December ’18

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Klips for 1st Dec

Global 🌍

Ebola outbreak in East Congo world’s 2nd biggest

– 426 confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported

Marriott says Starwood database hacked, data of 500mn+ customers breached

– For atleast 327mn accounts, data such as Passport details, email mailing addresses were breached

– This is one of the biggest personal database breaches, 2nd only to Yahoo’s (3bn accounts hacked)

BQ: http://bit.ly/2BKsTdK

Economy and Business 💰

GDP Growth slows to 7.1% in Q2 on back of weak consumer spending

– At the same time, unemployment was at 2 yr high in Oct (6.9%)

– Also the fiscal deficit exceeded the full year target

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2rdn6r7

#Govt doesn’t report unemployment data, this is as per CMIE

SoftBank skips price range for IPO, sets $21bn as target

– As per analysts this shows that the company is confident of commanding a certain share price (1500 yen)

BQ: http://bit.ly/2BKsTdK

Tech 🖥 📱

Instagram adds ‘Close Friends’ feature to Stories

– This makes it more usable for people who are migrating from Facebook

– Friends won’t know they have been added to your list, nor can they request you to.

Verge: http://bit.ly/2rfcbgE

Sport ⚽️

Force India name disappears from F1

– The team will be called Racing Point F1 from next year

Op-Ed 📝

Opinion: The Death Debate: On Justice Joseph’s views on capital punishment

In a recent verdict on the constitutional validity of the death penalty, Justice Joseph voted for abolishment of capital punishment.

The time appears right to debate the matter in a logical way especially given the arbitrary nature in which it is applied, says The Hindu

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2rcIegS

Interesting: Rajinikanth’s 2.0 Fails on the Science, But Stuns on Imagery

One does not expect a Rajnikant movie to be about science. But when such a mass medium of communication makes claims, it’s but obvious that the ‘junta’ will lap it up. And that’s the danger with 2.0: it tries to be scientific but is not

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2rggZSA


Klips for 3rd Dec

Global 🌍

US-China agree on trade war ceasefire

– The agreement came after a summit between Trump and Xi held in Argentina (G20)

– Trump has agreed not to raise tariffs to 25% on existing goods

– In return China will try and reduce the trade imbalance by purchasing ‘agriculture products’ from US farmers

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2E9TJyq

Protesters deface Arc de Triomphe, Macron visits site

– The protestors, now known as Gilet Jaune or Yellow vests, are protesting the increase in diesel fuel prices and green taxes

– The movement has spread to Belgium as well

More on Gilet Jaune: http://bit.ly/2So244r

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2SomIkY

National 🇮🇳

Twitter explodes over firecrackers at Priyanka Chopra’s wedding

– Priyanka had urged fans not to use crackers during Diwali to limit pollution

– Yet crackers were used in abundance at the Umaid Palace during her wedding

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SoVoTS

Parsis to approach SC requesting reconfiguration of tunnel work for Mumbai Metro

– The Parsis are requesting that due care be taken while tunnelling work is done under 2 prominent Parsi temples

– Haphazard work on the Mumbai Metro has made Mumbai’s prominent areas such as Mahim Causeway into dustbowls (1st hand account)

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2Soy7Bd

Economy and Business 💰

ATF cut by upto 11%, relief for airlines

– Airlines had ‘collectively’ increased fares for prominent routes as the govt decided not to cut ATF prices for almost a month

– While the cut is immediate, air fares continue to be higher than their average

#Backstory on this shortly

Op-Ed 📝

Opinion: Why India’s Airlines Struggle to Take Off

In a nicely presented article, the author tries to understand why in a sector that is growing consistently at 15-20%, companies in it struggle.

The answer is true not just for airlines but our country as a whole

BQ: http://bit.ly/2EbgzW6

Interesting: WhatsApp Seeks RBI Nod To Expand Payment Services To All Users

The feature which has now been tested by 1mn+ users was opposed by Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar which forced govt (RBI) intervention. In the meanwhile Paytm has gone out and built (and heavily advertised) it’s own UPI money transfer feature.

