Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Friday, September 25, 2015

Eight book reviews of my new novel "Chief Minister's Mistress".....

# Chief Minister’s Mistress is readable...having written 16 books in five years, author Joygopal Podder seems to have gotten his formula down pat. – Shantanu David, “The Indian Express”
# Joygopal Podder has definitely written a great page-turner. Right from the first page...the book goes on in the same fast pace and doesn't let you lose interest. – Abhilash Ruhela Blog / DNA of Books.blogspot / Indiblogger / booksareworld.blogspot
# Rarely does one comes across this kind of combination for book lovers. An author who holds the Limca Book of Records for writing at the fastest pace and a publisher who delivers the best. We expect a crime thriller to have a mind blowing speed and this particular book doesn’t disappoint you on this quarter. Ratings....Cover : 4/5; Story : 3.5/5; Characterization : 4/5; Writing Style & Narration : 4/5; Presentation : 4/5; Overall : 4/5. – Sandeep Sharma, “The Author’s Blog”
# "Interesting and gripping novel....all the very best". – Nilima Pathak, Correspondent, 'Gulf News' Dubai
# “Chief Minister’s Mistress is a masterpiece murder mystery… I thoroughly enjoyed the political thriller.” – Gunjesh Bond, Author
# Amazon.in Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
# The author uses straight forward narrative…He uses very simple language throughout the book…The story is interesting. – Vijayta Lalwani, Betweenthelines.in
# Goodreads.com Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Monday, May 16, 2011

Handcuffed IMF chief charged in sex assault case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Handcuffed and haggard, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was escorted by detectives from a New York police station on Sunday night in his first public appearance since being accused of trying to rape a hotel maid.

Strauss-Kahn, the early favorite in France's presidential election, had his hands cuffed behind his back and a strained look on his face as two detectives led him to a waiting police sedan in front of a battery of television cameras.

He was due to make his first court appearance on Monday after submitting to a forensic medical exam with police looking for scratches or other evidence of his alleged assault on a New York hotel maid on Saturday afternoon.

The charges have blown the French election wide open and thrown the International Monetary Fund into turmoil.

A charismatic figure, Strauss-Kahn led the IMF through the 2007-09 global financial meltdown and has been central in galvanizing Europe to tackle its debt woes.

But he now faces charges of a criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape, and could face a humiliating end to his public career and presidential ambitions.

The euro slid to a six-week low against the dollar and a two-month trough against the Japanese yen when markets opened in Asia on Monday as the news of Strauss-Kahn's arrest added uncertainty to aid for Greece and other indebted euro zone countries.

Strauss-Kahn wore a black overcoat, blue dress shirt and black dress slacks on Sunday night, his hair neatly parted. He kept his eyes straight ahead, avoiding looking at the cameras.

"Our client willingly consented to a scientific and forensic examination tonight," said William Taylor, the IMF chief's Washington-based lawyer. "He's tired but he's fine."

Police would not say where and when Straus-Kahn was subjected to the physical exam, which investigators requested after a 32-year-old maid at the elegant Sofitel hotel near Times Square said the IMF chief, naked, sprang on her from the bathroom of his hotel suite, chased her down a hall, pulled her into the bedroom and assaulted her.

She told police she broke free but that he dragged her into the bathroom where he forced himself on her again. The woman identified him from a police lineup that included five other men on Sunday, a police spokesman said.

Defence lawyers said Strauss-Kahn would plead not guilty at Manhattan Criminal Court when he appears there on Monday.

Strauss-Kahn's wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, jumped to her husband's defence, saying she did not believe the accusations "for a single second," and other supporters in France cautioned against a rush to judgment.

Police say Strauss-Kahn left his $3,000-a-day suite at the Sofitel hotel near Times Square in such a hurry after the alleged assault that he left his mobile phone behind.

After he called the hotel from John F. Kennedy airport asking about his phone, police located him on the first-class section of an Air France flight bound for Paris. He was pulled from the flight minutes before takeoff, taken back into New York City and charged.


On Saturday afternoon, Strauss-Kahn was in a luxurious hotel suite with a conference room, living room, foyer, spacious marble bathroom and a bedroom with a sumptuous king-sized bed and feather and down duvet.

A few hours later, he was in a bare holding cell in New York's tough Harlem neighbourhood, his career apparently in tatters unless he is quickly proven innocent.

Police say Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity from the charges, which if proven could carry a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years. They have collected DNA evidence from the hotel suite, The New York Times reported.

The IMF said Strauss-Kahn had been in New York on private business. He has hired lawyer Benjamin Brafman, a seasoned defense attorney who has successfully represented several celebrities, to lead his defence team.

