Wipro Ltd. CEO Azim H. Premji's work ethic, fiscal responsibility, and focus on "even more success" for Wipro, its investors, and its 23,000 employees are amazing ("India's tech king," Cover Story, Oct. 13). If the CEOs of Enron, Global Crossing, Xerox (XRX), Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson, KPMG International, Merrill Lynch, and Qwest had worked as hard to make their corporations succeed as Mr. Premji does, maybe 82,000 laid-off American workers would still have their jobs, and millions of Americans would not have lost so much of the value of their 401(k) retirement accounts.
Christine A. Rademan
Thank you for exposing the valueless parasitic empire of "India's tech king." There was a time in America when hard work, study, and perseverance would advance you in life. It was called "the American Dream." This dream has been completely subverted by the transformation of the American technology worker into a disposable labor commodity.
Raleigh, N.C. In Japan, the mobile handset is basic to the life of most people ("What's playing in Japan," European Business, Oct. 13). People call each other, exchange mail and images, buy a drink from a vending machine, and even remotely control a toy car. Companies are developing related appliances and products to make life even easier: phone home to fill the bathtub, start the rice cooker, preheat rooms in winter, and so on. In entertainment, the handset is used as a concert ticket. In the security industry, it is used as an ID to enter the office, a tool to scare off burglars, and a password to open a delivery box.
This has gone too far. People don't own the handset any more -- it owns them. What if you lose yours? It's scary!
The top Japanese game publishers are facing pressure from their biggest customers (Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp.) not to support N-Gage...or else ("Nokia's big leap," European Business, Oct. 13). Nokia will succeed with N-Gage as it did in mobile phones -- not just through manufacturing but also through expertise in consumer marketing. Nokia has learned to manage its marketing and retail channels effectively. The odds are looking good: GameBoys and PlayStations have never been available through as many retail outlets as the N-Gage will be sold through.
Chief Marketing Officer
Aalborg, Denmark As always, Robert Kuttner gets straight to the nub ("The Big Board: Crying out for regulation," Economic Viewpoint, Oct. 13). Britain has had its own trials and tribulations with regulation since the "Big Bang" deregulated the City of London. At the same time, the Financial Service Act became statute, and the Securities & Investment Board delegated the task of regulation to various self-regulatory organizations (SROs), which led to a flood of abuse. Recently, the new Financial Services Authority has taken on the task of total regulation, and the SROs effectively disbanded.
Michael C. Feltham
Shoeburyness, England The main reason Turkey is hesitating to deploy troops in Iraq is its fear of a possible economic crisis ("Now Iraq may bring Ankara and Washington together," International Outlook, Sept. 29). That was also the only major reason for the parliamentary refusal to allow U.S. ground forces free passage from Turkey on Mar. 1. Turkey, without question, is an ally of the U.S., yet the Gulf War punished the nation with about $10 billion in losses, which were promised to be covered but never were. Turks see Operation Iraqi Freedom as a déjà vu calamity for the same reason. That's why [the] Turkish Parliament is reluctant to endorse sending armed forces for a second Iraqi crisis, which will thin the recently recovered fragile economy.
Istanbul While much of the world's attention is turned toward Iraq, we cannot lose sight of our commitment to freeing ourselves and the Afghan people from the dual parasites of the Taliban and al Qaeda ("A pressing agenda in Afghanistan," Editorials, Sept. 22). On my recent visit to Kabul, however, I found it difficult to identify any major reconstruction that will drive the economy. The road to Kandahar is often cited as a milestone, yet Kandahar is hardly an economic hub and ignores more important regional centers such as Herat and Jalalabad. We must immediately rebuild textile factories, generic pharmaceutical plants, and mining and exploration projects to unlock the country's natural-gas and mineral reserves. Doubling U.S. aid this year is a positive step, yet the money will be wasted unless we refocus our efforts to stimulate sustainable economic growth.
You are right to point out that failure "cannot be an option" for the U.S. and the international community, but failure is exactly what we will have unless the Afghan people have the economic foundation to fend off another takeover from terrorists who would hijack their country for $100 million a year.
Jack D. Hidary
Bank International of Afghanistan
New York Reader George A. Reynolds' critique of the MBA may not be correct ("All MBAs are not created equal," Readers Report, Oct. 13, replying to "What's an MBA really worth?" Cover Story, Sept. 22). An MBA project has merits that the traditional discounted cash flow (DCF), which he used to asses the MBA project, is unable to capture. That's why his MBA had a negative net present value (NPV). For a proper analysis, I suggest using the Real Option (RO) paradigm, which offers the flexibility to factor in possible future benefits that may not be obvious at the start of the project. Within the RO framework, I am doubly sure the MBA will produce a more than average return on investment (ROI).