Friday, June 16, 2006

The one good thing....

The buzz word on campus is "Mark Strat"... Everyone I meet asks "Have u made ur markstrat decision" - the pressure is greater than that for my matrimony decision!!! For those unenlightened, Markstrat is simulation game all 420 of us are hooked on to...Each group is a firm that competes with all the other "firms" on the campus in terms of products, strategies, etc. If u r wondering why the hell we would play simualation games when we dont have time to study - the answer is, thats becos if we win the game we get better grades!!!! [U should have known that we ISBians are not that fool-hardy]

Amidst piling pre-reads, intmidating cold calls in class, unfathomable subjects, "u get 4 hours to sleep, eat, change, pee, etc." schedules, and sudden release of woeful term1 grades, life at ISB goes on...Gone are those sweet days of term 1 [u can imagine the sad state of affairs if I am pushed to say something like that]...Those luxurious pre-ISB when I could afford 10 hours sleep, 2 hours TV, and 2 hours gym guiltlessly, days seem Jurassic to me!!!,[now if u notice that sentence, the keyword is in italics to emphasise the fact that I still stick to my old schedule but with my heart full of guilt]. And if u r thinking markstrat was the one good thing that happened to me - Nope...

I spent the last 2 insightful hours in the auditorium, watching some parts of "Commanding heights" - a PBS series which is a snapshot of evolution of Global economic principles over the past century. Whatever views I am presenting here are my own and may seem quite naive to the economics gurus out there.. Spare me!!

The following were main takeaways for me from the video:

1. The world economy has wandered between being a controlled/centralised economy [close to communistic - but not exactly, cos the government was in charge of only a few "important" industries like railroads, mining which were called commanding heights but planned the rest of the economy ] and being free markets [which in my perception is capitalism].

2.After several years of trying to have planned economies for their countries, governments realised how growth was stagnating and inflation was rising - but they refused to budge their stance.

3. What the men did'nt have the guts to do one woman did - Margaret Thatcher - thank her for the free markets we see today. It was today I realised why she is called the "Iron Lady" and how much she deserves it - you must be made of iron to ignore an "almost" revolution happening around you and stick to your stance.

4. This is just an theorem, well proved by point 3:
Whatever damage many men can cause over several years can be set right by one woman in a fraction of the time the damge was caused! :)
[point 3 is only one of the several proofs of this theorem]

5. When one market opened up and succeeded, it was like chain reaction and almost all countries followed suit - and voila, the world is flat!

6. I know all of us at ISB have asked ourselves atleast once in the past 2 months " why the hell did I leave a great job and come here..Am I a masochist?". I have too. I realised why today! At work, it was more like controlled market - I knew all I had to do was reach the minimum required and I would get paid anyways. There was little or no competetion. Obviously, my efficiency was low, I was not working to my fullest capacity, and I dint have an incentive to slog my butt off!!! I knew I was stagnating and I decided to try a free market called ISB and here I have incentive to put in my fullest -else I'll be trampled over by competition...So I work at maximum capacity, full efficiency and so the overall output is excellent!!! Hope u got the analogy.

I guess that was a long post and I have bugged u enough.. bye

6 comments:

Karthik said...

Soumya, Thanks for keeping your blog interesting. It gives me some respite from work and also updates me about the happenings at ISB (interesting again because you pass through the same phases that we did a year ago).
I just had one comment on the Commanding Heights. Though watching that video and being in Prof. Krishna's class (I think Prof.Ravi is handling that portion this year) makes you feel that controlling the economies is futile and free markets are the best, you should also realize that that is one-side of the story and is too much biased towards capitalism.
Though people like Thatcher and Reagan are hailed in the video, they are not regarded as superstars as their policies also had fallacies.

Kapil said...

if u look at the bigger picture ,u would realize that the economic systems of the world are fundamentally flawed !!
Read about the origin of money and the underlying philosphy .Dwell into the history of the banking system and you wou ld realize that we have essentially a puntured bucket in our hand !!
The measures and decisions of Ms Thatcher and her ilk is nothing more but plugs trying to arrest the leak..No one has the courage ,the power or even the conviction to throw the bucket and get a new one.
You must have read the story of the monkey and two cats where monkey was the judge while splitting up the bread !! Govt. is the monkey here !

Wundergal said...

Karthik, thanks for coming by and bothering to leave a comment - its an honor! I completely agree with u and kapil when u talk about the system's fallacies. But IMHO, there is no system for global "anything" that can be free of fallacies. It is always a choice between better of the 2 good things or of the 2 evils....Someone has accused Prof. KK of brainwashing us with classical economics and he confesses to it - but to me, I was always for free markets, this just strengethens wat i already feel. Kapil, ur last example abt the govt being a monkey was a good one - in context of the story and otherwise!

Kapil said...

it is a never ending debate which economic system is the best .I don't have the necessary crediantials to favor one system over the other but what i can surely say that the there is always a tradeoff between complexity and perfection.
Classical case of Operating System ..Windows is amazingly lousy, yet it is the most popular ...and the Mac OS has only a faithful few ,despite being rock solid...
I hope you do some research on the concept of monetary systems as we know ..
You will be surprised to know a lot of things..for instance ,what is the real logic behind taxes ??
Parting shot : FYI
US Federal Reserve ...which almost dictates global economy..........is not a govt. entity but a pvt. setup
cheerz
:)

Kapil said...

it is a never ending debate which economic system is the best .I don't have the necessary crediantials to favor one system over the other but what i can surely say that the there is always a tradeoff between complexity and perfection.
Classical case of Operating System ..Windows is amazingly lousy, yet it is the most popular ...and the Mac OS has only a faithful few ,despite being rock solid...
I hope you do some research on the concept of monetary systems as we know ..
You will be surprised to know a lot of things..for instance ,what is the real logic behind taxes ??
Parting shot : FYI
US Federal Reserve ...which almost dictates global economy..........is not a govt. entity but a pvt. setup
cheerz
:)

Anonymous said...

A good one on maggi. But had it not been for the female species, and their finger trouble we the men would conquered the universe long time back.
SK