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  • OPINION

    Modi needs to have less power, not more of it

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 23/05/2019

    » India's long and exhausting general election is almost over. One of its casualties has been the reputation of the Election Commission of India, the constitutionally independent body that oversees the polls.

  • OPINION

    Democrats' 'Green New Deal' isn't global enough

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 18/03/2019

    » At the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly in Kenya this past week, experts and officials from around the world debated how to come up with the investment and innovation needed for countries to grow without dooming the planet. National leaders, NGOs and others discussed how to create more "sustainable patterns of consumption and production". What really struck me in Nairobi, though, was what wasn't discussed: the "Green New Deal" being pushed by Democratic Party politicians in the US.

  • OPINION

    Nobody's got a clue on India's poll

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 14/03/2019

    » India's parliamentary elections are like no others in the world. Nine hundred million people are eligible to vote in 2019, for 573 constituencies -- the largest of which contains almost three million voters. The country will take 39 days to vote; some states, like giant Uttar Pradesh with a population of 200 million, will vote in seven stages. And, on May 23, we will get to know who won.

  • OPINION

    US reign at World Bank must end now

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 08/02/2019

    » In many ways, David Malpass, whom US President Donald Trump nominated to head the World Bank, is an unsurprising choice. He's a senior Treasury official overseeing international affairs. Plus, his background absolutely screams "Trump nominee": He isn't a woman (Indra Nooyi, formerly of PepsiCo Inc, was being considered). He is an outspoken critic of the institution he is now to head (recall Scott Pruitt's tenure at the Environmental Protection Agency). And he has a controversial Wall Street background (he was chief economist at the ill-fated Bear Stearns), as well as some embarrassing calls in his past (he wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed in 2007 insisting that the housing market couldn't pull down the broader economy).

  • OPINION

    Politics as usual in India again

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 05/02/2019

    » India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in a spot of trouble. He has to face reelection in a few months amid growing dissatisfaction with his government's performance; he's likely to use every lever available to eke out a win. One such lever, unfortunately, was the interim federal budget that his lame-duck government presented last week, to keep official machinery running till the next government can come in with a mandate and make decisions about taxation and spending. As many of us feared, Mr Modi broke with bipartisan convention: He used the occasion essentially to launch his election appeal to India's voters. And, unfortunately, it's one that they have heard before.

  • OPINION

    Tarnishing a developing-world star

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 04/01/2019

    » Bangladesh under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina looks like a developing-world success story. Last year, its economy grew at close to 8% a year, faster than its neighbour India's. Its human development indicators, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen is fond of pointing out, are even better than its income level would indicate.

  • OPINION

    China should remember its old friends

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 19/12/2018

    » Nobody can know if, when Deng Xiaoping launched his strategy of "Reform and Opening Up" 40 years ago, even he could have predicted the near-miraculous transformation of the Chinese economy that would follow. In the years since then, hundreds of millions have been lifted out of abject poverty and into the ranks of the global middle class; China's industrial heartland became the workshop of the world; and the People's Republic has muscled its way into the first rank of global powers.

  • OPINION

    The cost of a Modi election victory

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 14/12/2018

    » Many of us have long argued that, whatever its problems, India is one of the best long-term bets in the world for one simple reason: It has the sort of world-class institutions that can help build and sustain a genuine market economy. Sadly, many of those same institutions are being undermined by the country's own leaders -- most recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which Prime Minister Narendra Modi appear intent on subjugating as part of his bid for reelection. Of all people, Mr Modi should recognise that no election victory is worth giving up on India's best chance at becoming a world-beating economy.

  • OPINION

    Why India's airlines fail to take off

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 03/12/2018

    » Anyone puzzled by how the Indian economy manages to grow swiftly while somehow failing to be prosperous could do worse than look at the state of India's airlines. Over the past four years, passenger growth in India has been rapid: The number of flights taken has increased between 15% and 20% per year. Demand growth this year is likely to be the highest in the world. Yet the industry itself hasn't benefited. Almost every Indian airline is struggling.

  • OPINION

    China's Sri Lankan push for power

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 31/10/2018

    » Most people in the island nation of Sri Lanka and its Asian neighbours were stunned last week when President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe -- and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the populist strongman who had ruled Sri Lanka for a decade before the scrappy alliance between Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickremesinghe forced him out of power in 2015.

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