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...This is the best economic condition that the world has seen in nearly a decade since the calamitous 2008 global financial crisis. Global growth is expected to clock a whopping 3.6% this year, and push 3.7% in the next. The US has picked up pace with steady growth in consumption, business investment and employment. Europe has woken from its stupor and is finally stretching itself out of its protracted stagnation. China’s strong domestic demand is leading a revival in exports in most of Asia, leaving factories across the region with ringing cash registers. Central banks in developed economies are in fact so confident of growth that they are revving up to reverse their decade old policy of keeping policy interest rates at record lows. India’s best years of growing at 9% levels have come in years when the global economy also did well. Exports have been the unsung hero of India’s growth story. Between 2000 and 2013 Indian exports’ share in GDP almost doubled to nearly 26%. ...TOI on Oct. 19, 2017, 2 a.m.
...Game theory is the model of how people act based on their perception of how others are likely to behave in reaction. When we are on either side of an interview table, or negotiating a deal, or even on a date–we are in fact playing games. We are unable to clearly gauge the true intentions of the other person, and both are trying to course-correct our actions based on our guesses about each other. Game of Thrones, incidentally, is a grand show with mindless gore and sex revolving around the politics of power that decides who sits on the “Iron Throne”. And the last season was, in fact, a highly entertaining game theory lesson on negotiation strategies. Invading queen Daenerys Targaryen comes to know that a vast army of mythical zombies is marching from the north to destroy all of mankind. However, she is occupied with the war of her lifetime to displace the evil incumbent of the Iron Throne in the south, Cersei Lannister. Daenerys realizes that for everyone to survive, they have to keep aside their infighting and join forces. ...Live Mint on Sept. 25, 2017, 10:31 p.m.
...So he decided to commission a grand construction project. Labourers would work during the day while the elites would dismantle it all in the anonymity of the night. Incidentally, this was 150 years before celebrated economist John Maynard Keynes came up with his signature theory of how governments could escape economic slowdown by making people dig holes and then fill them up. For those unfamiliar with how this story ends, the nawab’s fiscal stimulus ultimately birthed one of the most iconic structures of present-day Lucknow—the Bara Imambara. What Keynes and the nawab had realized was that government spending has a multiplier effect. The first people to receive money from the state’s coffers will save some of it and use the remaining to pay for goods and services from other citizens. They in turn will repeat the exercise with other people they get in touch with and so on, creating a ripple effect of sorts. ...Live Mint on Jan. 27, 2017, 12:32 a.m.
...The rationale is that the tax department is there to serve the public, not be served. Which is an interesting idea, because traditionally its role is to shore up as much revenue as possible and prevent people evading taxes. That is why we see our tax departments constantly sabre-rattling the public so that they don’t dare manipulate the system. How can such an arm of the government offer customer service akin to, say, a restaurant, on airline or a telecom operator? The signature credo of the hit series House is the eccentric medical protagonist, Dr House, repeating, “Everybody Lies.” Ease-of-doing business is about the government understanding that everybody in fact does not want to lie. On the contrary, most people want to comply with regulations, pay their taxes and get along with their lives. The core of ease-of-doing business is to make it as simple as possible for this majority to do just that. And effectively identify the dishonest minority. The problem is that the dishonest citizen doesn’t roam around with a label around her neck. ...Live Mint on Jan. 15, 2017, 11:44 p.m.