Thursday, May 29, 2008

10 nations with highest inflation

Courtesy "The Economist".

The Indian people and the government are both quaking with fear with inflation hovering at around 8%. The people can barely make two ends meet with prices soaring, and the government knows that if prices don't fall, the government will.
But India is not the only nation grappling with rising inflation. The entire world is. So which are the nations with highest inflation rates? Read on.

1. Zimbabwe: 355,000%!

The inflation in Zimbabwe for the month of March 2008 rose to 355,000%! Yes, 355,000 per cent! It more than doubled from the February figure of 165,000%.
Economists say that it is a miracle that the Zimbabwean economy is still surviving and prices have been rising to unprecedented proportions. Inflation surged between February and March following the sudden rise in money supply that flooded the economy to finance the 2008 elections. Apart from this food and non-alcoholic beverages continued to drive up inflation.
Almost 80% of the nation is unemployed. The Zimbabwean central bank has introduced $500 million bearer cheques (or currency notes) for the public, and $5 billion, $25 billion, $50 billion agro-cheques for farmers. Just last fortnight the nation had introduced $250 million bearer cheques.
A sausage sandwich sells for Zimbabwean $50 million. A 15-kg bag of potatoes cost Zimbabwean $260 million. But then, Zimbabwean $50 million is roughly equal to US$ 1!

Image: A Zimbabwean man holds up a new $500-million note on May 16, 2008 in Harare. | Photograph: Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images

2. Iraq: 53.2%

War-torn Iraq is also facing a huge problem, not only on the political front but also on the economic one. Inflation in Iraq is running amuck. It currently stands at 53.2%.
Rising oil prices, political instability, terrorism and the other post-conflict dynamics have led to inflation in the nation rise to unmanageable proportions
Some hurried counter-by the Iraqi central bank to curb inflation too have added fuel to the fire.

Image: An Iraqi money changer holds a handful of Iraqi currency in central Baghdad. | Photograph: Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

3. Guinea: 30.9%

Guinea is also one of the world's poorest countries. The inflation in the nation is at 30.9%.
Although blessed with rich mineral wealth -- with huge iron ore, gold and diamond deposits -- Guinea has been languishing as one of the poorest nations on earth with large-scale unemployment, lack of industry and infrastructure dogging it.

4. San Tome and Principe: 23.1%

The mainstay of the economy of San Tome and Principe, an African nation, is agriculture. The main export from the nation is cocoa. It also exports coconut, coffee, etc.
The current inflation rate in San Tome and Principe is at 23.1%.
The country does not produce enough to meet domestic demand and thus is forced to import some essential commodities. With prices of food and other essential items rising in the global markets, imports for the nation have become almost unsustainable, leading to high prices and inflation.
The nation has undertaken myriad measure to reform the economy, but it is still early days and the results of liberalisation will only be noticeable over a period of time.

5. Yemen: 20.8%

Yemen is going through terrible times. The Yemini economy is experiencing an inflation rate of 20.8%.
More than 87% of Yemenis live for less than $2 a day. About 52% of children less than 5 years old suffer from malnutrition.
Most of the people are engaged in agriculture, followed by the services and infrastructure sectors, while unemployment is rampant at 35 per cent.

6. Myanmar: 20%

Myanmar is one of the world's poorest nations. It has suffered immensely under military rule for decades and has been categorised as one of the 'least developed countries' in the world by the United Nations. Its inflation rate is at 20%.
The economy of Myanmar is mostly controlled by the military junta leaving little room for private entrepreneurship or growth.
The military regime has also decided to do away with all reforms suggested by economists, throwing the nation's economy into further turmoil.

7. Uzbekistan: 19.8%

Uzbekistan is slowly moving from a somewhat closed to a market-based economy. The economic reforms have helped achieve some growth, but not nearly as much as the nation would ideally like to enjoy.
Also, lack of infrastructure, tight state control over the economy, occasional skirmishes with neighbouring nations, and an unstable political environment have seen inflation rise sharply here. The nation's inflation rate is at 19.8% currently.

