The Financialization of Everything Servaas Storm

The following article forms the Introduction to a set of 10 articles which assess the logic and consequences of ‘financialization’ across a range of geographic, economic and social scales — deep down, at the level of ‘ideas’, and also by providing ‘knock-out evidence’ on the social inefficiency of a capitalism ‘without compulsions’ for finance. The authors in the Debate expose how establishment economics has been hiding its reactionary political agenda behind the pretence of scientific neutrality. The financial emperor wears no clothes. Full Article (This article was originally posted at Wiley Online Library on January 24, 2018.)

Public Banks: Dressing up for the market C. P. Chandrasekhar

When the government presented its third supplementary demand for grants to the winter session of parliament, the list of expenditures included Rs. 80,000 crore for a first tranche investment in equity of the public sector banks to recapitalize them. This was a clear declaration that the government intended to go through with its plan to provide as much Rs. 1.35 lakh crore from its budget to recapitalize banks that are recording losses, as they recognize and provide for non-performing assets accumulated substantially from debt provided to a few large corporates. The recapitalisation plan announced in October 2017 promises to infuse…

The other face of Private Banking C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Private banks, especially foreign ones have relied on off-balance sheet liabilities to earn revenues and profits, courting risk and leaving the business of banking proper largely to the public sector banks. Other_Face_Private_Banking  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on January 15, 2018)      

Financialisation and Corporate Investments: The Indian Case Sunanda Sen and Zico Dasgupta

Financialisation creates space for transactions in the financial sector of economies, and, in doing so, helps to raise the share of financial assets in the portfolios held by market participants. Largely driven by deregulation, the process works to make financial assets relatively attractive as compared to other assets, by offering both better returns and potential capital gains. Against the backdrop of the prevailing analysis of corporate investments under financialisation in the advanced economies, this paper attempts to analyse the pattern of investment by corporates in an emerging economy like India during the 2000s. By analysing the sources and the use…

A Year of Wilful Economic Disaster Prabhat Patnaik

The uniqueness of 2017 lies in the fact that never before has the country seen a government-caused economic crisis as serious as was witnessed in this year. There have certainly been worse years for the people, such as 1965-66, 1966-67, and 1973-74, each of which saw massive inflation. But these were years when economic hardships occurred for reasons that had nothing to do proximately with government policy. 1965-66 and 1966-67 when the “Bihar famine” had occurred, had seen a sharp drop in food grains output, a drop that had lasted two years. The probability of such an event, statisticians told…

The Demise of Bank Credit C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Growing economies generally show increasing deployment of bank credit – but in India this has been decreasing for years and recently has been almost flat. What does this suggest about the growth process and the health of the Indian economy. Bank_Credit  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally posted in the Business Line on 1 January 2018.)

The Indian Economy in 2017 Jayati Ghosh

This was the year that the economy tanked. Not necessarily in terms of official growth figures: according to the CSO, GDP growth decelerated, but not by that much. And Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was quick to proclaim that, with GDP growing by an estimated 7.1 per cent for the current financial year, India still remains among the world’s fastest growing economies. Financial investors seem to agree: over the calendar year the stock market has boomed, with the BSE Sensex rising by around 25 per cent and the Nifty50 Index by 28 per cent. But these estimates sit uneasily with the…

A Dangerous Bill on Banks Prabhat Patnaik

The BJP government, it appears, cannot remain content without inflicting irreparable damage on the institutions of the Indian economy. Its latest move in this direction is the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill which was introduced in parliament on the last day of the winter session and is now with a Select Committee. What this Bill proposes is the setting up of a Resolution Corporation, consisting largely of central government officials, which, in the case of stressed banks whose condition is considered “critical”, will use creditors’ money, including that of depositors, to overcome the default by borrowers. Until now…

Making Merry on Bitcoin C.P. Chandrasekhar

Bitcoin has left the world of finance gasping. Though the total market value of all of that cryptocurrency in circulation is only a fraction of the value of the world’s financial assets, the rapid rise in the value of the currency has made it the most wanted of those assets. On January 1, 2017, the currency was trading at between $972 to $990 a unit. By December 7 that range had risen to $14,063 to $17,363. According to a calculation by Reuters, an investment of $1000 in bitcoins at the beginning of 2013 would be worth around $1.2 million now.…