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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Inflated Egos - M J Akbar

Dr Manmohan Singh's government is so dazzled by market forces that even now it is reluctant to ban futures trading in agricultural products. Let me quote an American columnist, William Pfaff. He was not writing in The Theory and Practice of Soviet Marxism but in the distinctly American International Herald Tribune [Speculators and soaring food prices, 17 April 2008]: "Speculative purchases have no other purpose that to make money for the speculators, who hold their contracts to drive up current prices with the intention not of selling the commodities on the real future market, but of unloading their holdings onto an artificially inflated market, at the expense of the ultimate consumer…It is astonishing in the present situation that the international financial institutions and government regulators have done little to control or banish this parasitical and antisocial practice. The myth of the benevolent and ultimately impartial market prevails against all contrary evidence." Dr Manmohan Singh has been kept out of the politics of power since he became Prime Minister, but the administration of power has been his responsibility. If he had spent even half the time examining the earth beneath his feet as he did staring transfixed at a nuclear deal with George Bush, he would have seen that angel of death known as inflation approaching many months ago. There was so much hope when Dr Singh became Prime Minister. He will now be remembered for a nuclear deal that was waylaid by allies, and an economic policy that was shredded by the arrogance of ministers and the complacency of servitors. Inflated Egos M J Akbar


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