BQ: http://bit.ly/2SkDGRk


Klips for 4th Dec

Global 🌍

Qatar exits OPEC, says it will focus on LPG

– Although a very small oil producer, Qatar’s exits shows the significant shift in power

– Saudi Arabia, Russia and US now pretty much control oil prices, with other countries tagging along

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2QABJD1

National 🇮🇳

Violence erupts again in UP (Bulandshahr) over alleged cow slaughter, cop killed

– What’s interesting is that Muslims are traveling to Bulandshahr for a religious gathering and many temples have opened their doors to travellers

– Right winged Hindus have used the issue to polarise Hindus and Muslims

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2DYAYgk

Economy and Business 💰

Unilever buys GSK for $3.8bn

Details (Bloomberg): https://bloom.bg/2E0odBO

‘Tech Snag’ forces HDFC Bank to pull down its ‘new’ app

– Sachin Bansal (Ex Flipkart), an HDFC customer, voiced his grievance on Twitter: ‘In this day and age, how can the largest private bank of India do this?!’

– What’s ironic is that the app was launched when usage goes up (end of the month when salaries get credited)

BQ: http://bit.ly/2E13Tk3

NGT fines Delhi govt Rs 25cr for failing to address air pollution complaint

– The complaint was filed by two Delhi residents

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2QAE0OG

Tech 🖥 📱

Quora faces data breach affecting 100mn users

– Data such as name, email,, encrypted password and imported data from connected accounts has been breached

– However the company says data on Anonymous questions has not been breached

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Qskcgr

Sport ⚽️

Croatia and Real Madrid’s Luka Morris wins Ballon d’Or ending Messi-Ronaldo dominance

Op-Ed 📝

Interesting: Earn after reading: China news app lures with clickbait and cash

In an interesting twist to the business model of news, Chinese app makers are paying users to read gossipy articles. A strategy that isn’t sustainable, but something that definitely interesting

https://reut.rs/2E10DF1


Klips for 5th Dec

Global 🌍

Macron suspends fuel tax increase by 6 months

– This is after nationwide protests by the ‘Gilet Jaune’

National 🇮🇳

UP violence: Slain cop’s sister calls killing a ‘Police Conspiracy’

– The police officer killed in the violence was an investigating officer of a previous such incident

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2DYAYgk

Economy and Business 💰

IL&FS to cut 65% jobs as cleanup begins

– The aim is to reduce the wage bill (Rs 1066cr) by half

– Meanwhile, the erstwhile CEO who quietly exited just before IL&FS’ collapse, faces no action

Other small measures (BQ): http://bit.ly/2SsMRiM

SEBI Panel pitches for direct overseas listing

– This will allow ‘Indian Startups’ like Ola, Paytm to ‘unlock market value’ without having to list in India first

– While this sounds great, it’s a clear sign that investors want to cash in on their bets

– This trend has led to collapse of several Chinese companies previously

Watch documentary: The China Hustle (trailer: http://bit.ly/2Ecmjzd)

BQ: http://bit.ly/2SrTRMD

Tech 🖥 📱

Apple announces its ‘Best of 2018’ list of apps, music, podcasts

Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2Sp81y2

Original lists (Apple):https://apple.co/2SvBBC9

Op-Ed 📝

Opinion: A moving menace – On mob violence

The author questions why is it that while it’s obvious who the true perpetrators of mob violence, such as the one seen Bulandshahr, are, they seem to enjoy impunity from the state. Even in this incident an FIR on cow slaughter has been registered against some Muslims while a parallel investigation goes on into the mob violence.

