Fiscal Deficit

June 2, 2013

Crude Oil price dip, some positive news for Policy makers

Crude Oil Crude oil prices has hovered somewhere close to $110a barrel for past one year, however the price dipped below $100 in the recent past […]
April 15, 2013

Indian Economic Survey – Fact or Fiction?

Economic Survey – Facts The pre-budget Economic survey gave a rosy picture indicating the return of happy days for the economy. The GDP growth will take […]
March 25, 2013

India in 2020 – Really?

It is a known fact that India is currently ranked as the 10th largest economy in the world. There was much speculation since 2002 about the […]
March 22, 2013

Are States the victim of the Centre’s underperformance/poor budget?

Distribution of Funds between the Centre & the States The financial federalism in India works mainly in favor of the Central Government and ensures central government […]
March 19, 2013

Key highlights of India’s Budget for the year 2013-14

Indian Budget 2013-14 The finance minister Mr. P Chidambaram recently unveiled a bigger-than-expected outlay for the coming fiscal year in what is known to be one […]
February 25, 2013

India back in 1991 Era

Global Crisis & India Currently the global economy is undergoing the state of crisis. The recent eurozone second recession coupled with very slow growth in US […]
January 3, 2012

Chinese Wind Tower Companies face Dumping Danger after Solar Panel Makers

Chinese Solar Panel Producers have become a famous target of an anti dumping petition brought on by Solarworld and other companies.Though US Solar Installers have opposed the move as it will increase the solar panel prices in US,ITC has gone ahead with the investigation.Though the charges of subsidies and efficiency can be debated,the fact remains that US Solar Panel Producers can't compete with Chinese Solar Panles.Massive industrial overcapacity in China has made the prices of products very cheap and made it difficult for Western producers to compete in most areas such as Chemical,Renewable Energy,Textiles etc.The Chinese win because of their low interest rates,cheap labor,free land,massive government support.
January 2, 2012

Should India learn from Brazil in reducing Fiscal Deficit and Budget Spending

2011 has been a bad year for emerging markets with high inflation,slowing growth and rising interest rates.Most of the problems are a consequence of the 2008 Financial Crisis when emerging countries increasing fiscal spending and reduced interest rates to reduce the affect of the Lehman crisis.Now the Bill is coming due with slowing growth and higher inflation.Most of the BRIC countries have heavily increased interest rates in 2011 to slow inflation as their poor population can ill afford the damaging effect of inflation. Brazil has reduced its 2012 Budget by $32 billion to control inflation drawing howls of protest from politicians who always want to spend more as if money grows on trees.The country has reined in spending in both 2011 and 2012 to reduce the fiscal deficit and spend more money on productive sectors like infra.
July 6, 2011

Greece Referendum on European Bailout – 5 Points you Want to Know

Greece Referendum is set to become the hottest media topic related to the European Debt Crisis in the coming months.In a totally surprising move Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called a referendum and a parliamentary confidence vote on 31st October just a week after the European leaders had agreed on a package to .Papandreou’s personal and government popularity have plunged amid fresh austerity measures that sparked a wave of social unrest.The PM is calling this vote probably to bolster his government as it loses support of the masses
July 5, 2011

Greek Debt Deal – Bondholders take 50% Loss- Who Wins and Loses

According to reports coming from Europe where the summit of major European leaders took place to resolve the growing debt crisis,a deal has been reached on Greek debt.The Euro 350 billion debt which dwarfs the size of the negatively growing Greek economy has been a major source of instability in the last 2 years.The private holders of the Greek government bonds have agreed to take a 50% writeoff on their holdings.This means that if they hold Euro 100 of bonds they have become Euro 50 now as the rest has been written off as bad debt.Not that it was not apparent as Greek CDS and Greek bonds were touching all times lows in the secondary market.In fact the only buyers of Greece bonds were the European Central Bank and the Greek banks.The capital markets had been going up in the last month in the hope of some sort of resolution.The deal does not look like a win win as there will be some big losers in this deal (though they were already losing for some time).Nicolas Sarkozy announced the deal which would be voluntary in nature so that the CDS would not be invoked.Here are the winners and losers from this deal
June 28, 2011

European Carbon Trading Market goes into a Huge Slump on Greek concerns,post 2012 Kyoto uncertainity

