Archive for October, 2008

Sharp Slowdown in Asia Nears –

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Sharp Slowdown in Asia Nears –

… in the past 10 years, Asia has doubled down with its bet on exports as an economic engine — at the expense of developing a domestic consumer market that many economists believe will ensure more sustainable growth.

Exports accounted for 47% of gross domestic product in Asia, excluding Japan, in 2007. That is a jump of 11 percentage points from the comparable figure in 1998, during the last economic crisis in the region, notes Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley’s Asia chairman. Asia “may not be levered in the strict sense of reliance on global credit,” says Mr. Roach. “But it’s certainly levered to the global economy.”

The Indian difference

India is an exception in this regard – more due to the entrepreneurial drive of Indians rather than design. Government was pushing for FDI – whereas the Indian entrepreneurs were pushing the Government for opening of foreign investments in domestic equity, VC, debt, infrastructure, markets.

FDI investments in India were less than US$100 billion – and came with many tax concessions, licensing, royalties and most importantly, ceding large sectors of economy to MNCs.

But equity investments in Indian markets, fuelled an investment boom in India – which is supporting Indian enterprise.

Categories: Uncategorized

India must take inclusive growth more seriously – Economy and Politics –

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment

India must take inclusive growth more seriously – Economy and Politics –

“In Africa, poverty is a tragedy; in India, it is a scandal.” And I understand what he means by that. In Africa, there are all sorts of conditions, the state, the society, lack of education and so on. In India, you have very competent and bright people, very strong institutions in education like IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) and IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and yet 400 million or whatever number of people are under poverty. This is cataclysm. This is not only terrible so far as the poor people are concerned, this is also a terrible indictment of the Indian establishment… My concern is how seriously the Indian establishment is taking this issue of inclusive growth. I asked a government official, he could not answer me. I said when you wake up in the morning, do you have a plan how to ensure inclusive growth?

The Elite barricades itself, using colonial laws, language …

English is the language of exclusion in India. India spends nearly US$6 billion on English education. In Purchase Power Parity exchange terms, it is possibly greater than US$100 billion towards education in English.

Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Germany, France, Spain – do not use English and are significant industrial or cultural powers. Most importantly, what happens when US declines as an economic force. The influence of English is largely today due to the dominance of Britain and USA (by turn) from 1850 to 2000. In the next 25-50 years, the importance of English and US will decrease. Where will Indian-English dominated education system be at that time?

Categories: Uncategorized

Cold turkey for Pakistan …

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Fearing IMF riders, Pak seeks allies aid- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times

… the IMF has revealed that Islamabad has sounded out the ‘international lender of last resort’ for aid. Pakistan needs, according to one estimate, $4 bn to roll over loans and $10-15 bn to pay for imports.

Islamabad is still trying to get a loan from friendly powers such as the US, China and Saudi Arabia, to avert a loan from the IMF, …

One condition (for the IMF loan) reportedly being sought and stiffly resisted is a 30% reduction in Pakistan’s defence budget over the next 10 years. Other reported conditionalities include sharp downsizing of the government, taxes on farm production and direct monitoring of taxation and the budget by the IMF.

What is intriguing is that Pakistan’s traditional allies, the US, Saudi Arabia and China, for whom the amounts needed by Pakistan are small change, are forcing Islamabad to go to the IMF.

But Pakistan is continuing its negotiations with the so-called Friends of Pakistan, to avoid IMF loans and conditionality.

Is this the start of a new war on terror … a more intelligent war … Pakistan is the largest breeding ground for terror – largely supported by the US (aid, arms, sponsorship) and to a much smaller extent by China.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Puzzle of an inactive Britain

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment Europe

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown will discuss ways of shoring up the global economy when they meet in London this week, Brown’s office said.

The meeting, scheduled for Oct. 30, will include discussions to prepare for talks on global banking regulation in Washington next month.

“The economy is likely to be by far the most significant issue they discuss,” Brown’s spokesman Michael Ellam told reporter in London today.

The whole world is in a flap …

And not a word out of Britain. Nearly a decade ago, while Europe was moving towards the Euro currrency zone, Britain held out, protested too much – and finally decided against it.