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2Ss9aoE

Opinion: Apple Has Been Reduced to (Gasp!) Salesmanship

Apple is trying harder than ever to sell its iPhones. While there is nothing wrong with it, as the author beautifully puts, ‘Apple is like that much-talked-about beautiful duck hanging out on a pond in New York’s Central Park. On the surface it looks as if it’s gliding effortlessly, but beneath the surface its legs are paddling like mad’

BQ: http://bit.ly/2SrUc1R


Klips for 6th Dec

National 🇮🇳

Aadhaar holders will be able to opt out

– This follows the SC ruling which struck down clauses where Aadhaar linkage with mobile and bank accounts was made mandatory

– The SC termed this as unconstitutional

– However, only those who do not hold a PAN are likely to benefit as the court upheld linking of PAN with Aadhaar

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2EfvBuc

Economy and Business 💰

RBI keeps interest rates unchanged, as per expectations

– The Governor steered clear of questions related to the rift between the RBI and govt

– Said that will reduce SLR from next year to ease lending

Tech 🖥 📱

Zomato acquires drone delivery startup

– The company is likely to use drones for last mile delivery

– The timing is in sync with the ‘launch’ of India’s drone policy by the Civil Aviation Ministry (digitalsky)

Digital Sky website: https://digitalsky.dgca.gov.in/

BQ: http://bit.ly/2SwvP2Z

FB gave preferential data access to Netflix, Airbnb, while blocking others

– This also means that FB selectively blocked it competitors from getting user data

– Documents reveal that Zuckerberg and Sandberg debated if they could sell the data to ‘whitelisted’ companies

– This issue dates back to 2015

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Ehl2qB

Sport ⚽️

India take on Australia in test series down under

Op-Ed 📝

Opinion: Why social media can’t start great revolutions

In a very well thought out article, the author tries to explain why true societal change can not be brought about by sitting in the comfort of one’s home, typing away 140 characters. Definitely worth a read

Livemint: http://bit.ly/2SySV9t


Klips for 7th Dec

Global 🌍

Oil prices fall 3%, Dow Jones loses 400pts, Sensex down 1.6%

– OPEC was to bring in supply cuts, but has delayed the decision

– It is said that they are waiting for non-OPEC countries (aka Russia) to agree to the cuts

– This shows a power shift as oil prices are now largely controlled by Saudi Arabia, US and Russia

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2PnuJEJ

Top Huawei executive arrested on US request in Canada

– Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and also its CTO

– While details are sketchy, it is said the Meng was arrested as Huawei tried to sell equipment to Iran’s top telco through a HK operator

– The arrest which took place just days before Trump and Xi met at G20 could jeopardise the trade war truce

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2zG0nZl

National 🇮🇳

SC asks CVC why it stripped CBI Director of his powers overnight

– The bench comprising Chief Justice Gogoi also questioned CVC why it did not approach the PM led committee before deciding

– The Director is appointed by a committee comprising the PM, CJI and Leader of Opposition

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2Pnxjup

Economy and Business 💰

Govt ‘mops up’ Rs 11000cr in REC stake sale to Power Finance Corp

– The deal is similar to the one done between HPCL and ONGC

– Despite these the govt is short of its budgeted divestment target of Rs 80000

– The govt has already exceeded its own fiscal deficit target

BQ: http://bit.ly/2PkUplH

Piyush Pandey elevated as Global Chief Creative Officer by Ogilvy

– The ad veteran has been with the company since 1982 and created iconic ads for Cadbury, Fevicol, Asian Paints etc

Tech 🖥 📱

Lyft files IPO papers with SEC

– Was last valued at $15bn

Op-Ed 📝

Putin’s Saudi Bromance Is Part of a Bigger Plan

A nice discourse on the political alignments and how they are shifting based on ideologies. Most importantly it shows why Russia has now emerged as a key ally to Saudi Arabia. Worth a scan

Bloomberg: http://bit.ly/2zKT1E2


Klips for 8th Dec

Global 🌍

Russia agrees with OPEC, to reduce oil supply

– Combined cut is more than market expectation, oil jumps 5%

National 🇮🇳

Exit polls show Congress ahead in Raj, close fight in MP and Chhattisgarh, TRS to storm through in Telangana