The European Carbon Trading Market which is the biggest cap and trade market in the world has gone into a monster slump with carbon credit prices having fallen to around 10 euros which is the lowest since March 2009 when almost every global asset had fallen to multi year lows.The trigger for the correction in prices is the future of the EUA scheme in which major carbon emitters in Europe are restricted to quotas and have to buy carbon credits if they exceed their limits.A huge amounts of United Nations CERs are sold into this market as they are allowed to to so.This has led to the mushrooming of a huge growth of carbon consultancies in India and China which help projects in obtaining these lucrative CERs.Note this has recently become highly controversial with a number of frauds happening in trading of these carbon credits.Top investment banks have been convicted of fraud and big sellers of CERs like the HFC producing companies have made ludicrous windfalls of hundreds of millions of Euros.Some of these companies have now started focusing in winning these CERs which are much more profitable than their core operations.
April 15, 2011

Why did it take Spain 3 years to stops/changes subsidies to Solar Power Plants getting Feed in Tariff through Fraud

Spain has started cracking down on Solar Power Plants which are making huge profits through illegal Feed in Tariffs which they should not get.Note Spain had seen a massive boom in solar installations in 2008 due to unusually large ROI driven by high Feed in Tariffs.FIT are electricity rates which are higher than wholesale electricity rates paid to renewable energy power plants in order to make them competitive with cheaper fossil fuel power plants.Seeing a huge increase in the subsidy burden Spain has pretty much killed the solar market in 2009,however the problems of Fiscal Deficit has made Spain reconsider the tariffs being given to even older solar power plants.After a lot of controversy,Spain changed the FIT rules in the middle of the game through a retroactive FIT Law drawing howls of protest from solar investors like pension funds which have sued the government
February 7, 2011

Top 5 Indian Stock Market Pitfalls as Nifty falls below 200 EMA(PIN,INP,EPI,INDY)

Indian Stocks Market are a very difficult place to invest despite claims to the contrary which will be made by institutional investors.The all pervasive corruption present amongst most of the company managements makes bottom up stock picking a tough call.Even institutional "smart" investors like Goldman,GMO frequently get tripped by fly by night operators.Market operators blatantly manipulate stocks while the primary market is a "pump and dump" heaven.However the Indian growth story has fooled fund managers from outside to keep investing into the story.I have written in the blog numerous pitfalls present in investing in India.Some of these are coming home to roost as the Indian stock markets have fallen by more than 10% in 2011 despite other markets making new highs.Here are the top 5 Headwinds facing the Indian markets in 2011.
January 25, 2011

Spanish Government faces Lawsuits over Solar Feed in Tariff Cuts from ASIF

The Spanish Government faces multiple lawsuits over its Royal Decrees which cut the Feed in Tariff for Solar PV Installations Retroactively.These laws were passed in Dec 2010 as part of the comprehensive review of the Renewable Energy Subsidies by the government.While Wind Energy and Solar Thermal Subsidies were changed earlier,the controversy over the Solar PV subsidies had forced the government to delay the change to the last minute.These changes were strongly opposed by the Solar PV Industry Association ASIF which has earlier called the measure as "industry killing".These cuts over the next 3 years would be done through a "backdoor approach" in which the subsidies would be restricted for a only a few hours for the Solar PV plants.
January 25, 2011

Commodity Inflation starts to hurt Indian Consumer Companies (HLL,Ceat)

Inflation in India is raging at double digit levels as it is in most of the other countries in Asia.While Food Inflation has been hogging the headlines as Onion Prices become costlier than the daily earnings of the majority of Indians,other commodities are becoming expensive as well.Tyre Companies in India have seen their margins and profits collapse on the back of higher natural rubber prices.This is despite the explosive growth being seen in the automobile sector in India.JK Tyres and Ceat reported their quarter results and both were equally bad with stock prices taking a major hit.Consumer giant HLL which is a subsidiary of the Unilever Group and the largest consumer company in India also saw its stock price tumble.HLL too has been hurt by higher input commodity costs.While volume growth was excellent,the margins got compressed as input prices increased faster than output prices.Note the Indian stock market has fallen more than 10% of its peak even as developed markets are seeing higher peaks.Other Asian markets like Indonesia,Thailand and others too have fallen as high inflation hurts the prospects of companies here.The Central Bank in India RBI raised the intrest rates by 25 bps which some consider as too low.Like other central banks in Asia,India too seems helpless to fight the inflationary pressures brought upon by the higher commodity prices fueled by Bernake money printing.
November 22, 2010