The IMF tried to fill a leadership vacuum by naming No. 2 official, John Lipsky, as acting managing director.

Still, the charges against Strauss-Kahn are a huge embarrassment for an institution that oversees the global economic system and has authorized hundreds of billions of dollars of loans to troubled countries as well as playing a major role in the euro-zone debt crisis.

The allegations immediately threw France's presidential race wide open. He had not yet declared his candidacy but Strauss-Kahn was widely expected to run for the Socialist Party and early opinion polls showed him with a big lead over the conservative incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is seeking a second term at the election next April.

"The news we received from New York last night struck like a thunderbolt," said Socialist leader Martine Aubry.

France's government as well as Strauss-Kahn's political allies and rivals called for caution and respect for the presumption of innocence, but his presidential hopes appeared to be dead unless the case against him quickly unravels.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said her rival's presidential hopes had been crushed, while Christine Boutin, president of the Christian Democrat Party, suggested Strauss-Kahn may have been set up.

"I think it's very likely a trap was set for Dominique Strauss-Kahn and he fell into it," she told France's BFM television. "It's a political bomb for domestic politics."

French voters are famously tolerant of political leaders' extramarital affairs, but the allegations against Strauss-Kahn are entirely different, and much more serious.

With its chief in the dock, the IMF also now faces many questions of its own, because his character had been questioned before. In 2008, Strauss-Kahn apologized for "an error of judgment" after an affair with a female IMF economist who was his subordinate.

The Fund's board of member countries warned him against further improper conduct, but cleared him of harassment and abuse of power and kept him in his job. It will now face new scrutiny over whether that response was too weak, especially as there have been persistent rumours about Strauss-Kahn making sexual advances to women.

Strauss-Kahn took over the IMF in November 2007 and won praise for helping push leaders to inject billions of dollars into the world economy during the global financial crisis.

He introduced sweeping changes to ensure vulnerable countries swamped by the crisis had access to emergency loans, and others to give major emerging market countries such as China, India and Brazil greater voting powers in the IMF.

An IMF leadership crisis now will especially worry European nations given Strauss-Kahn's pivotal role in brokering bailouts for Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Witty, multilingual, a skilled public speaker and sharp back-room negotiator, Strauss-Kahn also weighed into thornier issues by urging China to let its currency rise in a dispute with the United States.

Now his future lies largely in the hands of his high-profile lawyers. Taylor, based in Washington, has represented Strauss-Kahn for years, while Brafman is more practiced in New York criminal law and previously defended pop star Michael Jackson against child molestation charges.

The woman, who has not been named, was treated in hospital for minor injuries. She has worked at the hotel for three years and the property's manager said she has been a "completely satisfactory" employee in her work and her behavior.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


BSE Sensex 19,696.86 +434.32 +2.25%

Deficits falling in India, emerging economies: IMF

Courtesy: IANS
While deficits in emerging economies have started falling, adjustment in emerging Asia is limited, except for China and India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

In India, however, the improvement in the headline balance falls short of initial plans and is broadly accounted for by continued strong revenues, restraint in wages, pensions, and interest, and improvements at the sub-national level, IMF April 2011 Fiscal Monitor Report (FM) has said.

In 2010, deficits started declining in emerging economies, supported by sustained growth and, in some, higher commodity prices, it said. But the pace of consolidation, however, seems to fall short of what would be warranted by cyclical developments.

The average general government deficit fell by 1 percent of GDP, with revenues surprising on the upside compared with the November 2010 Fiscal Monitor, in significant part owing to one-off or cyclical revenues, the IMF said citing India, Brazil, and South Africa.

Altogether, consolidation was much more contained at .50 percent of GDP in cyclically adjusted terms, the IMF report said.

Consolidation is expected to accelerate in 2011, it said. The average headline deficit is projected to fall by 1.25 percent of GDP and about 1 percent of GDP in cyclically adjusted terms, but there are significant cross-country differences.

For many emerging economies, growth is buoyant, output is close to or above potential, and inflation is rising, it said noting India, Argentina and Poland, in particular, are enjoying strong macroeconomic conditions while maintaining cyclically adjusted deficits exceeding 3 percent of GDP.

In emerging economies, adjustment needs are generally smaller than in advanced economies, but with some important exceptions.

Adjustment needs in emerging economies average about 3 percent of GDP, IMF said. However, illustrative adjustment needs exceed 6 percent of GDP in India, Malaysia, and Poland.

Both advanced and emerging economies should make progress on structural reforms to enhance growth and equity, and strengthen fiscal institutions and transparency, the IMF suggested.

