Archive for August 14th, 2013

Lessons from a history of thought on poverty..

August 14, 2013

Much is being written on economic history from different angles.

Martin Ravallion of World Bank writes this piece on history of thought on poverty:

Poverty is in ascendency as a policy issue – but it has not always been that way. This column, based on the author’s “The Idea of Antipoverty Policy”, recounts how mainstream thinking until well into the 19th century saw little scope for fighting widespread chronic poverty. The revolution came with a deeper understanding of how market and governmental failures interact with inequality to both perpetuate poverty and retard development more broadly. New policies for fighting poverty emerged and now extreme absolute poverty is at an historic low. History suggests, however, that continued progress is not assured.

Useful read..

 
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Inflation is baaack so are all kinds of controls on capital flows..

August 14, 2013

One is not sure what is really going on Indian economy. The harder the govt tries to absolve its past sins the  more the past sins are interested in catching up.  All things around are just melting. You can fool some people some of the time. all the people some of the time but not all the people all the time. This is what the government has been trying to do. By crowding itself with all the star econs, it feels economics is taken care of.

The measures to control rupee depreciation have failed to inspire. Though one can always argue the counterfactual that without these measures rupee would be headed to 70 by now.  Infact, whenever the measures are taken rupee goes for a further toss. RBI recently took further measures today to prevent capital outflows. So, slowly the measures to open capital account are being rolled back.

Meanwhile, all bond players would be wondering what sins have they committed. After few years of high inflation and record borrowing, market outlook  looked better. But all has been reversed. The bottomlines must be looking a different color than red.

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Jackson Hole agenda leaked..

August 14, 2013

If there is one conference which a sleepy trader in Mumbai even looks forward to, it is the annual Jackson Hole conference hosted by Kansas Fed.  It is towards Aug end and keeps all people interested in markets awake.

Surprisingly, this year’s agenda has been leaked. This years’ theme is: Global Dimensions of Unconventional Monetary Policy.

It is usually top secret. Don’t know the mechanics of leaking. But one can trust market guys to get any info under the sun which matters to their bottomline. And Jackson hole surely did. 

The conference gets crazy  amount of focus each year as Chairman Bernanke usually announces his future policy agenda in the conference.  However, this year he had announced he would not attend the conference so much of the sheen of the event was gone. So say if Bernake was attending this year as well, people would have speculated on the message of his speech etc. 

It is also full of top econs who present much talked about papers. Apparently, this year many have given it a miss. Not sure whether it is by purpose  as they realise too much attention is on this conference or it is just a coincidence…


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