Monday, March 21, 2016

Interesting readings

Bank lending to Kingfisher Airlines by Ajay Shah in the Business Standard, 21 March.

P. Chidambaram in the Indian Express on the Aadhaar Bill, 20 March.

Proper legal definitions could be the answer to the menace of NPAs by Deep Narayan Mukherjee, in the Economic Times, 16 March.

Videos from the NIPFP symposium on net neutrality which took place on 4 March 2016.

Rajeswari Sengupta in Mint, 15 March, on problems of the GDP deflator.

Ajai Shukla in the Business Standard, on 15 March, on the secularism of India's army.

Spreadsheets considered dangerous by Vineet Virmani, in Mint, 14 March.

Rajeev Dhavan in the Indian Express (14 March) on the Kanhiya Kumar bail order.

Ashok Gulati and Shreya Sarkar in the Indian Express, 14 March, on messing with the BT cotton revolution, and the lack of an intellectual framework.

A new idea of India by S. Nihal Singh in the Asian Age, 13 March.

Rajesh Ramachandran in the Economic Times on 12 March, looking into the next batch of state elections.

Suyash Rai and Ajay Shah in the Deccan Herald on UIDAI, 12 March.

What Happens When the Surveillance State Becomes an Affordable Gadget? by Robert Kolker on Bloomberg Businessweek, 10 March.


  1. The article by Vineet Virmani on spreadsheets missed an important note that Goldman Sachs uses a proprietary language (called Slang) and platform called SecDB which is far better for building complicated finance models than spreadsheets or other programming languages. One of the primary advantages of spreadsheets is being able to code deep dependencies and being able to do risk calculations by changing an underlying variable (like say the yield curve). This is somewhat harder to do (in as flexible of a way as in Excel), when using another programming language, especially the onerous OOP languages. The point is its not about the choice of language (R or Python for example vs Excel), but its about a platform, and/or a customized programming language that will allow one to build financial models flexibly and enabling reuse and flexible composition and at scale.

  2. Regarding my previous comment, it looks like some ex-GS techies have a startup of their own with a product that offers some of the advantages of the proprietary system at GS. Its in Python, although they can't avoid C++ for some of the codebase that needs to be efficient.


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