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

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Our Political Class and National Self-Respect

Our Political Class and National Self-Respect D N Ghosh If some recent observations of US secretary of state Madeleine Albright on India and its leadership reflect the insensitivity of the US administration, our own political class has demonstrated neither will nor the imagination to define and act upon what is in the national interest in the complex ambience of global insecurity and turbulence.

Our Political Class and National Self-Respect

Our Political Class and National Self-Respect D N Ghosh If some recent observations of US secretary of state Madeleine Albright on India and its leadership reflect the insensitivity of the US administration, our own political class has demonstrated neither will nor the imagination to define and act upon what is in the national interest in the complex ambience of global insecurity and turbulence.

Business Machiavellism Swadeshi and Videshi

government, lends itself to as many interpretations as there are spokespersons. On the one hand we have the aggressive posture of one leading spokesman committing the government to 're-reforming the reform' and on the other we find the finance minister attributing semantic confusion to 'turns of phrases'. Refreshingly, however, unlike other ministers, the finance minister took pains to elaborate in a recent television interview on some of the implications of what his new government means by swadeshi.

Currency Boards Missionaries and Converts

and Converts DN Ghosh WHEN in late 1994 the Mexican crisis rang the alarm bells for international fund managers, they targeted the central bank of the country as the villain of the piece. It was well known that the central bank was holding back the inevitable depreciation of the peso at the behest of the ruling political party which was in the midst of an election campaign: the party had understandably little time to think over and take care of the concerns of international fund managers over the sharp erosion in the returns on their capital flows. But their stakes were high. They had in that year financed two-thirds of the current account deficits. Their interests should not have been ignored, at least for the sake of decency, if not gratitude, Several financial and economic commentators were outspoken in pleading their case.

Global Fund Management-US Hegemony and Bail-Out Strategies

Today's tribe of global fund managers claim that they can beat the market and flaunt their expertise in sophisticated asset-allocation and risk-return strategies. Yet puzzlingly, in several countries over the past few years the fund managers have continued to pour in funds, ignoring the disturbing signals about the state of these economies that were coming out Clearly, the global fund managers could not have behaved as they did unless they were sure that they would be protected against the consequences of their miscalculations and misjudgments. To extend such protection is the purpose of the rescue packages and bail-out strategies so that the near-default crises in the borrowing countries and the imposition of conditionalities provide a bonanza for the global investment hankers and the fund managers who can go on playing their games as they have always played them, safe in the knowledge that they would be rescued, if and when necessary.

Commonwealth Business Conference-Public Face and Private Agenda

Commonwealth Business Conference Public Face and Private Agenda D N Ghosh GLOBALISATION is no longer an exciting theme for international business conferences as it used to be in the early 1990s. The grand alliance between international business and domestic politics for pushing the process of global integration through a massive dose of privatisation and outward-oriented liberalised policies appears to be cracking at a few sensitive spots. Of late even the diehard establishment of the World Economic Forum at Davos has mellowed down.

Gullibility of the Investor and Pastimes of Marketmen

Gullibility of the Investor and Pastimes of Marketmen D N Ghosh "A SOLICITOR or two, a civil engineer, a parliamentary agent, possibly a contractor, a map of England, a pair of compasses, a pencil and a ruler were all that were requisite to commence the formation of a railway company in those halcyon days at any rate so tar as the drawing of the prospectus was concerned. Then that document had to be embellished with the names of a few noble and gentle country landowners and well-to- do manufacturers as provisional directors. These were all the ingredients for forming a railway company." These are reminiscences of Edward Callow, a member of the stock exchange as quoted by Charles Duguid in his book, The Story of the Stock Exchange. Duguid was commissioned to write this book to mark the centenary of the laying of the foundation of the new stock exchange building at Capel House, London, in May 1801. The book which covers the important events at the London Stock Exchange during the 19th century keeps the reader engrossed with the recurrent incidents of fraud, deceit and the credulousness of the investor. This is virtually a repetition of what Daniel Defoe wrote ''proving that the scandalous trade, as it is now carried on, to be knavish in its private practice and treason in its public" in the subtitle of his tract The Anatomy of the Stock Exchange Alley. Duguid relates many telling instances of investor credulity. It is difficult to pick and choose, but even 200 years later, the incidents are alarmingly similar to what happens in today's market, Edward Callow in his book City Press, talking about the year 1845, described the beginning of the Railway Mania in the London Stock Exchange. Sixteen new companies were floated in January and by September the number had gone up to 1,036; in October 363 more were added. The schemes would require hundreds of millions of pounds to bring them to fruition. It was not the railways that the promoters were interested in, but the deposits and premium on the shares. The venerable Times of London warned "We cannot add 50 millions of money to rail way enterprises without the most ruinous, universal and desperate confusion." But George Hudson, the uncrowned Railway King, was the revealed God to the investing community.

US Hegemony and Future of Capitalism

Will the forces that are shaping the world economy undermine some of the stability assumptions of today's largest and most powerful economy? What will be the impact of these forces on the developing economies which have by and large come to accept the inevitability of working within the network of the global capitalist system?

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