7 Reasons Why the Climate Change Meet in Cancun,Mexico will Fail

Climate Change in the last year has faced one hit after another which should culminate in the failure of the Cancun,Mexico talks which is to start on November 29.Note there are not many expectations from the Cancun Climate Change negotiations in sharp contrast to the Copenhagen Talks in 2009.Despite the global attention and expectations from the Danish hosted Climate Meet,Copenhagen was a total disaster putting Global Warming in the Backburner despite more and more evidence of the massive global harmful effects.In the recent year,the Fossil Fuel Lobbies have been trying to discredit the very agency in charge of spearheading the war against Global Warming.They have been largely successful with global polls revealing a distinct cooling towards Global Warming Efforts.China despite huge investments into Clean Technology is emitting more Carbon Dioxide while USA has completely given up its Global Leadership on the most pressing World Problem.Here are the Reasons why the Cancun Climate Change Talks would fail.
October 27, 2010

Enel Green Power (EGP) Biggest European Renewable Energy IPO struggles despite strong markets

EGP is the 4th company of its kind to supply paper to European investors so the demand is not high.Despite EGP having 44% Hydro Assets and 13% Geothermal Assets which is more than its European competitors dependent on Wind Energy,investors are not convinced.Even the lower band of pricing has seen only 60% demand which means that EGP may have to lower it further.Spain and Italy the home countries of Enel are reducing Feed in Tariffs for Green Energy Sources due to Budgetary Problems.Despite removing the most draconian cuts on Renewable Subsidies,the sword of uncertainty continues to hang over the Green Producers.Investors are also looking for a discount on existing companies in order to make commitments to a new issue.EGP has been trying to do an IPO sine last year and the current bullish market environment in Europe might be the best time for it to clinch the deal.
October 22, 2010

Analyzing Potential Impact of USW Green Trade Distorting Subsidy Petition against China

While Section 301 was a powerful, unilateral U.S. trade policy weapon prior to the establishment of the WTO dispute settlement process, since 1995 it has rarely been invoked and has not produced any sanctions or WTO cases. In a post-WTO world, therefore, the USW petition could be said to be unprecedented. It is the first to be accepted by USTR that, if proven, would, invalidate for WTO purposes what amounts to a national industrial policy. It would seriously undermine the validity of China’s efforts to create “national champions” in certain sectors, to focus on building domestic capacity to address its environmental and energy challenges, and to be a significant, and possibly the dominant, global player in green technologies. Beyond the impact on China, a successful U.S. challenge in the WTO would inevitably chill similar efforts in other countries to use the Chinese industrial development template in other sectors. All of these effects are above and beyond the question of the immediate fall-out that could result if China declines to implement an adverse WTO finding and the U.S. compensation and retaliation is authorized.
October 17, 2010

Green War between USA and China escalates with acceptance of 301 Filing

US Steelworkers Union filed a Trade Complaint against China over its predatory practices in Green Sectors recently listing numerous infringements.While it was not thought of as a serious complaint because all Green Sectors have an element of Subsidy from Governments.This was seen as more of a tactical maneuver to gain more concessions from Chinese Green Investors in the USA like the A-Power deal with USW to buy USA made Steel for its Wind Turbine Plant in the USA.However what has been surprising is the alacrity with which the USA administration has accepted the 301 Filing.Now the USA Government Apparatus will investigate the claims and file punitive duties and penalties on Chinese made Green Products imported into the US.This has already resulted in a major stock sell-off in Chinese Solar Stocks which were enjoying a great rally.Note this Green War is part of a general Trade Cold War between the USA and China.This threatens to derail the feeble global economic recovery that we have seen so far.Without compromise and agreement between the major global powers on reducing the huge global imbalances,this could easily result in a Depression which was averted in 2008.
September 18, 2010

