Sunday, September 16, 2012

It needs courage to head the US Fed: Our RBI bosses would have fainted and Ms.Mamata Banerjee (TMC)/ Prakash Karat (CMP, the Communist) would have committed suicide, seeing what the Dr.Bernanke did this time to boost the US economy.
Before writing this essay, let me say one thing, "Let us not pretend, but let us face the situation boldly", as some political parties are trying to take Indians at ransom, for their own narrow gains.

Let us begin with QE3 in the US. This time (FY13) the QE (Quantitative Easing) tonic, in the US has been administered at a time when stock markets have been rallying. Can you imagine, this happening in India, with all these regressives out there....??!!

More importantly, this time the Dow Industrials (Dow Jones) are at a five-year high. So it’s no longer a matter of merely combating market weakness—the signal Bernanke is giving out is he would like to see the market go up even further, so that the “wealth effect” helps the economy recover. In the US, it has now become a trend to support the Wall Street more than the main street. 

But what does Ms.Mamata Banerjee and her TMC say, "“I agree that Sensex must be stable, but at the same time, policy and planning should not be used to impose a back-breaking burden on the common people. I do not support any decision to sell out everything. This might suit one section of the Government".

But then the question is then why is her party supporting the other section, the minority, "Kirana Shop Owners" (mere 4--5 crores) who did all the mischiefs in the past or are still doing, like adulteration, price manipulation, monopoly by hording of products beyond permissible limits, squeezing the farmers by carefully using middle-man, selling unbranded spurious products (like selling duplicate Sunfest Biscuits or Eveready household batteries) and so on. Are they "Holier than thou", that these political outfits are are trying to take their case so strongly, denying the right to choice of the Indians? The answer lies within........

And some political parties are probably helping them for some incentives to the Party Funds or for vote bank politics. The question is: Is the vote of 4 crore "Kirana Shop" owners necessary or the vote of 95% of the Indians who stands to benefit by the move? 
But then why this kind of mad support for the these "Kiranawalls" many of whom were essentially responsible for high price of food grains, dals and spices, apart from other articles they sell. Most of these "Kiranawallas" do not pay any tax to the government, though they collect, indirect taxes from the customers. So, why does the political parties want us, to go for "Bundh" or "Strike" for those who have been looting us......??!!


Now coming back to the stock market once again, I would say, I did not expect such an irresponsible statement from the TMC head, Ms.Mamata Banerjee---the statement only makes her look more stupid in front of 100 cr plus Indian masses..

It is because, in any economy, the stock or share market works like an economic barometer. If the stock market is vibrant, it gives a good picture of India to the outside world. This gives the FIIs the freedom to invest in Indian shares and bonds. Moreover, this also brings in lot of FDIs, which are so much necessary in some sectors like Roads and Infrastructure. Due to infrastructure bottlenecks, our growth brings in unwanted inflation.

Now we know many of the companies have taken loan against the shares, and their share price have plummeted creating problems for the companies to manage further cash, to fine tune the margin money. Now once the foreign money comes and the share price of companies moves up, then they would be able to focus on the real issues, rather trying to solve the working capital requirement most of the time. Moreover, if the foreign money comes, then the rupee would appreciate, bringing some sanity to our Oil Pool account and Fiscal Deficit.

Also, both Dr. Bernanke and European Central Bank (ECB) boss Mario Draghi are up on their sleeves. They have both said that: if the outlook for the labour market does not improve substantially, the committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability.

What is likely to happen to asset prices? Analysts have looked at the impact of QE1 and QE2, and tried to extrapolate that to QE3. A note by Citigroup Inc. says global emerging markets went up 80% during QE1 and 18.7% during QE2. Markets also moved up sharply when Super Mario announced his long-term refinance operations late last year. ECB’s unlimited bond-buying programme has already sparked off a big rally in risk assets. In China, too, the government is loosening its purse strings. And do we have a precedent of this unlimited QE world? Of course, we have—look at Japan.

Besides, FDI in retail will help give a new lease of life to the struggling Indian retailers, like Koutons Retail Ltd, which is running losses of crores of rupees. Why are some of the political parties bent on cutting the branch of the tree, on which they are sitting? Is it without any incentive? Impossible! The Powerful "Kirana Shop" lobby will do all to maintain their monopoly and squeeze on the Indian masses, so that, they can go on making profits at the cost of hapless consumers, who are denied a choice.

Those who say, that "FDI retail is a complete Sell Out", should look behind their back and ask themselves, "What is the real reason"?

My appeal to the Indian masses is not to fall for the "Bluffs" of these political parties and fully support the government's action of FDI in some of the sectors, including Retail. Don't participate in any band, because in that case you are joining hands with those who till now have given one of the worst choices of the world.

Meanwhile enjoy the Bull run in the Indian equities. For the Indian market, the contrast between QE1 and QE2 has been stark. While the MSCI India zoomed 104% in QE1, it went up a mere 8.8% during QE2. Valuations are a major factor determining the strength of the rally, of course, as are oil prices. This time, crude prices are high and valuations aren’t cheap, but the rupee is lower, so that could be a factor driving inflows of risk capital. In India, another boost to sentiment has been the decision to raise diesel prices. Also heartening have been the interest rate cuts by several banks in the recent past.

On the flip side: Mr.William White, the Bank for International Settlements economist who predicted the financial crisis, wrote in a recent paper: successive bouts of monetary easing led to the Asian crisis, the dot-com boom and bust, and finally to the current crisis. He argues that the consequence of monetary over-indulgence is that it leads to bubbles, which ultimately burst. Worse, the successive busts keep getting bigger and bigger. The important questions is what is the alternative? Does Mr.White have any solution?

This reminds me of the Parties too who are opposing, diesel price hike, cut in the number of LPG cylinders per household and FDI in retail/aviation. Does they have any solution to kick start a moribund Indian economy, which went down due to their non-cooperation in the reforms front? 

The elite mass should now think of India instead of falling in the trap of political parties, who makes hay, while India bleeds.
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