– The final results will be declared on Tuesday 11th Dec

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SFOFFh

India finally appoints CEA

– Krishnamurthy Subramaniam, 47, appointed as new CEA

– Subramaniam is an Associate professor at ISB Hyderabad and specialises in banking reforms

– The last CEA quit in June

BQ: http://bit.ly/2SByuJ4

Economy and Business 💰

Uber confidentially files for IPO: sources

– This follows just a day after Lyft filed papers with SEC

– Uber’s IPO, likely to be valued at $100-120bn will be one of the biggest tech listings ever

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2QF1UZb

HCL tumbles 7% after buying legacy business from IBM

– The deal is valued at $1.5bn

– Analysts said the deal did not make much sense for HCL as it already has a partnership with IBM

– IBM meanwhile is looking to move away from its legacy business to cloud solutions

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2L3CrTX

Op-Ed 📝

Interesting: Onion price volatility – From Rs 12 to 50p

The Wire does an excellent job of putting in the numbers to show the immense volatility in Onion prices. Also it highlights that while the govt reacts immediately to price jumps in Onion it does nothing when prices fall below price of production

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2QLaiX4

Opinion: Mark Zuckerberg Is More Ruthless Than Clueless

Bloomberg takes a hard look at who Zuckerberg really is? A sound technocrat who created something so big out of his dorm room and had little clue of its negative impacts, or a ruthless and calculating businessman

BQ: http://bit.ly/2QIaKp7


Klips for 10th Dec

National 🇮🇳

In Bulandshahr, Where Yogi Sees ‘Accident’, Locals See Conspiracy

– Locals say mob violence was planned to turn ‘Jats against Muslims’

– The UP CM, rather unsurprisingly, has termed the incident as an accident

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2QHEhzn

RSS to Govt: ‘Fulfil promise to build Ram temple’

– A rally was organised at the Ramlila Maidan to put on a ‘show of strength’

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2QNFZiu

Economy and Business 💰

Razorpay now allows lending as it expands its business

– Also creates platform called RazorpayX which will allow merchants to pay taxes easily

– Part of this is ClubX which is a community for startup Founders ‘to ask difficult questions about running a business’

– Razorpay is an online payment gateway startup incubated in Jaipur

NDTV:http://bit.ly/2QKJEOb

Sport ⚽️

Cricket: India close on first test victory in Aus

Op-Ed 📝

Current Account woes

The Current Account Deficit peaked to a 4 yr high of 2.9%. While this was lately due high oil prices, which have now abated, the article states that piece meal fixes will not work and that structural reforms are needed

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SDo8Iu


Klips for 11th Dec

Global 🌍

UK court allows Mallya’s extradition to India

– Mallya has been on bail since April last year

– Mallya has repeatedly offered to pay back the money owed by Kingfisher Airlines

– ‘Please take the money. Ihave offered to repay 100 percent of the principal amount to them. Please take it.’

BQ: http://bit.ly/2QLQPps

National 🇮🇳

RBI Governor Urjit Patel resigns

– While it seemed that a truce had set in, clearly that was not the case

– The Governor resigned with immediate effect yesterday evening after market closing. It seems the govt was unaware of his decision

– A strong reaction is expected from markets as well as the govt (as it pushes PSUs/LIC etc to curtail a fall)

Details and further reporting:

http://bit.ly/2QHh6oN (BQ)

Poll results out today

– Results for 5 state elections (MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram) will be declared today

Economy and Business 💰

Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan quits

– This follows several top level exits at parent Flipkart as well as Myntra

– Binny Bansal, one of the original founders quit in Nov

– US giant Walmart bought Flipkart for $16bn earlier this year

Livemint: http://bit.ly/2SEcdKl

Tech 🖥 📱

Google+ advances shutdown by 4 months

– The privacy bug affects 52.5mn users

– This figure was originally 500K

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2GalCIv

Op-Ed 📝

May’s Brexit Deal Is Probably Going to Fail. What Happens Then?

