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Showing posts from October, 2012

Kingfisher’s Wings Grounded

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On October 6, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India asked Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. to stop selling tickets. The airline hasn’t paid its employees since March, leading its pilots, technicians and engineers to go on strike as of October 1st. The strike compromised the safety of the airline’s flights since the engineers are responsible for certifying the aircrafts before flight, warranting the DGCA to suspend the airline’s license.
Kingfisher and its employees were able to reach a compromise on October 25 regarding wage payment. Kingfisher agreed to pay four month’s wages by the end of the year, and the remaining three month’s wages by March 2013. The airline also announced that it would be fully operational within a month’s time, and its employees could resume work then. Sanjay Aggarwal, the airline’s CEO has said, “We expect to be in the sky soon and put forth our case to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. We have addressed all the concerns of the employees. We …

Cell Phone Deal-Making Frenzy Pushes Consumers Aside

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MEHYAR AFKARI



Good Men Who Do Bad Things

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Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs Group director, was convicted of insider trading and sentenced to two years in prison. Usually, a case convicting someone of leaking corporate secrets and gaining an illegal, unfair advantage, would be one of triumph. However, in the case of Mr. Gupta, it was an unfortunate reality.             Mr. Gupta’s rise to success from modest beginnings in India had been an example of unrelenting hard-work and fierce determination. When he was a teenager, he lost both his parents- his father, a follower of Gandhi, was jailed in the fight for independence from the British and died in prison of tuberculosis; his mother, a schoolteacher, died two year after[1].Despite this tragedy, Gupta continued his schoolwork, was accepted to and excelled in India’s most prestigious school - Indian Institute of Technology. From there, he rejected what was then considered a highly respected position from Indian Tobacco Company and, instead, decided to attend Harvard Business Sc…

Manipulation: China's currency or American voters?

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Recently, the Romney campaign issued a statement pledging to label China as a “currency manipulator”, claiming China is cheating. First off, to understand what he means by that on a broad level, he means that China is intentionally undervaluing its currency – because it is able to as a socialist market economy – and this undervaluing in turn hurts the US economy. This artificially low Chinese currency impacts the American economy by making Chinese goods comparatively cheaper in the US and US goods far too expensive for China. A further implication is that due to this price disparity, Chinese laborers are cheaper to hire and manufacturing factories are cheaper to export to China. So given his plan, what does this mean for both economies? Well mainly, the US will have to set tariffs or other trade barriers in order to allow the dollar to fall relative to the yuan (because right now, its relative price is very high due to this “currency manipulation”). But then what about the long-term re…

THE MISSING COMPONENT

College education has numerous critics these days.I believe the recent fascination with MOOCs comes – at least in part – from dissatisfaction with the perceived quality of the current educational experience.We promise development of critical thinking skills in our students but often appear to deliver little more than well-rehearsed memorization.The argument then follows that we don’t need small classes and individual attention simply to teach memorization.Massive online courses can achieve that goal with much less cost.

In my spare time, I often ponder how modern college education can become better.For example, is the education that a college student gets today really superior in any way to the norm 40 years ago?Cars get more miles per gallon of gas than they did back then.Computers run thousands of times faster.But, has college education gotten better during that same period?We are certainly able to teach more students but has the average education actually improved in any significant…

Blasting Off Into the Private Sector

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The United States has achieved some pretty amazing feats in space exploration. When Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon, it not only showed America's technological abilities, but also unified the nation as a whole. Since then, America has continued to expand its knowledge of outer space, completing more and more missions. However, as the costs of space research piled on, the US government pulled back funding for NASA and significantly limited its space travel programs. What does this mean for the future of space travel? Will America no longer shine as the leader in this effort?

Have no fear, SpaceX is here. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a privately-held space transport company represents privatization at its best. Tonight, it successfully completed another cargo launch sending vital supplies to the Space Station. SpaceX became the first private company to get a commercial space craft to the Space Station last May and has since been gaining momentum. It ha…

"Big Bang Reform"

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Obama v Romney: The Economy

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