Because they were getting the benefits of the Bretton Woods-Oil-dollar benefits. London re-invented itself as a financial centre as a result.

Now, again, Britain is in the background. It is not on the dollar side – or the Euro side. And Angela Merkel is trying to get Britain to jump ship.

Britain will wait. And finally join the winning side – if any.

That is the way I see it, for now at least.

U.S. has plundered world wealth with dollar: China paper | U.S. | Reuters

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

U.S. has plundered world wealth with dollar: China paper | U.S. | Reuters

“The grim reality has led people, amidst the panic, to realize that the United States has used the U.S. dollar’s hegemony to plunder the world’s wealth,” said the commentator, Shi Jianxun, a professor at Shanghai’s Tongji University.

Shi, who has before been strident in his criticism of the U.S., said other countries had lost vast amounts of wealth because of the financial crisis, while Washington’s sole concern had been protecting its own interests.

“The U.S. dollar is losing people’s confidence. The world, acting democratically and lawfully through a global financial organization, urgently needs to change the international monetary system based on U.S. global economic leadership and U.S. dollar dominance,” he wrote.

Shi suggested that all trade between Europe and Asia should be settled in euros, pounds, yen and yuan, though he did not explain how the Chinese currency could play such a role since it is not convertible on the capital account.

Late In the day, Mr.Hu … This is something that the world has been talking about for a long time. China has been a major supporter (and victim) of this scam – by allowing US companies unlimited access and support. Chinese citizens have been duped with low paying jobs at these enterprises.

Is China forgetting history … Mr.Hu – Today it is the US – but yesterday, it was Europe, Mr.Hu. Europe was blockaded by the US for the last 100 years – and hence, European loot is possibly forgotten in China. European loot was accompanied by a lot of bloodshed and killing also, Mr.Hu.

Has the Leopard Changed its spots Possibly, you dont know, Mr.Hu, because China has very little wildlife left. Leopards dont change their spots. Europe behaves today, because it has no options.

The answers A new currency floated by the five major economies who are most affected today – China, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa. Maybe Japan will also join in. But, the answer, Mr.Hu is with these 5 – and not Europe.

A blog reader pointed this report out …

This report was pointed out by a Quicktake blog reader. Thanks dsylexic.


The 2ndlook model for a Third currency Bloc is ready. Join in to review, participate, critique and develop the First Cut. While the need for a new global reserve currency has been evident, there is very little in the public sphere. The speed of events has clearly caught the BRICS and Third World napping – and unprepared. But, not 2ndlook – who, from the very beginning, proposed that the world should stop clinging to the Dollar-Euro skirts.

On and After November 15th – What Will Hapen

October 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Global financial crisis summit set for November 15- International Business-News-The Economic Times

WASHINGTON: President George W Bush will host a summit on November 15 in Washington, DC, area to discuss the global financial crisis and ways to prevent it from happening again, the White House announced on Wednesday.

“This will be the first in a series of summits that bring together leaders from countries that participate in the G-20 finance process to discuss current economic challenges.

The so-called G-20 includes the Group of Seven advanced industrial countries and the European Union as well as China, Brazil, India, Russia, South Korea and other major economies.

At the first meeting, working groups will be set up to develop recommendations to be considered by leaders in subsequent summits.

The DragoBear Dance

The DragoBear Dance

Earlier Quicktake Tripolar Currency System – Connecting the dots – Part II recorded what is the likely outcome – which has happened till now.

The New 5

The real action will be 5 countries – Russia and China on one hand – and India, South Africa and Brazil on the other.

The DragoBear Dance

Russia and China as significant military powers as well as a part of P5, will want their pound of flesh. They will, of course, be afraid of being left out! The US will not have them and the EU does not want them!

Three Horsemen Of Apocalypse

The G3 (i.e. India, South Africa and Brazil) have functioning democracies, decent regulatory systems (which can be ramped up), the technology platforms, the trading systems, a vibrant entrepreneurial class – all of which is powering their economies forward. What they don’t have is P5 status – which is useful, though not essential.

