Jan 6, 2010

Economics, Globalization and News Focus

Economics deals with distribution of scarce resources amongst their seekers. Globalization has brought about a subtle competition between nations in pursuing smart economic policies. Sometimes they group together or raise barriers. Countries often attempt to replicate another country's successful policies. Sometimes desperate times invites pressure from other nations that force a country to follow certain policies.

In the past few years the term BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa has been used more and more often. The reasons being that these are the growth markets that attract investors. Also, they attract sellers of various products & services from across the world because of their size and potential.

Now, some very interesting commentary on what long term and short term of economics in human history is and how effects of changes being done today will manifest in future is discussed in this NYTimes article. What I find particularly interesting is the author's comment that a nation should consider the option of being dislodged from being the top one in the long run as acceptable.

The article is also relevant to nations which are aspiring to be leaders in the new world order. It certainly takes courage to make decisions that sometimes feel incorrect in short term but help the nation and the world in the longer run. I guess, when a nation transforms at core, it also is able to muster the courage needed to make such decisions.

The article correctly points out on how news is generally focussed around major events. Now, we in India, exactly know how news on items like Economy and BRICS is played. Hype on everything is the norm, a small M&A activity by an Indian company and media may conclude that India has dislodged every other country in everything including baking croissants. The second problem is the excessive focus by business media on the stock market. Stock market is one of the indicators on how the economy is doing, but it is not the only indicator. Stock market is also correlated to international markets and foreign fund flows. So using only stock movements to understand the state of economy is obviously not correct.

2 comments:

Paddy Killimangalam said...

Right on! The worst part is the focus is only on Sensex and Nifty which cover a measly 100 stocks. We dont even have the equivalent of S&P 500.

Siddharth said...

Thanks Paddy.

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