Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is Indian economy fundamentally sound?

Gautam Chikermane
November 16, 2008
How often have you heard these lines? "The Indian economy is fundamentally sound. Our banks are safe. Our economy will continue to grow. It may grow slower than last year but it will still be one of the world's fastest."
Following matters of economic policy as a profession, I have heard these or similar sounding words more often than ever during the past two months. How is it, I had been wondering, that when the whole world is collapsing, Indian policymakers can indulge in such talking up of economic sentiment.
At Planning Commission Deputy Chairman's late-night briefing in Washington DC, I had to get it out of my system. Why, I questioned him, do India's top three economic policymakers --- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Ahluwalia --- keep giving us this one statement whenever we express any concern about the global meltdown.
Blog in, November 16, 2008

‘Power shift to new economies’

Gautam Chikermane
On board PM’s special aircraft, November 16, 2008
The meeting of heads of state of G-20 nations at the ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’ in Washington DC was “a clear indication that the balance of power is shifting in favour of emerging economies”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.
While India had been invited earlier to G8 discussions informally, “our views were not really taken into account. This is for the first time that there was genuine dialogue between developed countries and major emerging countries,” Singh told reporters soon after leaving Washington.
Story in Hindustan Times, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

India can borrow $39 billion from IMF, World Bank

Gautam Chikermane
Washington, November 15, 2008
To help tide over the credit crisis, India can avail of loans worth $39 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters late on Friday night.
India can borrow up to $30 billion (up five fold) from the IMF to infuse short-term liquidity through low conditional loans. This will have to be repaid within nine months. “But with reserves of $200 billion, we really don't need this,” Ahluwalia said.
Story in Hindustan Times, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

World’s financial powers meet to fix economies

Gautam Chikermane
New Delhi, November 14, 2008
With an economic contraction looming, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to Washington DC to attend a global financial summit on November 15 seems a little odd. But when the epicentre of the contraction lies in the credit crisis of the US, that's the only logical destination.
Singh is one of 20 heads of state of the world's wealthiest countries and emerging financial powers — the G20 — getting together to fix their economies. But the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy that begins two days later will look beyond financial markets.
“I will put forward our views on the need for greater inclusivity in the international financial system, the need to ensure that the growth prospects of the developing countries do not suffer, and the need to avoid protectionist tendencies,” Singh said in a statement before his departure.
Story in Hindustan Times, November 14, 2008

‘Standards global, regulation national’: FM

Gautam Chikermane
On Board Prime Minister's Special Aircraft, November 14, 2008
New global regulatory standards, prudential norms, greater surveillance mechanism and reform of the IMF are among the key points that the Indian contingent will raise on November 15 at the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington DC, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters.
Most important among these, in terms of having a widespread impact, will be the setting up of common regulatory and accounting standards across the globe or at least for G20 nations. “We must have convergence of accounting standards,” Chidambaram said.
But he dismissed the idea of a common global regulator saying, “I don't think regulation can be raised to a global regulator. That's too ambitious, and perhaps not possible in today's circumstances. Regulation must be national.”
Story in Hindustan Times, November 14, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dialectic mysticism

In just six weeks, as financial giants across the world revealed their capital hollowness, capitalism is being asked the most provocative questions ever. Are profits private and losses public? Do free markets mean unbridled freedom? Is government buying into private banks another form of nationalisation? Should taxpayers’ money be used to prop up free markets? If so, does it signal the rise of socialism? And with every passing day, as cries for government bailouts increase and get the label of legitimacy, the big one: is capitalism dead?

Opinion in Hindustan Times, November 03, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Buffett à la carte

It’s not his billion-dollar fortune that he’s built up entirely by investing that has forced me to follow each and every move the man has made since 1998. To me the money is incidental, a delightful by-product of the real thing — the simple, universal, disciplined method of making it. In the world of finance, Warren Buffett is the poet and the painter, the doer and the thinker. And Schroeder puts it together grippingly.

Review in Hindustan Times, November 01, 2008