Sanjay Saigal, writing on James Fallow's blog today, discusses the dearth of qualified managers in India, and the failure of MBA programs to keep up with demand:
Consider, for instance, the following data from a report published last year by an Indian employment company, MeritTrac:
- Recognized MBA programs produce around 70,000 graduates each year.
- Approximately 20,000 of them may be considered "employable".
- The annual demand for MBAs is estimated to be 128,000.
To echo Woody Allen in Annie Hall, the food is terrible, and such small portions!
The deficit in 2009, the baseline year of MertTrac's study, was over 100,000 MBAs. Over the least 10 years, the Indian economy has growing at an average annual rate of 7.6%. The number of recognized MBA programs has been increasing, but the number of employable MBA graduates has not, bottlenecked by a shortage of trained faculty. Every year, the Indian industry finds itself in a deeper hole.
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Duke's Executive MBA programs—especially the CCMBA—address all of his concerns except for one: cost.
Saigal points to a tremendous opportunity for good schools to provide deep management education to some of the billion Indians who'll make up the workforce there in 10 years.
CNN examines Japanese cultural roots to explain how Japanese people have acted after Friday's earthquake:
“Looting simply does not take place in Japan. I’m not even sure if there’s a word for it that is as clear in its implications as when we hear ‘looting,’" said Gregory Pflugfelder, director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University.
Japanese have “a sense of being first and foremost responsible to the community,” he said.
To Merry White, an anthropology professor at Boston University who studies Japanese culture, the real question is why looting and disorder exist in American society. She attributes it largely to social alienation and class gaps.
The article takes these points as givens. Does anyone know if these assertions are true?
Here's a fun task. Let's take the U.S. military budget, and then add up the budgets of the next few countries in the ranked list of spending until we get to the same number. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. spent $663.2 bn on defense in 2008. Let's start with China, who had the second-biggest military outlay, and keep adding until we get to $663.2 bn:
OK, we've now got the entire permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council, the four biggest militaries in the world after our own. Done? Nope. Let's keep adding.
8. Saudi Arabia
Right. Now the list contains all the principal belligerents from World War II, and accounts for nearly half the world's population. (The U.S. has about 5% of the world's people.) We're done, right?
No. Keep going:
11. South Korea
Seriously? There's more?
Whew! We're done. You have to add up the military budgets of the next 16 countries to get to ours.
As you listen to the anti-deficit bloviating of Congressional Republicans over the next few weeks, ask yourself why none of them has brought up this fact. Do Americans really believe that the U.S. should spend 7 times more than China on defense? Or that we should be the only Western country to spend more than 3% of GDP on defense? Or that other countries to win the #1 position on military spending either by GDP or gross expenditures include the USSR and Imperial Rome?
And we're arguing about de-funding public television as a way to balance the budget?
Nobel-laureate economist Paul Krugman lays out a simple demonstration of how an increase in the global average temperature necessarily leads to more extreme weather events without eliminating other effects:
Now suppose that a warming trend shifts the whole probability distribution to the right — which is what we mean when we talk about climate change. Then the result looks like this:
What happens is that the right tail gets fatter: the probability, and hence the frequency, of extreme events goes up.
Two immediate implications. First, there will still be cold stretches: global warming shifts the distribution, it doesn’t eliminate the left side of the distribution. So there will still be cold spells; that proves nothing.
Second, no individual weather event can properly be said to have been "caused" by global warming. Heat waves happened 30 years ago; there’s no way to prove that any individual heat wave now might not have happened even if we hadn’t emitted all that CO2.
But the pattern should have changed: we should be getting lots of record highs, and not as many record lows — which is exactly what we do see. And we should be seeing 100-year heat waves and similar events much more often than history would have suggested likely; again, that’s what we actually do see.
The point is that the usual casual denier arguments — it's cold outside; you can’t prove that climate change did it — miss the point. What you’re looking for is a pattern. And that pattern is obvious.
Shortly later Krugman pointed out that China, historically a net food exporter, has to import food this year because of record droughts.
Gulliver follows up on the 'sno-good situation at Heathrow:
Gatwick used to be owned by BAA, like Heathrow. But under its new owners, Global Infrastructure Partners, it has coped better than its London rival and is now fully operational. Part of the problem at Heathrow, of course, is that it operates at up to 98% capacity so small problems can have massive knock-on effects. But even so, the differences between snow-fighting provisions at Heathrow and Gatwick are notable, as the BBC has reported:
Earlier this year, BAA published an investment programme of £5.1bn for Heathrow over five years, of which £500,000 was invested in snow and ice-fighting technology this year, with another £3m planned for the next four years. By comparison, reports suggest that Gatwick Airport, which is half the size of Heathrow and was sold by BAA last year, spent £1m on snow and ice this year and plans to spend another £7m next year. Heathrow's "snow fleet" is made up of 69 vehicles; Gatwick's is a reported 150.
