Central banking on the subcontinent

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Lest I appear ungrateful for Justin’s invitation to post at will, I should mention that I’ve been in India for the past two weeks. I was there for a friend’s wedding, though macroeconomics was never far from my heart.

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Wholesale inflation (India still doesn’t use consumer prices) has jumped over the past few months and now stands at 7.8%. The government is scrambling—in addition to monetary tightening, there have been price controls on things like gasoline, kerosene, steel and cement. Makes the free market side of my brain happy that all we have so far in this country is a discussion about a gas-tax holiday.

I also got a picture of these guys.

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They were out front giving away prospectuses for mutual funds, from the likes of Prudential and Merrill Lynch. Simon Robinson, our fantastic Delhi bureau chief, tells me that when there’s a hot IPO, they’ve got literature on that, too.

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