A few good articles Dec 08

I was catching up with news and wanted to save a few good articles

here they are click if u like the snippets

Livemint talking about the  Deja vue on Pakistans Sunday action against the LET and Dawa

and about the competing interest rate cuts worldwide in a bid to jumpstart economies

The present raid which began on Sunday, comes almost 10 days after it became clear that the LeT was behind the attacks in Mumbai
The word “action” is a cheap expression in South Asia. The raid on a Jamaat-ud-Dawa camp, a front for Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT), in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is an attempt to buy some legitimacy—cheaply, of course.
Global interest rate cuts show that intellectual bankruptcy has outpaced the rise in financial bankruptcy
We are reminded of an observation by the German chancellor a week ago. “Excessively cheap money in the US was a driver of today’s crisis,” Angela Merkel told the German parliament. “I am deeply concerned about whether we are now reinforcing this trend through measures being adopted in the US and elsewhere and whether we could find ourselves in five years facing the exact same crisis.”

Sucheta dalal pointing out to the rot i was long suspecting

Living in Denial

It was May 1992, a few weeks after I broke what came to be known as the Harshad Mehta scam.  My report put the securities scam at around Rs5,000 crore (a stupendous figure 16 years ago) and was front-paged by India’s leading newspaper.
That very afternoon, S Venkitaramanan, then governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), called an urgent press conference to deny the report. The media dutifully reported his claim, although it was not backed by evidence. It is the only time I know, in my 25 years in journalism, when the RBI governor has called a press conference to deny a news report. The scam amount was proved to be over Rs5,000 crore and some estimates even placed it at as high as Rs25,000 crore depending on who was crunching the numbers. Dr Manmohan Singh was then the finance minister and P Chidambaram the commerce minister.
Why is this relevant today? Not only is the same duo in charge, but even the smallest suggestion of lax regulation is being dismissed with similar denials. Anonymous finance ministry sources leak reports that the extent of short-selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) is too insignificant to have impacted stock prices. This is followed by a similar iteration by the capital market regulator. The numbers and claims that back such statements are not open to questioning nor is all the data pertaining to institutional activity available in the public domain. Without that, statistics can always be twisted and presented to suit one’s conclusions.

Crosshairs

the government in election mode is unwilling to take any drastic action to finance cash-strapped industries which had over-ambitiously extended themselves during the bull run. The strategy, it would seem, is to do as little as possible, make optimistic statements about India’s growth, blame the US for the mess, give a patient hearing to complaints about banks’ refusal to lend and to float trial balloons in the media about government-financed funding plans to pump-prime the economy.

Goldman Sachs’s report predicting that India’s property market is “poised for a deep correction” has finally shaken up realty czars. Goldman says that it expects a drop of 30% from current levels, while many banks and lending institutions believe that prices need to drop a minimum of 50% or more. In fact, some numbers quoted by bankers suggest that Goldman is being optimistic.

Next the best of local coverage and analysis (a 5 part series)


Lastly read Sandeeps

Most Loathsome People In India: 2008


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