The DotMatrix Show – my new podcast

A little under 6 years ago I started to write a blog mainly to have a “voice.”  In the past 6 years I have met many people because of the blog, brushed up my writing skills, got some hate mail and overall it’s been a great experience. However, over the past 6 months I’ve been getting a bit bored with the topics I have been covering (anytime I start to write about cars, you know it’s a slow news day). I’m not putting the blog to rest but going to write maybe once or twice a month as opposed to a blog post every week.

Instead, I will be focusing on finally getting a real “voice” with audio. Today, I’m launching a podcast with a co-host that covers business and technology from our perspective of being on the ground in India. It’s called “The DotMatrix Show” – connecting the dot…of biz and tech in India.

The co-host is Sahil Parikh who has similar views and passions but also many times we agree to disagree on stuff as well. You can subscribe via iTunes or visit our website to check it out.

Salman Khan educates the world

A couple of days ago I was introduced to a video featuring a guy name Salman (Sal) Khan (not the no talent Indian actor) and was blown away by it. Sal quit his job at a hedge fund and started a non-profit teaching academy delivering content via YouTube.  When you watch the video you get the sense the guy really loves what he is doing and the concept is so simple – teach people via short 12-15 minute videos on various topics.  He has done over 1400 videos by himself. I watched a couple on the sub-prime crisis and he was able to distill the contents into basic blocks of info.

In India, education is broken and many investors (private equity and VC’s) are chasing the “next generation” of teaching institutes. When in reality, something delivered via the internet would be a great start.

You can check out over 1400’s videos at

The 1,000 point drop

The thud you heard on Thursday was a 1,000 point drop in the Dow which then recovered 650 of those points in a matter of minutes. So what happened?  Within hours, we got to hear all sorts of excuses such as a Citi trader fat figured a sell order for 1 billion instead of 1 million.  Then the next round of excuses were about “algo black boxes” making a bad situation worse.

If these orders were executed within milliseconds, then how the hell are we still trying to figure out the cause 48 hours later.  I’m sure a lot has todo with ECN’s, which is where about 60% of all trades now take place. ECN’s provide a way for traders to be not so transparent with their trades. If algorithmic trading funds are called black boxes then ECN’s are the mother of all black boxes.

What we have experienced over the past 18 months in the financial markets seems to have a similar thread – transparency. The entire CDO complex was opaque since they were not listed on an exchange and only after it blew up did we start to learn what was happening.

True transparency leads to quicker price discovery and that’s the problem. You can’t make a boat load of money if everyone knows what you are doing. That’s the struggle of Wall Street vs Main Street, Wall Street likes the current structure and Main Street wants to open it up. Since the sub-prime meltdown NOT ONE rule has been passed to regulate the CDO market, however the US Government has bailed out Wall Street to the tune of over $1 Trillion.

I really hope the SEC makes an example of this ridiculous 1,000 point dip and specifically names the client, the broker/dealer and where the trades took place. Let the transparency begin with this government inquiry.