8. Democratic Republic of Congo: 18.2%

Global investors do not feel that the Republic of Congo has a foreigner-friendly investment environment as it does not offer any incentive to the investor. Added to that a disorganised yet costly work force, high electricity costs, irregular supply of raw material, occasional civil unrest, political instability have only added to Congo's woes.
And even as the nation grapples with its myriad problems, the Congolese economy has been going from bad to worse. And its current rate of inflation is 18.2%.

9. Afghanistan: 17%

Afghanistan has long been a theatre of conflict and that has affected its economy adversely. Perpetual battles, an environment of fear, lack of infrastructure, industry and services has led to a once-proud nation turn into one of the world's poorest. The inflation rate in Afghanistan is at 17%.
The influx of billions of dollars of international aid has not really helped the economy much, although it is supposed to be much better now than it was in 2002

10. Serbia: 15.5%

Serbia's fragile economy, which mostly rests on agriculture, services and some manufacturing activity, has been going through a reform process for a long time. However, economic sanctions that were imposed on the nations in the 1990s have hit Serbia's economy so hard that its myriad economic problems continue to this day.
Unemployment is rampant, foreign investment is down to a trickle, foreign exchange reserves are low, and political instability are keeping good projects from taking off.
Although the nation is growing at a robust pace, the rising inflation -- currently at 15.5% -- is hurting the Serbian economy.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to grow beard in 90 seconds?

You think it is not possible? Wait up before you conclude, this is the funniest video. Watch on

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yo, Gangsta, what's with the drinking story yo?

Well it was nothing about me into the drinking issue but the recent edition of Outlook (India's weekly news magazine), which was going non stop about the women in recent past taking to drinking and the effects on them. It reminded me about how stupidly women (particularly Indian women complained and nodded about men going to sleep after sex, they forgot they do the role of 'dead logs' beyond anyone's belief!) complain and blame men going south immediately when they get intimate. Anyway, I will talk about this later sometime.

There is a point to those complaints but then what I was thinking hard was why are women being nailed down by these moral police. I read that article and all I saw was that there was some loser women group who over did the drinking habits and became addicts. The case same as some men who indulge in sleep therapy after sex or over drink and become a menace. Now what has this to do with the increasing women group taking to drinks. To have generalized that the middle class, growingly confident, financially independent women - Drink a lot, was an awful story liner to start with.

I understand there are repercussions when you over do this but then, tell me honestly, do you think there is any activity which women or men can do without being castrated as being social outcasts (Other than being in the house) and then experience no stress, and to expect all good things happen to them. This is a new age and I think whether you drink or party or smoke or don't practice sex or don't annoy the moral police, you will be nailed down easy with the increasing stress patterns and work both men and women equally have to do. Welcome to the new age of 21st century.

Things were lot different, atleast in India, say 30 years back where you did not have much exposure. Now not only women compete but also are equally aggressive as men(Oh, we have lots sloths too), so obviously if men party, women also can party but know the limit when consuming alcohols. Binge drinking is the new age thing that has gone the full distance and has come back. It is not a taboo anymore to women, particularly, because they have learnt the art of ignoring people, read society, who cry loud if they wear jeans, shorts, micro shorts etc. Did we actually deal with a situation, 30 years back, women being managers and leading bigger corporations? Did we deal with one where women used to compete with men for a top draw managerial position way back? Did we ever know of a situation back then when women could remain single and yet achieve so many things they wanted to instead of being nailed down and buried down as early as 20 under the pretext of marriage? Did we imagine women driving or riding on their own vehicles 30 years back? So much advancement, so much progress they have all made. It looks like to me there are certain group of men who still ride on the dinosaurs back and they think they are invincible and now they are being threatened seeing women in places where it was men who crowded often. No position is safe for anyone and I feel it is these men, powered by media, go for the few party lovers who drink or smoke and make lewd comparisons.

