No, this is a rebuilding team in year two of the renovation — you’re merely looking for … (CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)Get 49ers news in your inbox. Sign up now for the free 49ers HQ newsletter.The 49ers had a chance to beat the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener. In fact, they had several chances.Great teams don’t miss opportunities like the 49ers missed on Sunday, but no one should be expecting greatness from these 49ers.
13 October 2010The world is changing – this is now well known. What is less well known or not yet understood is that Africa is changing as much as, if not more than, the rest of the world. Africa is the second-fastest-growing region in the world, after “Developing Asia”, and has been for most of the last decade. Forecasts from the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expect this to continue to be the case.Shifting balance of global economyThe first decade of 21st century has seen some of the most profound changes in the balance of the world economy. The dramatic extent of the shift was evident during the depths of the world financial crisis. During the course of 2009, the economies of the OECD member countries shrank by about 3.3%. Only three members of the OECD grew at all – South Korea, Australia and Poland. Overall, gross fixed investment fell in the OECD countries by nearly 12% and unemployment rose sharply.At the same time, developing countries grew by about 1.2%. So, in the middle of the financial crisis, the developing grew 4.5% faster than the OECD member countries. And investment remained positive in many of these countries.In the past it was the other way around – when the industrialised countries sneezed, the world got a cold. In the past, economists from the developed countries told the developing countries what they should be doing. In the past, they said that developing countries should behave more like the developed countries.No country is an islandThis time the virus has attacked the industrialised countries most severely, and they have been looking at developing countries like China, India, Brazil and South Africa to help pull them from recession back to growth.The developing countries are not autonomous from the industrialised countries. Indeed, the world economy is more integrated than ever before, and all markets are linked. Yet, we do now have a world where the sources of growth are multiple – it is no longer a case of one or two locomotives pulling the world economy forward. This is “the new reality”.The dynamism in the world economy is clearly shifting from North to South and from West to East. The OECD Development Centre estimates that, measured in terms of real domestic buying power, the developing countries will have a larger share of the world economy than the OECD countries by 2012. By 2030, developing countries will have 57% of the world economy, and the current OECD members 43%.Africa in a new lightThe developing world contributed almost 70% of world growth measured in terms of domestic buying power during the last decade. China alone contributed nearly 30% of world growth.Africa is now seen in a new light. It came through the depths of the economic crisis better than many expected, growing even faster than the average for emerging and developing economies during the crisis. Africa grew by about 2.5%, on average, during 2009. While a few of the bigger economies were more severely affected by the crisis, most African countries grew even faster than that.This is an edited excerpt of a speech by South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to the Emerging Markets Summit 2010: the New Reality. Download the original speech in PDF format (120 KB).This article was published in South Africa Now, a six-page supplement to the Washington Post produced on behalf of Brand South Africa. Download South Africa Now (PDF, 2.12 MB).
There are several dimensions to the Deccan Chargers issue, most of them not to do with cricket and hence beyond the scope of this space. But the one thing which should worry the BCCI is not that the auction of the franchise failed to go through, rather that there was only one bid received.Prior to the auction day, there was speculation that three or four bidders were in the fray. But that turned out to be a red herring. Merely taking forms from the BCCI is far different from making an active bid.As it happened, the Chargers spurned the bid made by PVP, which means the problem for the BCCI remains.From the Indian cricket establishment’s point of view, the absence of more bidders is foreboding. Does this reflect the slowing down of the economy or erosion in the sheen of the IPL?As the last tournament showed, there seems to be no problem where fans are concerned. But the current episode throws up some contra-indications about the financial valuation appeal of the IPL which the BCCI must address ASAP and head-on.That the T20 format enjoys widespread popularity is without doubt. By all accounts, the best players in the world too are keen to play in the IPL – so much so that some, like Kevin Pietersen, are willing to risk their international careers.However, there is a task ahead for the minders of the IPL to set the house in order. Some solution is sought to be found to the Deccan Chargers matter today. Hopefully, it will be found acceptable to all parties concerned.advertisementMeanwhile, the T20 World Championship kicks off in Sri Lanka next week. With 12 teams in the fray, it’s going to be three weeks of high octane action. But it would be foolish to stick one’s neck out and predict a winner for this format is a veritable lottery.That different teams have won since the tournament came into existence in 2007 is sufficient evidence of this. If more was needed, it came through India’s one-run defeat against New Zealand in Chennai a few days back.The New Zealanders looked easy pushovers after losing the two Tests, and for most of the T20 game, India were in control till the run chase was messed up in the closing stages.Apart from making for a disappointing send-off to the T20 WC for Dhoni’s team, this match also exposed some of the problems that could hamper India’s prospects in the tournament.The bowling is not incisive enough. For the record, there is not a single Indian bowler in the top 20. Indeed, Harbhajan Singh, who has been out of the team for a while, is India’s highestranked bowler.Moreover, the fielding remains mediocre. In a format which thrives on high energy and supreme athleticism, a poor fielding side has to do 25 per cent better in the other departments to cover up.The form of some of the younger players – especially Virat Kohli – could be an antidote. Yuvraj Singh, too, was impressive in Chennai to show that he was not selected on sentiment alone. He could be the allrounder India needs.Since the spectacular victory in the 2007 WC, India’s performances have been iffy at best.But the West Indies now boast T20 specialists like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, which has prompted several bookmakers to tag them favourites.But I wouldn’t discount South Africa, perhaps the most balanced side in international cricket today, as well as Australia and England, who’ve done well in this format in recent weeks.