Monday, January 29, 2007

Key Talking points 4

Hey guys,

As I told you in my previous post that I will be in a training for almost the whole day for today and tomorrow. So the analysis of the case GD will have to wait till wednesday noon. I am also planning to do a write up on how to handle case GDs since some of you have been asking on how to start, what to do etc.

Surprised at the low participation in the recent GD. You can find it at

In the meanwhile, for the Key talking point this time, I thought I will put in some articles that you can read thru and then answer. Afterall the idea is to increase our knowledge

Note: You wud need a username and password to access NYtimes. You can use username catfundae and password catfundae

A lovely article on Road infrastructure problems in New York. Will give some ideas on solutions for superfast growing cities in India
Simple questions on this article 1. What are the ill effects of taxing people driving thru the core business areas?
2. What are the positive effects

A leader article on alternate energy issues.
A question on this article
1. How does bio fuel affect the food prices and hence inflation?

Another interesting article on Nuclear issue

Any issues, comments on the new format are welcome. Happy reading



Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Article#1

Ans to Q1.
1)The business area will have some shops & establishments in addition to offices.

Taxing customers for driving on these roads, might cause them to take their business elsewhere, unless they have very long relations with the shops. Because they would also think about how much each subsequent visit would cost them.

2)The business for the offices, & shops in these areas, might decrease a little. Since a lot of shopping is also done while walking or driving by some places.
This might result in some protests from them.

3)The real estate value of those places would decrease, for the same reasons.

Ans to Q2.
1)The pollution & congestion plaguing the business areas would decrease.

2)People would consider public transport & walking as an option to avoid the tax.

3)This alongwith some initiatives, like less tax for car with 4 people in it as opposed to 2/1, would encourage carpooling & would reduce pollution.

For Article#2
Ans for Q1.
1)Corn ethanol,which is the main proposed alternate fuel,would probably have to use a lot of corn for its generation.

Corn is a raw material used for many other food items; corn flakes, pop corn, boiled corn used in pizzas etc.

If a lot of this corn were to be prioritised for energy usage & diverted away from supply, it would drive up prices of food products using corn.

This steep rise in corn prices would affect the overall inflation.(My best guess, cant think of any other reason!)


4:22 AM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your initiative of posting articles, its an amazing idea!

It give a perspective from an analytical point of view, rather than just raw data.

Plus, the questions at the end will prompt us to read the article carefully. I had to search thru the article to find the answer to your question :) Will help retain these things in the head.

Once again, really great effort & help on your part. Thanks a million :)


4:25 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hey Aparna,

Thanks for the kudos. Though I think that it is a great way of learning and we shud all read well, I did not get a great buy-in from the group. I even registered on NYtimes so that everyone need not waste time.

Anyway, my comments and points together

Article #1
1. You are right, business gets affected. And real estate value does decrease, but I guess little does the govt bother.
Additionally, people travelling thru the area get taxed for no reason.
People having offices/businesses also get taxed for daily travel.
--- Can we alternatively have high parking fee so that office-goers and pass-thru-commuters dont get affected? Or can we remove parking altogether from main roads and have parking bulidings (could be private too)

2. Very good points, especially point 3. I think an extension of point 2 is that people get used to public transport (as long as govt ensures there is enough)

Article #2
1. You are right but there is more to it. Since the demand for corn goes up, the corn prices go up and hence more people would shift to growing corn (instead of rice, wheat etc). Hence the supply of other agricultural products reduce causing inflation.
On the balancing side, fuel prices may go down in short term (in long term they have to stabilise) and hence will have a downward impact on inflation

Other things
1. World would be a cleaner place and global warming may go down
2. India would benifit because of lower oil dependancy

Any more additions from people are welcome

10:56 PM, February 04, 2007  
Blogger Atul said...

article 1:-
q1 - The ill effects of taxing people driving thru their core business areas can be -
a. the middle class will be affected the highest. These people are used to drive their own vehicle and the tax will be dearer for their pocket. Its not gonna decrease the traffic much and will be one more means to fill the treasery.

b. The way of taxing can be a hassle and may add to the traffic jams. Like a toll booth where everybody has to pay and go. It will increase the commute time of the passangers.

c. People will lose their freedom and flexibility as the cost of driving will increase which is already at a high due to fuel prices.

q2. - teh positive effects can be:-
a. the fund collllected can be utilized in order to maintian the roads and infrastructure as well as to encourage public transport system usage by making it better.

b.the usage of public transport system will reduce the ttraffic and pollution and will have positive effect on environment.

article 2.. How does bio fuel affect the food prices and hence inflation?

The manufacturing of bio fuel is done from various resources. when its from the excreta or by decomposition of plants and grass, it becomes very much beneficial if done on large scale.
But it can also be made from grain producing plnts like corn. If production is done on large scale, it may have -ve effect on the availibility of corn in market which may increase its prices.
Inflation is calculated based upon the price of essential food commodities. For countries where corn or the commodity which can be used to make fuel is used as edible grains, it can cause a rise in inflation if done on large scale...

1:32 AM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hey Atul,

Good points.

One thing I wanted to point out. Even if corn is not part of a country's WPI, many people will try and switch to corn and hence there will be supply shortage in other agricultural products. Hence it will still affect inflation

2:10 AM, February 16, 2007  

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