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Commoditization and the Public Sphere
02 April, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The distinction between the sphere of market and the sphere of public discourse remains central to liberalism. But under capitalism, the public sphere becomes untenable due its “spontaneous” destruction by the markets’ immanent tendency towards commoditization, as we are witnessing everywhere today. In such a world, a fight towards democracy is itself a means of advancing the struggle for socialism.
The UGC Directive on Autonomous Colleges
12 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Higher education in India is facing a twin danger of commoditization and communalization under the globalized capital today. This tendency is fueled further by the UGC directive that combines commoditization with a push towards centralization that is rampant under the Modi government.
The Destruction of a University
28 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has, in the past two years, undermined the norms and conventions that have established it as a premier institution of higher learning in India.
The Nirav Modi Scandal
23 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Nirav Modi’s is not a case of crony capitalism supplanting genuine capitalism; it is rather a case of genuine capitalism coming out to display its fundamental unworkability, as a system based on the pursuit of private gain. Having institutional restraints can stem the rot, but not for long.
Bubbles, Stocks and Crashes
21 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
What the current U.S. experience shows is not only the role of bubbles in sustaining the level of activity under a neo-liberal regime, and hence the fact that the lives of millions depend upon the whims of a bunch of speculators, but also the completely evanescent and short-lived character of the booms in this period.
The Budget and education
20 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The thrust towards privatization in Budget 2018-19 is evident in the pattern of education spending, which has been brought down to less than 3.5 percent of the government budget, against a promise of 6 percent in the 2014 electoral campaign. So, any real changes are clearly expected to be financed by private participation, implying declining spread, reduced access, and increased inequality.
Budget 2018: The Finance Ministry's Grey Shades of 'Pink'
02 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Even the vaguely “pink” effort in the Economic Survey is whitewashed in the finance minister’s Budget speech that is heavily based on stereotypical gender roles for women, and even that completely disappears when we get to the actual budget allocations.
Making Merry on Bitcoin
22 December, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Bitcoin has left the world of finance gasping. Though the total market value of all of that cryptocurrency in circulation is only a fraction of the value of the world's financial assets, the rapid rise in the value of the currency has made it the most wanted of those assets.
A Dangerous Bill on Banks
22 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The BJP government, it appears, cannot remain content without inflicting irreparable damage on the institutions of the Indian economy. Its latest move in this direction is the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill which was introduced in parliament on the last day of the winter session and is now with a Select Committee.
Banks And Non-Performing Assets
28 November, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
What exactly constitutes a non-performing asset (NPA) of a bank is not easy to determine. Since banks tend to roll over credit to borrowers, whether the request for such a roll over arises in the normal course of business or owing to a fundamental inability to pay back the loan, is difficult to decide.
Not with a Bang but with a (prolonged) Whimper
16 November, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The German thinker Wolfgang Streeck in his brilliant book provides a cogent critique of the nature of contemporary capitalism, and describes its ongoing extended demise without surrendering to any optimism that as it fails to deliver even in terms of its own logic all the injustice it has generated must inevitably change for the better.
Create a Crisis and make it Worse
12 October, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government’s proposal to set up an all-powerful entity to solve the NPA problem has serious implications for banks and could leave them vulnerable to, among other things, runs by depositors.
A Bull in a China Shop
26 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The BJP government, through demonetization and GST, coupled with the world economic situation, it is causing a rare co-occurrence of three phenomena: a stagnation of the countrys’ economy, a revival of inflation, and a yawning current account deficit on the balance of payments. As the era of cheap money in the U.S. and elsewhere come to an end, Indian assets might pass into foreign hands.
The Economy: 70 years after Independence
30 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Indias' reliance on fortuitous and volatile stimuli to drive growth has resulted in inadequate job creation and widened inequalities while failing to address social deprivation.
150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?
24 August, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
After 150 years of Das Kapital, the seminal work of the 19th century economist still provides a framework for understanding contemporary capitalism. The unique social relations such as free labour and commodity fetishism, that according to Marx, define capital, are reflected in the uneven and unstable development of the world market.
Financing Education
08 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The central governments Draft National Education Policy promotes privatization of education to meet its target, which is not only logically absurd but also legitimizes inequality. Solutions like student loans are impractical with educated unemployment, and fee subsidies turn counterproductive. The one efficient way is to extract the private funds through progressive direct tax, but that seems impossible in this neo-liberal era.
Twenty Years After The Asian Financial Crisis
07 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
It was the free flow of foreign capital through financial liberalization that led to the East Asian Crisis of 1997, from which the tiger economies have not yet recovered fully. Even now, the augmented foreign reserves of these third world countries remain woefully inadequate to finance debt to foreigners, as the hegemony of international finance capital builds over their own assets.
NPAs: All talk and no action
04 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The problem of large NPAs of nationalised banks can be traced to the neoliberal reforms in the financial sector and outside, which prevent large government investments in infrastructure and capital-intensive industries that are imperative for development but too difficult a responsibility for the private sector to shoulder.
Justice in the Age of Finance
07 July, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The very limited Barclays prosecution comes in the wake of a half-hearted investigation effort, which has thus far completely let off all those who took the world economy to the verge of a crisis akin to the Great Depression. It is not clear if anything will finally come out of even this case, which is aimed at merely teaching a lesson to those who hurt a bunch of financial investors by violating insider rules.
The Question Of Farm - Loan Waiver
23 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The primary reason why loan-waiver is being demanded at present is not an output fall owing to any natural calamity. It is the price-fall on account of the bumper harvest that underlies this demand. It is the breaking down of an appropriate institutional mechanism that is responsible for the peasants distress and periodic demands for loan-waivers.

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