The whole premise of my argument is not about women should not drink or drinking is not good. It is about having fun and hanging loose then there are characters who come along and make big drama queens by complaining loud that all women drink and get wasted soon and are pretty much on the track of self destruction. Eventually I feel it is about how you want to relax and knowing the limitation which is more important because the one weary thing about alcohol is that unless you know when your body cannot take more, every thing around you will sound fun. The moment you cross that you become a nuisance to all.

But do you think men drinking or women drinking and having fun in parties is bad? Do you think it is because of the new age verbs - relax and chill, that is forcing all to take to drinking habits to appear cool? Is it that the moral police wants us all to just consume health drinks and listen to carnatic muzik (which is Indian culture!) when we want to relax and chill?

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cruel existence

I was just amazed at how people ever survive in Africa particularly Zimbabwe. I mean I have been following their inflation situation for a long time now and I was, today, stumped when I got to know that their inflation is heading towards 5 Million% as of today. I mean how can a common man ever live with confidence. No wonder you see there are people who get out of that country and get into some other to do job.

To quote what I read from somewhere - "Weary Zimbabweans are facing a new wave of price increases that will put many basic goods even further out of their reach: A loaf of bread now costs what 12 new cars did a decade ago.

Independent finance houses said in an assessment Tuesday that annual inflation rose this month to 1,063,572 percent based on prices of a basket of basic foodstuffs. Economic analysts say unless the rate of inflation is slowed, annual inflation will likely reach about 5 million percent by October.

As stores opened for business Wednesday, a small pack of locally produced coffee beans cost just short of 1 billion Zimbabwe dollars. A decade ago, that sum would have bought 60 new cars."

To ease cash shortages, Zimbabwe recently introduced a $500 million note, see BBC report here.

In India, we are talking about a 8% (and growing) inflation. It sure needs a thinking and helping administrator who can take a stab at the situation. Sadly so this seems to be lacking in Zimbabwe and that is the reason for this atrocious situation now. But going by what is happening around, every country is going through a sad phase and it looks longingly at the people who are wearing the 'smart' hat and designated as ministers.

I feel awful at the present situation in Zimbabwe though.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Long live the saint. Long live ahoy!

Yea, I survived another year and it was quite interesting and funny the way people responded to my survival. But I maintained my status quo for this year too. Importantly, I liked this reaction better for this year, people I knew were not thinking twice bestowing me with gifts and blah blah.

Anyway, the wish remains the same, to impress a girl hard enough. Interestingly, people around were asking what was the plan for the 'year'. I was thinking why people normally look to an year from the day they are either born or celebrate their existence. Personally, there were many girls whom I liked and hanged out only to break up in the end and many bummed me but few of them remain itched in my memory. One of the them jovially said long before as a reciprocal to my memory loss on her birthday, that she will ensure she forgets my birthday and sadly we broke up long before that to see if she would have forgotten my b'day :D

That's about it. Another year well spent and survived with less diseases, spent with less losers & suckers, all I hope is an another interesting year to come by. So yea this would be a bad news to those who now know I am still alive [:D]

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yes - I am busy. I am busy....

Well that is not what I was meaning to write indicating how I was with the things around me but I have been thinking about this so called 'busy people' sucking it all up in the messengers around us with titles like 'I am busy working on a thing and don't disturb unless important'.Now now, I know, the busy word has several connotations. The person is actually preoccupied or an act to fool people around or trying to choose who they want to talk to or just hangin in there watching which person came online and went offline without doing a thing. But I always
wondered why people get into the online messengers if they were that busy and did not want to be disturbed.

I can get that feeling if you are in a messenger at work. Some weird people track when you come to work by the time you log in to your messenger. I had a German manager who used to do that pretty much concluded that I start the day late. How? I log into the messenger at work late by 10:30 ish. Then to wade through these characters who want to take stock of the situation as to when you log into the messengers. It makes sense if you said "Don't bother to respond. It is just for my sick manager who is tracking my activities".

