Monday, August 31, 2015

Two on Tata steel

Real Steel: Jamshedpur's little known war history by Anura Mallick and Priya Ganapathy
From opium to outsourcing by Andrew Leonard in 2007

Some long reads about development

From Brad DeLong Weakend reading: An interview with Josiah Ober, author of The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece:
"The new data allows us to test the robustness of contemporary theories of political and economic development. In the classical Greek world, political development was a primary driver of economic growth; democracy appears to be a cause rather than simply an effect of prosperity. The steep rise and long duration of the city-state ecology offers a challenge to neo-Hobbesian centralization theories of state formation, which hold that advanced economic and political development requires the consolidation of centralized state power. The comparatively low rate of ancient Greek income inequality, along with the high rate of economic growth, suggests that the negative correlation of sustained growth with extreme inequality, observed in some recent societies, is not a unique product of modernity. Finally, the history of the ancient Greek world can be read as a cautionary tale about the unanticipated consequences of growth and human capital investment: It reveals how innovative institutions and technologies, originally developed in the open-access, fair-rules context of democratic states, can be borrowed by ambitious autocrats and redeployed to further their own, non-democratic purposes."

From Chris Blattman :
"In the US, subsidies for people to move from poor neighborhoods to better ones had positive long term outcomes (PDF) but Barnhardt, Field, & Pande find in India, taking people away from their social support networks is very disruptive and many people refused or left the program (PDF)."

The first Moving to opportunity Abstract: Neighborhoods matter for the well-being of residents. Helping families with young children living in high-poverty housing projects to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods improves the later-life outcomes for the children and may reduce the intergenerational persistence of poverty.

The second Moving to opportunity or isolation? Network effects of a Randomized Housing Lottery in Urban India Abstract: A housing lottery in an Indian city provided winning slum dwellers the opportunity to move into improved housing on the citys periphery. Fourteen years later, relative to lottery losers, winners report improved housing farther from the city center, but no change in family income or human capital. Winners also report increased isolation from family and caste networks and lower access to informal insurance. We observe significant program exit: 34% of winners never moved into the subsidized housing and 32% eventually exited. Our results point to the importance of considering social networks when designing housing programs for the poor.

P.S I am not sure whether it works the same way in South India. May be the clue to the difference of U.P. from USA and South India may be in family systems, as Emmanuel Todd would say.

Oliver Sacks RIP

From NY Times with links to other articles.
Check also Oliver Sacks has left the building by Vaughan Bell

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What most people want

I guess is work to feed their children. A picture of a Syrian refugee

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fearless Nadia (?)singing a romantic song 1943 (apparently sung by Rajkumari and Mansoor)
More about Fearless Nadia

From Ghar Sansar-1958

Never stop learning

Refugees are people too.

Refugees are human. That simple fact seems to have been forgotten
Some good news from Germany: German public: we can cope with more refugees
German mayor says he wants more migrants
""They had the flexibility and the legislation allowing admission of asylum seekers in their territory faster than standard resettlement procedures," said Bernard, commenting on the Alameens' fit with Germany. 
The European country was the first to allow certain Syrians registered in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt to move there without a protracted asylum application procedure.
About half of all those selected have successfully arrived in the Federal Republic of Germany, where they have a chance to integrate and build a new life.
Thomas Langwald from the German Office for Migration and Refugees explained the programme, which costs the state about $14m, specifically targets families that "cannot return to Syria" and would have difficulty settling in the country they first fled to. " from
And there are villages for sale in Spain

A refugee girl moves under barbed wire as she crosses from Serbia to Hungary [AP]

Thursday, August 27, 2015

David Levy in July 2014

Economist who predicted housing  bubble says another recession coming:

""When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold," may need to be flipped.Maybe the rest of the world will sneeze this time, and the U.S. will get sick.,,,,,

Now, Levy says the United States is likely to fall into a recession next year triggered by downturns in other countries, the first time in modern history."

S.Varalakshmi -Jikki duet from Krishna Prema 1961

Nagaraju Koppula memorial lecture

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hansa Wadkar and others.

I just finished reading Hansa Wadkar's autobiograpky "You ask, I tell". It was a made into a movie Bhumika in 1977

Related articles: Letter from an unknown woman: The film actress in  late colonial Bombay by Debashish Mukherjee The article mentions Bombay Talkies archives in Melbourne, Australia

The second by Nandini Ramachandran After the last sky: Memoirs by women who were not paragons but survivers: "AnNIS KIDWAI, Bina Das, Hansa Wadkar, Prabha Khaitan and Temsula Ao were all born in colonial India and actively participated in the making of an independent nation. Anis Kidwai was one of India’s first female Rajya Sabha members. Bina Das helped organise the Quit India movement in Calcutta. Hansa Wadkar was a popular actress in early Marathi cinema. Prabha Khaitan managed two companies, wrote several novels, and translated the French writer Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal feminist text, The Second Sex, into Hindi. Temsula Ao is Nagaland’s most famous living writer.
All these women were pioneers in their professions, but unlike more glamorous women memoirists of their era—Amrita Pritam, Shaukat Azmi, Leela Naidu, Vina Mazumdar, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Gayatri Devi, Durga Khote—they aren’t famous enough to have achieved immortality. They inhabit the tenuous territory between success and celebrity. They led fulfilling and trailblazing lives, but not readily accessible ones, and often their stories about themselves are the only ones we have. Luckily, they all wrote memoirs that have appeared in the original English or in translation over the last four years."