Deflating Developed Countries Fueling Dangerous Inflation in Developing Nations

In our Financial linked world where Capital is Globalized while Regulation is not,Hot Money Flows are fueling inflation and asset based bubbles in Developing Countries.Some of the Emerging Markets are either close to or have surpassed the 2008 all time highs.Inflation is also hitting dangerous levels in some countries like Argentina,India and others.The depreciating dollar brought upon the the US Federal Reserve Printing of money has made it necessary that the Central Banks purchase Dollars.This has been done not only by Brazil and Singapore but also by Japan.With more Dollar Printing,these Purchases will increase the Liquidity in the Developing Countries.This is a sure shot recipe for high inflation which will be difficult to control.India has already raised Interest Rates 5 times this year in order to rein in the pernicious effects of high inflation on its largely poor population.
September 17, 2010

Rise of American Protectionism – Two cases against China in WTO and "Buy American" Bills by Congress

USA is increasing its protectionist actions recently filing 2 cases in World Trade Organisation against China over Electrical Steel and Credit Card payment providers.Only last week a US Union had filed a complaint with the US government about the Predatory Practices of Chinese Green Companies.USA thinks that China has unfairly put duties on US made Steel and it is locking out Mastercard and Visa from the credit card processing market in China.There is little doubt that China indulges in favoritism and implicit and explicit support of domestic companies.However it the scale that is the only difference .Like all other things China also implements its policies king size.MNCs in recent times like GE,Google,Siemens have all criticized Chinse discrimination against foreign companies.However WTO remains an ineffective body to resolve complex Trades Disputes.The US Congress is also getting into the China-Bashing Act by passing 2 bills that mandate "Buy American" clauses.The US has already antagonized the Indian IT Industry by specifically targeting the Indian companies like Infosys and Wipro.These new bills target China making it mandatory for government departments to buy American made goods.With November Elections fast approaching,politicians are outdoing each other in protectionist rhetoric.
September 15, 2010

Has Competitive Devaluation of Currencies Started with Japan intervening to weaken the Yen

With Every Country wanting to Use Exports to get out of their Tough Fiscal Situations,it does seem that Currency Manipulation will become a mainstream activity.Gold and Silver are already touching new highs and with countries hell bent on competitively devaluing their currencies,expect the precious metals to go even higher.
August 27, 2010

New Czech Renewable Energy Policy to Bust the Solar Boom with a 50% Subsidy Cut

Czech Republic came out with a Renewable Energy Framework which will finish off the Solar Sector in the country if passed in the current form.Czech despite […]
August 16, 2010

Are Bond Markets signalling Greek Contagion Redux?

This almost 30% decline in US yield is due to a combination of factors like expectations of more monetary easing by Fed,deflation worries and disappointing US economic data.In lockstep with the the US Treasury yields,the German bunds have also been rising.The rise in German Bunds is despite very strong German economic data.The German economy expanded at the fastest pace in 23 years on Rising Exports.So the fall in Bund yield is confusing when seen in terms of the US Treasury and Economy relationship
July 19, 2010

European Crisis is alive and kicking – IMF Rejects Hungary Bailout while Moody downgrades Ireland

The recent recovery in Euro from 1.2 to 1.3 USD and the strength of the stock markets would make you think that the Greek Contagion is […]
July 15, 2010

Spanish Banks and City Councils still in Dire Straits;Portugal Ratings also get cut by Moody's

The Spanish Financial sector is still in a precarious condition which is underscored by the record European Central Bank (ECB) borrowing . The indications of weaknesses […]
July 15, 2010

European Power Utilities look to Private Capital to Increase Renewable Energy generation

European Power Utilities are increasingly looking towards private capital in order to fund their renewable energy projects.The European Union has a target of generating 20% of […]
July 6, 2010

Green Investing climate in Spain improves dramatically with Wind and Solar Thermal Industries reaching Agreement with Government over Subsidy Cuts

Spanish Government Facing a Tough Fiscal Situation;Plans Green Energy Subsidy Change The Spanish Government has been  facing a tough budgetary situation due to sovereign debt problems […]
June 26, 2010

Did Pension Fund Pressure cause Spain to reconsider its Retroactive Solar Feed in Tariff (FIT) Cut?

Most of these reports had been quite vague but a recent report explicitly mentions that Danish Pension Funds writing to Spanish and EU investors voicing their concerns.With such Big Players joining the fray,its no wonder that Spain is reconsidering its whole Energy Policy.
June 26, 2010

Spain and Italy rethink their plan of Renewable Energy Subsidy Cuts

European countries have been hit hard by the Greek Contagion and are trying to outdo each other in reducing their fiscal deficits.Renewable Energy which is looked […]