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Soaring animal spirits can make Modi’s task easier

When expectations are strong enough, they become self-fulfilling. If enough people think land and stock prices are going to rise and all of them start buying, the price of land and stocks will indeed shoot up. If all businessmen fear a recession and stop investing that itself will cause a recession. I argued in these More >

How migrant labourers worked in Modi’s favour

Most of us are still struggling to grasp the dimensions of Narendra Modi’s victory. He won a mind-boggling 71 of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 seats. So he won far more seats in UP than the Congress party did in all India. Mayawati, who aspired to become prime minister in a hung Parliament, was so engulfed by More >

What a strong Modi govt implies for markets & economy

Exit polls suggest an absolute majority for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). If so, India will have a strong Modi-led government, free from fickle allies. What will be the outcome for Indian politics, the economy and markets? No party or combination has won an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha since 1984. So, the More >

Even in defeat, Aam Aadmi Party still matters

I have long been allergic to mainline political parties. On election day, I typically go to the polling booth, look at the photos of candidates, and vote for the bestlooking independent. I did not vote this time because I was abroad. But I made a donation to the AAP. It often makes me tear my More >

Strong pro-Modi sentiment in eastern UP, central Bihar

ET Now caught up with its Consulting Editor Swaminathan Aiyar for his take on the current political scenario and the possible election outcome. Excerpts: ET Now: You are just back from your election yatra. You have travelled across eastern UP and Bihar. What is the mood like on the ground? Is there a strong Modi More >

90 per cent chance of Narendra Modi becoming PM

In the Lok Sabha polls 2014, people have voted for BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi because of his good work in Gujarat, feels Swaminathan Aiyar, Consulting Editor at ET Now. “People have voted for Modi as he has done good work in Gujarat,” Aiyar told ET Now. Aiyar sees a ninety per cent chance More >

Well-intentioned laws, courts cripple growth

A key reason why India’s economic growth has halved from 9% to 4.5% per year is that, in search of inclusive growth, the courts and legislatures have increasingly made legitimate business difficult. It now takes 12 years to open a new coal mine. This is not inclusive growth but paralysis and stagnation. The new land More >

Disarmament is for wimps. Go get your nukes if you can

All my life I have opposed nuclear bombs. I have argued that such bombs are basically unusable; that, instead of ensuring security, they risk escalation of small conflicts into disasters; and that they lead to undesirable macho foreign policies. Most Indians exulted after India’s nuclear tests of 1998, claiming India was now a great power More >

Modi should shun jingoism & must learn from WW I and Vietnam War

This year is the 100th anniversary of World War I, and the 50th anniversary of the US escalation of war against North Vietnam. In both cases, small incidents escalated into horrific wars because of jingoistic bravado and lack of cool heads. This holds lessons for India, which has border clashes with China and Pakistan. Narendra More >

Gujarat is India’s top state in economic freedom

Does Narendra Modi actually have a great Gujarat model, or just wellpackaged hype? Critics say that Gujarat has grown fast, but some others have grown faster. The Raghuram Rajan Committee on development indicators says Gujarat’s social indicators are just middling. Looking at children of class 3-5 who can do subtraction, Gujarat has declined from 22nd More >

UPA’s 10-year averages are just statistical spin

Collapsing economic growth, high inflation and corruption explain why the Congress is heading for its worst defeat ever. GDP growth averaged 9% for much of UPA rule, but has halved to 4.5% in its final two years, crushing incomes and opportunities. The Congress manifesto explains this away by using long-term averages. It says GDP growth More >

Short-term capital inflows boosting the rupee will render exports uncompetitive

Prospects of a Modi election victory have induced a dollar flood into Indian bonds and equities. The rupee has strengthened to below Rs 60 per dollar. If the strong rupee was caused by an export boom, everyone would be delighted. In fact, it has been caused by hot money plunging into the speculative froth of More >

To catch a crook: Three lessons from the Rajaratnam case

Last week, I wrote on how not to catch corporate and political crooks. Readers naturally asked, what is the right way? Some analysts say India has only 1.3 policemen per 1,000 citizens against 2.5 in the US, 5.3 in Turkey and 5.5 in Russia. But China has only 1.2 per 1,000, yet convicts and executes More >

CBI follies: This is no way to check crony capitalism

The Supreme Court seeks to ensure a strong, independent Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to check corruption. Sadly, the CBI is using this enhanced power to pursue frivolous charges against honourable officials. This simply demoralizes and paralyses the bureaucracy, without catching the big fish. The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against CB Bhave More >

Modi euphoria on Sensex? Voters are selling, foreigners buying

Has Modi fired up the stock markets? The Sensex has leaped up from 18,000 last August to almost 22,000. Many analysts say another bull run has begun. The markets think Modi is almost certain to come to power in May, reviving economic growth and business confidence. However, the current bull run is most peculiar. The More >