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...The global economy has been recovering from the recession of 2009 at a tepid rate (at approximately 2.5 per cent per annum). This rebound has been much slower than that after World War II. The question worth asking is whether the factors responsible for this slow growth are temporary, or if they are the new normal. The fact is that, but for the baby boom and the massive rebuilding of economies after World War II, global growth never topped 3 per cent. Since the causes for the 4 per cent global growth after World War II are unlikely to re-occur soon, it would be reasonable to presume it was an exception. The main causes of the current slow global growth are declining populations, protectionism, de-leveraging and no major productivity-enhancing revolution. The period between World War II and the financial crisis was characterised by population growth, major investment, productivity gains, increases in global trade and cross-border flows of people — a debt boom. Today, in most countries, these trends are decelerating. However, to recognise the reality of slow global growth is political hara kiri. ...Indian Express on June 16, 2017, midnight
...We compound the problem by looking for perfect solutions.It may be worthwhile to seek workable solutions at the ground level that can be implemented quickly.This is not to say that the macro perspective has to be jettisoned.What we need is a combination of a macro perspective and doable micro-level solutions which are monitored and people held accountable.Otherwise, the discussion of our problems will remain an abstract, sterile and largely academic exercise.The key issue that the macro-approach fails to appreciate adequately is the diversity of India, coupled with the fact that we need to have vision, strategy, an action plan, monitoring and accountability.The corollary of this diversity is that one size does not fit all, and solutions have to be tailored to suit the different facets of this diversity. ...Indian Express on Dec. 26, 2013, 1:54 a.m.
...Instead of deriving a sense of vicarious pleasure from endlessly analysing how bad things are in the economy and markets, and then finding a convenient door to lay the blame on, the various stakeholders in the economy should put their heads together and take some action.To begin with, it is important to understand a few facts.The fundamentals of the economy are not half as bad as the vicious fall in the financial markets would suggest.Take GDP growth for instance.We have had a fantastic monsoon, so god is with us.This is all set to yield a good harvest, and a spurt in consumption spending typically comes in its wake.Merchandise exports seem to be picking up as the US economy, and finally Europe, show signs of slow recovery.Services like IT are also likely to do better, given the recovery in the West and a cheaper currency.Projects in key infrastructure areas like power are gaining traction, thanks to the government's efforts to expedite matters. ...Indian Express on Aug. 23, 2013, 3:28 a.m.
...Yet, going by feedback from senior executives in American and Japanese corporations, it offers great opportunities for India.China's rise as an economic superpower has been a source of concern for the West and for neighbours like India.The accusation levelled against China is that it has not played fair on the economic battlefield.Through a combination of artificially undervalued exchange rates, subsidies to state enterprises routed through its state-controlled banking system, rigid wage controls and dubious trade practices, it has decimated one industry after another in competing economies.Things have changed over the last three years.Wages have increased, international pressure has forced it to ease its draconian control on the exchange rate.The possibility of its financial system imploding has forced it to reconsider its usual policy of using massive doses of credit to ward off any downturns in its business cycle. ...Indian Express on June 10, 2013, 12:45 a.m.
...Over the last 10 years, the price of gold has risen from $312 per ounce (average price in 2002) to $1,675 per ounce (average price in 2012), that is, an annualised return of 18 per cent over the period.No asset class, at least in recorded financial history, has sustained this kind of return over such a long period.Thus, a sharp correction seemed to be overdue.The reasons why gold prices are unlikely to stage a dramatic recovery, at least in the foreseeable future, are to be found in the very factors that led to the surge in its prices in the first place.Gold has historically been held as a hedge against economic uncertainty and inflation.The 2008 financial crisis and the turmoil that followed sent investors scurrying for the "safety" that gold offered, bidding prices up sharply in the process.For economies like India, which incidentally was a major contributor to global gold demand (in 2011-12 it imported 800 tonnes), it was the spectre of rising inflation that tilted household portfolios in favour of gold. ...Indian Express on May 29, 2013, 2:42 a.m.