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Business and Life

  • The First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Phil Bennett, will visit Mongolia to meet with the new government and the business community, and to mark the Bank’s 10th anniversary of investing in the country.
  • An article in our Mongolian section last month, read together with its updated version in English in the present issue, will give hope to all who look forward to Mongolian State-owned enterprises functioning to their full potential, contributing more to the nation’s GDP, in both absolute and comparative terms.
  • True enough; there will always be others to do the work. That is how we get the various Forbes lists. I confess to lacking curiosity about people who have such mind-boggling amounts of money, and also to not having the acumen or the insight to tell a millionaire’s son from a billionaire’s in the very unlikely event that I meet them socially. Why then, this piece on the super-rich?
  • One reason why the Right – do mark the capital R, for this significant and substantial section of the world’s population is often enough not right – was so upset by Thomas Piketty’s book last year is that it showed so cogently that inequality is not inevitable, it is engineered.
  • The September issue of this publication contained a very informative article (‘Mega China-Mongolia coal project waits for final feasibility study’ by B.Tugsbilegt) but I am not sure how many readers knew how close we were to the inauguration of the world’s very first commercial-scale plant equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, an innovative breakthrough about which the article spoke in relation to the proposed Sinopec-Hopu-Mongolia joint venture coal gasification plants in Tuv and Dundgovi aimags.
  • In their, perhaps natural, enthusiasm for the infallibility of the market, many Mongolian policy makers might have overlooked that for the second consecutive year the Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel has gone to an economist whose work essentially assumes that markets are often inefficient, if not worse
  • Walk alone, like the rhinoceros,” enjoined the Buddha, but even with all their reverence for him, few Mongolians are likely to know much about this pachyderm, chosen by the Buddha as a role model because of its solitariness and focused existence, both of which he considered essential for spiritual enlightenment.
  • Some idle browsing during the Naadam break brought me to the text of a stunningly good speech –and all the more so because quite unexpected -- Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, made at the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism – for many, an oxymoron – recently organised by the Financial Times.
  • Prescriptive prudence usually has no chance when pitted against political expediency. Some populism is inherent in democratic practice – after all the whole business is of, by, and for the people, we are told – and even if expediency is bad, there is no guarantee that the untried prescription would have been actually better.

  • The causality is so commonplace that we usually forget to note how necessity continues to be the mother of invention. Thus it is no surprise that in times when mines have to get deeper to allow optimum exploitation, excavation has to be quicker to keep up with the market, costs keep ratcheting upwards, and safety concerns become mandatorily and morally paramount, miners seek succour from new technological concepts.
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