STCMA – 17th June 2017

A good piece on why the State cannot be dispensed with even as one clings to the Constitution. My friend Niranjan had tweeted that the point needed to be made. TCA Srinvasa Raghavan had retweeted it. That is how I located the article. The point below has been my favourite too:

But our urban elite and liberal class, whose entire existence is made possible only because of the relative stability and security provided by the existence of the Indian state, somehow manages to delude itself in believing that it can do away with it! [Link]

Thanks to the twitter handle of Ravi Velloor, I saw this article. It makes a point that needs to be made, as in the above case. The West has acquiesced in the rise of China and its current geopolitical ambitions. Even now, American elites are chasing the wrong target: Russia – and in the process driving it into the embrace of China, making the latter stronger, leaving countries like India, Singapore, Japan and Australia in a quandary. Trump has not turned out to be the ‘swamp drainer’ that he claimed he was.

The three-part series of articles from ‘The Age’ on the rising political influence of China in Australia are a MUST READ. See here, here and here.

James Dorsey’s piece for RSIS in NTU Singapore on the conflict in the Persian Gulf is a good and quick read.

Mohamed El-Erian is bang on target on the well-timed remarks by Bullard of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that assuaged the stock market. He is right. The Federal Reserve has been BFF for the stock market.

The woes of the once high-flying Anbang Insurance are multiplying or deepening or both and it is interconnected. Possible that someone somewhere has bitten off more than the country could chew.

This Chinafile conversation on how America respond to the ‘world’ deserting Taiwan is an important read. All the panelists call for supporting Taiwan, but in different ways. Will America be up to it? With President Trump, one is never sure.

In case, we had forgotten, the famous Document 9 of the China Communist Party – a communiqué circulated within the Party by its General Office in April, and, because they constituted the ninth such paper issued this year, have come to be known as “Document 9. The preface claims that whether Document 9 was the expression of one faction or that of the central Chinese leadership itself was uncertain. I wonder why. The document says the following:

This notice “A Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere” has been approved by the central leadership, and is herewith distributed to you. Please thoroughly implement its suggestions. [Link]

The last paragraph is important:

Conscientiously implement the “Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Strengthening Information Protection on Networks,” strengthen guidance of public opinion on the Internet, purify the environment of public opinion on the Internet. Improve and innovate our management strategies and methods to achieve our goals in a legal, scientific, and effective way. [Link]

The highlighted portions are gems. The link to ‘Document 9’ came out of the Chinafile conversation on Australia’s debates on China’s influence.

India’s May trade figures are concerning. Gold imports are again surging. Merchandise trade deficit has an annual run rate of close to 7.5% of GDP.

For students (and teachers) of economics, this blog post by Brad Setser on why exchange rates matter will be both interesting and useful.

China’s foreign exchange reserves swelled by USD24.0bn in May, according to official data. But, Goldman Sachs economists wrote that foreign exchange outflows were USD21.0bn in May on top of USD13.0bn in April. See here. I verified it by checking the Goldman research.

Lee Camp’s take-down of New York Times and its shameful attempt to portray him as a lackey of Russia is a MUST READ. He is the creator, host, and head writer of the comedy news show “Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp” that airs every Friday on RT America and at He’s a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comedian for 18 years. The implications are scary.

Quite a few friends have sent me the link to the YouTube video of Jim Rogers. He warns of a coming crash that could be ‘the worst in life time’. If you are interested in this sort of stuff, you must read what I published in

Peggy Noonan’s piece on rage being the rage in America is a MUST READ. Could be behind a paywall, though. Frankly, the place is a live fuse.

Read Scott Greer on the shootings at the Congressional Baseball practice session.

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