Effect of forex rate on industry: Finance Trading Times

Effect of forex rate on industry

Here is a news item available on the website of ICFA - International Custody and Fund Administration Site:

Spectrum pulls out of India
by Kris Devasabai 19 October 2007
Spectrum Global Fund Administration is closing its facilities in India and transferring all production and operations work back to its offices in the US.
Chicago headquartered Spectrum currently employs around 200 people worldwide, with just under half of that number based in Bangalore, India.
With the closure of the Indian facilities all fund administration activities will be transferred to Chicago and the firm's recently opened office in Columbus, Ohio, where the firm has been adding staff.
Spectrum said it made the decision to consolidate its operations in the US after talking to clients who wanted a closer working relationship with its staff. The move also allows the administrator to cut headcount and implement a more cost efficient operating model.
Spectrum has around $33bn in assets under administration, representing 110 hedge fund and fund of fund clients.
News Item Ends:

The above is the official news item that comes from a US based organization. It cites the reason of closure as “ clients who wanted a closer working relationship with its staff ” and “ The move also allows the administrator to cut headcount and implement a more cost efficient operating model ”.

However, an Indian counterpart, Rediff, has a different version to tell.

The title of rediff article is Rising Rupee claims first BPO victim.

The company has cited reasons such as increasing attrition and rising costs for closing its Indian operations.

Forrester Research, in a recent report, had mentioned that more than 60 per cent captive centres in India were struggling.
Sudin Apte, senior analyst and country head (India), Forrester Research, said, "In the past two years, more than 300 North American and European companies started their own offshore set-up to lower the cost of product development or back-office operations. But we clearly see over 60 per cent of them struggling due to spiralling costs, rising attrition, lack of integration and management support."
In the recent past, there have been news of various captive centres put on the block, the most prominent being the Citigroup's BPO arm.

What lies ahead? – You Decide.

As far as my thoughts are concerned, I firmly believe that things work RANDOMLY. Nobody knows the future – only ignorant claims can be made – about $-Rupee exchange rate, about work moving to/from India, China, Philippines, Canada, Romania, about how technology will continuously keep changing, how there will be continuous requirement, how emerging countries with English speaking workforce will always be able to create jobs, how other sectors fuel the growth of economy, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I too wish that Indian success story should continue, but I cannot ignore the risk of randomness and close my eyes with blind faith.

Ask the plight of the employees who reach the office one fine day and see that there login and email access has been blocked.

May be that majority of the readers will not agree with me. But yes, even if a handful of the victims of BNP Paribas Hedge Fund investors of Subprime Mortgage Crisis or a handful of employees of Spectrum Global Fund Administration at Bangalore agree with me, that should be sufficient.

I’m not publishing these BAD NEWS items to prove my point and claim that I am always correct or play around with emotions of victims of randomness, but it is an attempt to highlight the RISK.

Link to previous article How to start a stock trading and stock market advisory service?

Have questions, please read the comments and post your views and queries in the comments section which helps in open discussion and avoids duplicity of questions.

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3 Comments: Post your Comments

Bhupesh said...(on 31 October 2007 at 23:20 )  

Outside money will only come till they see growth opportunity. If rupee appreciate more and make IT outsourcing less attractive will slow down flow of IT dollar in the country. it will also force companies to innovate to reduce cost, increase value in their work to customer.

More importantly it will force student to look beyond IT stream subjects. Which will benefit other industries.

This is see-saw game as long, leadership is strong, vision is clear, we continue to create value, innovate advance in every technological field we will remain comfortable in sum.

Anonymous said...(on 6 November 2007 at 08:30 )  

Now just maybe, the India Office is closing down because they walked out and left spectrum stranded.

chandru said...(on 8 March 2008 at 04:08 )  

Please check up if this link will help understand long term trends



Joe Smith of USA started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).
After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.
At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in.....AMERICA.....


USA does not produce any real goods. They import every thing from Asian countries just by printing dollars or tbills which is effectively a promissory note that at some point in the future they will pay us that value of money back by exporting goods to us and buy back those dollars. The accrued debts of USA as of Feb. 08 are nearing 10 trillion dollars (i.e. 10,000,000,000,000 dollars). There is no way USA can produce so much of goods to pay off those debts. Yet our insane policy makers keep loaning to USA.

Majority of Exports and imports of all world countries are transacted in American dollars. If a country’s exports are more than imports then that country will have a trade surplus and naturally the currency of the trade surplus country will appreciate against the dollar. (Eg. If we require 100 dollars to pay for our imports and we have 200 dollars from exports, then the situation of the exporters who would like to exchange dollars for rupees will be “dollar vangaliyo dollar” Narpathu roobai dollar muppathu roobaikku and so on). This is basic economics as the supply goes up demand goes down. When demand goes down price automatically goes down.

Come to the case of USA. As everybody knows USA has been importing more than what they were exporting, for decades together. Then how come their currency is having more value than our Asian currencies or simply put how is the US dollar defying the law of gravity. What is going on in the world markets? We shall see how India alike other Asian countries is contributing in keeping the dollar value up.