May’s Brexit deal is unlikely to fly and the NYT does a nice job of showing, literally, the possibilities in a flow chart. Serious stuff but also good comic relief.

NYT: https://nyti.ms/2QHxN3r


Klips for 12th Dec

Global 🌍

Jamal Khashoggi, other journalists named ‘Time Person of the Year’

– The issue cover is titled ‘The Guardians of the War on Truth’

Time: http://bit.ly/2GaVpt3

National 🇮🇳

Congress wins in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, photo finish in MP

– It’s time for change, says Rahul Gandhi in victory speech

– The results show an anticipated shift away from BJP, especially from farmers

Results from Election commission: http://eciresults.nic.in

BloombergQuint: http://bit.ly/2GcOXSC

Economy and Business 💰

Bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das appointed as new RBI Governor

– Das is a 1980 batch IAS officer and a member of the Finance Commission

BQ: http://bit.ly/2Gd6lXn

Tech 🖥 📱

Google: no plans to launch search in China

– Pichai was addressing a Congressional hearing investigating Google’s role in affecting poll outcomes

– Pichai said that while Google has been studying on what search could look like in China it has no plans to launch soon

– China represents the biggest market in terms of smartphone users and Google is largely locked out

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2rzgvr7

BYJU’s gets $400mn in additional funding, now worth $3.8bn

– The online learning platform is now the 4th most valuable startup in India, following Paytm, Oyo and Ola

Op-Ed 📝

Interesting: Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

We all know the apps that use our location, help enhance our experience. However, what’s come to light through an NYT report is that many apps sell this location data (without users being told first), and that ‘anonymity’ then becomes a myth. The article does an excellent visual representation of how people are uniquely tracked, literally

NYT: https://nyti.ms/2GnO4Xx

Northern comfort: on Congress’s win in the Hindu heartland

A well rounded article that reflects of Congress victories in 3 heartland states. Nothing new but everything that is of importance is covered

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2ryJo6K


Klips for 13th Dec

Global 🌍

Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, handed 3 year jail term

– Cohen had ‘spilled the beans’ on Trump’s deeds

– However he did not get the leniency he had hoped for

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2LdTAKX

Economy and Business 💰

Inflation cools: CPI at 17 month low

– This is because food prices continued to decline due to lower oil prices

– The CPI fell to 2.61% in Nov

– Interestingly Rural inflation is a 1.8% vs urban inflation which is at 3.2%

BQ: http://bit.ly/2LdSAqb

*CPI: Consumer Price Index

SEBI allows MFs to separate out bad assets in portfolios

– The move comes on the back of MFs purchasing heavily into NBFCs

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2LeA9Sm

Op-Ed 📝

Opinion: This election loss has 10 lessons. BJP can choose to learn them or kiss 2019 goodbye

In a precise and to-the-point piece by Shekhar Gupta, the author shares his views on what BJP can learn from the state election results. He rounds off by saying, ‘a loser usually learns more from a loss than the winner from a victory’

The Print: http://bit.ly/2LeDUHt

Interesting: ‘How to send stickers on WhatsApp’ and more in Google’s year in search 2018 list

An interesting list to spot trends from last year based on what people were searching. The FIFA WC topped the list of all searches. Worth a ‘dekho’

Google: http://bit.ly/2Ldgpyo


Klips for 14th Dec

Global 🌍

Virgin Galactic completes manned test flight to space and back

– This marks a significant landmark in civilian space travel

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2LfZrPQ

National 🇮🇳

SC to announce verdict on Rafael deal today

– The SC was probing into alleged irregularities in the deal

Economy and Business 💰

IOC announces biggest dividend plus buyback

– The buyback is at a 9% premium and the dividend is Rs 6.75 /share, the total cost of this is Rs 12321cr

