Imperialism Still Alive and Kicking: An Interview With Prabhat Patnaik

An interview by C. J. Polychroniou C. J. Polychroniou: From the 1980s onwards, with the process of economic globalization having picked up speed, the concept of Imperialism has been largely removed from the political lexicon of much of the Western Left, deemed essentially irrelevant for understanding and explaining the dynamics of contemporary capitalism. However, you beg to differ with this assessment, and have been vociferously arguing for the continuing relevance of imperialism. Firstly, how do you define imperialism and, secondly, what imperialist tendencies do you detect as inherent in the brutal expansion of the logic of capitalism in the neoliberal…

The GDP elephant Jayati Ghosh

National income is hard to estimate in India where so much activity and employment is in the informal sector. Much of GDP calculation is not purely “technocratic” but relies on judgments and assumptions. As long as our system of national accounting does not clarify the real impact on the economy and the actual degree of deceleration of economic activity, we will remain in the dark. GDP_Elephant (Download the full text in PDF format) This article was originally published in Quatrz India: June 5, 2017.

Break up the Banks: A practical guide to stopping the next global financial meltdown Andrew Cornford

Banking reforms to regulate the financial sector have broadly remained inadequate. In the book reviewed, Shirreff proposes the legal separation of banking activities into three groups, a return to unlimited liability for partners in investment banks and caps on total remuneration as the radical and effective steps needed to stabilise the sector. He also favours scrapping of Basel I and II norms and the application of a financial transaction tax. The global applicability and acceptance of these proposals, however, remains uncertain. Break_Up_Banks (Download the full text in PDF format)

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)

Once More on “The Humbug of Finance” Prabhat Patnaik

The renowned economist Joan Robinson had referred to the view that the government’s budget should always be balanced, as the “humbug of finance” (Robinson 1962), namely as a false proposition with no theoretical merit which was nonetheless promoted by finance capital. These days of course the insistence is not exactly on balancing the budget as was the case during the pre-second world war years. A certain amount of fiscal deficit relative to GDP, usually 3 percent, is considered “permissible”, though it is not clear what is so sacrosanct about the figure 3 and why 3 is better than zero. But…

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.)

China’s Capital Flight Syndrome C.P. Chandrasekhar

China, now one of the world’s two largest nations measured by gross domestic product (GDP), is displa­ying a strange malady. A sudden and large outflow of capital from the country is resulting in a sharp fall in its reserves. Going by International Monetary Fund (IMF) statistics, between the quarter ending June 2014 and the one ending June 2016, China’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $752 billion, from $4.1 trillion to $3.3 trillion. According to recent reports, reserves had fallen further to $3.1 trillion by the end of October 2016. This collapse in reserves due to an outflow of capital is…

The Utter Failure of Demonetization: The RBI says so even as it says not Surajit Mazumdar

From the figure of the value of fresh banknotes issued by banks by 19 December, it can be concluded that we are still very far away from the full replacement of the cash withdrawn from circulation and the severe cash shortage is going to continue well beyond 30 December. Utter_Failure (Download the full text in PDF format)