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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Interesting readings

Great insights into India's breakdown of governance, from N. Sundaresha Subramanian in the Business Standard.

Jeff Glekin and Hugo Dixon have a great three-part rumination about India. Also see Jeff Glekin and Shaji Vikraman on the ruckus at UTI.

Cullen Murphy has a great article about the Inquisition. His story is a troubling one for us in India, where we are at the point of transition from persecution by thugs to persecution by competent organisations.

At the crossroads, an article on education by me in the February issue of Pragati. Also see here.

Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Ila Patnaik, in the Indian Express, on the UID controversy.

Do away with surfeit of financial regulators to make the financial sector better, in the Economic Times. (This was by Shaji Vikraman.)

Ila Patnaik on the best contribution that RBI can make for high Indian GDP growth. And by her, see: capital controls are no way to try to block rupee depreciation [link].

Ila Patnaik on the subject of how the Eurozone crisis changes our thinking about achieving bank safety by stuffing banks with government bonds.

SEBI turns heat on USE, by Palak Shah in the Business Standard. Equity licence: MCX-SX faces fresh hurdle by Pramit Bhattacharya in the Mint, which was followed by The question of motive by the editor, R. Sukumar, of Mint.

Sino-Americana by Perry Anderson, in the London Review of Books. You might like to also read The undersupply of criticism by me.

How your cat is making you crazy by Kathleen Mcauliffe in the Atlantic, and a great video of an interview with Robert Sapolsky.

Wikipedia has serious problems, an article in the Chronicle Review by Timothy Messer-Kruse. My experiences have also been similar; I've given up on fixing errors in Wikipedia because people generally undo the work later on.


  1. The link for Ila Patnaik should be

  2. "How your cat is making you crazy" was quite a revelation on how the world is much more complex than what how we think it is. The surprising thing is that the parasite changes human behavior. I inferred that, as explained by the classic theory of evolution, the parasite "has become intelligent".

  3. Was governance ever good in India? It has been on a continuous decline from Independence till now. That's my opinion of course. The spurt of growth that was seen for a short while in the mid-2000s was simply the product of a credit bubble. From reading the story of Kingfisher Airlines and of course the many other scams, its more that clear that things had been going bad at a faster rate during the go-go years.

    I am reminded of your fear about prospects for economic growth in India. At that time it was more academic. But the whole picture is increasingly looking like a prolonged slump and when compared to the kind of growth rates we absolutely require to sustain living standards and provide employment, looks like a mild economic depression.

    I fear the worst.

  4. I would argue that there is an oversupply of criticism when it comes to the Chinese economy. There are American professors working in China who have been predicting doom in China since 2001. Meanwhile, economic busts have come and gone in the US and Europe. It seems like the Chinese are much more tolerant of foreign critics living in their own land. But it might be because these critics publish themselves in the English language. Anyway, there is no hysterical reaction that we have come to expect in India.

    On the other hand, India has been pumped up as the next economic and geopolitical superpower by the financial elite of the West. We know very well that they were lying all through the way.


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