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Throw Hamburgers to the Wolves

Dear Prime Minister, Politics in a democracy is about conflict resolution. The RSS does not seem to understand this very well, but you do. This is the main reason for the quarrel between the RSS and your liberal wing of the BJP at the recent Bangalore conclave. The press reported it somewhat differently, as a More >

Indians Stagnate at Home

On returning to Delhi after some months abroad, the standard question everybody asked me was, “What do Americans think of India?” The answer is that Americans hardly think of India at all. The country is barely on their radar screen. US businessmen see India as a country with lots of potential that simply has not More >

Saffron Atavism has been Nuked by the Liberal Mask

Nobody imagined when Atal Behari Vajpayee became Prime Minister that he and other liberals in the party would soon be openly battling the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on insurance. The issue proves how facile those S were who claimed that Vajpayee was simply a liberal mask of the BJP that More >

Knowledge: The Key To Globalisation

The biggest gap between rich and poor nations relates not to capital but knowledge, says Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar Indians generally think of globalisation as freeing flows of goods and investment. This is too narrow a notion. In fact, knowledge is the most important component of globalisation. The main virtue of other forms of globalisation More >

Marshall Plan: The first Structural Adjustment

The year 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. This is famous for pulling Europe out of the wreckage of World War II and propelling it to prosperity. But it was also the first great structural adjustment programme, and this is little known. Today, when Bank-IMF programmes in many other countries have failed, More >

India Overtakes Pakistan

Pakistan has long been richer than India. On the 50th anniversary of independence, The Economist proclaimed India the greater political success, but Pakistan the better economic performer. That may finally have changed. The World Development Report, 1998, of the World Bank proclaims that India has finally overtaken Pakistan in living standards. Atal Behari Vajpayee will More >

You Can’t Buy Reform

When India went bust and started reforming in 1991, leftists predicted a decade of lost development. They pointed to much of Africa and Latin America, where growth had stalled or reversed in the 1980s after years of structural adjustment programmes financed by the World Bank and IMF. Yet the reforms succeed in India. Why? Because More >

Lessons from a Failed Cartel

Nobody is celebrating the silver jubilee of the 1973 oil crisis which suddenly made the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rich beyond its wildest dreams. The event was then hailed as a historic watershed, for two reasons. First, developing countries thought they had found a new tool, cartelisation, that could make most of them More >

The Taming of Swadeshi

The lack of BJP action on the swadeshi front is because of the realisation that videshi can’t be curbed without also hurting a lot of swadeshi business, says Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar The most remarkable thing about seven months of BJP rule is not what the party has done but what it ‘has not. India More >

Amartya Sen Transcends Left And Right

When Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics, I was astounded to get a request from a prominent editor to write on the topic, “Does getting the Nobel Prize vindicate Sen’s stand against IMF policies and economic policies which genuflect only before the market to the exclusion of social concerns and safety nets?” More >

What makes Hot Money Hot?

I pointed out last week that all countries (including the US) control their financial systems, since these are the most imperfect of markets, prone to panic and systemic collapse. I said the IMF viewed forex controls as old-style socialist controls rather than prudent supervisory ones, and so sought their early abolition. This was a grave More >

Turn Planning Theory on its Head

Indian policy makers should focus on boosting growth so that a boost in savings will follow, says Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar If there is one thing that all finance ministers from Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram to Yashwant Sinha and Madhu Dandavate agree on, it is that we must raise our savings rate to achieve faster GDP More >

The IMF’s Big Blunder

The international financial system has cracked apart like a smashed eggshell, and all the imp’s horses and all the IMF’s men cannot put it together again. That is why President Clinton of the US and Prime Minister Blair of Britain have called for an overhaul of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The Asian More >

Is Capitalism Dying?

The old left is smiling. It is gleeful about the economic disaster in East and South-East Asia; about the collapse of Russia; about the strong possibility of Latin America becoming the next domino. Even the USA, whose booming economy once looked insulated from the typhoon hitting global markets, is now feeling the blast: its stock More >

Re-establish the Russian state

Russia today proves the point that economic reform cannot take place in the absence of governance. When governance collapses, no mount of foreign money can save a failed state like Russia. Quick-fixes like those attempted by the IMF will fail or work only temporarily. The fundamental problem is not economic policy but governance, which is More >