Its’ smart to stoke private demand

It’s going to be a sombre Deepawali this year. If there were any doubts, the RBI Monetary Policy report of October 4 dispels them succinctly. Missing demand Global apprehensions abound around the policy and political uncertainty unleashed by the proxy war for access to markets between the US and China. Back home, slowing private demand […]

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Kashmir: Light beyond the Banihal Pass

It is foolish to keep doing the same thing to solve a persistent problem. The Narendra Modi-led Union government has internalised this adage and strives to be big-bang innovative, as illustrated by demonetisation to control corruption, although with less than spectacular success. Article 370 – A Gordian knot or fig leaf Yet another instance is […]

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IL&FS Robber Baron of India’s gilded age

India is deservedly an “emerging market”. Information asymmetries are extreme and caveat emptor rules, making investment riskier than it should be. The rapid implosion of the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) — a private group — bears this out. Opaque financials First, consider that no outsider knows how many subsidiary companies it has. Estimates […]

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Babus as default tycoons

Our style of governance remains “provincial”. Of course nothing wrong in that. The French, despite being the last word in art, films, fashion and style – and now fighter planes – exult in the provincial core of their culture. The dapper President Sarkozy first became a mayor of a charming French commune – through the […]

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Book Review: For Reasons of State

India is a young nation. Three fourths of us probably have no recollection of the ravages of the Emergency period from January 1975 to March 1977. This book was first published in 1977, just after the national elections, called by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi – in a bout of self-delusion as a referendum on the […]

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What Karnataka foretells

The tea leaves, following the Karnataka elections, are as muddied as they were before it — a hung House, a history of unstable coalitions and in your face examples of money power and shabby politics all around. Modi government a bell-weather for fiscal management The BJP not getting a majority has spooked the financial markets. […]

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