Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Interesting readings

Tom Wright and Siobhan Gorman in the Wall Street Journal on new thinking by Pakistan's ISI about who is enemy #1.

Tamal Bandyopadhyay in the Mint on the campaign against C. B. Bhave. Also see Ashok Desai and Mahesh Vyas on these issues.

A. K. Bhattacharya in the Business Standard on the crisis of project management in government. This is what animates Nandan Nilekani's TAGUP group and I hope this induces fundamental change in Indian public administration. Also see.

Fascinating new research by Devesh Kapur, Chandra Bhan Prasad, Lant Pritchett and Shyam Babu, written by Ila Patnaik in the Financial Express.

Jayanth Varma is dismayed at RBI's lack of modern finance knowledge in thinking about CDS.
India on the FATF high table by K. P. Krishnan, in the Economic Times.

Neelasri Barman and Parnika Sokhi in DNA about the most important question in RBI reforms: that of HR practices. Roughly 30 years ago, RBI used to do direct recruitment at middle management levels. When the union became powerful and recruitment became restricted to the entry level, it had greatly damaging consequences on the organisation's capability. If the HR falls into place with really top quality people, then all the needed RBI reforms will rapidly get done.

William Dalrymple in the New York Times on Sufis.

Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic magazine about the task of stopping Iran's nuclear capability.

Jeff Frankel says that we have a lot to learn from small countries.

Damon Darlin in the New York Times tells the story about how Netflix worked on video over the net even though this directly competed with its profitable DVD-by-post business.

Javier Blas and Greg Farrell in the Financial Times on the interesting role of agricultural commodity futures in the recent flareup of prices.


  1. Another interesting read:

    Chech out india market cap relative to world.. its more than Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Brazil, Aus...

  2. Ajay - regarding Ila's article on the Lant Pritchett paper, one gets the impression that it is all about market reform. She implies a clear causation as below -

    ' A focussed study of dalits finds that the growth of the market economy has ushered in a reduction in caste and social inequality with an impact more fundamental and far reaching than the changes in average income or expenditure patterns.'

    In fact the paper is a lot more careful about making this distinction than this article by Ila is. As the paper states -

    'Moreover, in the present work we make no attempt to distinguish among the potential driving causes of these shifts by disentangling the political (the rise of the BSP in U.P.), economic (market oriented reforms and rapid growth), exogenous social (e.g. exposure to media), or technological (introduction of tractors and irrigation) explanations. But what needs emphasis is that during this period, as per their own self-assessment, the social well-being of large numbers of Dalits advanced even faster than their material well-being. Certainly this additional human freedom should count as an ¿and¿ in assessing the achievements of the market reform era.'

    This is an important distinction between correlation and causation, someone of Ila's stature could do better in making that clear in her article.

  3. ismr,

    A relevant interesting read:

    India's population is twice that of all the countries you have mentioned COMBINED.


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