Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sports and Drugs

The topic for debate is not about usage of drugs in sports, as the whole world would say no to that.
The matter of debate is the aftermath, like in the case with Agassi. This is not a first time a sportsperson has stated, 99% of the times in his autobiography, of using drugs.

Why do people do this? At least, in Agassi's case this was not needed at all. Why? Because according to Tennis Drug violation rules, "Performance-enhancing" drugs would constitute a Class 1, which would carry a suspension of two years. However, "crystal meth" which Agassi consumed would seem to be a clear case of Class 2; Recreational drugs.” That would mean a three-month suspension. Frankly, a 3 month ban cannot make a sportsman guilty enough to reveal it after nearly 12 years of the incident. Or another argument could be that he came up to reveal it just because it was for a 3 month ban; if he had consumed performance enhancing drugs, he wouldn't have revealed this.

All violations relating to drugs have been a very thin line between accidental vs intentional and it is your past record which would speak up for you. I think the officials believed him due to that or may be covered him up, which is so unfair to the sport.

The most ridiculous outcome in all this drama was something my friend pointed out to me :
"Times of India were waiting for some chance and they posted semi-nude pics of Brooks Shields and Steffi Graf in their column for discussion about Agassi's confession."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oats Upma

Oatmeal is prescribed to be one of the best breakfasts given our current lifestlye. But, I generally do not prefer oatmeal as I hate its taste and stickiness and I prefer to totally avoid it if I knew it has been added to milk making it sweeter too.
So, for folks like me, one of my friends suggested his own recipe for a spicy oat upma(kichadi).
I tried his recipe and found it very tasty. I am crazy for spicy food and hence I enjoyed it. It is very simple and would take just 2-3 minutes of your time.
Here goes the magic oat upma recipe:

1) Salt
2) Pepper
3) Oats (quaker and others available in market).
4) Noodles taste maker.

How to cook:
1) Take a cup of oats.
2) Add 3-3.5 cups of water. Always, 1:3 or 3.5 oats to water ratio.
3) Heat it on high flame and stir.
4) Add pinch of salt.
5) Add pepper to the amount you would like to spice it up.
6) After the oats start sticking out, add 1-1.5 tea spoons of veg noodle taste maker, preferably, Knorr's taste maker.
7) stir for 1 minute.

That is it. Eat it when hot and the enjoy the spicy taste.

I completely understand that oats with milk add better value to your breakfast than this oat upma. But if you want to enjoy your breakfast and still make sure its healthy, this is a very good option.
Just try it once and let me know. Thanks to my friend whose name I would reveal after he gets married.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Insider Trading

On October 16th, a Srilankan tamilian Raj Rajaratnam, head of Galleon Hedge Fund was arrested by the US police on charges of "Insider Trading". Let us try to figure out what this exactly means and when it is legal and when it is not.

Insider trading refers to trading of stocks or other derivatives of a publicly listed company based on potential access to non-public information about that company.

Insider Trading is legal, if in case the CEO of a comapny is buying stocks of the same company based on a non-public information, but files it within 2 days to make it public. Most of the financial websites, like Yahoo Finance have information of "Insider Trading" details of listed companies which were filed.

If the same CEO had bought the shares on his wifes name and not file it, it would become an illegal insider trading.

Another example : suppose my friend is a CEO of a company X and I happen to meet him for a drink and knowingly/unknowlingly he reveals me a private information of that company. If I use that private information to buy/sell stocks of that company or if I even have documents containing those private information, I am performing an illegal Insider Trading.

The theory behind the prohibition on insider trading is that it undermines investor confidence in the fairness and integrity of the securities markets.

The SEC lists top employees of a firm to be Insiders and makes it compulsary for them to declare their trades. Potentially, anyone could be an insider and it is very difficult to normalize the list and have very strict rules.

End of the day, we representing the firm should always remember the confidentiality signature we had signed and make sure we are morally doing justice to the firm. Most of the big shots from the top financial firms may be involved in "Illegal Insider Trading" and to charge them of this, you would have to collect a lot of evidence. For Rajaratnam, they had been observing him for 2 years. He has come out in bail and has announced he is going to defend stating he is innocent.

Final Verdict : If the BOSS has decided to screw you, there is no way you could escape :) ...

Wha about Indian Market?

Very often, one would observe share prices of firms already having moved in anticipation of a major corporate announcement. Based on market gossip, many of these pre-announcement trades are at the behest of the promoters.
While the SEBI has investigated a lot of these trails, it hasn’t been as successful in prosecution as much as SEC. To be fair to SEBI, regulators worldwide have had little success with convictions in insider trading cases. The trades are generally difficult to prove since the evidence can be circumstantial.

India seems to be in the category where insider trading laws exist, but prosecutions are too few to be noteworthy. Hopefully, the Galleon case will prompt Indian policymakers to add more regulatory measures with respect to Insider Trading.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I used to be atleast 50% more active in college than what I am now. It is quite evident with the number of posts I have been able to write. Its just a very abnormal measure as I used to write none in college, still was active enough. But I would consider it a reasonable enough measure for the survival of this blog :) .
Its neither that I do not have anything to write nor that writing blogs does not interest me. Just some laziness to write. Will I overcome this? To have a check on my laziness(rather activeness), I have decided to judge it based on the number of posts/month.
The count should be minimum 6 to prove I am active enough; lets see.
For October, excluding this crap, the activeness threshold is minimum three.