Battling Apple and the Giants C. P. Chandrasekhar

On the 30th of August European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager dropped a bombshell at the tax doors of the world’s leading multinational corporations. After a lengthy investigation she ruled that Ireland must recover from the local Apple subsidiary up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in unpaid past taxes, adding on interest on delayed payments, which could take the total to as much as 19 billion euros ($21 billion).The ruling was based on a decision that tax benefits provided to Apple’s subsidiaries in Ireland through two tax rulings amounted to ‘state aid’ that was illegal under EU rules. The penalty,…

Recognising Different Skills and their Uses Jayati Ghosh

Skill development and training are two terms that are greatly beloved of policy makers – and indeed of analysts in general – as they seem to present easy solutions to so many labour market concerns. It is commonplace in India, for example, to hear that our economic growth is constrained by the lack of skills among the bulk of our workers, and that skill development is therefore not only a policy priority but also a relatively easy, inexpensive and painless way to ensure employment growth, especially in formal activities. It is seen as the proverbial low-hanging fruit for governments to…

Revving Up the Bond Market C. P. Chandrasekhar

In the final stretch of his tenure as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan chose to make one more effort at revving up India’s bond markets. A number of measures aimed at galvanizing the debt market, culled out of past studies and extended by the H.R. Khan Committee set up under Rajan, have been announced. These measures have also been welcomed by all those who see the absence of a vibrant corporate bond market as a major weakness of the Indian financial structure. The thrust of the measures is to expand the market for and increase the…

Poverty Cut by Growth Despite Policy Failure Jomo Kwame Sundaram

At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, world leaders committed to halve the share of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. The World Bank’s poverty line, set at $1/day in 1985, was adjusted to $1.25/day in 2005, an increase of 25% after two decades. This was then re-adjusted to $1.90/day in 2011/2012, an increase by half over 7 years! As these upward adjustments are supposed to reflect changes in the cost of living, but do not seem to parallel inflation or other related measures, they have raised more doubts about poverty line adjustments. The…

Tanzania, Nigeria and the EU: Free trade discord Rick Rowden

From the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to the European Union and African countries’ trade and development ministers, nearly everyone agrees that African economies must industrialise. Yet despite this broad consensus, when it comes down to the specific policies needed there remains widespread disagreement. The recent refusals of Nigeria and Tanzania to sign on to the EU’s proposed free trade deals, or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), are the starkest manifestation of diverging agendas. Nigeria has consistently opposed the EPA for west Africa. However Tanzania’s last minute decision in July to back away from the EPA for…

An Overburdened Instrument C. P. Chandrasekhar

On August 9, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan released the last bi-monthly monetary policy statement that would be drafted under his leadership. No changes were made: the benchmark ‘repo’ rate was kept at 6.5 per cent, the cash reserve ratio at 4 per cent and the Statutory Liquidity Ratio at 21.5 per cent. According to the RBI, growth in this fiscal is projected at 7.6 per cent because of the beneficial effects of the good monsoon and the expansionary effects of the implementation of the 7th Pay Commissions recommendations. So growth is not an immediate problem. But, in the view of…

The End of US-led Economic Globalisation? Jayati Ghosh

There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union. President Obama has been a fervent supporter of…

Celebrating the love and vision of a communist of the heart – Samir Amin Lau Kin Chi

It is with great joy that we celebrate Samir’s 85th birthday (3 September 2016). Samir is a respected teacher and beloved friend. I recall, with fondness, our first acquaintance. We were both attending a conference organized by UBUNTU in Barcelona around the year 2000. Over breakfast, we happened to sit at the same table. Samir asked me where I was from. I said, Hong Kong. His eyes glistened, and he enthusiastically told me, you must link up with one excellent group in Hong Kong that has done a lot of good intellectual work, with a lot of good intellectuals. I…

Call for Papers for the 5th International Conference of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies (IESE), 19-21 September 2017, Maputo, Mozambique

Institute of Social and Economic Studies (IESE) invites proposals, individual or collective, for its 5th international academic conference, on the theme “Challenges of Social and Economic Research in Times of Crisis” that will be held in Maputo, Mozambique, from 19 to 21 September 2017. This conference marks the 10th anniversary of the Institute. The summaries of the proposed papers should be submitted to IESE by 15 January 2017. IESE_V_Conf  (Click to download for all details)

Call for Papers for a special issue of World Economic Review on the Political Economy of University, INC.

Neoliberal restructuring includes an unprecedented attack on the autonomy of universities, their faculties, administrators, support staffs and students. How has your work - as a professor, graduate student, educational support professional, administrator or researcher - changed in response to policies designed to remake the University in the image of the for-profit business concern? How have you and your colleagues organized resistance to these changes? The premise of this special issue of World Economic Review: Contemporary Policy Issues - an on-line peer reviewed journal with a global subscription of 13,000 - is that every aspect of post-secondary education is affected by…