Sanctions within a Regime of Neo-Liberalism

BEFORE joining the neo-liberal order, India used to have “rupee payment arrangements” with the Soviet Union and Eastern European socialist countries under which the main international reserve currency, the US dollar, was used neither for settling transactions nor even as the unit of account in terms of which the trade-related transactions were denominated. The dollar in short was used neither as the means of circulation, nor even as the unit of account under these “rupee payment arrangements”.

Imperialism as an Abiding Phenomenon

THERE is a common misconception that while the immediate aftermath of political decolonisation was marked by attempts by metropolitan powers to retain control over the resources of the erstwhile colonies, for which they used all kinds of instruments from coups to armed interventions against the newly independent governments, that period got over after a time.

An Unimaginable Contrast

MUCH has been written about the immense increase in economic inequality that has occurred of late and various startling figures have been provided by bodies like Oxfam, which has just come out with a report titled Inequality Kills. This shows that the wealth of the 10 richest men has doubled since the pandemic began while the incomes of 99 per cent of the population of the world are lower today than before the pandemic.

Why Capitalist Governments Worry More about Inflation than Unemployment?

CAPITALIST governments invariably seek to control inflation by enlarging unemployment. This has nothing to do with any belief in a stable “trade-off” between the two, namely in a stable curve that links the two. Even those who attribute inflation to other causes, such as excessive money supply (“too much money chasing too few goods”) and find the solution to it in monetary stringency, are in effect seeking to control it through larger unemployment, since monetary stringency causes larger unemployment.This raises many questions. The first question is: why is this so?

A Budget Whose Silences are Ominous

NO budget in recent memory has been presented at a time when the economy is in such dire straits: unemployment is so bad that there are job riots in Bihar and UP; wealth and income inequalities are among the worst in the world; millions more have been pushed into poverty because of the pandemic and the lockdown; and inflation is accelerating even in the midst of massive unemployment. There is an urgent need for a strategy that promotes economic revival, while providing relief to the poor, and contributing to an abatement of inflation.

The Economy on the Eve of the Budget

THE Indian economy is currently caught in a vicious spiral of inflation, stagnation, and a widening of the fiscal deficit. And this spiral is set to become even more vicious because inter alia of developments in the world economy.Even before the current omicron wave, the rate of GDP growth projected by official estimates for 2021-22 over the previous year was 9.2 per cent; but the previous year itself had witnessed a 7.3 per cent contraction because of the pandemic.

Co-Lending: Towards Recolonising the Peasantry

IN colonial times, the peasantry had to borrow from private moneylenders. According to Provincial Banking Enquiry Committee reports, these moneylenders in turn borrowed from commercial banks. But while disbursing credit to the peasants and charging exorbitant interest rates, the money lenders at least bore the whole of the lender’s risk. The banks from whom they borrowed did not bear any risk in case the peasants could not pay back the loans they had obtained from the moneylenders.