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Paul Allen: Legacy of Eternal Sunshine

Recently, Paul Allen co-founder of Microsoft and founder of philanthropic company Vulcan Inc. passed away. Paul will forever be remembered for this spectacular vision, techno brilliance, and world-beating philanthropic attitude. Known for his affable and colorful personality backed with an invigorating sense of humor, Paul epitomizes American values of exuberance, geekiness and giving. A big fan of Portland Trailblazers, Seattle SeaHawks and Jimmi Hendrix, Paul left an indelible mark in technology, art, sports and philanthropy. Continue reading “Paul Allen: Legacy of Eternal Sunshine”

2018: Tipping Point: Rise of Middle Class

According to a report published by the World Economic Forum (refer to my tweets), 2018 is going to be a huge tipping point.  For the first time since civilization began, more humans are either rich or in the middle-class as opposed to those in poverty or susceptible to poverty).  More than 50 percent of the population will now be classified as those falling in the middle class ( household spending $11-110 per day per person in 2011 PPP)  compared to those in extreme poverty ( per person earning below $1.9 per day). Continue reading “2018: Tipping Point: Rise of Middle Class”

Japan, Bullet Train and India

Many Indians have grown up with the wonder of Bullet Train, a synonym for technology, speed, and comfort. The Japanese are the pioneers of high-speed trains (French close competitors with TGV in Europe) and due credit to Mr. Hideo Shima, the father of the Shinkansen train aka the bullet train. It’s not a pleasant surprise that the Japanese government will be facilitating the development of high-speed rail in India. The public-private partnership model sponsored by Japan offers an extremely generous rate of 0.1% with repayment of 50 years for the yen denominated loan. A huge game changer for India, trains would be operating at speeds between 300 to 350 km per hour. It’s going to save travelling time, increase productivity and over medium term bring down costs of traveling within India especially airfare. India will buy 18 Shinkansen train sets with the first high-speed rail working by 2022 between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Apart from extremely benevolent funding agreement,  there is also  provision of transfer of technology to develop production locally. An article published in Economic Times, states that the economy class will only cost INR 3000 (USD 40) for travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad (508 km). This is one of the best policy initiatives taken by the government and must be given the utmost importance for support for effective implementation. Further high-speed railway network should be implemented nationally along key routes with increased alacrity.  Continue reading “Japan, Bullet Train and India”

Trickle-down Economics: End of an Era in the US

Last few months have been very tragic for the world and especially for the United States. Global trade war esp. focused on China, Iran sanctions and multitude of disrespectful tweets have become the norm now out of Washington. I have studied in China and the US, so have a very close experience with people from both these countries. Some of the best people I have met in life are Chinese and Americans. Graceful, advanced, measured and wholesome.

Anyways, I always tried to write a bit about Trickle-down economics. If you want to know a bit about American political and economic ideology which divides Republicans and Democrats, then the best place to start would be the 1980s era which implemented the so-called Trickledown  economics. The policy reduced taxes on the rich apart from disrupting social welfare programs hoping that it would stimulate entrepreneurship within the society leading to more jobs for the less privileged people in the society.

This is the greatest fallacy thrown to the world. The concentration of the wealth among the rich increased after the 1980s especially among the top 1% of the population. Moreover, Gini Coefficient, an inequality measure increased over the years. The higher the gini coefficient, the more the economic inequality among the population. Continue reading “Trickle-down Economics: End of an Era in the US”

The Innovative Finance Revolution: Private Capital for the Public Good (Foreign Affairs Special Edition)

Foreign-Affairs-Inn-Fin-cover-440x367.jpgThe Innovative Finance Revolution is one of the best reports on innovation in social finance. Social finance was evolved over the years and with philanthropy and corporate social responsibility evolving through evidence-based social impact, attracting private capital has been imperative for sustainable work in the social sector. I read this report while I was in Seattle and found it to be one of the most comprehensive reports on different projects and modes of financing used by various foundations, multilateral organizations and nonprofits in implementing sustainable social projects in emerging and poor economies or sustainable infrastructure projects in Americas. From social impact bonds, green bonds to vaccine immunization bonds, report chronicles articles by leading experts and practitioners in developmental finance. UN estimates $50 to $70 tr of capital to implement Sustainable Development Goals over the next 25 years, a huge task which can only be achieved by attracting private capital. Rockefeller Foundation is the world’s leading foundation and a bellwether in innovating impact capital in philanthropy. To achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals, a gap of approx. $2.5 tr annual funding gap is required from the $200 tr pool of private capital. Continue reading “The Innovative Finance Revolution: Private Capital for the Public Good (Foreign Affairs Special Edition)”