Daniel Moss (for Info only, not official)

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Daniel Moss

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    ...The country was one of only a handful of large economies marked down in forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week. India’s gross domestic product is expected to rise 6.7% this year, compared with a previous projection of 7.2%. Next year’s estimate was also lowered. Midway through their term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team are acutely aware of the soft patch and didn’t wait for the IMF. Modi, his ministers and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s advocates were out in force last week. Much of the response is substantive, some of it unnecessarily defensive. Why so defensive? The BJP’s political position, on paper, is absolutely dominant. It won a thumping majority in Parliament in 2014, and more than half of the 26 state governments are in BJP hands, more than ever before. The Congress party, the main opposition, is kind of nowhere. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 12, 2017, 9:02 a.m.

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    ...Just when we are getting used to the notion of a synchronized global expansion, the lender feels it has to pad its upgraded forecasts with some dampeners. It’s almost as though there is too much good news. That’s a pity. Muffling the good news under warnings and to-do lists risks contributing to the false notion that the modern economy is somehow broken. Growth is on a firmer and broader footing now than at any point since 2009. Is it perfect? No. But we should take it. The IMF’s global forecast on Tuesday affirmed that strength. You would never know it from popular discourse. At a global economic conference in India last week, some panellists at public discussions blamed poor world growth for India’s lagging performance. That kind of sloppy thinking could do real harm. The IMF risks inadvertently fuelling that and giving credence to those merely seeking to wreck political systems under the guise of populism. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 11, 2017, 12:20 p.m.

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    ...Bad behaviour of inflation, that is. And when I say inflation is misbehaving, I am not talking about a jump in prices that would, in the past, have warranted higher interest rates or the threat of them. In today’s world, inflation is too low, despite very low unemployment that would typically correlate with rising wage growth and inflation. Instead of accelerating, inflation has receded since hitting the Fed’s target early in the year. There’s been a bit of handwringing about this from Fed officials in speeches; policy makers in Europe and Japan also wrestle with it. But there’s nothing in Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee statement that suggests the Fed is altering course fundamentally. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 21, 2017, 9:17 a.m.

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    ...Central bank chiefs the world over still mostly look to the Federal Reserve for guidance and precedent. Same goes for the armies of analysts, investors and journalists who follow monetary policy for a living. I broached this theme on a visit to Asia a few months ago. The July meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, viewed from Hong Kong, was the be-all and end-all. It was like nothing had changed in almost two decades. The People’s Bank of China barely rated a mention. That was a powerful demonstration of US financial power versus the weight of, say, direct investment and trade flows, where China’s influence has grown significantly. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 19, 2017, 12:45 p.m.

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    ...Whether Cohn or someone else gets the nod, the horse race masks some of the broader dynamics at work in the past decade that have fundamentally altered the Fed, mostly for the better, and continue to shape it in ways once thought inconceivable. The central bank, rightly, gets far more scrutiny from Congress, the media and the public than ever before. That scrutiny stems mainly from the searing 2008-2009 recession and the dramatic steps the Fed took to shore up the financial system and the broader economy. Some public reckoning was bound to result and, properly, seems here to stay. The new chair will also inherit a Federal Open Market Committee that’s become far more democratic and whose members, especially the presidents of the dozen district Fed banks, zealously guard their role in setting monetary policy. ...

    Live Mint on Aug. 22, 2017, 11:35 p.m.

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    ...The question now is whether their understandable caution could hold back southeast Asia’s biggest—and at times, most frustrating—economy. Most retrospectives of the crisis era either begin with Thailand’s decision to abandon the baht’s peg to the dollar in July 1997, or offer generic lessons learnt by the region as a whole. Yet to get a feel for how visceral a shock the crisis was, and how powerful its legacy, you really need to look at Indonesia’s current leadership. More From Livemint » While many countries in the region underwent financial tumult and endured recessions, Indonesia suffered a complete political and economic breakdown; at times the country itself looked like it might break apart. It survived, but is now a fractious democracy whose 34 provinces jealously guard their expanded autonomy. The crisis produced an economic policy framework geared towards preventing any similar financial and social breakdown. There are strict limits on budget deficits and government debt. ...

    Live Mint on July 25, 2017, 12:04 a.m.