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Finance

World War III: An Economy Annihilator

We all know about World War 1 and World War 2, the destruction that it has caused to life, property and mother nature is something that, no one has forgotten. The effects of the war is still seen. Today we are again on brink of war, a war of money rather than weapons, “Trade War”.

According to Wikipedia, “A trade war refers to two or more states raising or creating tariffs or other trade barriers on each other in retaliation for other trade barriers. Increased protection causes both nations’ output compositions to move towards their autarky position”. Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance or international trade.

The world is on the brink of trade war, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he would impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States. Beijing quickly outlined new import taxes of its own on US products worth $3 billion.

The increasingly aggressive statement from both ends suggest that further escalation is possible: Trump described his actions targeting China as “the first of many,” while Beijing said “it is impolite not to reciprocate” and promised a “fight to the end.”

Some of the world’s top economists and business leaders were in Beijing for the annual China Development Forum, and one topic overshadowed the entire gathering: The looming threat of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

Nobel-prize winning economists Robert Shiller and Joseph Stiglitz were also at the annual meeting, and they predicted pain ahead for the U.S. economy if Beijing and Washington ramp up tit-for-tat trade penalties.

U.S. companies, Shiller warned, are not prepared to have China cut out of their supply chains or business models.

“The immediate thing will be an economic crisis because these enterprises are built on long-term planning, they’ve developed a skilled workforce and ways of doing things. We have to rediscover these things in whatever country after the imports are cut off,” Shiller told CNBC. “It’s just chaos: It will slow down development in the future if people think that this kind of thing is likely.”

Stiglitz, for his part, warned that China’s leaders are likely prepared to initiate tariffs based on “a very good economic map with which they will target certain places in the United States where the pain will be maximized.”

An escalating trade war, the Nobel laureate said, could have political ramifications for Trump — especially if trade partners’ retaliations hit the president’s base.

“If there is a broad range increase in tariffs, it would affect their cost of living, the inflation would lead the Fed to raise interest rates at a higher rate, it would certainly impose a risk to the return to the U.S. to robust economic growth,” Stiglitz said.

trade-war-

The beginning of the war has already started to have effects on world economy, China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, Japan’s Nikkei and Korea’s Kospi all plunged sharply up to 3 per cent. Indian indices declined over 1 per cent after China threatened to raise tariffs on about $3 billion of US imports. The Dow DJIA, -1.77%  dropped more than 700 points on Thursday and declined by more than 400 points on Friday, leaving the blue-chip gauge with a weekly drop of 5.7%. The S&P 500 SPX, -2.10%  dropped nearly 6% on the week – marking the biggest one-day percentage drop for both since early February.

Both the sides are not intending to stop, forcing other countries especially emerging country like India to choose side whereby taking the trade war to another level. Thus, all in all, Trade War is a condition which always happens around the world, the only problem is its extreme form, every country wants to promote its product and taxing import is not a bad thing, the only problem is the extent and fairness of taxing and not considering the situation and product on which taxes are enforced, thus unbalancing the dedicated thread of trust between the leaders and thereby deteriorating the economic condition.

Social

Stephen Hawking: Death of an Immortal

Today, is one of the saddest day for everyone, our beloved Stephen Hawking had its last breath. Not only for me but for most of the people from all over the world, he is and always will be a role model.  Greatest physicist of all time, Visionary, inspirational and many other adjectives are and will always be used while saying few words about such a great personality.

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Stephen William Hawking was a true fighter. To pay tribute to such a person, i am writing this blog, and can only try to give a glimpse of his personality to the readers.

Stephen Hawking was the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. He was Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

And the biggest reason, why he is the greatest role model is that, he had achieved such great achievement, by facing the greatest challenges a person can face. In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1982. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is and will always be  regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

 

 

Few Achievements that shows the contribution made by our beloved:

Stephen Hawking along with English mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, did path-breaking work on singularities which proved their existence and theorized that the universe might have begun as a singularity. Their Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems attempt to answer when gravitation produces singularities.

With James Bardeen and Brandon Carter, Stephan Hawking discovered the four laws of black hole mechanics. These laws are physical properties that black holes are believed to satisfy and are analogous to the laws of thermodynamics. In January 1971, his essay titled “Black Holes” won the prestigious Gravity Research Foundation Award

Previously physicists believed nothing could escape a black hole. In 1974, Stephan Hawking showed that black holes emit radiation, which may continue till they exhaust their energy and evaporate. Stephen’s prediction of what became known as the Hawking radiation initially created a controversy but on further research was considered an important breakthrough in theoretical physics.