– The govt, which is trying hard to shore up revenues to reduce the fiscal slippage, is the biggest beneficiary

– The move will likely wipe out all of IOC’s cash balances

BQ: http://bit.ly/2rBnWOu

Yes Bank yet to select new CEO, says will only be able to do so after 9th Jan

– Stock falls 7%

– A number of Yes Bank’s board members have resigned and very publicly expressed their displeasure at the bank’s corporate governance practices

– The RBI has set a deadline 1st Feb for appointment of a new CEO

BQ: http://bit.ly/2rC34q8

TDSAT sets aside predatory pricing clauses

– The original order by TRAI favoured Jio in its definition of significant market player (SMP)

– The tribunal said that TRAI’s order ‘does not show application of mind to relevant data, facts and figures’

BQ: http://bit.ly/2LieGb1

*TDSAT: Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal

Tech 🖥 📱

Delhi HC orders stay on online sale of drugs and prescribed medicines

– The sector has recently seen interest from investors although regulations are hazy, if at all present

– The govt was to table a draft policy for e-sale of drugs in Jan

– The court will next hear the matter on 25th March

Quartz: http://bit.ly/2GfDPUY

Op-Ed 📝

Interesting: Google launches Shopping Tab in search

While presently Google is only aggregating content from Amazon, Flipkart etc, it has provisions for merchant listing. Google searches contribute significantly to ecomm product sales

BQ: http://bit.ly/2LgQ0zR

Opinion: Idyllic no more

Goa was once treasured as an idyllic getaway place to seek solitude. But that’s no longer the case. The author laments loss of this once peaceful land and says that solitude and simplicity do not spring from a place but from a state of mind.

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2LeehGx


Klips for 15th Dec

Global 🌍

Johnson&Johnson shares fall on reports that it knew of asbestos in baby powder

– The Reuters report has found that the company was aware of presence of asbestos as early as 1971

– Shares fell more than 10% which represents the biggest fall in 16yr for the stock, wiping out $40bn in value

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2PDLH1R

National 🇮🇳

Gadkari says ‘Mallya ji’ not a wilful defaulter

Says Mallya has been a taxpayer for 40yr and it was business turmoil that caused him to flee

While on technicalities this may not be wrong, however the statement is in poor taste, especially coming from a Union Minister

Mallya owes banks and businesses in excess of Rs 9000cr

BQ: http://bit.ly/2Ll6uqI

Economy and Business 💰

Raghuram Rajan and 12 others release ‘Agenda’ on how India can grow better

– The document, a 12 page report, is titled ‘An Economic Agenda for India’ and is aimed at ‘spurring debate and discussion’

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2CcPNL9

Tech 🖥 📱

In another leak, 6.8mn FB users’ unposted photos exposed to 3rd party app makers

– While leaks can happen, FB’s glib and generic apology statement of ‘We are sorry’ clearly is not acceptable

Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2zW13da

Op-Ed 📝

SC verdict on Rafale deal probe leaves some unanswered questions

The Wire puts across 9 questions that go unanswered in the SC verdict, which in effect has tried not to get involved in the quagmire. What’s interesting is that similar questions were asked by the CJI during the hearings yet the SC said there was no ‘occasion to really doubt’ the decision-making process.

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2LftiYE

Negative signals: on falling inflation rates

While low inflation might seem like a good thing, too low an inflation, especially in food, impacts the farmer directly. The promise of loan waivers even in the recent elections will not solve farmers issues and true agricultural reform is needed if farmers are to make their own business decisions ‘without grabbing the govt’s hand’

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2Ge3E7F


Klips for 17th Dec

Global 🌍

SL’s former PM, Ranil Wicremesinghe reinstated

– Mahinda Rajkapsa lost a floor test which meant had to be sworn in again

– This hopefully ends a long drawn out political saga in SL

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2S49c6n

Economy and Business 💰

Vedanta given go ahead by NGT to restart copper smelter plant

– This comes after a Panel also recommended restarting the plant

– In May this year the TN govt forced closure of the plant after 13 ppl were killed in anti-pollution protests