Now how about Gtalk, Yahoo or AOL where people put up this funny one liners under the pretext of being busy. I think if you are so busy then I feel you should not be logged on at all. However, if it is for filtering out people you don't want to talk to, then how about "Blocking" them? That is more easy I say. Anyway, what is your take on when you see such liners when you get into the messenger and see a person has this next to his/her name? How will you react and what will you specifically feel?

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Celebrities say it all - Being silly is not bad

I was meaning to write so many posts back to back on Economics, Attitude of the the so called Indian men(includes women, for those feminists who blame it all on man!) under the pretext of Indian culture yada yada. Then finally I made a "U" turn and decided to keep it all light and cool.

So yea, remember the celebrities can actually be dumb. Maybe we all know that the celebrities in the wild wild west are more vulnerable but then don't let go of the leash on the Indian ones too. Reason why they never appear dumb is because the Media does not cover that part of them. Else we would have gone head for head with the Hollywood dumb ones. I wonder why women are always there in that list. :-] .. Honestly, I do know some male celebrities who goofed up big time.

Anyway, these were some very very interesting comments made by some. Enjoy, if it interests you ! BTW, there are a lot of funny things told by big stars, if you have spare time and like reading funny stuff, follow the - Link and this Link and laugh it all.

To me the funny one liners were :
“I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, "Thyroid problem?" - Arnold Schwarzenegger,California Governor and actor

“I've read about foreign policy and studied, I now know the number of continents.” - George Wallace 1968 presidential campaign.

"I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to." - Shaquille O'Neal, basketball player, on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece

Now to the celebrity fun.

"First of all, let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack."

Yea - Gimme expensive weed to dope and I would say we need crack. I wonder who ever wrote that marvelous script for her !

"Like, I thought Europe was a country? Is France a country? ...I don't think France is a country."

Ok, sorry to burst your bubble. Yea Europe is a country and France is a big continent, my fair princess !!!

"I'm drinkin' a soy latte, I get a double shotey/ It goes right through my body /I do yoga and Pilates and the room is full of hotties/ So I'm checkin' out the bodies and you know I'm satisfied," lyrics to "American Life."

I wonder what troubled her when she penned the lyric. Just sums up what shit comes in the modern day muzik. Any thing in English = Lyrics.

What's Wal-Mart? Do they sell, like wall stuff?"

Oh yea !! Wall, Buildings.... And I wonder what IKEA sell. Eye?

"So, where's the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?"

:-) Cannes Film Festival.. err for this obnoxious comment made, firstly, are you even invited?

"Butterflies are always following me, everywhere I go." "If critics have problems with my personal life, it's their problem. Anybody with half a brain would realize that it's the charts that count." "I may believe in Santa, but I'm not delusional."

I am pretty sure you are not delusional and sure they all have a problem.

CNN's TUCKER CARLSON: A lot of entertainers have come out against the war in Iraq. Have you?
BRITNEY SPEARS: Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

Err.. Britney, well.. hmm you had to go AGAINST the war in Iraq. Meaning, saying War is bad, not good for the economy. Meaning against the president..Are you still on dope to sorta go completely opposite. I wonder how Carlson would have reacted when he saw her say this. :-)

"Is this chicken, what I have, or is it fish? I know it's Tuna, but it says: Chicken of the Sea."

Sure, chicken of the sea indeed !

"I dress sexily - but not in an obvious way. Sexy in a virginal way."

"We are the most powerful nation on the globe, and by God, that comes with benefits! I'm not saying we should travel in arrogance or cockiness and strut through downtown Baghdad expecting people to part like the Red Sea. All I ask is for the rest of the world to treat Americans with respect so we don't have to kill you."

First thing, dude, there ain't no downtown in Baghdad and what you just said is slightly against the first sentence. Arrogance, Cockiness.. wonder what that means in your dictionary.

All pictures courtesy

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