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Panics, Taxes and Startup Gyan


I wake up way too early, following stringent baby-care regulation that parents should get little or no sleep, and find some time to write in. I’ve been in and out of news, as worldwide, investors and traders participate in the markets with a “WTF” expression.

I watched the action in the last four days entirely on my GPRS connection on the mobile phone, maybe once an hour or lesser. The decreased frequency always changes attitude; when you don’t have instant data to react to, you can sit back and think about larger trends, not smaller ones. Certain things that have passed my mind.

What happened to Dubai, Ireland and Iceland? I don’t have the answer, but at the time each of these countries were in a financial crisis the world shuddered and shivered and all that. When Dubai World threatened to partially default, I even wrote a post about the panic it caused. Yet, they’re not mainstream conversation today, even if they’re not entirely out of the woods yet.

But the main point is: look how short-term the panic thinking is, in general. For every Lehman, there are many other panic creators that promise a world wide breakdown of the financial system, and yet, nothing big happens. Like they say, economists have predicted eight of the last three recessions – markets have expected 100 of the last two.

Having said that, the real impact of the globalization of finance might be that these three are just pieces of a much larger crisis, that’s starting to unwind with Europe and the US today. Still, much of the panic at the time wasn’t about a small fall, it was about how that particular news event would destroy the world. Which hasn’t happened (yet).

Where are our taxes?

The central government revenues show a sorry state of affairs:


Yes, the non-tax revenues are lower because the 3G and BWA auctions got the government 100,000 cr. last year, but even after removing that, the increase is tiny.

Taxes are up just 1.1%.

Our fiscal deficit – till July – is 228,000 cr; compare that to the total deficit last year of 369,000 cr. (till March).

What’s with all the startup gyan?

My twitter feed and now my email is full of random events and webinars and seminars and long articles about the startup “ecosystem” in India. We need some evangelism for sure, to help people understand the niceties of starting up, funding opportunities, networking and generic feel-good publicity.

But recently, I see that the people building an “ecosystem” are getting much louder than the startups themselves. There are few exits to speak about – I will do an article about this someday – and because that is so discouraging, the startup “enablers” talk about other things like how you should conserve money as a startup. Duh. Anyone who has started up knows this from day one, unless they had way too much money to bother.

You need depth for the gyan, like Paul Graham or VentureHacks. And of course, like these guys, you need to participate in the startup story and make big money, otherwise it’s not really inspiring.


That ends my disconnected post. I’ll come back with more. Main programming is paused for the time being.


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