Monthly Archives: March 2010

Yay Durian Candy

Not good enough for “Reason to Live”, but still pretty dang fun and tasty.

Found it at the Hong Kong Market. It doesn’t smell like durian, but it has that nice durian-y funkyness when you start chewing it. My daughter and I bought some today and had great fun.

Ram Gopal Varma Delivers in Rann

I was disappointed with the last American movie I saw, Alice in Wonderland, but was more than satisfied with the last Bollywood film I saw, Rann. Both feature a strong actor-director combination, but the Indian version is the one that paid off most satisfyingly.

Johnny Depp is at his best with Tim Burton at the helm, but Alice went off the rails for me as it drew to a climax. I loved the landscapes and the clever CGI stuff, but a movie needs a real plot to keep it going. Sorry, Alice, but I can’t feel excited about seeing you again.

Amitabh Bachchan is amazing with Ram Gopal Varma directing, as was proven in Sarkar and Sarkar Raj. Rann gives Bachchan a milder character but just as much drama and intrigue as we had in RGV’s earlier work with Big B. I planned on watching the DVD half-way through last night and then finishing it tonight, but I absolutely could not bear to stop watching it when I got to the half-way point. The plot punched its way through to the very end. Even though it ended with some tragedy, the finish made good sense in the confines of the plot as well as in a real-world sense. Rann tackles the way media, politics, and ratings intertwine to corrupt the system and I plan to use this in my AP Government class. Forget the emotionalism of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Rann is the real deal. First class film hain.

The Carry Trade

The carry trade is pretty straightforward: it’s a bet that a currency will do certain things in the future and that, given that given-ness, one can use a position on that currency as a hedge, or reduction of risk, on other investments.

In this crisis, many people looked to the way the US was spending money to get out of trouble and assumed that the dollar would stay weak relative to the euro. There is a massive carry trade in the dollar, with the expectation that it stays weak.

With the recent turmoil over Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland, it looks like the euro may weaken and the dollar strengthen. That will mess up everyone that expected the dollar to stay weak. When it strengthens, the people that had bet on a weak dollar will lose quite a bit of money.