Am making a comeback with a new platform and enthusiasm. But I don’t bring good news, am afraid. The global economy is stuttering. Banks are shutting down. People are losing their jobs. Not Burkha Dutt, though. She still has her job. Damn.
Companies worldwide are uniformly laying off employees to boost productivity and efficiency. The BCCI, not surprisingly, continues to be the only body retaining non-preforming assets.
What’s worse, the unthinkable has come to transpire – the credit crunch has hit Santa too. Santa got laid off!!! Looks like the only fat bearded man bearing gifts for Americans this Christmas season is going to be Ben Bernanke.
Politics. Hillary Clinton’s appointment as the Secretary of State was greeted with much cheer across the US. The crowd cheering largely consisted of Leno, Letterman, Jon Stewart, Colbert, Conan O’Brien and other comics. Boy, are they glad a Clinton is back at the helm! Barack is also pleased to have a Clinton in the White House who wont be hitting on Michelle Obama.
Obama’s Cabinet has seemingly been assembled on the principle of keeping ones friends close, the foes closer. No wait, thats Bill and Hillary’s marriage. My bad.
Yesterday, President-elect Obama pledged substantial new investments in education, energy and health care, with a package that will create jobs and launch massive infrastructure upgrades. Meanwhile, incumbent President Bush has pre-ordered a dozen copies of Rowling’s ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’ on Amazon.com.
To be fair to Bush, the current economic mess is too much for him to comprehend – sub-primes, CDOs, Interbank rates, hedge funds, oil prices, GDP – or as he calls it, Freakonomics.
Oh, and India’s economy has been hit badly as well. The scenario is pretty grim. Its so bad that Infosys and TCS are outsourcing operations to China. Its so bad that the Ambani brothers are now willing to work together. Not to mention all the jobs lost in the last 2 weeks. And that’s just in the Congress party!
Vilasrao Deshmukh, Shivraj Patil and Narayan Rane got laid off by the Congress in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. That’s not even the worst part. Burkha Dutt has been after them, armed with a mike and questions like ‘How do you feel at this moment?’ and ‘Do you condemn terrorist attacks in public places?’
The upshot – P.Chidambaram, the Finance Minister is now pretending to fill the role of Home Minister. To be honest, we’ve had a Finance Minister pretending to be the Prime Minister for so long. Might as well give this a run.
As expected, Manmohan Singh has also taken up the responsibilities of the Finance Minister. That’s worrying. How bad is the economy if the Prime Minister has to work two shifts to make ends meet?
On the plus side, the Government announced a Rs 20,000 crore bail-out package. The bad news – half of it will be used to rebuild The Taj.
In an unfortunate turn of events, The Taj and the Oberoi hotels, which were victims of the terror attacks, may now find insurance money hard to come by. Turns out their insurer is AIG.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai police have identified and held two men who played a key role in the Mumbai terror attacks, evoking plenty of outrage and and anger across the country. That’s right, actor Ritesh Deshmukh and Ram Gopal Verma are finally behind bars.
Not all bad news for them. The two did such irreparable damage to public sentiment with their insensitive “tour” of The Taj that they’ve been offered Honorary Memberships by the LeT.
You know, It’s scary how easily terrorists are now able to operate inside India. In fact, Mumbai will be hosting a T-20 match next week between the Chennai SuperKings and the Deccan Mujahideen.