ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Ethical Whitewash, Dubious Findings

   Ethical Whitewash, Dubious Findings Can an exercise conceived in bad faith yield a result of any ethical value? After over a year of labour, the UN-appointed Independent Inquiry Committee on the Oil-for-Food Programme has produced a truly wondrous molehill. In transactions totalling over $ 100 billion, involving the sale of Iraqi oil and the procurement of desperately needed supplies for a country under siege, the committee has found irregularities amounting to $ 1.8 billion. Paul Volcker, who as chairman of the US Federal Reserve in 1980, administered the interest rate shock that pushed the US into recession and ignited the third world debt crisis, is known to set much store by the rules of the free market. And within this world view, it is an axiom that corruption is inevitable when free trade is superseded by politically dictated and bureaucratically controlled processes. Curiously though, his report has excited the greatest ardour in India among precisely those sections that adhere most fanatically to free market economics. With Natwar Singh

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