Let us take the case of 2007 where we had dollar surplus despite our trade deficit due to NRI contributions and FDI inflows. The excess inflow of dollars being around 120 billion of which RBI bought up around 100 billion dollars and added to our forex reserve thereby preventing wild devaluation of dollar.

From where did the money come to our RBI to purchase those dollars?

Never in the history of India did we have a surplus budget (Our central governments expenditures always exceeded the revenues collected by ways of taxes). We are already struggling to meet the huge funds required to improve our much needed infrastructure. Then from where did RBI get those rupees to buy the excess dollars the exporters are bringing in. Simple. We have a technology called printing press at Nasik. Upon instructions from our Govt it can print as many rupees as the RBI wants.

The printing presses start creating the rupees required to buy those excess dollars from the market at the expense of paper and ink only. This is called M3 supply. (M3 supply =legally genuine but morally govt approved and printed kalla nottu). Now the RBI buys those excess dollars in the market with the newly printed rupees. Then it loans those dollars back to USA by purchasing treasury bills (similar to a fixed deposit) of USA so that America can spend that money again.

In one way our govt is right in doing it because if it doesn’t do this then our stupid Asian competitors whose central banks are also doing the same idiotic thing will become more competitive than us and since dollar is the widely accepted currency for trade with other countries as well, all our exports will be in jeopardy. Our domestic manufacturing industries will not be able to compete with cheap imports.

So easy? and after all a good cause. Then why don’t they keep on doing it forever. How silly they allowed the rupee to appreciate by 15 percent last year. The real reason why they could not keep on printing new rupees and exchange dollars forever is INFLATION.

Okay we will analyze it in two scenarios

Imagine a first scenario where all companies in India stop producing real goods and start doing software jobs to USA and rest of the world and let us assume that all companies run successfully.

Then in order to keep the value of dollar up our stupid reserve bank must keep on purchasing those incoming dollars by printing money out of thin air as if there is no tomorrow and truck loads of newly printed money ( Govt approved kalla nottu) will be chasing the very few goods produced. The end result being hyperinflation. The proof of this is soaring prices in real estate markets, gold, crude oil etc etc.

Alternatively imagine a second scenario where Muhammad bin thuglak comes back alive and somehow becomes the prime minister of India and some crazy guy like say lallu becomes his finance minister and they find an innovative way to eradicate poverty from India by legally printing and supplying 10,000 rupees per month per family in India. Then will anybody do farming, will anybody sit in streets and sell vegetables, will anybody do the laundry work, will a barber work in a saloon. All essential common man services will come to a grinding halt. Again there will be too much money chasing too few goods causing hyper inflation.

USA is borrowing and enjoying, all those goods we Asians toil and produce, due to the stupidity of our Asian central banks in maintaining such a huge exchange rate differential. In USA average salary in software industry is 6000 dollars. At today’s exchange rate it is equivalent to 2.5 lakhs rupees per month. With those 6000 dollars he can enjoy 2.5 lakhs rupees worth of Asian products and have a very high standard of living. The American govt will print dollars and give it to us for all the imported items he bought in the market which means that some day we can also purchase goods from USA with those dollars. But what real goods do they produce? Nothing because they have off shored almost their entire manufacturing capacity to china, India and all Asian countries. Tomorrow if all Asian countries try to buy some real goods from USA with those dollars they will come to know how big a cheat and bankrupt USA is. Russia is cleverly buying gold from USA by using dollars that is why price of gold is soaring from 250 dollars to 925 dollars within a year.

Our Indian software industry is also making abuse of this exchange rate differential. They say in America you pay 2.5 lakhs per month for a techie okay we will do it for one lakh. You have a cost saving of 60 percent and they pretend that they are very fair even though they are aware that the exchange rate differential maintained due to the M3 money supply will create disparity in the Indian working class.

Now they have one lakh in revenue for a person of which they don’t mind giving 50k or 60k as salary. They attract best engineers to do the very basic testing and coding works which they could have very well done with science graduates for a meager 5k to 10k per month. They are not bothered about distorting the balance for the rest of the Asian manufacturing industries who are unable to pay such hectic salaries. The top management of every software company is aware of the exchange rate differentials. They simply don’t bother because RBI is always there to print rupees and exchange for dollars. Further if techies salaries go down then the top management Walla’s salaries must also go down. This is not acceptable to them. They create an illusion that testing and coding are so brain storming and there is a talent crunch in India. They covertly encourage attrition by not even insisting on relieving letters which is a violation of basic ethics and justify wage hikes.

The disparity in salaries these govt approved and printed kalla nottus (rupees handed over to software companies for exchange of dollars) have created is so huge that a bank manager with around 20 years of experience and working 12 hrs a day for 6 days a week and terrible responsibility draws only 60 percent of the salary a tester (leave the programmer) with two years experience and probably spending half of the time in bench draws.

