Jittery regimes fix prices

The puzzle

All of us are now curiously thinking about the abrupt phase transition that seems to sometimes occur in the endgame of an authoritarian regime. The traditional script was: The people rise up to rebel and the strongman murders them.

When the USSR collapsed, we thought it was special: it was a . . . → Read More: Jittery Regimes Fix Prices

¡Nuevo! Read Reed Hundt’s book, “In China’s Shadow”

If you want to understand Democrat fantasies in the absence of financial constraint or common sense, read Reed Hundt’s book, “In China’s Shadow.” Reed Hundt is a permanent member of the American politcal class, a Yalie, a partner in a high-powered law firm, head of Bill Clinton’s FCC, and a member of Barack Obama’s . . . → Read More: ¡Nuevo! Read Reed Hundt’s book, “In China’s Shadow”

Liberalism vs. Socialism

Tuesday’s Hardtalk on BBC World News (link) discussed the political, economic and social aspects of communism versus liberal capitalism with Slavoj Zizek ,a philosopher and professor at European Graduate School.

Mr. Zizek discussed the role of liberal capitalism in the modern age. He condemned communism as a failure of the mankind and reaffirmed the . . . → Read More: Liberalism vs. Socialism

Economic Costs and Benefits of German Unification

On Wednesday, it had been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall and the eventual collapse of communist political and economic system in Central and Eastern Europe. However, there is still discussion about economic costs and benefits of German reunification (Wiedervereinigung). I’ve been motivated to open this debate by professor Becker’s analysis . . . → Read More: Economic Costs and Benefits of German Unification

East Europe after 1989

I have an article in Financial Express where I look back economic development in Eastern Europe in the last 20 years, and compare and contrast with India.

In recent weeks, a lot of very interesting writing, looking back at 1989, has come out. My suggestions for further reading follow. Readers of age 40 and . . . → Read More: East Europe after 1989

The Decline of the Left

riting in Business Standard today, Surjit Bhalla has a table of the vote share of the CPI and the CPI(M) put together. I thought it would be useful to see this data as a time-series, so here is the result.

Click on the graph to see it more clearly. Each circle is a data . . . → Read More: The Decline of the Left

Is the U.S. on the Road to Socialism? (Part 2)

Last week, I looked at the first five planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and the extent to which they have been integrated into the U.S. government. This week, I’ll examine planks 6-10.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

Check. We have the Federal Aviation . . . → Read More: Is the U.S. on the Road to Socialism? (Part 2)

Financial Bailouts: Is the U.S. on the Road to Socialism? (Part 1)

All nation-states reside somewhere on the continuum between laissez-faire and total-state central planning. No country is completely capitalist and no country (with the possible exception of North Korea) is entirely socialist. So how are we to define roughly “capitalist” and “socialist” countries? Where is the dividing line? How do we know if we are . . . → Read More: Financial Bailouts: Is the U.S. on the Road to Socialism? (Part 1)

Monetarism or the Austrian School: Which Is More Effective?

At a most appropriate time, Sukrit asks:

What is the difference between the Austrian business cycle theory and monetarism, and which one do you think is a more accurate description of how the economy works?

The first part is fairly easily . . . → Read More: Monetarism or the Austrian School: Which Is More Effective?