Archive for December 2nd, 2014

India needs a dengue target..

December 2, 2014

EPW edit has a piece on dengue malaise in India.

Mosquito bites have become really scary and we have cases being reported from most parts of India. But no. of cases are unreported:


Book review – Bankruptcy to Billions ..How the Indian Railways Transformed

December 2, 2014

This is a really timely book given the renewed focus on state of Indian railways.

It is written by an interesting combo of IAS Sudhir Mishra and Shagun Mehrotra of New School University  (Shagun wrote this book as part of his PhD thesis which is really amazing).

The book is focused on how Railways reformed itself from 2001 crisis. In 2000-01, Railways defaulted on its dividend payment to GoI and cash balance was a mere 359 Cr. The operating ratio (operating expenses/operating revenue) peaked to 98% indicating clear and near bankruptcy.

After the 2004 elections, a populist govt was elected and end was just near. What transpired was just unbelievable. By 2008, Op Ratio improved to 78 and cash balances surged to Rs 25,000 Cr. Moreover. all this was done ignoring the standard wisdom of LPG – liberalise, privatise and globalise. Instead, the railways did just the opposite and still came up trumps.

A committee was formed under Rakesh Mohan to look at railways. The committee suggested:


Gold referendum rejected and SNB gets a breather

December 2, 2014

An old news as the referendum happened on 30th Nov. It was rejected by a vote of 78% against the referendum. That is a huge margin.

SNB breathes a sigh of relief and continues with its policy of targeting exchange rate at 1.2 CHF/EUR.

How wealth of celebrity Argentine economists is linked to the volatility of Argentina’s economy..

December 2, 2014

An interesting piece in Economist (HT: Siddharth Chaudhary).

It is quite ironical how Argentine economists make money off Argentina’s poor economy. Those who create the mess as policymakers make money afters giving advice on how to protect one’s money in Arg:


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