10 Greatest Monopolies

Some used shrewd business decisions, some illegal practices. In some instances, states sponsored it, in some, the nature of the market promulgated it. No matter how they rose (and fell), these monopolies gained more than money. They achieved something some governments dare not dream: power, influence and enduring legacy: 1. Standard Oil History’s richest man, … Continue reading

Demysterifying Hoover ….

  What happens in the Hoover Institution stays in Hoover. Usually. Sometimes some debate about this bastion of conservatism spills over to the adjacent university, and all the hell breaks loose in Stanford. So how did the liberal West Coast’s premier university end up with a conservative thinktank on its campus? The 84-year-old Hoover Institution … Continue reading

The Ghosts of Politics Yet to Come….

Future. Such an enticing mistress–and an unfaithful one at that. I submit to you recent articles:    The Nation That Fell To Earth,  Niall Ferguson The article appeared in 5th 9/11 anniversary issue of TIME in 2006, as a look back from a generation removed (2031). Predictions: “For a time, Bush’s approval ratings sank below Richard … Continue reading

Running Away from Revolutionary Road

Spoilers Alert: The latest movie from Sam Mendes is a little movie that could, but it is no American Beauty Verdict: 7/10 There are a few things revolutionary about Revolutionary Road. It is about a couple living in the 1950s suburbia, who are united only by their defeated ambitions if by anything. Kate Winslet and … Continue reading

An Evening With A Tricky Dick

No, I didn’t see Nixon, but Musharraf was his natural successor. However, Stanford University’s hosting of former Pakistani President was not as eventful as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance in Columbia last year. Magnanimity. The word sounds extremely ironic coming from General Pervez Musharraf—the former President of Pakistan—who displayed little of that in his eight … Continue reading

The Tale of Two Webs

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, ending a symbolic ornament of the Cold War, the conflict that staked paranoia into the hearts of the people on the both sides of the wall. It has been twenty years since that chilly November morning, but since then, more walls has been created in Russia and China-the invisible … Continue reading

2008–the Year in Review

Pessimism is in the air-and it is contagious too. A few weeks before, during a conversation on the global financial meltdown, I assured my friends that if we are to harken back to 2008 in three years’ time, we will definitely laugh at our Cassandra-like pessimism and anxieties mainly with. They were not convinced–neither was … Continue reading

The Blessing in Disguise

Financial crises are usually seen as blessings in disguise because they have the power change the course of history, mostly for the better. However, if the current crisis is a blessing in disguise, then it is in a very good disguise too. Low-income and middle-income family will suffer terribly; many will eventually lose their jobs. … Continue reading

I don’ approve of the following, but I thought these quotes are illuminating and reflective of a culture not far historical: Thomas Jefferson on Immigration: “They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for … Continue reading

2009: Our Odyssey, Eight Years On

It has been 40 years since Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey—a visually mesmerizing and deafeningly silent epic, an IMAX ahead of its time, and it is 8 years since events depicted in the movie. How far have we come?