Introduced by Alan Guth in 1980, cosmic inflation is a theory in physical cosmology which proposes that following the Big Bang, the universe expanded exponentially before settling down to slower expansion. It is now widely accepted. Stephen Hawking was one of the first to calculate quantum fluctuations that were created during cosmic inflation and to show how they might give rise to the spread of galaxies in the universe.

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Few Quotes made by him that changed the mindset of the society:

  • Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
  • The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
  • We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.
  • My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
  • Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.
  • I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.
  • People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.
  • We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,
  • Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.

Stephen Hawking was a man of words, who would never take a break or relax until the task gets completed. Rest in Peace, and thanks for so many great discoveries and teaching us that limitation is only in the mind, and once its removed, sky is the limit.

For more information on the great visit http://www.hawking.org.uk/ or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

 

Social

Forged in Fire

Forged in Fire, is a show that airs on the History Channel. Its a competition between bladesmiths wherein they have to make an incredible powerful weapon within a given amount of time. The show has been a tremendous hit and i am a big fan of the show especially its concept, the different styles of blade, the different way of forging, the technical terms along with the explanation that they provide us during the show and the list goes on and on.

Winning Sword

Host and Judges:

The show is hosted by Wil Willis, who is an ex army ranger and ex air force pararescueman and has hands-on experience with a wide range of weapons in real battle situations. The show is judged by J.Neilson, Doug Marcaida, David Baker and Jason Knight. All the said names are considered experts or more like godly figure in bladesmithing.

J. Neilson has been making knives for 20 years and is one of the best all-round bladesmiths in the world. He was recognized in 2008 when he achieved the rank of Mastersmith in the American Bladesmith Society, a title held by less than 115 people worldwide

Doug Marcaida is an edged weapon combat specialist who also designs some of the world’s deadliest blades. Doug is a highly skilled martial artist who has also studied fighting styles and techniques around the world. From hand-to-hand combat to battlefield strategy, Doug is a walking encyclopedia in the evolution of weapons of war.

David Baker is a world-renowned swordsmith who specializes in recreating some of world’s rarest edged weapons. David is constantly challenging his scholarship of weaponry, researching forgotten techniques and examining world-class collections to ensure his replicas are as close to and as functional as the originals.

South Carolina’s sole Master Bladesmith, Jason Knight, has been making knives for 15 years. Considered by his peers as one of the most accomplished knife makers in the country, he has amassed numerous awards for his work, including the coveted B.R. Hughes Award for Best Blade by a Mastersmith. Jason employs only the finest materials and meticulous techniques to craft his signature knives, which are highly sought after by hunters, collectors and soldiers around the world.

Winning Sword(1)

Rounds:

The show comprises of 3 rounds, in the first round 4 bladesmiths are given different material from which they have to prepare a specific dimension of knife. For preparing the said knife, bladesmith are given 10 minutes of time for drawing and 3 hours to prepare the blade. The 2nd round comprise of making handle for the blade prepared in 1st round, for preparing the handle, bladesmiths are given 3 hours. After completing the blade by inserting a handle the blade is tested by ice chopping test, coconut cut test etc. After qualifying 2nd round, bladesmiths are asked to recreate an ancient weapon for which they are given 5 days. After several test, a person whose blade performs better, wins $10,000/- and the title of “Forged in Fire Champion”

Purpose of the Show:

The main purpose of the show is to promote bladesmithing. The show provides great intrinsic knowledge of what is meant by bladesmithing, and what are the challenges faced by bladesmithing. I have personally watched each and every episode that is aired. By watching this show, i came to know different types of blade like bowie knife, japanese katana, Chakara, Khopesh, Khanda, Scottish Claymore, Hunga Manga and many other, i also came to know different types of steel used to make blade such as Damascus, 1024 Steel, leaf steel etc., different ways of forging such as water forging, sand forging, oil forging etc., different problems that can emerged while creating a blade such as delamination, cracks, etc.

I have written about the show because i personally feel that a bladesmith is not paid and respected the way they should be. The effort they put by turning a scrap into a beautiful knife is extraordinary. And it is the only show which makes us aware about it and in a way gives respect to bladesmith. I hope that after going through above detail you would be tempted to watch the show. And Finally please, give your comment of what do you think about the show.

Sword

 

Finance

Time Value of Money: Holy word from Non Religious book

For many people money, means survivability, independence, a new hope, a mean to pursue happiness. Money is the only religion which everyone follows irrespective of religion, caste, sex, etc. and thus everyone knows everything about money or they don’t? What if i say that no one except few handful of people knows exactly what’s the TRUE VALUE OF MONEY. In order to understand True Value of Money, it is important to know  the following basic concept relating to TIME VALUE OF MONEY, which is the building block or foundation stone to understand the secrets of money.

