Suit, Boot ki Sarkaars at Davos?
Prime Minister Modi has the distinct honour of addressing the 48th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 23rd at 3.45 pm IST. Prime Minister Modi's 45-minute talk is labelled as the "Opening Plenary". As an aside, the Prime Minister of Pakistan will host a press conference on January 25th and President Donald Trump will give a Special Address on January 26th.
I tried to attend Davos - a lame, last-minute try, I must admit - as a representative of kodicms. No one responded to my email, but that really may be a function of the last-minute email from me or the fact that kodicms did not pay the USD 600,000 to be a main sponsor and the USD 60,000 price of a ticket to attend Davos!
Given the prices to buy a ticket to attend Davos (hotel and air fares not included), the topic "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World" is pretty apt. And, given the use of technology and web casts (not live, I think) I feel less fractured and more shared in the future of the world, as it will be defined by the 2,500 Heads of Governments, CEOs, and movers and shakers who will attend the Woodstock of the Powerful at Davos.
The carefully curated sector participation has the largest contingent from public sector, civil society, arts, and academia - so any suggestion that it is an "exclusive club" is met with this statistic. And, in keeping with the times of perceptocracy, 7 of the 7 co-chairs at the WEF 2018 are all women. Each of the 7 women members are distinguished, very accomplished and deserving - but should one male have been included to help repair the fracture in the gender wars? Maybe Donald Trump? Or someone from the RSS? That would have been really interesting!
Capitalism gone wrong?
Maggie Thatcher, the Iron Lady of UK who led the transformation of the country from a union-bled economy to a more capitalist one, made famous the contempt for socialism with her classic and accurate remark, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money".
The mantra of free markets as a cure has been used by every leader in the US and UK since then and willingly followed by every emerging leader. Well, that free market stuff has only worked for a few. 10 years after the Great Scams By Crooked Financial Companies (wrongly referred to as the Great Financial Crisis) heralded by the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008 the results of economic development have been skewed to favor a few.
This is the direct result of the globally-adopted policy by central banks to print more money to keep interest rates low. The stated logic for this was to ensure that economies did not collapse after the Great Scam that imploded in 2008. The real reason was to rescue the financial firms that created and participated in the Great Scam. Not only did the tax payers pay the bill for the rescue of the Scam Artistes, but the low interest rate environment generated a huge surge in asset prices, mostly of equity shares, which has disproportionately benefitted the wealthier class more than the working class.
Oxfam, which describes itself as "an international confederation of 20 NGOs working with partners in over 90 countries to end the injustices that cause poverty", has an uphill battle scaling the fortresses of the rich in Davos. It's not the snipers on the rooftops they have to worry about or the 1,700 Swiss Army and Police personnel who are on duty to provide security at Davos. Rather, Oxfam has to pierce the politicians and the bureaucrats who are the protectors of the Club. For those who need an education on who guards the Club and how it works, the documentary "Saving Capitalism" is a must-see.
Rahul Gandhi, on one his rare "I-can-make-sense" moments immortalized the phrase "Boot-suit-ki-sarkaar". The "of the people, for the people, by the people" idealism has been replaced by "the man in the suit just bought a new cop from the profit he made on your jeans" realism recognized by the rock group, Traffic.
Table 1: Oxfam says the rich got really richer in 2017!
|Calendar Year||Richest 1%||Rest|
|2017 India||73% of wealth generated in 2017||670 mn Indians, 50% of population, wealth rose by 1%|
|2016 India||Held 58% of total wealth in 2016|
|2017 World||82% of wealth generated in 2017||3.7 billion people, 50% of population; wealth rose by 0%|
|2016 World||Held 50% of total wealth|
As Prime Minister Modi welcomes foreign investment into India with references to the very credible work of raising India's ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index, he will have to tackle two main issues within India which are not likely to be asked by the very polite and "I-need-a-favour-so-cannot-ask" audience at the WEF. But these questions will be asked within India as the national election nears:
- The rising inequality under his regime, and
- The rising levels of reported incidents against minorities, women, and journalists.
Suggested allocation in Quantum Mutual Funds (after keeping safe money aside)
|Quantum Long Term Equity Fund and Quantum Equity Fund of Funds||
Quantum Gold Fund
(NSE symbol: QGOLDHALF)
|Quantum Liquid Fund|
|An investment for the future and an opportunity to profit from the long term economic growth in India||A hedge against a global financial crisis and an "insurance" for your portfolio||Cash in hand for any emergency uses but should get better returns than a savings account in a bank|
|Suggested allocation||80% in total in both; Maybe 20% in QLTEF and 60% in QEFOF||20%||Keep aside money to meet your expenses for 6 months to 2 years|
|Disclaimer: Past performance may or may not be sustained in the future. Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, fluctuation in NAV's and uncertainty of dividend distributions. Please read offer documents of the relevant schemes carefully before making any investments. Click here for the detailed risk factors and statutory information"|
|Name of the Scheme||This product is suitable for investors who are seeking*||Riskometer|
|Quantum Long Term Equity Fund
(An Open-ended Equity Scheme)
Investors understand that their principal will be at Moderately High Risk
|Quantum Gold Fund
(An Open-ended Exchange Traded Fund- Gold)
|Quantum Liquid Fund
(An Open- ended Liquid Scheme)
Investors understand that their principal will be at Low risk