More China related links

My guess: bad for China but not a disaster for the rest except for the usual rent seeking problems which are already there.
Why China's stock market implosion may not be very meaningful by Isabella Kaminska
"Casino Capitalism": Economist Michael Hudson on What's Behind the Stock Market's Rollercoaster Ride

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

China downturn related links

David Beckworth at Macro and other Market musings. Like Michael Pettis he too talks of 'impossible trinity'. A short version of Pettis at FT Alphaville.
John Maudlin on the role of US Federal Reserve: "...I want to show you how the current market meltdown is being brought to you courtesy of your friendly US Federal Reserve Bank"
Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler Central Banks have become a corrupting force: "If central banks purchase stocks in order to support equity prices, what is the point of having a stock market? The central bank’s ability to create money to support stock prices negates the price discovery function of the stock market."
Steve Keen Is this the great crash of China?: "So China is having its first fully-fledged capitalist crisis. To date its response to it has been to try to sustain the unsustainable: to transfer the bubble from housing to the stockmarket, and to keep the stockmarket rising like some production target for wheat from the bad old days before the fall of the Gang of Four. It can’t be done. At some point, the Chinese government is going to have to make the transition from generating a credit bubble to trying to contain its aftermath."
Steve Keen China Crash: You can't keep accelerating forever

Monday, August 24, 2015

Glenn Davis Stone on GM foods and DDT

GM foods: A moment of honesty. Excerpts:
"A lot of studies have failed to find any health risk for any GM food. .....
But what we do know is that it took us 62 years to even begin to “discern the injury” to humans caused by DDT. ....
Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods."

Some Beth Moon photographs of oldest trees

here and here.

Ezra Klein advice on retreiving information

There is a better way to read on the internet, and I have found it. I have been using this blog and internet search.

Property prices related links

Property prices should fall: Raguram Rajan
Earlier :
"Rajan's prediction turned out to be right in the end and a little over three years later in September 2008, the world was in the midst of a full-blown financial crisis, the impact of which is still being felt, almost six years later. Banks and financial institutions about the go bust had to be rescued by governments all over the Western world. Also, in the aftermath of the crisis, Western governments and their central banks decided to print trillions of dollars in order to get their economies up and running again.
Now Rajan has sounded a warning again. In an interview to the Central Banking Journal which was published a few days back Rajan said "The problems arising are not so much from credit growth, which is relatively tepid in the industrial markets and has been much stronger in emerging markets, but from asset prices due to financial risk-taking and so on. Unfortunately, a number of macroeconomists have not fully learned the lessons of the great financial crisis. They still do not pay enough attention - en passant - to the financial sector. Financial sector crises are not as predictable. The risks build up until, wham, it hits you. So it is not like economic growth, where unemployment offers a more continuous indicator."
What Rajan is essentially saying here is that all the money printed and pumped into the financial system by the American and other Western governments has led to financial market bubbles all over the world. And these bubbles when they burst will lead to another financial crisis. As Rajan put it "We are taking a greater chance of having another crash at a time when the world is less capable of bearing the cost.""
Michael Hudson 2006 article: Real Estate, Technology and the Rentier Economy:
"The reality is that the economy is tilted to favor property owners, monopolists and creditors at the expense of those who produce goods and services. A widening share of national income is going to landlords, creditors and other rentiers at the top of the income and wealth pyramid, increasingly free of taxes. The wealth that produces these rentier incomes is not real capital investment, nor is it technological. It is created by law, often by stealth and insider dealing. "
Robert Solow recently on rents: The future of work: Why wages are not keeping up

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

An old article by Hamid Dabashi

Can non-Europeans think? via a Chapati Mystery link to an interview with the author, who has now written a book with the same name.

More on John Coway

A fellow of infinite jest in WSJ (If the link does not work, search with the title) via Genius at play which has interesting comments.

Two on epigenetics

Monday, August 17, 2015

Record keeping before literature.

"Record-keeping served as a centralized control and scheduling device long before writing became a vehicle for personal self-expression, literature or abstract philosophy" says Michael Hudson in "From sacred enclave to temple to city", one of the articles in "Urbanization and land ownership in the ancient near east" edited by Michael Hudson and Baruch Levine. I assume most places had music and songs before.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Madhukar Shukla reflects

and reposts this from 2006 today 
"Perhaps the only way to reconcile these paradoxes is to believe that the history of a nation is not a fairy-tale (with clear-cut good-evil/right-wrong), but an epic across generations which unfolds in various shades of grey...maybe"

SriSri Desa Charitralu

Friday, August 14, 2015

Grandpatent's day in Ava's class

MGNREGS seem to have some effect

"The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) reduced poverty by up to a third and gave a large number of women their first opportunity to earn cash income, a new research has found." from The Hindu

Soft power

India does not fare well. An earlier report from a different source

Interesting Telugu blog

An exchange about developments in Telugu poetry

Sreenivas Paruchuri comments on my wall "From a historical point of view it is a valuable debate/exchange/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. Basically VV, intentionally or unintentionally, admitted that SriSri was "hijacked". And Ranganayakamma nails that down. We have a lot of oral history but very little is documented, both in case of "SS shashTipoorti sabhalu" in Vizag and the above episode. The above story may read/sound trivial to some, but it has lots of implications on Telugu literary history."
The articles in discussion are 
చలసాని, శ్రీశ్రీ సాహిత్యంలో వర్గపోరాట సందర్భాలు  by Varavara Rao and
 ‘విప్లవం’ పరువు పోగొట్టేశారు!by Muppala Ranganayakamma