Weekend reading links – 19.03.2016

India

Manufacturing employment elasticity is fine in India. But, it includes construction. No surprises, hence.

Underlying documents behind the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report released five years ago are now available.

February’s astounding global temperature record

Water storage at 29% of the capacity of reservoirs in India.

This summary (of a longer paper) argues that informal networks based mostly on caste provide insurance and hence, reduces the incidence of rural to urban migration in India. H…mm

Ajit Ranade correctly argues for a correction in the road-rail skew in India. India is atypical of other countries but in an inefficient way. Is the article missing the ‘how’, especially the political economy part of it? But, it flags a uniquely Indian solution.

India’s services exports dropped for the third month in a row.

A waxwork of PM Narendra Modi will now adorn the gallery in Madam Tussauds.

China

Microsoft seeks deeper collaboration with the Chinese government which is pursuing an anti-monopoly investigation on the company.

‘Economist’ on the double-faced China property market. Prices are up more than 50% in Shenzhen.

You too can forecast China’s GDP growth rate for 2016!

China floats a trial balloon on tax on foreign exchange transactions involving the Yuan and receives criticism. The surprise is not in the criticism but in the mindset that gave rise to the idea of the tax at all. Does not reflect confidence in fundamentals at all. The article notes the failure of other countries in the world to impose Tobin tax. The power of the financial sector is pervasive.

Independently, and the above news will hasten it, yuan has been losing its appeal in cross-border trade.

Japan mulls taking dispute with China on disputed islands to international arbitration.

The International Court of Justice would likely rule on the Philippines case against China in April/May

China establishes ties with Gambia to the obvious displeasure of Taiwan

The graphic on the proportion of Chinese students in the total international students in the US is insightful. Herd behaviour by American universities.

A Chinafile panel on censorship in China. Catch the Xinhua error.

Developed economies

Britain introduces Obesity tax.

You should not be surprised by the decline in US retail sales in February and the large downward revision in January if you also noticed that subprime Auto bond delinquencies were at a 20-year high!

Gideon Rachman in FT: ‘the (German) chancellor still seems too willing to base her policy on comforting illusions rather than uncomfortable facts.”

What has changed after the crisis for US banks? Nothing.

Global and General

Brazil judge suspends Lula’s appointment to the Cabinet as police wiretaps conversation between the President and her party leader, ex-President of the country!

Iran warns of Armageddon if Syria disintegrates.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she will be “above” the president and rule from behind the scenes, meaning that any NLD candidate would effectively be her proxy.

Lucy Kellaway thinks that email is best suited for display of passive aggression.

When does coffee work best?

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