WHAT IS TIME VALUE OF MONEY?

Money has time value in that individuals value a given amount of money more highly the earlier it is received. Therefore a small amount of money NOW may be equivalent in value to a larger amount received at a future date.

Time Value of Money is the principles governing equivalence relationships between cash flows with different dates.

The idea of equivalence relationship is relatively simple. For Example. If you pay $1,000 today and receives $900 today itself in exchange for the amount you have paid would you accept that? It is irrational to even ask, no one will accept, however say you will pay $1,000 one year after and will receive $900 now, will you accept it? the answer is yes, because a payment of $1,000 after a year would be less worth to you than paying it write now. This is the power of Time Value.

Example (TVM)

To understand the concept better in terms of its equation, it is important to understand what is interest rate, present value and future value.

Interest Rate, denoted by r, is rate of return that reflects the relationship between differently dated cash flows. Interest rates can be thought of as Required Rate of Return, Discount Rate and Opportunity Cost.

r= Real risk free interest rate + Inflation Premium + Default risk Premium + Liquidity Premium + Maturity Premium.

Present Value (PV) means the present discounted value of future cash flows: For assets, the present discounted value of the future net cash inflows that the asset is expected to generate; for liabilities, the present discounted value of the future net cash outflows that are expected to be required to settle the liabilities.

Future Value (FV) means the amount to which a payment or series of payments will grow by a stated future date.

EQUATION TO CALCULATE FV for a single cash flow:

                                                     FVN = PV(1+r)N

Where, PV  = Present Value of the investment

             FVN = Future Value of the investment N Periods from today

             r      = Rate of interest per period

             N     = Number of Compounding periods

The Fact that present value and Future value are separated in time has following important consequences:

  • We can add more amount of money only if they are indexed at the same point in time
  • For a given interest rate, the future value increases with the number of periods
  • For a given number of periods, the future value increases with the interest rate

The most important point to remember while using the above equation is that N and r must be compatible i.e. they are defined in same time unit.

(1+r)N is also known as future value factor, however, if compounding is more frequent than annual then the said is not future value factor. If compounding is more frequent than annual, then future value formula can be expressed as under:

FVN = PV(1+rs/m)mN

Where, FVN = Future Value of the investment N period from now,

              PV  = Present Value of Investment

                rs    = stated annual interest rate or quoted interest rate

              N    = Number of annual years

              m    = Number of compounding periods per year.

COMPOUNDING AND ITS RELEVANCE IN TIME VALUE OF MONEY:

In all the above equation, compounding word is often used, but what exactly is compounding? Compounding means the process of accumulating interest on interest.

For example: Say you invested $100 for 2 years at interest rate of 10%, at the end of year 1 year you will receive $10 as interest, assuming the same is reinvested for 1 year at the same interest rate, at the end of year 2 you will receive the following:

Principal amount  = $100, Interest for the first year $10, Interest for the second year based on original investment = $10 and Interest for the second year based on interest earned in the first year i.e. $10 x 0.1 = $1.

The said interest earned on interest provides us the first glimpse of the phenomenon known as Compounding.

Time Value of Money and Compounding are inseparable forces, when used simultaneously is quite lethal. The importance of Compounding increases with the magnitude of interest rate.

Conclusion:

Thus, Time Value of Money as a principle is equivalent to the principle relating to forces of nature both in terms of complexity and voluminous, by understanding, the above terminology and equation one has the foundation to understand the other principles and theories relating to time value of money.

Technology

Samsung Galaxy S9+ vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 : Civil War

Last year, Samsung made a comeback by releasing a beast in the form of Samsung Galaxy Note 8, a phone that has to bring back the pride and respect of Note series after the devastation and mess caused by Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Note 8 was launched and as expected it turn out to be a beast in a beautiful body and was awarded “Gadget of the Year” award at India Mobile Congress. Now, Samsung has launched its S9 and S9+ featuring a great dual camera (in S9+), the Civil war between Note 8 and S9+ is as close as one can be.

Design:

There is not much of a difference in design, both the premium smartphones features the same front/back glass aluminium frame. However, Samsung has readjusted the fingerprint scanner below the camera, which is more comfortable to reach and helps to avoid accidental touch on camera, which was a major set back last year in case of Note 8.

This year Samsung has launched S9+ in three color options: Midnight Black, Lilac Purple and Coral Blue. While Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are available in Orchid Grey, Midnight Black and Deepsea Blue.

