Archive for November 12th, 2018

100 Years of World War I: When history rhymes

November 12, 2018

Christine Lagarde of IMF on history lessons from World War I:

Mark Twain once said that “History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” As heads of state gather in Paris this week to mark 100 years since the end of World War I, they should listen closely to the echoes of history and avoid replaying the discordant notes of the past.

For centuries, our global economic fortunes have been shaped by the twin forces of technological advancement and global integration. These forces have the prospect to drive prosperity across nations. But if mismanaged, they also have the potential to provoke calamity. World War I is a searing example of everything going wrong.  

The 50 years leading up the to the Great War were a period of remarkable technological advances such as steamships, locomotion, electrification, and telecommunications. It was this period that shaped the contours of our modern world. It was also a period of previously unprecedented global integration—what many refer to as the first era of globalization, where goods, money, and people could move across borders with relatively minimal impediments. Between 1870 and 1913 we saw large gains in exports as a share of GDP in many economies—a sign of increasing openness.  

All of this created great wealth. But it was not distributed evenly or fairly. This was the era of the dark and dangerous factories and the robber barons. It was an era of massively rising inequality. In 1910 in the United Kingdom the top 1% controlled nearly 70% of the nation’s wealth—a disparity never reached before or after.

Times are again similar:


Israel says no to issuing e-shekel

November 12, 2018

I had blogged earlier about Israel thinking about issuing e-shekel.

The central bank recently released a report which said no to the idea. It said one should wait and watch this space:

  • Central banks around the world are examining the possibility of issuing digital currency and/or using distributed technologies in the payment systems, but no advanced economy has yet issued digital currency for broad use. The Bank of Israel has also established a team to study the issue.
  • The team does not recommend that the Bank of Israel issue digital currency in the near future.  It is necessary to continue examining the field and to follow developments around the world before there are proper grounds for a decision to recommend issuing digital currency.
  • The team will continue working to study and monitor the issue, and will report to the Bank of Israel’s management semi-annually about its activity and about significant developments in the field.


Tributes to Prof TN Srinivasan

November 12, 2018

Prof TN Srinivasan passed away yesterday.

Tributes from Niranjan (IDFC Institute) and Madan Sabnavis (CARE Ratings).

How rising commuting time keeps women away from workforce..

November 12, 2018

Interesting research on lines of Beckerian economics. It is by Francesca Carta and Marta De Philippis of Bank of Italy:


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