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BW Businessworld

Test Of Abenomics

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The gamble paid off, now comes the real test. As Japan slipped into a recession, Shinzo Abe called snap polls to secure support for his Abenomics, which involved economic easing and fiscal spending. So far, it has only had a short-lived effect, and has made ordinary people poorer. “My Abenomics policies are only half-way done,” he said after being re-elected prime minister. “There are still a lot of people who are not feeling the benefits.”

Going Nuts
Cho Hyun-Ah, daughter of the Korean Air chief and head of its in-flight service and hotel operations, has led the airline into turbulence. Her violent outburst at a steward over being served macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a plate while travelling aboard a flight from New York to Incheon could cost the airline $2 million in fines, besides a 21-day suspension of flights on its New York routes. Cho has apologised for her behaviour and quit her post at the airline. South Korea’s transport ministry said it would file a criminal probe against her.

Hero To Zero
A high school junior in the US who reportedly made $72 million trading oil and gold futures has admitted it was total fiction. Mohammed Islam, 17, told a magazine that he had made enough to buy a BMW, rent a fancy apartment and turn down Wall Street jobs that pay $12,000 a month. Later, however, he came clean to the New York Observer when he said that he had made zero gains from trading.

The End Is Near
Satyam founder B. Ramalinga Raju will know his fate when the judgment in the $1-billion Satyam Computer Services accounting fraud trial is announced December-end. The verdict may come on the same day or a week later. If convicted, prime accused Raju could be jailed for 14 years. During the trial in a Hyderabad court, the CBI submitted over 3,000 documents as evidence against Satyam executives. Touted as the nation’s biggest accounting fraud, the scam came to light on 7 January 2009, after Raju confessed to fudging his company’s account books and inflating profits.

In The Net
West Bengal minister Madan Mitra is the latest from the Trinamool Congress to be held in connection with the Saradha scam after suspended MP Kunal Ghosh and MP Srinjoy Bose. Mitra has been denied bail. He had once publicly praised now-jailed Saradha group chief Sudipta Sen. The arrest of key aides has left CM Mamata Banerjee with little room to revive ties with the BJP. She said Mitra’s arrest was a plot to destroy democracy.

On A Buying Spree
Anand Mahindra is close to sealing a long-anticipated deal to buy the remnants of collapsed Swedish car group Saab, marking his latest bid to accelerate his company’s global expansion by acquiring a premium auto brand. Mahindra Partners may also buy e-commerce firm BabyOye to market Mom & Me products online.

Bull Run
Artist Tyeb Mehta’s untitled canvas depicting a falling bull was sold for Rs 17.5 crore at the second edition of the Indian art auction held by Christie’s in Mumbai. The canvas from 1999, for which Christie’s was expecting a maximum price of Rs 12 crore, got picked up through an online bid from New York. The buyer’s identity was not revealed. Mehta died in 2009.
Biggest Gainer
Alibaba founder Jack Ma is the biggest financial winner of 2014, says a report by research firm Wealth-X. Ma’s net worth rose $18.5 billion this year, eventually reaching $29.2 billion in December. It was a rise of 173 per cent, the biggest wealth increase for anyone in the world. The owner of China’s biggest e-commerce firm is also Asia’s richest person, as per Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His fortune zoomed after Alibaba’s September IPO, the biggest public debut in the history of the NYSE.
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 12-01-2015)