This Washington meeting

During the con-fab, ‘committees will be set up’ which create mechanisms for this management.

The big issue for the developing world will be obtaining assurances against predatory raids by the dollar bloc and the Euro-zone to dismantle any new system – like the alleged plot of 1997 Asian crisis.

The lesser issues will also be inter-bank settlements, anchoring currencies (the role of gold or bullion).


The 2ndlook model for a Third currency Bloc is ready. Join in to review, participate, critique and develop the First Cut. While the need for a new global reserve currency has been evident, there is very little in the public sphere. The speed of events has clearly caught the BRICS and Third World napping – and unprepared. But, not 2ndlook – who, from the very beginning, proposed that the world should stop clinging to the Dollar-Euro skirts.

Pope suspends and summons Indian Bishop

October 26, 2008 2 comments

A newspaper reports that

Pope Benedict XVI has suspended a Kerala bishop for adopting an unmarried woman in violation of canon law and ordered a three-member panel to probe all the charges against him.

The Vatican is a Nation

How welcome would fatwas from the holy mosques of Middle East be in Europe, Your Holiness?

The Indian Government allows a foreign Government (Vatican is a country), to interfere in the religious matters of Indians? What gives the Holy See the right to impose their will on Indian Christians? Would the Indian Government accept if the Grand Mufti were to issue fatwas to Indian Muslims …! Would the EU accept that …if the Grand Mufti of the Al Ahram mosque did that to 10 million Muslims in Europe? His Holiness would see crimson …

One blog reader did a Quicktake and commented …

If an American Muslim adopted someone according to his choice following American law. Does a mullah in Saudi Arabia have the authority (moral or legal) to restrict it?

Could he? Should he?

Why the naivete? Why a double standard for India? Simply because Indic ideals do not force dogma on others does that mean that Indians (Christian or not) should accept foreign dogmas?

…Attempting to supersede Indian laws on adoption. India has its own personal laws – that do make allowances for variations. Do you think that the constitution defers to adoption laws in case of Catholics to Papal or any foreign authority?

It is this interference in religious practices of Indians that makes the missionaries suspect, in Indian eyes. What further aggravates the Indian is the apparent disinterest by the Indian Government in such meddling by foreign authorities in practice of religion by Indians! And then to listen to them teaching us about religious tolerance …?

The Vatican has a long history of being political. It should not be – and cannot be treated like a religious body.

Personal choice

Religion, I thought also meant freedom. Celibacy, again I thought, was personal decision. How can any ‘foreign authority’ decide personal matters of Indians? If the Bishop has done something unacceptable, his ‘flock’ will surely let him know. How is it that a ‘head of a foreign state’ interferes in the private life of an Indian citizen?

In matters of faith, the person’s belief is paramount. No Pope (or anyone else) has any authority over that.

If I may remind you, people tried that to Jesus also. Jesus was told clearly that there was a higher religious authority than him.

He who pays the piper calls the tune …

Because foreign Christians fund the missionaries, they are calling the tune …. I thought there were strict laws against this …

The saga continues

The Pope (a head of a foreign country) institutes an enquiry commission, suspends, summons an Indian nationals – and question their religious beliefs. Not a squeak. Not a word. No protest. I thought the Indian Government is here to protect Indians.

Manubhai …

And what is the Indian Government doing?  Siesta …

1. That the head of a foreign country decide matters of personal and private life of an Indian citizen 

2. Under the guise of religion, the Pope will interfere in personal lives of Indians …

3. Indians will allow a foreign religious authority to dictate to a 3 crore Christians In India …!

Manubhai … please read Church history a little more …

Religious Freedom

Referring to the authority of a foreign organization (like the Church) over Indians, again, is off the mark. How can any foreign organization, interfere in matters of faith in India.

In India, we must clearly eliminate all ‘foreign authority’ – which is implicit with religious freedom. The same Pope will of course not allow such a freedom to any foreign religious authority, in any Catholic country – to believers in any other religion. You have only to look at Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the last decade.

Indians must and will have total religious freedom – PERIOD.

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