BQ: http://bit.ly/2S6NVZC

Tech 🖥 📱

HQ Trivia app co-founder found dead

– Kolin Kroll was 34 and was also the founder of Vine, which was bought by Twitter

– Drugs were found on the premise, but the cause of death remains to be ascertained

BQ: http://bit.ly/2A3JiZA

Sport ⚽️

PV Sindhu wins World Tour Finals

– The victory comes after 7 consecutive losses in finals, beating Japan’s Okuhara

Op-Ed 📝

The Best Books of 2018

Business leaders from Satya Nadella to Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber CEO) and more recommend their best reads of 2018

BQ: http://bit.ly/2A3KhZI

China’s $856 Billion Startup Juggernaut Is Getting Stuck

China’s ‘guidance funds’ dwarf Masayoshi Son’s much publicised Vision Fund. However, this funding too is seeing cracks as China’s growth begins to slow. No wonder then that ‘hot startups’ abroad (read India) now seem attractive to these funds

BQ: http://bit.ly/2A3LnVk


Klips for 18th Dec

Global 🌍

US Oil prices fall below $50 on oversupply, Brent crude at $57

– Prices are at their lowest since Oct ‘17

– As before, domestic fuel prices do not match this trend

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2A1bY59

National 🇮🇳

Govt to amend acts to enable Aadhaar for SIM, Banks KYC

– The govt will amend the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to make provision for Aadhaar

– The usage of Aadhaar in these cases will be voluntary

BQ: http://bit.ly/2S6uBvK

Tech 🖥 📱

Ola to invest $100mn in scooter sharing startup Vigo

After Amazon, Google to now invest $1bn in NY campus

– The campus will be 1.7mn sqft and will house 12000 new workers

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2S7YRGC

Sport ⚽️

Jose Mourinho leaves Man U after poor start to season

Op-Ed 📝

Interesting: Millennials Don’t Want to Smell Like Celebs Anymore

Perfumes seem to have missed out on the Instagram driven make-up boom. While premium perfumes, pushed by celebs seem to have lost their ‘lasting’, cheaper alternatives like Primark are smelling good. You can’t smell selfies, can you?

Bloomberg: http://bit.ly/2S8VeAa

Opinion: On NOTA

While it is being said that NOTA has gained significance in this elections as compared to the last ones, is that really the case? In many constituencies the NOTA vote share was more than margin of victory prompting political parties to make NOTA a scapegoat for defeat.The article tries to find some truth in the issue, objectively.Hindu: http://bit.ly/2SduNJP


Klips for 19th Dec

National 🇮🇳

Rahul Gandhi promises nationwide farm loan waivers in 2019

– Says about Modi: ‘for the last four years he has not waived even a rupee of farm debt’

– Also adds that his party ‘will not let PM Modi rest’

Livemint: http://bit.ly/2Gpaw2g

Economy and Business 💰

SoftBank stock crashes 12% immediately after listing

– While media is now reporting that this is due to recent network outages, there can be a case where the stock price was inflated to begin with

– A large % of retail investors bought into the stock

– As reported in Klips, SoftBank took a different approach to listing , skipping the price range approach, instead listing at a single price to garner $21bn (BQ: http://bit.ly/2KNeXlS)

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2R46fpb

Tech 🖥 📱

Twitter adds some ‘Sparkle’ to unhindered algorithmic feed

– This will allow users to read tweets in a reverse chronological manner (latest first)

– While the move has been long asked for, an algorithmic feed has given Twitter better engagement and revenue numbers

Techcrunch: https://tcrn.ch/2R2omeX

Op-Ed 📝

‘No question of going back to paper ballot’

A frank and ‘from the heart’ interview with the former CEC, SY Quraishi. Worth a scan

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2Gvavdb

Interesting: FB, Twitter, Youtube withheld data on Russian interference in elections

What has come to light is that the extent of Russia’s interference was far greater than originally thought. But what’s worse is that ‘tech giants’ withheld this information, even after being asked for it by lawmakers, either knowingly or unknowingly.

