The New Normal Servaas Storm

The U.S. economy is suffering from two interrelated diseases: secular stagnation rather than growth, and polarization of jobs and incomes. The two disorders have a common root in the demand shortfall, originating from the ‘unbalanced’ growth between technologically ‘dynamic’ and ‘stagnant’ sectors. In this context, to assume that potential output growth is determined by exogenous factors of ‘technology’ and ‘demography’, while demand growth is simply irrelevant in the long run, can be a mistake. Click to read the full article

Public Bank Privatisation in a Post-truth World C.P. Chandrasekhar

Narendra Modi government appears to have decided to privatise public sector banks (PSBs). Preparations are underway with arguments being marshalled that “there is no alternative” to privatisation. Privatisation (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 52, Issue No. 19, 13 May, 2017)

A Permanent Solution to the Crucial Issue of Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes Which Would also Benefit the Developed Countries Jacques Berthelot

The concept of agricultural support is broader than that of agricultural subsidy as it encompasses "market price support" (MPS) through import protection and export subsidies, albeit in different ways for the OECD and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). For the OECD, the MPS represents the gap between domestic farm prices and current world prices (the border price of each country) rendered at farm gate, encompassing import protection as well as export subsidies. The MPS is "financed" essentially by consumers, considering that they are entitled to buy their food and other agricultural products at world prices and that import duties…

Ideological Struggles in Contemporary Capitalism Prabhat Patnaik

Globalization has brought acute distress to the working people all over the world. This distress is not confined only to the period of the post-housing-bubble crisis; nor is it confined only to the workers of the advanced capitalist countries. Joseph Stiglitz’s finding that the average real wage of a male American worker in 2011 was somewhat lower than in 1968 clearly suggests that this distress has had a long duration. Likewise the presumption that the distress afflicts only the advanced country workers whose job opportunities have shrunk because metropolitan capital has been relocating economic activity to low-wage third world countries,…

The End of Globalization? Prabhat Patnaik

Donald Trump’s recipe for reviving employment in the U.S. economy is to impose restrictions on imports from other countries. If at the same time he had taken steps to increase the level of aggregate demand in the U.S. in other ways, such as through increasing State expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit, then restricting imports from other countries would not lead to a reduction in the magnitude of such imports in absolute terms. It would not, in such a case, cause any unemployment in other countries for the sake of boosting employment in the U.S. Put differently, it would not…

Negative Interest Rates: A symptom of the crisis or instrument for recovery C.P. Chandrasekhar

The failure of the macroeconomic stance of shifting away from fiscal policy to an almost exclusive reliance on monetary policy has led to the phenomenon of negative rates in countries other than the United States, and the first sign of even a partial recovery in that country has been enough to set off a reversal. negative_interest_rates (Download the full text in PDF format) This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, March 25, 2017 vol. LII no. 12

Interpreting Trump’s Trade Diplomacy C.P. Chandrasekhar

As Donald Trump settles into his Presidency and his surprise economic appointees begin to travel the world, signals as to what the external economic agenda of the United States would be during Trump’s term are emerging. One such signal was the unwillingness of the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, while attending the G20 summit of finance ministers and central bankers at Baden Baden over 17-18 March, to accept the old normal that any departure from global free trade was taboo. Conventionally, every communique from G 20 summits since the first in 2008 had committed to “resist all forms of protectionism”.…

The Rise and Fall of South Korea’s Chaebols C. P. Chandrasekhar

No discussion of South Korea’s dramatic transition from a poor underdeveloped country to a developed country member of the OECD club of rich nations can ignore the role of the chaebols—its ‘clans of wealth’. Consisting of a large number of legally independent firms controlled by a single family dominated-decision making centre (very much like India business groups), these Korean conglomerates grew rapidly during the regime of General Park Chung-hee (1961-1979), and today the top 10 of them earn revenues that are equivalent in value to around 80 per cent of the country’s GDP. For long credited as having implemented the…

Bad Bank Proposal for India T Sabri Oncu

The author’s bad bank proposal for India would be capitalised with zero coupon perpetual bonds the government would issue and would give the country some breathing time so that she can attack and tackle all her other problems. Bad_Bank_Proposal (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 52, Issue No. 10, 11 Mar, 2017.)