The Dimension of Galaxy Note 8 and S9+ is the closest since their inception. S9+ have a dimension of 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm (6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 in), whereas Note 8 has a dimension of 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm (6.40 x 2.94 x 0.34 in).

Display:

Samsung Galaxy S9+ offers a 6.2″ 529 ppi infinity display with 18.5:9 display ratio whereas Note 8 features 6.3″ 521 ppi infinity display with 18.5:9 display ratio, and thus there is hardly any difference remains in terms of the screen sizes. Samsung is known for its brilliant quality display, and it has continued its brilliance this year as well. Both the smartphone display features 1440 x 2960 pixels protected with a corning gorilla glass. Both the phone features 3D touch home button as well as Always On display.

Camera:

The biggest feature and decider of whether a person buys a phone or not is its camera performance. This year Samsung has shattered the critics, by bringing first ever smartphone featuring variable aperture. S9+ features a 12MP dual camera setup, an inheritance from Note 8, having a variable aperture of F2.4 for brighter environments, and F1.5 for low-light scenes. Samsung has changed the interface for camera as well which is now more organised than its predecessors. In the department of Secondary camera, Samsung has inserted 8 mp telephoto lens, which is same in both the smartphones.

Another notable improvement in the camera department is in its Video performance, S9+ features 4K at 60fps, 1080P at 120fps and 720P at 960fps. Though last year Sony has already introduced super slow motion at 960fps, S9+ is the first smartphone featuring the slow motion from Samsung. But it is to be noted that a video of 0.2 seconds can only be recorded at 960fps, which in turn converts a 0.2 seconds video to a 6 seconds video. In order to overcome the said limitation, Samsung has made S9+ capable of automatic motion detection, which sets the appropriate part of the clip in slow-motion and does ensuring the moment is perfectly captured. A manual setting is available as well, but it’s bit difficult to capture the moment, because of the extremely short moment that’s captured for slow-motion. However the said line is not applicable if you are Usain Bolt.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 features 12MP dual camera setup of F1.7 and F2.4 static aperture and video capabilities are 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps.

Also, it is noteworthy to mention that DxOMARK (a trusted industry standard for camera and lens image quality measurement and ratings) has given 99 points to S9+ which is more than the points given to the camera of any other smartphone till date. To know the rating schedule please visit the said link https://www.dxomark.com/samsung-galaxy-s9-plus-review-premium-specs-top-end-performance/ 

Performance and Memory:

Samsung has launched S9+ with Snapdragon 845-powered processor coupled with 6gb RAM for US market, while internationally, the phone will feature the new Exynos 9810 SoC also coupled with 6gb RAM. Both of these 64-bit chipsets are built on 10nm process and have powerful octa-core CPUs. Comparing it to Note 8, S9+ definitely has an edge due to the performance of the new processor. S9+ comes with inbuilt storage of 64gb which can be extended to 400gb, whereas Note 8 has inbuilt storage of 64gb which can be extended to 256gb. S9+ also comes with the latest Android Oreo 8.0, whereas as of now Note 8 comes with Android 7.1.1, which will be upgraded to 8.0 in future.

Battery:

S9+ features a 3500mAh battery whereas Note 8 features 3300mAh battery. Both the smartphone includes Fast Charger in the box , which guarantees phone will be up and running in no time. And of course, there’s also wireless charging available with both the smartphones provided you have charging pad. Thus, going by the battery size, screen size and better processor, S9+ possess a marginal better camera than Note 8.

Other Features:

S9+ features a Dolby Atmos sound on stereo speakers tuned by AKG which provide a rich and crisp sound when compared to Note 8. S9+ and Note 8 both features IP68 dust and water proof, which is a great feature especially during monsoon. S9+ also continues to possess headphone jack like its partner Note 8, which is a great relief for people having high quality wired headphones. S9+ also features AR emoji which is a cool feature to have.

Pricing:

Note 8 is now available for Rs.67,900/- whereas S9+ is available for pre order from at Rs.64,900/-.

Conclusion:

Thus, overall Samsung has launched a great phone, having brilliant display, beast performance and a great camera in the form of S9+, but, when compared to Note 8, the battle is a lot tougher, on one had Note 8 features its great productivity and limitless creativity with S Pen whereas S9+ features a great camera and a new improved performance. Thus, if one wants to buy a phone now, one can surely go with either of the phone, but, if someone wants a great camera, better fingerprint sensor positioning and a new processor and doesn’t mind not having S-Pen, should go for S9+.

Note:

The above images and Videos are taken from Samsung Official Website. The Author doesn’t hold any right on the above images and videos.