Interesting Readings for September 17, 2010

South Asia’s Geography of Conflict by Robert D. Kaplan.

A big black eye for India’s attempt at being a democracy. Also see Devangshu Datta in the Business Standard on this.

Interesting survey evidence in the India Today about how voters are starting to see the UPA differently. Focus on the graph in
there. And here is the main story by Ashok K. Damodaran.

Nitin P. Shrivasatava, writing in DNA, says that we may finally have cracked a working mechanism to borrow shares in
India. If this is the real thing, it’s a big step forward for the equity market: a good stock lending mechanism is the last
piece of a well functioning stock market which was absent in India. Also see Mehul Shah in the Business Standard on co-location at
NSE. Maybe we’re finally breaking through some of these limits of arbitrage.

The two decade gap, by Ila Patnaik in the Indian Express.

Did you know that Saudi Arabia matches India’s achievements on higher education.

Jayanth Varma says that a lot might be going on in terms of INR trading outside India.

I updated my India bookshelf page.

Eric Bellman in the Wall Street Journal about the growth of McDonald’s in India. Apparently a new outlet in Bhopal has been
getting 10,000 visitors a day.

T. N. Ninan, writing in the Business Standard says we should move to the metric system with million, billion and trillion. I agree! GDP is Rs.55 lakh crore or Rs.55 trillion.

The 9% question by Akash Prakash, and Somasekhar Sundaresan in the Business Standard, on India’s middle income trap.

Shaji Vikraman in the Economic Times on the outlook for SEBI.

Amit Tripathi in the DNA has a story about Bharti Airtel starting a price war in Kenya. Once a telecom firm has learned how
to sell at Indian-style prices, it is ready to compete with telecom firms anywhere. Also see.

William Neuman has an article in the New York Times, which made me think about the appropriate role of the State, and what are
actually public goods, in the field of health. Translating $0.14 into rupees yields Rs.6.5 per hen, which is feasible in India, and
I’m sure that Indian drug companies would be able to get to lower pricepoints.

Skin by Mark Jacobson in the New York Magazine.

Patrick Chovanec speaks with Christina Larson in Foreign Policy, giving a glimpse into one of the last three communist
countries in the world. He closes with: We look back now and it seems inevitable — the fall of the Berlin Wall, China opening
up — but it wasn’t inevitable. I’m grateful to be able to go home at the end of my trip, and I’m grateful for the people whose
convictions and sacrifices made it so this kind of place is an anomaly in today’s world, and not the rule.

The frontiers of computer warfare, by Fredric Paul in InformationWeek.

The great writers of the 21st century: Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace.

Tim Harford in the Financial Times on the attacks on economics.

A rumination on creativity by Jonathan Lethem, in Harper’s Magazine.

See this book review of Mao’s Great Famine (Frank Dikotter) by Jonathan Mirsky, in the Literary Review.

Read this great interview with Tom Sargent. In particular, the chunk about how high microeconomic turbulence interacts with the welfare state to generate high and persistent unemployment.

Holman W. Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal on Google.

Fred Brooks in the New York Times on how little we worry that we are wrong.

An interesting book: Better living through Economics, edited by John J. Siegfried.

Lawrence Lessig in the New Republic on the difficulties of using a government (through copyright law) to make information
excludable.

David Pogue in the New York Times on the brilliant work at OpenDNS.

Patricia Cohen in the New York Times about the world of academic publishing that lies beyond peer review.

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