Chairperson of the Congress-led UPA government Sonia Gandhi (L) talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Getty Images
India does not get a lot of love compared with other Bric countries – particularly China and Brazil. As far as many western investors are concerned, it can be a protectionist, bureaucratic market with plenty of political risk.
That was certainly the mood at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles on a panel of private equity investors. David Bonderman, a founding partner of TPG Capital, put it most forthrightly:
“We stay away from places that have impossible governments and impossible tax regimes, which means Sayonara to India.”
There aren’t too many fat attendees of the the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, where I am spending a few days this week. They are mostly high achievers who are lean and mean.
Two-thirds of US adults and one in five children are overweight or obese
That is probably just as well, given what Michael Milken, the pioneer of the US high yield bond market, whose eponymous foundation runs the event, thinks about the estimated $1,000bn added annually to US healthcare costs by obesity. Read more
It will be a shame if bitter and partisan debate over whether Rupert Murdoch is “a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company” obscures the more important conclusion of the UK parliament’s culture, media and sport committee on phone-hacking: that he and his son James were wilfully blind to what was going on.
Whether BSkyB, controlled by the Murdoch-owned News Corp, is a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcasting licence is a question for Ofcom, the regulator, which has now entered an “evidence-gathering” phase of its probe.
But as even the dissenting members of the committee said on Tuesday, if the “fit person” line had been omitted from the report, they would have voted unanimously to back it, including the charge that the Murdochs oversaw a culture of wilful blindness. Read more
The 1993 invention of a high-brightness, blue, light-emitting diode, which opened the way for the now-ubiquitous white LED, is often told as a tale of against-all-odds innovation by a maverick genius. When Nichia of Japan ordered researcher Shuji Nakamura to stop the expensive work on the project it had initially funded, he ploughed on. He secretly sought patents for his breakthrough. He even triggered several explosions in his laboratory.