India: Links for 18th November, 2019

  1. ““In the end it was this access to unlimited reserves of credit, partly through stable flows of land revenues, and partly through collaboration of Indian moneylenders and financiers, that in this period finally gave the Company its edge over their Indian rivals. It was no longer superior European military technology, nor powers of administration that made the difference. It was the ability to mobilize and transfer massive financial resources that enabled the Company to put the largest and best-trained army in the eastern world into the field””
    ..
    ..
    An excerpt that itself was excerpted, but too delicious to resist – Alex Tabarrok writes an excellent review of William Dalrymple’s latest book on the East India Company.
    ..
    ..
  2. “The problem is that, rather than examining independent indicators of economic activity, the Bretton Woods’ forecasts appear to be based primarily on (a) extrapolation of the official growth figures, and (b) some subjective adjustment based on staff’s assessment of policy changes.”
    ..
    ..
    CGDEV on reporting of India’s growth numbers.
    ..
    ..
  3. “Is all this working? Economists have talked about the possibility of green shoots of recovery in the second half of this financial year. However, looking at the data for July to September 2019, for now the slowdown is well and truly in place.”
    ..
    ..
    Vivek Kaul isn’t impressed with the state of the Indian economy.
    ..
    ..
  4. And perhaps with good reason: Somesh Jha on the fall(!) in rural demand.
    ..
    ..
    “Consumer spending fell for the first time in more than four decades in 2017-18, primarily driven by slackening rural demand, according to the latest consumption expenditure survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO).”
    ..
    ..
  5. Slate Star Codex on 1991, and the difficulty of using statistics. Econ nerds only!
    ..
    ..
    “…”we need to study and raise awareness of the history of democratic, comparatively “nice” countries that did nothing worse than overregulate business a bit – and investigate whether even these best-case scenarios still doomed millions of people to live in poverty. My (biased) guess is that careful study will show this to be true.”