In all countries where deficit reduction is required to restore debt ratios to prudent levels, action is needed to ensure that the burdens of adjustment and benefits of economic recovery are distributed equitably, it said calling this as 'a key condition to make the adjustment sustainable'.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BSE Sensex closes up 1.2 pct

The BSE Sensex closed 1.2 percent higher today, as the recent correction could have been overdone and most negatives seemed to be priced in, dealers said. Outsourcers led the gains.

The 30-share BSE index ended up 1.23 percent or 223.92 points higher at 18,435.44, with 20 of its components gaining.

The 50-share NSE index closed up 1.1 percent at 5,519.25 points.

Monday, February 14, 2011

BSE Sensex extends gains to 2 pct

The BSE Sensex extended gains to 2 percent today, closing at 18,202, helped by strong Asian markets, with financials and engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro leading the rise.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BSE Sensex slips 3rd day; telcos slide

The BSE Sensex fell for the third day in a row today to its lowest close in seven months, as weak world stocks added to the investor gloom over worries about the outlook for domestic earnings.

Shares in billionaire Anil Ambani Group companies recouped some losses, after they had tumbled in a late selloff yesterday for no apparent company specific news.

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular shed 2.8 percent and 2.2 percent respectively after India's telecoms regulator proposed steep increases in the price of second-generation mobile radio waves.

The 30-share BSE index dropped 0.74 percent or 129.73 points to 17,463.04, its lowest close since early July. Sixteen of its components closed in the red.

The benchmark has lost nearly 15 percent this year as foreign funds withdrew $1.4 billion on concerns high inflation and rising interest rates will squeeze consumer spending in Asia's third largest economy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sensex loses 265 pts, closes at 17,775 points

The sensex dropped 1.5% today to its lowest close in seven months, as rising borrowing costs and high inflation drove investors to cut their exposure.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sensex falls again - by over 250 points

Indian equities markets today closed lower amid intense selling across sectors.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,708.62 points, closed at 18,427.57 points, down 256.86 points or 1.38 percent from its previous close at 18,684.43 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also ended 1.38 percent lower at 5,526.8 points.

Broader markets, too, ended lower with the BSE midcap index ending down 2.42 percent and the BSE smallcap index closing 3.34 percent lower.

All the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE closed in the red, with realty, auto and consumer durables scrips faring the worst.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BSE Sensex at 4-½-month closing low; banks drop

The BSE Sensex fell 1.5 percent today to its lowest close in four-and-a-half months as rising borrowing costs dampened the outlook for companies, while improved prospects elsewhere lured foreign funds away.

Financials led the decline weighed down by expectations for another rate increase in the next two months after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised rates on Tuesday for the seventh time in a year to cool inflation pressures.

Foreign institutional investors, which had been the mainstay of the market in 2010, have pulled out $849 million so far in January and the benchmark index is poised to post its biggest monthly fall in more than two years.

Top utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra dropped 4.9 percent, its biggest single-day fall in more than eight months, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "sell" from "buy", saying it has historically moved in line with the demand cycle, and looks likely to correct with moderation in demand growth.

The 30-share BSE index shed 285.02 points to 18,684.43, its lowest close since Sept. 8, 2010. Twenty-eight of its components ended in the red.

In the broader market, almost two shares declined for every share that advanced on relatively low volume of 249 million shares.

The 50-share Nifty or NSE index shed 1.5 percent and closed below its 200-day moving average at 5,604.30 points.

"It was a follow-up to what happened on Tuesday. After the RBI's 25 basis point hike, people expect more to come," said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities.

The BSE benchmark is down nearly 9 percent this month, which if maintained till the end of January would make it the biggest monthly fall since October 2008.

In 2010, the index had gained 17.4 percent on the back of record foreign fund investment of $29.3 billion.

While India's central bank has been tightening policy, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it was in no rush to cut short its rescue of the U.S. economy, saying high unemployment still justified its $600 billion bond-buying plan even though the economy has shown some signs of improvement.

Analysts expect an improving U.S. economy will draw more investors away from emerging markets such as India.

"It is going to be a continued flow of funds into North America as people are rebalancing from emerging markets into North American equities," John Studzinski, senior Blackstone managing director, told Reuters Insider at Davos in Switzerland, on Wednesday.

The MSCI's emerging markets stock index is down 0.7 percent in 2011, while the Dow Jones industrial average has firmed 3.5 percent in the period.

Leading lenders State Bank of India and ICICI Bank dropped nearly 1 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.

HDFC Bank closed 1.7 percent lower, ahead of results that showed Decmber quarter net profit rose a third from year ago.