It reminds me of a statistic I encountered in 2003, when I worked for a time in Richmond, Va. That year, as many on the East Coast remember, the mid-Atlantic states had 12 snowstorms in three months. I got trapped in DC for two days in February returning from New York; I watched panicked Virginians buy all the bread and milk they could carry upon seeing the first snowflake.
Anyway, it turned out that the Commonwealth of Virginia (area: 110,785 km²) owned the same number of snowplows as the City of Chicago (area: 606 km²). It may be an unfair comparison—after all, municipalities also have snow-removal equipment—but I swear I didn't see Richmond start plowing until the snow had gotten at least 50 mm deep.
And if you want a laugh, the title of this post harks back to this old Monty Python ditty:
Back in 1979, Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic lost re-election to Jane Byrne mostly for his failure to clear the streets of snow after the worst snowfall in the city's recorded history. His story didn't end too badly, as he ultimately became Chief Justice of Illinois; but it taught all the city's subsequent mayors to get the snowplows out before the first flake hits the ground.
The Spanish company Ferrovial—owner of the British Airports Authority, which runs Heathrow—hasn't, apparently, learned this lesson, according to Daily Beast aviation blogger Clive Irving:
[Y]ou might think that, given its importance, the ability of Heathrow not simply to wreck the holiday travel plans of hundreds of thousands of people but to undermine economies, disrupt international air cargo and, most significantly, to visit disaster on the travel industry, plans would be in place to ensure that it can function after a 13 cm snowfall. After all, terrorists would be delighted to have wrought such harm.
Here we are, though, four days after the weekend shutdown of Heathrow and even now the airport is still barely functional.
And it’s all because the people in charge of Heathrow could not muster the resources to plow two runways and clear ice and snow from terminal gates—not exactly rocket science and something hundreds of airports have to face on a regular basis in winter.
It's interesting how O'Hare manages to keep 7 runways clear (or at least the three in use at any point) during 30 cm snow events, without resorting to the army.
Via Bruce Schneier, it seems the assassins might not have botched anything. And you know all those CCTVs in London? More evidence they're completely useless:
It has been more than eight months since the murder of top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, whose body was found in a Dubai hotel room Jan. 20. Quick work by Dubai police and a diplomatic furor over the use of dozens of forged passports in the case fed early optimism that at least some of the 30-plus suspects would be found. But a string of apparent dead ends has frustrated international investigators, lengthening the odds that anyone will be caught or that definitive proof of Mossad involvement will emerge.
And despite an initial burst of tough talk from various governments, some international investigators are concerned that politics may be hampering cooperation from some governments that support Israel.
... Police spent about 10,000 hours poring over footage from some 1,500 security cameras around Dubai. Using face-recognition software, electronic-payment records, receipts and interviews with taxi drivers and hotel staff, they put together a list of suspects and publicized it.
As Schneier has said, if the police spend resources on CCTVs and other high-tech options, they don't have those resources to spend on footwork.
Not my MBA, which finishes in 73 days. At least we're done with classes; all that remains are my distance classes and three projects.
No, more interesting than that is how World War I finally ends on Sunday:
The final payment of £59.5 million writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.
Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.
The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.
Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was made to sign the 'war guilt' clause, accepting blame for the war.
This, one must admit, is a head-scratcher. Good thing no one held a grudge after 1919, else we'd have had real problems.
Apparently a former Hitler Youth called me a Nazi today:
The pontiff praised Britain's fight against the Nazis - who "wished to eradicate God" - before relating it to modern day "atheist extremism".
Afterwards his spokesman Federico Lombardi said: "I think the Pope knows rather well what the Nazi ideology is".
Yes, Ratzinger should know what the Nazi ideology is, but I'm afraid we athiests are rather unlike him. In the same speech he also said, "I also recall the regime's attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives," forgetting, I suppose, how these pastors were resisting the organization he himself wanted to join and how the organization he himself now leads turned Jews over to the Nazis throughout the war.
Really, is there any reason to continue treating this man with the deference and respect we show actual world leaders?
Sullivan asks, "What if the Pope came to Britain and not even the Catholics showed up?"
ONLY 65,000 Catholics are now expected to take part in the papal mass in Scotland tomorrow – one third fewer than originally expected and a mere fraction of the total number in the country.
The figure falls far short of the 100,000 pilgrims it was originally hoped would flock to see Pope Benedict XVI at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.
The Catholic Church denied that the controversy over the Pope's handling of the Church's child abuse scandal has undermined his imminent arrival.
But critics of the visit claimed the figures revealed the extent of indifference towards the first visit by a Pope to Scotland for 28 years.
The Catholic Church says more than 250,000 attended the mass in Bellahouston Park when Pope John Paul II visited in 1982.
I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles away from Ratzinger.