Though politics and administrative delays are indeed critical reasons for BSNL’s and Air India’s declines, the vicious circle this interference has created in terms of lack of competence and willingness by top management at these companies is also to blame. Not many executives at these companies want to compete with the burgeoning and highly competitive private sector firms. They assume that the government will bail them out. Incentives are misaligned as these government agencies do not have reason to perform vis-a-vis their private sector counterparts.
— Yugal Joshi
As petroleum minister Murli Deora asserted, the present tussle between the Ambani brothers might be a personal dispute but its ramifications are still far wider (“An unnerving silence”, Mint, 4 August).
The issue has rocked the Lok Sabha on the pricing of gas supply to Anil Ambani’s Dadri power project in Uttar Pradesh (UP). It is no surprise that one section of members of Parliament from UP cried foul at the injustice to their home state. It is unfortunate that both industrialists are taking the country for a ride and want to enjoy a monopoly of power at the cost of national wealth. A country’s sovereign national resources cannot be mortgaged for the sake of satisfying narrow objectives. Your piece suggested that the boards of both companies should speak on this matter in the interest of shareholders. It is quite natural that the board members will take a decision to protect the companies they represent. Now, we have to wait for the decision of the apex court and, until such time, charges and counter-charges will hit the headlines, negating development phase.
— K.N.V.S. Subrahmanyam
“Wall Street’s need for a return to character” by Govind Sankaranarayanan (Mint, 31 July) reminded me that someone said once, “Your character is my destiny”. This is applicable to financial experts on Wall Street who have destroyed millions in hard-earned wealth.
Consider the fall of banks in the US, where financial knowledge was born, nurtured and spread across the world. Back home, Indian banks have withstood the global turmoil in finance, thanks to the wisdom of the Reserve Bank of India in showering appropriate regulation.
This is despite the interference by our political bosses in New Delhi with regard to certain aspects of banks, especially in the public sector.
But our markets are as bad as global markets. When the market is going up, they will continue to do so. When the markets fall, people mindlessly shun the very same investments that they chased during the peak. The secret of success in investments by financial legends such as Warren Buffett or George Soros lies in their ability to distinguish between facts and mood. We can learn by reflection, or by simple feedback, or we can wait for some debacle.
The success depends upon our ability to manage—not control—our emotions and to have an approach based on data.
— K.V. Rao