Niveshak September 2011 Issue

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 , Posted by Team Niveshak at Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dear Niveshaks,

The world economy has been in a bad shape since some months now. The Fed’s announcement of $400 billion ‘Operation twist’ to stimulate the US economy sent global markets on a free fall. The earlier monetary easing by Fed ‘QE2’ failed to revive the US economy and the market seems to have lost faith that the new avatar of monetary easing is going to help either. The Indian markets fell by more than 4% on announcement of monetary easing by Fed, its highest fall in a single day since 2009. The volatility in all markets have increased to an unprecedented levels and the possibility of a double dip has increased further. Fear Index VIX, which is based on volatility has increased by 22% for Indian markets in September and has reached high levels for most markets. Adding to the woes is the Euro crisis which has been worsening every passing day. The possibility of a Greek default is now very real. The Euro crisis which was born out of fiscal profligacy and mispricing of credit risk has now attained a massive scale threatening the disintegration of Euro itself and no Euro zone country seems to be knowing the solution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, the growth of Indian economy has stalled, thanks to RBI, which has been on an ‘interest hike’ spree for quite some time now. However, all the measures by RBI have failed to contain the inflation and the hawkish tone of RBI Governor is scary and an indication that interest rates can be increased further. Unlike the Americans, Indians do not live by credit, and hence a credit squeeze to contain demand may really not be effective in India. When inflation is driven by high prices of food and other basic necessities, a credit squeeze can hardly help, as Indians are unlikely to buy food on credit. This is not to argue that economic growth is the only priority and inflation does not matter, but it is simply unacceptable that economic growth is hurt while inflation remains unchecked. The fact is that the Government can do little to check inflation in an open economy. As a corollary, if commodity prices were to fall in the event of a double-dip recession, the government can hardly claim credit for bringing prices under control. When it is already known that the current inflation is largely driven by high food and raw material prices, squeezing credit to agriculture and allied activities can only make inflation more persistent. But inflation is a political issue and the government must show that it is taking efforts to check inflation. Hence these rounds of interest rate hikes.

This issue brings to you some more interesting and insightful topics. The cover story this month focuses on the outlook of the world economy and whether the ghosts of 2008 will return to haunt us. The issue also features an article on the genesis of Euro Crisis and the way forward for it. Other article focus on down-grade of US, India’s fiscal deficit and whether dollar can replaced as the reserve currency in the coming years as the US economy is losing steam. The Classroom this month explains the topic of Currency wars. Last month, we celebrated our third anniversary with a special issue on Sector Reports. The Anniversary issue was a huge success with more than 100 entries for Sector Reports. We would like to thank all those who contributed the Sector Reports and made our anniversary issue such a success

Stay invested.

Rajat Sethia
(Editor -Niveshak)

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