treaty would replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.