Updated Tuesday 3/5/19
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode to office on the promise of massive economic reform, job creation, and so on. And, yes, a number of measures have indeed moved the needle and inspired a great amount of foreign capital interest in India’s huge potential.
But, alas, he has an election looming, and politicians do what politicians do.
From this week’s Economist:
“as the election has drawn closer, Mr Modi has resorted to politically expedient policies that are likely to harm the economy. His government hounded the boss of the central bank out of office for keeping interest rates high, appointing a replacement who promptly cut them. And it has unveiled draft rules that would protect domestic e-commerce firms from competition from retailers such as Amazon.”
That last sentence speaks to why far too many of the world’s consumers have yet to truly enjoy the fruits of free markets. Not to mention to the primary catalyst for a negative 2018, amid the most bullish of setups, for the U.S. equity market. That being protectionism!
The following headline from Monday speaks to the politics-induced struggles of the U.S. equity market, and may have a little to do with the day’s selloff:
We can only hope that that headline does not reflect Washington’s approach to Europe during the weeks to come.
If you’re thinking but they do it to us, you’re entirely missing the point. The U.S.’s greatness has everything to do with rejecting the policies, and protectionist machinations that have plagued lesser-developed nations for eons. Retaliating in the same vein reduces us to their level and jeopardizes our future development, as well as our leadership role on the world stage…