Sterlite Industries tumbled 5.3 percent after an arbitration panel ruled against the non-ferrous metal producer's call option to buy the remaining 49 percent in Bharat Aluminium Co.

Outsourcers Infosys Technologies and Wipro fell 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, while sector leader Tata Consultancy Services rose 0.6 percent higher.

World stocks as measured by MSCI and emerging markets index were up 0.1 percent each by 1037 GMT.


* Atlas Copco jumped 13.9 percent to 2,129.65 rupees after the industrial and construction equipment maker raised its offer price to delist the company from the Indian bourses to 2,250 rupees from 1,426 rupees.

* JSW Steel slid 5 percent to 965.60 rupees, as the No. 3 Indian steelmaker said its October-December net profit fell by 32 percent.

* SpiceJet fell 7.4 percent to 68.70 rupees after the carrier reported a 14 percent decline in quarterly profit.

* Media firm UTV Software Communications firmed 2 percent to 533.95 rupees after its third-quarter profit rose 6 percent, as the gaming and television businesses boosted revenue.

* Personal care products maker Marico gained 2.5 percent to 127.65 rupees after it posted a forecast-beating 12 percent jump in December-quarter net profit as volume growth steered earnings.


* Midvalley Entertainment on 33.9 million shares

* C Mahendra on nearly 7 million shares

* Ispat Industries on 5.1 million shares

Sunday, January 23, 2011

News briefs...

* India tops global consumer confidence survey - Nielsen Reuters

* UBS upbeat on China, MidEast, warming to Europe - Reuters

* Inflation fears drive Asia stock reallocation, but not exit - Reuters

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Asian stocks posted their worst weekly performance in nearly two months

Asian stocks posted their worst weekly performance in nearly two months as rising inflation within the region increased the risks of aggressive policy action and hurt growth in the world's engines such as China and India.

Investors have been reluctant to add positions in emerging market stocks and bonds so far this year after record inflows in 2010 due to concerns that policy inertia may put growth-focused authorities behind the curve in fighting price pressures.

Foreigners have rotated funds out of high inflation risk economies such as Indonesia and into developed markets such as Japan this year and inflows into emerging market local currency bond funds, a favorite last year, have slowed considerably.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, December 25, 2010

BSE Sensex seen rising 20% by end-2011: Poll

The sensex will rise to 23,350 by end-2011 from close of 19,696.48 on December 8, according to the median response in a poll taken from 18 market participants, which include investment banks and brokerage firms.

Friday, December 24, 2010

World stocks set for best Dec performance in a decade

World stocks clung near two-year peaks while oil rose towards the $92 per barrel mark this week after yet another burst of strong economic figures from the United States encouraged some year-end buying.

The latest rally in major European and U.S. stock indices has given investors the biggest December gains in more than a decade.

Expectations of strong U.S. fourth quarter performance was further cemented by latest data which showed demand for durable goods rising and consumer spending picking up.

A slew of strong numbers coming out of the world's biggest economy in recent weeks has given global growth bulls another reason to cheer and boosted commodities and stocks.

Reflecting that growing optimism, the Asia Pacific-ex Japan shares for energy shares advanced slightly while other indexes were broadly flat to slightly lower.

Trading was thin and prices confined in narrow ranges in Asia, with many centers on holiday in thin year-end markets. U.S markets are also shut along with many European centers.

World stocks as measured by the MSCI extended gains by nearly 6.5 percent so far this month while the Asia-Pacific version was largely unchanged.

"In the U.S., fears of a double dip recession have receded considerably with the extension of tax relief agreed in December and a second round of quantitative easing in November," Fitch Ratings said.

" High frequency activity has also turned more positive, reflecting strength in private consumption and corporate profitability."

That has made investors more sanguine towards developed markets.

Latest EPFR data showed developed markets equity funds posted their longest fund inflow streak since the fourth quarter of 2009 at the expense of emerging markets equity funds.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Investors enter 2011 in bullish mood - Reuters poll

Investors are entering 2011 in a relatively bullish mood, raising equity holdings to a 10-month high, increasing exposure to high-yield credit and cutting back on government debt, Reuters polls showed yesterday.

Within bond portfolios, however, concern about the cost of U.S. Treasuries and the stability of euro zone debt, did not show up dramatically.

Allocations to emerging market debt were cut instead.

Surveys of 55 leading investment houses in the United States, Europe ex UK, Japan and Britain showed investors holding 54.1 percent of a typical mixed-asset portfolio in stocks in December.