Now it is high time realism is starting to kick in. Gone are those days of illusion that testing, coding are super brainee jobs. They are very similar to assembly line jobs in a factory and don’t deserve such hectic pay. News of software companies hiring science graduates are popping up in every nook and corner. Hope you remember software and other exporters screaming for RBI to intervene when rupee appreciated 15 percent last year. This is because their kalla nottus were creating huge inflation and the RBI decided to stop exchanging govt approved and printed kalla nottus to dollars for a while and the inflation promptly came down from 6.5 percent to less than 3 percent.

At some point in the future if the Asian central banks realize inflation is getting out of control due to their stupid practice and stop buying dollars thereby allowing their currencies to appreciate then all bets are off. Lots of salary cuts and termination news, just like what Tcs and IBM did in the end of Jan 08, will start popping up.

The economy of USA is in no good shape either. Just to keep their economy afloat or worse just to pay the interest of their debts they need to borrow around three billion dollars every day from the rest of the world. Day by day bad news is pouring in. There is no field without a mention of huge layoffs in USA from the beginning of 2008. Being an economy where two third of GDP is consumer spending, if unemployment goes up then consumption goes down in turn collapsing the businesses and their offshorings.

Take the case of a boxer who is infected by HIV. Every thing looks great with him. You cannot know that he is affected by a killer disease unless and until symptoms of the disease starts showing up.

USA is very similar to the HIV infected boxer and now for the symptoms part of goliath’s (USA economy) death.

1) World Bank and IMF have already warned that dollar might collapse any day due to their unsustainable debt.

2) Subprime related problems are hitting the headlines.

3) All banks in USA are writing down (Decent American version of saying “lost the money”) billions and billions of dollars.

4)World’s largest bond insurers Ambac and Mbia are already downgraded from AAA to AA Grade which will in turn erode away huge part of capital from the world’s largest American banks pushing the largest consumer economy (As Americans themselves feel proud to admit) into far far worser situation than a mild recession which is called depression.

Even if America somehow manages to keep delaying the entry into the inevitable depression from mid 2008 to 2025 or still further, there is still terrorizing news.


Due to the huge risk involved in the erosion of the value of their forex reserves every nation wants to get rid of the devaluing dollar. The only thing preventing them from doing it is the fear of the central bankers that like stock market crash if any one Asian central banker suddenly tries to sell off their dollar holdings, then everybody will panic and try to dispose off their dollar holdings and the depreciation of the dollar would be so fast that within one electronic trading hour the value of the dollar might change like this

Prior to Dollar sell off 1 dollar = 40 Rs
After Dollar sell off 1 Rs = 4000 dollars.

(This is no exaggeration. I would like to challenge any sane person to prove me wrong).

For a country like India it would mean that all those two hundred billions (20,000 crores) of dollars or so bought by our RBI as forex reserve would become worthless within a matter of minutes. Similar is the case for Chinese (1,40,000 crore dollars), Japanese (1,00,000 crore dollars), Gulf countries (3,50,000 crore dollars) and all other Asian central bankers.

Yes of course nobody wants the value of their dollar holdings to go down. No sane person will try to sell off their dollar holdings suddenly. But the situation is alarming. Every Asian central banker is watching his counterpart with nervousness if whether he would start the sell off. Nobody wants to start this but once started nobody wants to be the last in getting out of dollars for the more later they get out the more worthless their dollar holdings becomes. This is what our reserve bank governor, Indian finance minister and prime minister mean when they say that global uncertainties are looming.

So techies who dream of 17 percent wage hike every year till we match American wages, please be aware of the reality and be prepared for the changes that might suddenly turn up. Bear in mind that your profession might be very similar to a cinema heroine’s career. However beautiful she maybe, the most talented actress, okay. Few years down the line when new beauties turn up the tendency would be to avoid the old heroine.

Similarly when new talents are available in the due course of time and rupee appreciates further the company may treat you like a liability or replace you with a cheap fresher. The recent news of TCS planning to debut freshers onsite is a classic example of what is in stake for the future. Don’t get carried away by current illusions. Start saving now and avoid getting into huge EMI loans. If you are a male get married soon because right now girls both from your field and other fields prefer you only. They are not aware of the risks involved. This situation may not last long. When USA goes down you will end up jobless and will become the least preferred. Act fast.

Especially brides who will not even consider grooms from other fields

Idhae linelayae mapillai parungappa,

Padhinanjayiram sambalathai vaichukkittu enna perusa sadhichuda mudiyum,

Akka veetukarar softwarela ambathayiram vangurar enakku pathayirathula mapillai partha naalaiku Yivarum avarum onna parkum pothu Yivar manasu evvalavu sangadapadum

And all those dubakkurs

If you are still going to be adamant “MAY GOD BLESS YOU”.






Ha ha ha




Wish you all happy and fruitful trading and investing activities with safety! = = = Post a Comment

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