ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

H T Parekh Finance ColumnSubscribe to H T Parekh Finance Column

Non-performing Power Sector Assets

Desperate attempts to prevent liquidation of power sector assets in companies that are defaulters point to a deeper crisis afflicting neo-liberal growth. A sector that was plagued by shortages was opened up to private participation, leading to rapid expansion in the expectation of large profits from liberalised prices. Public sector banks were called upon to finance that expansion with the government being complicit. Now, however, firms find themselves trapped between inadequate demand at prevailing prices and rising costs that precipitate default.

Did This Straw Break the Finance Sector’s Back?

The world’s financial markets are hurtling towards a new phase of crises ranging from currency, to balance of payments, to sovereign debt, to banking crises. The monetary tightening policies of the United States Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will only precipitate crises in emerging markets as well as peripheral eurozone economies, which will have global repercussions.

Lucrative Defaults by Hungry Corporates

The implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 has led to aggressive competition to acquire firms that have been subjected to the resolution process. This suggests that the default that required the creditors to bring these firms to the National Company Law Tribunal was not due to poor fundamentals. Moreover, the decision of the original promoters to try and enter the fray as bidders for defaulting firms indicates that they too do not see the firms and the activities they are engaged in as unviable. Yet, there is much pressure on the government to favour those who seek to game the system.

That Sinking Feeling

The United States (US) is sinking. It is what happens to a country when it blames everyone else for its ailments. The problem is that when the biggest boat in the water sinks, it pulls others down with it. This is not, therefore, time for the rest of the world to indulge in Schadenfreude over the...

Miscommunicated Monetary Theory

The Modern Monetary Theory is described as an integration of endogenous money, state money, credit money, and functional finance theories. Despite departing from a faithful narration of what actually happens in the real world, the MMT arrives at a new world in which the government can spend as it pleases. Not only this and several other difficult-to-swallow claims, but also academic concepts such as vertical and horizontal components of money supply introduced along the way are what make MMT difficult to communicate to the general public and also difficult to fully appreciate.

Weak Note of Caution on Unconventional Monetary Policies

The prolonged deployment of “unconventional” monetary policy responses that began in reaction to the financial crisis of 2008, especially “quantitative easing,” set off speculative investments and fuelled asset bubbles. Since they cannot allow the new bubbles to give in, policymakers must persist with decisions that inflate asset prices. By doing so, they end up sitting one more bubble on the previous one. The probability that one or both may burst has only increased.

Revamping Bank Regulation

One of Donald Trump’s big election promises was a substantial rollback of bank regulation. Trump and his Republican followers believe the regulations ushered in by the Dodd–Frank Act in the United States (US) are too onerous and too complex. They think it could render large US banks uncompetitive,...

Is ‘Islamic Finance’ Islamic?

Riba could mean usury, interest, economic rent and even surplus value (in the Marxian sense). Riba is “un-Islamic.” Without riba, capital accumulation, and capitalism itself will not be possible. However, those who own capital in the Muslim world have taken charge of defining what is Islamic and what is not. The result? They find ways to multiply it in modes that benefit only themselves, just as their non-Islamic counterparts.

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