Bangalore bubble driven by scarcity?
Turn on the radio in Bangalore and all you hear is 2BHK and 3BHK. What was Rs 70 lakhs a year ago is now 1 Crore and what was 1 Crore may overflow your CPUs number crunching capability in a couple of years.
There are builders offering “double your money in 3 years” schemes and everybody seems to assume that a 15% year over year appreciation is a given (banks give you 10%).
The market is very opaque - there is no data on current sales (no zillow) prices or volume. So builders are free to make up whatever prices they like and the buyer needs to do informal polling to figure out if they’re bluffing.
I happened to open a 5 year old email when I did a price check on a high end builder (more out of curiosity than an intention of buying). During this period, politicians have more than doubled their networth and the prices of everything have skyrocketed.
And yet, this builder and another similar property is selling for only a 10% premium over what was quoted in 2009. How do you explain this?
- Market is driven by younger, first time buyers.
- These guys can get 8x their annual salary in a mortgage
- Low end real estate tracks IT salaries
- Higher end sales don’t see this effect.
- Many higher end properties involve at least 50% in “black money” (tax fraud) and are illiquid
- Rents can’t sustain these properties and HOA fees are high. Most people bet on appreciation to break even.
Depending on your point of view, you can conclude:
- First time buyers are being squeezed by greedy builders and by demographics and resulting demand.
- Higher end properties are not worth it (except as a way to hide illegal cash).
Now that Dr. Khobragade has returned to India, the court in the United States has no jurisdiction in India over her,” he said. “[The Indian] government will therefore no longer engage on this case in the United States’ legal system.
A Pakistani judicial official reduced on Saturday the 33-year jail sentence of a doctor alleged to have helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden to 23 years, one of his lawyers said.
Payment. The contract must state that after the first 90 days of employment, all wage payments must be made by check or by electronic transfer to the domestic worker’s bank account. Neither Mission members nor their family members should have access to domestic workers’ bank accounts. In addition, the Department requires that the employer retain records of employment and payment for three years after the termination of the employment in order to address any complaints that may subsequently arise. Further, the bank account must be in the United States so that domestic workers may readily access and utilize their wages.
If this was a requirement, she was clearly in violation.
- Devyani: moving with her family to a European country or pursuing a political career in India.
- Bharara: Very likely to be indicted and barred from entering India (he’s already barred from entering Russia)
- Kerry/State Dept: Look stupid for handling this with unmatched incompetence.
- Other Indian diplomat nannies: probably on their way home.
It looks like there will be a final court encounter between Devyani and Preet before she leaves. That may be worth of a scene in a bollywood movie.
wouldn’t they be more likely to hire locally rather than importing domestic help?
No. This article completely ignores what’s broken about American system. Healthcare and housing have been made artificially more expensive by the fed. It’s nearly impossible to hire a nanny in Manhattan unless you’re a wall street banker.
Someone getting paid $2000 without housing and food would be significantly poorer than Sangeeta Richard.
Worse, just before the arrest, the maid’s family was spirited out of India on US visas for victims of human trafficking. The implication that an Indian diplomat in a wage dispute with her maid is guilty of human trafficking understandably riles Indian diplomats as much as the treatment of Khobragade after she was detained. The American habit of imposing its worldview self-righteously on others is deeply unwelcome. To most Indians, common discourtesy cannot be repackaged as moral virtue.
Martina Vandenberg cites a few cases involving diplomats from Italy, Mauritius and Taiwan and asks:
So why the fracas in New Delhi?
She’s been on Arnab Goswami’s show, but doesn’t look like she tried to understand the anger in India or worse, intentionally chose to ignore it. Hope this helps her and all the other well meaning, “overwrought” human trafficking advocates in New York:
- Devyani didn’t snatch her passport like in other cases. There was no need to. Sangeeta was on a passport that didn’t allow her to work elsewhere.
- There is no evidence of physical mistreatment or confinement as in other cases (esp: involving Saudis).
- No forgery of any documents. Visa fraud is a trumped up charge. Expect Devyani to be vindicated in the court.
- Doesn’t acknowledge her own role in getting the T-visa (disproportionately issued to Indian nationals) and subverting the legal process in another country.
- No evidence of strip search - even when the crimes were much more “grave”.
This case should be recognized for what it should be: wage dispute between two nationals of another country, where a legal process is underway. Martina should go represent Sangeeta in Delhi high court, if she believes in the case. She may be able to find a few other cases involving underpaid Indian workers in the US embassy.
The cynicism was compounded by what Amartya Sen has made India’s badge of self-identification: the argumentative Indian. We thought arguing was generally a good thing, since it denoted a kind of freedom and engagement with learning.
Media summary on #khobragade:
- US/UK/Aussie: list of domestic worker abuses by diplomats
- India: what US embassy pays brown vs white visa clerks
- China: come ally with us instead of the US
- Pakistan: war of civilizations