Pragati Alert

I have written the opening editorial for the March 2009 issue of Pragati. It should be out any time now. This is how it starts:

A visitor from the 17th century would be rather surprised to learn that the United States of America of 2009 is in distress. He would of course be no stranger to troubled times, but in his time, troubles came in the form of famines, diseases, strife and taxes. This blight called “recession” that has struck the United States would seem strange to him. Factories that were at full steam two years back are now idle, though their productive capacity is undiminished. Healthy men and women who were working in those factories now sit at home. Goods lie in warehouses even while vehicles to transport them in and roads to carry them on remain intact. Further inquiry by our visitor would reveal that the cause of the United States’ trouble is a breakdown in the system by which it co-ordinates demand and supply, present and future consumption, and risk and reward. The visitor would not be prepared for the scale and sophistication of the system that has now suffered a setback, but he would be no stranger to the idea of markets. Markets and traders have existed for as long as humankind has, and so have attacks against them.

Read the rest when you get the issue in your mailbox