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Commentary

To Believe or Not To Believe

I got inspired by Monster.com and searched on their site for the various jobs they advertise in their TV spots.

  • Bharatnatyam dancer: No results, but there’s a part time assignment for someone with a dance background.
  • Cricket Player: You can find jobs to coach or write about cricket or join a cricket portal but no jobs for anyone that wants to play, like the guy wearing a full cricket batting outfit shown in the ads.
  • Rock Star: Zero.
  • Chef: Huge exception- lots of jobs.

So technically, you shouldn’t believe the ads. You’re probably laughing at me – who believes ads anyway? This dude is off his rocker already.

I’m also not sure how much to believe any bank’s profit and loss statements for this quarter, given that: (Economic Times)

In a bid to boost their trading books at the end of the first quarter of 2008-09, a few banks have entered into deals to sell bonds at inflated prices in end-June only to buy them back soon after to classify them as long-term investments. The sale at inflated price enables the bank to post a trading profit at the end of the quarter.

The bank that buys the bond avoids making any provision as it classifies the bond as a part of its “held to maturity” portfolio. According to RBI norms, banks do not need to make any provision for fall in market value in the case of bonds that will be held to maturity.

The bank that purchased the bond at an inflated price gets compensated by doing a similar deal with the bank which sold the bond originally. Such deals are not possible in regular government bonds which are heavily traded and, therefore, have a ready reference price. But in the case of bonds issued by state governments (known as state development loans), trading volume is thin and prices can be manipulated. These were very significant, especially in the state development loans which were auctioned in the last week of June.

Nice huh. What’s next, real estate companies selling land to each other?

This is going to be an era of disbelief. That’s why recovery takes so long; the trust takes a long time to come back.

  • tax lien properties says:

    >Well…I know its pretty difficult to believe the adds they show on the television……But sometimes such advertisements also help many in getting good jobs……I wont probably laugh on you because i personally believe that such sites can help u in fetching good jobs…..

  • Max Dama says:

    >Dear Deepak,

    The problem with that bond/earnings scam is not only the amoral bankers who try to exploit shareholders, but also the government which is so incompetant as to allow it. Not really suprising though when you consider that anyone smart enough to notice a loophole like that is also going to be smart enough to notice they can make $100,000 in a bulge bank compared to $28,000+dental working for the gov.

    Best Regards,
    Max Dama