Posts Tagged ‘india’

Indian Economy Faces Crisis: From Boom To Bust ?

September 4th, 2013 Comments off

Only a few years ago, India was, along with China, viewed as a sleeping giant that had awoken, at least as far as economic development was concerned. Until recently, annual GDP growth rates were just below double digit level; those rates have now been halved, as investors turn bearish on the Indian economy. In a self-perpetuating cycle of gloom, lack of confidence has led to capital flight, sparking a market-induced devaluation of India’s currency, the rupee. The  collapse of the rupee has in turn sparked a large increase in the country’s energy imports, especially oil.  All those factors have further degraded the Indian economy.

Raghuram Rajan, the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is doing what other central bankers have done in the wake of national economic difficulties; he’s attempting to reverse the trends through sweet-talk and optimism. In truth, it is not an option for him to say anything that would further erode confidence by global investors in the Indian economy. However, India faces structural problems that neither monetary policy nor sweet-talk can cope with. Compared with economic rival China, India’s infrastructure is sub-standard, having suffered through chronic underinvestment. It’s manufacturing base lacks the scale and size of China’s plants, being more reliant on smaller industrial establishments that lack competitiveness.

The problem with India’s economy, however, is not only structural; there are profound political obstacles that inhibit growth and scare off investors.  For much of its history following national independence in 1947, India’s political elite, particularly from the dominating Congress Party, have weighed heavily on a socialist model of economic development. Despite reforms that have strengthened the private sector in recent years, old political habits die hard. Such measures as the recent approval in India’s parliament of an expansion of the food subsidy program, which seems like laudable public policy, are actually  counter-intuitive when it comes to arousing confidence among international investors. India’s growing current account deficit is leading to a moratorium on new investment from overseas, which in turn has facilitated the drop in value of the rupee by 20 percent  during the previous two month period.

The combination of the factors outlined above, which interact and exacerbate each other, are creating growing doubts on the future economic potential of the world’s second most populous nation. And it is not only India. All four member nations of the so-called BRIC countries, that artful creation of Goldman Sachs, are to varying degrees stumbling in the performance of their economies.  Yet, it seems only yesterday that the pundits predicted that these four emerging economies would save the world after the onset of the global economic crisis of 2008. Now, as in the early stages of the Eurozone debt crisis, whispers are beginning to be overhead about how it may be necessary for the International Monetary Fund to come to the rescue of the Indian economy.

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

Hillary Clinton Nude


Hillary Clinton Nude


To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Streetgo in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.

Islamophobia Run Amok in the USA

August 16th, 2009 Comments off

At a time of severe global and economic crisis, America is even more dependent than in the past on its traditional open-door policy towards foreigners and their intellectual capital. During the height of the Cold War, artists and intellectuals from across the globe flocked to the United States, not the Soviet Union. This longstanding contribution stemming from the free flow of ideas and culture has played no small part in America’s economic and social development.

Eight years after 9/11 that tradition seems to have been transformed, however, by a national security complex that seems convinced that mindless profiling designed to humiliate foreign visitors is a valid substitute for effective intelligence work and sound counterterrorism strategy. Several recent incidents involving high profile Muslim visitors from India seem reflective of a pattern that will neither protect America from Al-Qaeda nor enhance her economic competitiveness at a time of global financial contraction.

Abdul Kalam is the former president of India, the head of state of the world’s most populous functioning democracy. A national poll picked Kalam as “India’s Best President.” He is also a Muslim, and a renowned Indian patriot. As a scientist and aeronautical engineer, he played an important role in developing India’s missile technology, and his work was seen by his compatriots as a valuable contribution towards enhancing India’s national security. However, his stature, and even Indian airport security protocols that exempt dignitaries from being frisked, did not exempt the personnel from Continental Airlines from doing just that, as he prepared to board his flight to the United States.

What the former president of India had to endure is apparently not an isolated incident, but rather reflective of a pattern. Another recent example has sparked deep outrage in India.

The Indian community in Chicago invited one of the leading actors  from India to participate in the windy city’s India Independence Day parade. He is Shah Rukh Khan, known as the “King of Bollywood.” However, he might as well have been King Canute, as far as the INS personnel at Newark International Airport were concerned.  He was detained and subjected to humiliating treatment. It seemed that he was going to be forbidden entry into the United States, until the Indian consul general intervened.

The two incidents  above may involve high profile celebrities, however, large numbers of academicians, entrepreneurs and professionals are receiving the same treatment, though without the media spotlight. There is a common thread in each case; a Muslim sounding name seems to have been the sole basis for detaining  foreign visitors, and subjecting them to at times humiliating and offensive treatment.

Unquestionably, especially after 9/11, the United States, as with any sovereign country, has the right to protect its national security. There is a reason why visas, passports, and INS checkpoints are required at ports of entry. However, an important aspect of national security is adopting measures that exhibit common sense.  It doesn’t seem logical to believe that Al-Qaeda, not generally regarded as a stupid organization, will send only operatives into the United States who have Muslim sounding names. And how does the “King of Bollywood” or former president of India become a mortal danger to America’s national security?

Islamophobia has run amok in the U.S., and it is actually undermining the nation’s security and economic interests. One trend has already developed;  America is gaining a reputation as a land that does not welcome guests with Muslim names. A growing number of students and entrepreneurs from Muslim countries are traveling to China in lieu of the United States. As America becomes increasingly seen as hostile to Muslims irrespective of who they are, while China is perceived as welcoming, these trends will translate into economic realities. Ultimately, there will be a price to pay, in terms of America’s economic security, if it continues to inflict inexplicable humiliation among human beings who clearly harbour no ill intent towards the United States. There cannot be true national security without sanity and reason.


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