Monday, October 27, 2008

Why the Markets Fell, and Dampened Our Diwali

Santosh Desai in his article in today's Times of India raises a few issues that, we feel, need wider coverage, to see at least how many others think and feel like him. We for our part agree with him to some extent.

In India regulators have become some sort of accomplices. You see this rampantly in every aspect of life. From the traffic cop who accepts a bribe to a babu who accepts gifts all are compromising their positions, and diluting the structure of our democratic institutions.

We cheered, we are ashamed to say this, when they said that out of the top ten richest, four are Indians. How did they get this wealth. One such richest men is building a 27 storey building for his residence which will have six floors to park his cars. But we didn't cheer when they said thousands committed suicide because of inability to pay off loans. Take the following as an example:

"The Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute released its report "The World's Most Deprived: Characteristics and Causes of Extreme Poverty and Hunger" on 6th Nov 07. The Institute devised the global hunger index (GHI) as a measure of poverty & hunger in a country. This report is the first of its kind to use household survey data to look at those living below the one-dollar-a- day line. The index is designed to capture three dimensions of hunger: lack of economic access to food, shortfalls in the nutritional status of children, and child mortality, which is largely attributable to malnutrition. Some of the rankings among 119 poorest nations:

47 China
68 Myanmar
69 Sri Lanka
88 Pakistan
92 Nepal
96 India

Mauritius is among the top 20 of least hungry countries." I took this from a Google Group called Kerala farmers, because news like this is hard to find in print or online."

And in India, self-regulation is a farce. I know because I headed an industry association that had the hallowed view that self-regulation was better than government regulation and the association made rules with loopholes so big that even an elepahant of infringement could saunter through it without any problem.

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