That was up from 53.2 percent in November and the highest since 55.4 percent in February.
Bonds were cut to 33.9 percent, the lowest since February, from 34.2 percent in November. Cash was at 3.9 percent, down from 4.6 percent.

A combination of improving economic data and a belief in future, robust, corporate earnings has lifted investor appetite for equities over the past few months. The MSCI all-country world stock index was flirting yesterday with levels last seen in September 2008.

"People are coming off the sidelines and buying stocks," said Keith Wirtz, president and chief investment officer at Fifth Third Asset Management in Cincinnati.

There was also sign of risk appetite in an increased exposure to riskier, higher yield bonds.
At the same time concerns have risen that yields on benchmarket government bonds are too low, providing little return and threatening a sell-off.

Investors in the Reuters polls did cut back overall exposure to bonds. But when it came to the money left for bonds they favoured U.S. and euro zone government debt over most emerging markets, which have been very popular this year.

Exposure to emerging market debt was 8.1 percent of a bond portfolio for the month, compared with 9.6 percent a month earlier.

Investors also regained some composure about euro zone government bonds following the crisis over Ireland's debt. They raised exposure within a bond portfolio to 31.5 percent from 31.2 percent, although these numbers remain well below the more than 42 percent seen at the beginning of 2010.


U.S. fund managers built up their equity holdings in December to one of the highest points this year on signs of a swifter economic recovery.

The poll, which surveyed 13 U.S.-based fund management companies, showed firms boosting their equity allocations for the fourth month in a row to an average of 65.0 percent, two percentage points over November.

The Reuters poll also showed money managers scaling back their exposure to bonds for a fourth consecutive month, to 27.9 percent of their portfolios in December, compared with 30.2 percent last month.

Japanese fund managers held on to most of their global stock weighting in the month and raised their bond allocation to the highest level since September on the view that recent falls in bond prices were overdone.

The 13 respondents also lowered their cash position to the lowest level in more than a year.
Asset managers' average weighting for global equities in the Japanese poll fell only 0.1 percentage point from the previous month to 47.1 percent. The weighting for bonds rose to 48.3 percent in December from 46.9 percent last month.

European fund managers lifted equity holdings to a 11-month high and also boosted bonds.

The survey of 17 Europe-based asset management firms outside Britain released showed a typical mixed portfolio holding 50.1 percent in equities this month, compared with 49.6 percent in November.

It held 37.5 percent in bonds including government and corporate debt, compared with 37.3 percent last month. Cash holdings fell to 5.3 percent from 6.1 percent, hitting their lowest level since January.

British fund managers increased their exposure to equities, particularly domestic UK stocks, and cut back on bonds.

The survey of 12 investment managers showed the average allocation to global equities climbed to 54.2 percent from 52.8 percent.

Bond holdings dropped to 22.0 percent from 22.5 percent.

Exposure to UK stocks within equities jumped to 16.3 percent from 12.6 percent in November.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The blind investment banker with a vision....

Breaking records has been a way of life for this 30-year-old banker from Mumbai -- be it in life, at work or in sports. But he is a trader with a difference.

Ashish Goyal works for J P Morgan Chase as a chief investment officer and is passionate about macroeconomics and the financial markets. And Mr Goyal is blind.

A New York Times article says looking at Ashish work one can hardly figure out that he is visually impaired - the speed and accuracy with which he manages billions of dollars of the bank's exposure to risks like foreign exchange fluctuations.

Outside his official assignment, Ashish represented the Metro London Sports Club in 2009 in the United Kingdom's domestic blind cricket league. In his very first year, he became a prominent member of the team contributing to winning the UK league. His friends find it difficult to keep pace with his social life that ranges from theatre, music, charity work to Formula F1, tennis and globetrotting to 'watching' cricket matches.

Ashish, who was born with perfect vision, suffers from a disease called retinitis pigmentosa, which robbed him of his sight after the age of 15. He did not lose his vision at one go, but gradually went blind over a period of three years. By 18, he couldn't see anything at all.

He was the first blind student to make it to Wharton Business School, Philadelphia, four years ago. If that isn't enough, Ashish cleared his MBA with honours and went on to win the Joseph P Wharton award, given to one student every year who symbolizes Wharton's way of life.
Ashish, who now lives in London, is the first blind trader at J P Morgan, and possibly in any bank anywhere in the world. His near-impossible feat has earned him the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, 2010, an honour that he will receive at the hands of the President of India this week.

Ironically, while Ashish will return to India to receive his award, this country has been a trifle hostile to him during his first attempt at entering the job market. He had a tough time getting a job in India, despite securing a second rank in his batch while doing an MBA at NMIMS.

Friday, October 22, 2010