Should government capitalise public sector banks?

by Harsh Vardhan.

What would you say if someone was borrowing money at 8% and investing it to earn around 3%? “Uninformed!”, “financially illiterate!” or even outright “foolish”! And yet this is what our government has been doing with trillions of rupees over the last many years and has committed to continue to do . . . → Read More: Should government capitalise public sector banks?

Privatize Firefighting

Alex Tabarrok, at Marginal Revolution, has a post about firefighters and their work.  In it, he notes that the number of career firefighters has doubled over the last 25 years while the number of fires has halved.  To put it another way, it’s highly probable that the market has reached its saturation point for . . . → Read More: Privatize Firefighting

India's privatisation problem

When the UPA came to power, the word privatisation was buried, partly out of deference for the communist parties which were supporting the UPA. The sale of shares did revive after the UPA-2 commenced [history].

On a global scale, the experience with firms like British Airways and AlItalia has done a lot to persuade . . . → Read More: India’s Privatisation Problem

Defence land: A key dimension of India's privatisation problem

As Vijay Kelkar has long emphasised, India’s privatisation question should be viewed as a question about the portfolio of the State. For each Rs.10,000 crore of shares of Air India that the government owns, it is forgoing 2,000 kilometres of highways. The State needs to ask itself whether it is better to own 2,000 . . . → Read More: Defence Land: A Key Dimension of India’s Privatisation Problem

Pension Parking Parsing

I had a big long rambling post on general parking/pension issues, but it just isn’t in me to post.  Reading about the latest round of rumblings on the fifth floor had be wondering how we wound up in this state.  Council-mayor relations have occasionally been bad in the past. Intra-council relations have sometimes gone . . . → Read More: Pension Parking Parsing

Opportunity Cost

If I had any doubt the parking outcome is a good one… I didn’t catch this letter to the editor the other day. There are few people I trust more than my friend Jack. Jack has taught me about lots of things, probably including this little thing in economics called opportunity cost. I shudder to . . . → Read More: Opportunity Cost

Interesting Readings for March 3, 2010

Vikas Bajaj in the New York Times on privatisation in India. I had recently written a blog post on India’s foolishness on visa rules for people coming into conferences. Siddharth Varadarajan has a great opinion piece on this in the Hindu. In sensible countries, there is no such thing as a `visa for . . . → Read More: Interesting Readings for March 3, 2010

Interesting Readings for February 8, 2010

Read this interview in the Times of India with Steve Coll, and this Congressional testimony of his. If you haven’t yet read Ghost Wars, you should. Vijay Kelkar’s recent speech on privatisation. The comments on this blog post are worth reading. Sanjeev Sanyal, in Business Standard, summarises our public policy problem: we need . . . → Read More: Interesting Readings for February 8, 2010

Consequences of Air India Being a Zombie Airline

Air India has got itself into serious trouble, and private airlines are also doing badly. The CMIE report on air transport for August 2009 shows a bad picture for the airline industry: from the quarter ended June 2007 onwards, in each quarter, the PAT margin was negative.

There are three interesting aspects to the . . . → Read More: Consequences of Air India Being a Zombie Airline

“Privatize The Roads!” Says PhD Economist

Death, taxes and government ownership of roads: all inevitabilities, right? Well, not according to Dr. Walter Block, professor of economics at Loyola University in New Orleans and senior fellow at the free-market Mises Institute. Dr. Block, whose most famous work, Defending the Undefendable, not only made a case for drug legalization but also argued . . . → Read More: “Privatize The Roads!” Says PhD Economist