Charles Landow features topics ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe in this week’s Missing Pieces. As always, enjoy the reading and let us know what you think.
India’s Growth Machine: Between 1991, when India launched a slate of economic reforms, and 2010, the country’s GDP more than quintupled and its GDP per capita almost quadrupled, according to the IMF’s latest figures. But lately fears are rising that this growth could slow. Inflation is high (over 13 percent in 2010, according to the IMF), foreign investment has declined (with a 29-percent drop from 2009 to 2010, according to India’s own figures), and a series of corruption scandals has wounded India’s leadership. The Voice of America and the Wall Street Journal reported last week on Indian officials’ reactions to the downgrade of U.S. government debt. A U.S. slowdown could damage India by reducing demand for its exports, including its famous outsourcing services. Recently the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council lowered its growth projection for 2011 and 2012 from 9.0 percent to 8.2 percent, citing “the inflationary situation and investment slowdown.” That reduced rate would still be impressive. But with 37 percent of Indians below the poverty line, according to the UN Development Programme, even mild slowdowns affect millions. The Economist argued in July for new reforms to reinvigorate the economy. Read more »