Thursday, March 19, 2009

Billions of Entrepreneurs

Removing half a billion people from poverty and into the productive workforce will profoundly affect on the world economy. India and China are doing just that with insane growth rates and lots of what used to be American jobs: China is the factory floor and India the back-office, software shop. China is top-down party driven. India is a messy, vibrant democracy.

This may be the complementary duo that changes the world. Including your world.

Hear Professor Tarun Khanna in a discussion about his book, Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours. Called well worth reading by The Economist and entertaining by the Financial Times, Khanna's book shows how Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs are creating change through new business models.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why we think it's OK to cheat and steal

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies the bugs in our moral code: the hidden reasons we think it's OK to cheat or steal (sometimes). Clever studies help make his point that we're predictably irrational -- and can be influenced in ways we can't grasp.

In God we trust; all others pay cash

Warren Buffett's annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway share-holders is a highly anticipated, market-moving event. This time he offers his views on the current economy and the business climate. (with Berkshire performance of course)

Worth a read if you have the time.

An excerpt from his letter:

"Amid this bad news, however, never forget that our country has faced far worse travails in the past. In the 20th Century alone, we dealt with two great wars (one of which we initially appeared to be losing); a dozen or so panics and recessions; virulent inflation that led to a 21.5% prime rate in 1980; and the Great Depression of the 1930s, when unemployment ranged between 15% and 25% for many years. America has had no shortage of challenges.

Without fail, however, we’ve overcome them. In the face of those obstacles – and many others – the real standard of living for Americans improved nearly seven-fold during the 1900s, while the Dow Jones Industrials rose from 66 to 11,497. Compare the record of this period with the dozens of centuries during which humans secured only tiny gains, if any, in how they lived. Though the path has not been smooth, our economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it will continue to do so. America’s best days lie ahead."

Read the complete text of Buffett's letter to shareholders on the Berkshire Hathaway Website.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Economy

On a lighter note... (got this in a forward)

If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago you would have $49.00 left.

With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00.

With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drunk all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214.00 cash.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
It's called the 401-Keg.

A recent study found the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found Americans drink, on the average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.

Makes you proud to be an American!

Bigger Pharma

Well, the pharma industry just got bigger.

Merck's $41 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough (Link)
Though Merck & Co. has agreed to pay Schering-Plough Corp. $2.5 billion if it fails to get financing for its proposed $41 billion takeover of the rival drug maker, according to a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.

Pfizer's takeover of Wyeth for $68 billion. (Link)

Roche's bid of a $47 billion deal with Genentech. (Link)

Another article from CNN Money on Big Pharma's new landscape.

Now, Pfizer, the world's top drug maker, and French firm Sanofi-Aventis are in the race to buy a stake in Indian Wockhardt Ltd's biotechnology business.

I guess the good thing is that economy/recession/meltdown don't seem to affect the biotech industry.

Read about the article: Biotech industry expected to grow despite global meltdown

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How do you identify your True North?

Prasad Kaipa is the Executive director, Centre for Leadership, Innovation & Change at ISB. An exceptional speaker and has been an advisor/coach since 1990 for over 100 CEOs, executive team members and board members in Fortune 500 companies like Disney, Adobe, Sun, Boeing etc. Prasad advises and coaches his clients to become clear about what they aspire for and what their core incompetence is.