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Friday, May 07, 2010

Interesting readings

Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express on the problems of getting to an effective State.

Can the courts help get us out of the mess that is Indian labour law? A report in the Indian Express says that the courts are inclined towards penalising striking workers of Indian Railways for the pain they have caused commuters of Bombay. Similar principles can help put the fear of large financial penalties upon political parties contemplating disruptive activities also. As an example, the courts have stopped the Shiv Sena from producing noise pollution at Shivaji Park in Bombay.

Anne Applebaum gets a taste of India (on Slate).

Integrating into the world economy is about removing government-induced barriers to movement of ideas, goods, services, capital and people. It involves a lot of little pieces - such as reducing the hassle of getting a visa to come to India. [also see]. It involves better connecting up with Bangladesh and India. It involves getting away from a deeply ingrained notion that the colour of the skin matters, that Indians and foreigners should be treated differently. See this editorial in the Financial Express on the capital controls against FDI by foreigners in the business of cigarettes.

DNA forgot to show the author's name for this excellent piece titled Make RBI/MoF's forex market interventions more transparent. Ila Patnaik in the Financial Express on the choice between inflation control and exchange rate targeting.

Rajkamal Iyer and Jose Luis Peydro have a column on voxEU where they talk about contagion with weak banks in India. Interesting new derivative contract launches: box office futures approved at CFTC, and futures and options on cheese launched at CME.

The nice new McKinsey report on India's urbanisation.

Vikas Bajaj in the New York Times on Walmart's work in Indian agriculture.

A great animated image showing the growth of information for one Indian town (Ludhiana) on Open Street Maps (OSM). Till late 2007, there's nothing there, but after that, almost every month we see the data growing. [back story]

M. R. Madhavan on new laws in higher education, in the Indian Express. Jessica Wallack in the Financial Express on the Right To Education Act. Richard Levin of Yale on universities in Asia.

Reading in a digital age by Sven Birkerts on The American Scholar.

On Poland's sorrow: the speech that Lech Kaczynski was to read at Katyn. I was astounded and delighted when Russia announced that it would start opening the archives on Katyn. For the first time, I see the Putin regime in a slightly less pessimistic way. Roger Cohen in the New York Times says that Poland is an inspiration to all of us: a piece that every Indian and Pakistani must read. And read Nina Khrushcheva on Project Syndicate.

Wen Liao in the Financial Times on the analogy between the problems of Bismark's Germany and what China faces today. The phrase 'great chain of production' that she uses seems reminds me of the phrase 'Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere' used by Japan in the 1930s. Also see Jonathan Holslag on Project Syndicate about the limitations of China's charm offense.
There's quite a bit of concern about China's economy: See Gordon G. Chang in World Affairs Journal, and Takatoshi Ito on Project Syndicate.

Laszlo Bruszt, Nauro F. Campos, Jan Fidrmuc and Gerard Roland give us fresh insights into why India evolved as we did after 1947, and what will happen in China when the communist regime collapses.

Cory Doctorow in Publishers Weekly on the dangers that publishers face by cooperating with closed systems like Apple's iPad or Amazon's Kindle. A great deal of information and creative output is being produced today in the form of video files. I was not aware of this earlier: there are terrible patent problems hobbling this field. It is as scary as some corporation owning the English language.

Harald Hau on how financial markets in the crisis: he thinks it was more about missing markets than market failure.

William Kerr and Ramana Nanda on what governments can do to fuel entrepreneurship.

Malcolm Gladwell has a great story in New Yorker magazine on spycraft. I have a one track mind: it made me think about monetary policy.

Did you know that women have the power to shake the earth? [Statistical testing scheduled for 26 April]


  1. It was fun reading this blog although it was too long :)

  2. Sir, I was intrigued by this research by Social Service Reserach Network titled "When Will God Destroy Money" Link:

    Does this make sense?

  3. Also have a look at this:


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