NYT: https://nyti.ms/2R72gbg


Klips for 20th Dec

Global 🌍

US Fed increases interest rates

– Sticks to its earlier announced rate hike plans despite Trump’s appeals and ‘statements’ on Twitter

– This indicates a strengthening of the US economy

– Even so US stocks reacted negatively, a trend that other markets are likely to follow

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2CmgBs8

Economy and Business 💰

Startup Founders raise concerns about Angel Tax

– The govt in a sudden move to shore up reserves has become over zealous and has issued notices to Startups to pay tax on Angel funds

– What’s worrisome is levying of this tax is ‘at the discretion of the assessment officer’

BQ: http://bit.ly/2SUT9Yu

Tech 🖥 📱

Musk unveils Boring company tunnel in LA

– Free rides were offered as part of the launch on the 1.8km stretch

– The plan is move cars at high speeds through these tunnels via carts

Reuters: https://reut.rs/2T5QGuD

Op-Ed 📝

How Delhi has become a Shadow of its old self

A beautifully written article about the lost city that is Delhi: both in terms of the impact of pollution and its institutions

Worth a read especially if you are from Delhi

Hindu: http://bit.ly/2T0jK6q

Here are 15 Questions for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, If He Will Ever Face Them

We all know these issues but what Manmohan Singh’s recent statement brings out is that our PM refuses to speak on them, even to the media, something that he never shied away from

The Wire: http://bit.ly/2CnCWWf

Klips for 21st Dec

Global 🌍
Drones bring London’s Gatwick airport to a halt
– All flights were cancelled and troops had to be brought in as authorities and police were unable to stop the drones
– Every time the runway was being reopened, the drones would reappear
– In UK drones are banned within 1km of an airport
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2rPpNzk

National 🇮🇳
Govt seeks Parliament approval for Rs 2300cr equity infusion in Air India
– The govt has been unable to divest its stake in the ailing airline
– An effort to sell 76% stake saw no bidders
– Air India’s total debt is as such not known, but figures say it’s in the range of Rs 55,000cr
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2LrsvEe

83 retired civilian servants come together to demand Yogi’s resignation
– This follows loose statements and acts by the UP CM in the Bulandshahr mob violence
– While 2 have been arrested for ‘killing a cow’ the more serious issue of Subodh Kumar’s killing has been termed by Yogi as an accident and not investigated
– What is clear is that the killing was planned, since Kumar was the investigating officer in a previous such incident too
BQ: http://bit.ly/2LuePIG

Economy and Business 💰
E-cigarettes startup Juul’s valuation hits $38bn after stake sale
– Altria, a conglomerate in the cigarettes business bought 35% stake in Juul for $12.8bn
– Juul has been popular amongst teens raising concerns amongst US health officials about vaping (the practice of inhaling and exhaling vapours produced by an e-cigarette)
Verge: http://bit.ly/2LuxiVc

Tech 🖥 📱
Swiggy raises $1bn from Tencent and others
– Tencent is a new investor in Swiggy, joining Naspers
BQ: http://bit.ly/2rLU0PG

Op-Ed 📝
Opinion: India’s 1st step towards EVs raises concerns too
In a recent policy announcement on charging stations some positive moves have been made. However, larger concerns related to standards, incentives for land and the possible duty on traditional vehicles to fund these are areas of concern
Livemint: http://bit.ly/2rLda8e

Interesting: SoftBank’s Biggest Backers Balk at Planned $16 Billion Acquisition of WeWork
Even Son’s biggest ‘fans’ are questioning whether a $16bn investment in a company that made losses of $2bn and whose outlook isn’t necessarily positive, makes any sense.
WSJ: http://bit.ly/2rJ3MSO