Showing posts from 2018

The insanity of Our Economic Policy

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein
Pakistan is an IMF addict: we have had 12-13 IMF programs in the last 30 years and have spent more than 22 years in a program (more if you count program monitoring). So, what will change with another program? Will both Pakistan and IMF repeat the past and prove insanity as in Einstein’s maxim. IMF gave us a clean bill of health about 2 years ago, yet we are in another BOP crisis. You can see the exchange rate collapsing. Will the doctor repeat the old medicine?   While policy, IMF and our policy remain engaged in a dismal dance, the economy beyond the control of the MOF chugs along creating a middle class. People are largely better off despite the shenanigans of the trio (MOF, IMF and pundits). People have worked hard to build a life for themselves whether through migration or some trading and even informal work at home.  But then the trio (IMF, MOF and our economists) call the hard work of …

Imperial Democracy

Typically, ‘elected’ dynastic governments start to unravel by their third year thanks to a combination of incompetence and greed. It is then that the rumour of a technocratic setup starts and politicians start to fan it. Recently, government officials came out with statements to the effect that the constitution does not allow for a technocratic setup and that there is no room for technocrats in Pakistan. The issue of technocrats really needs careful analysis here. Why is there a demand for technocracy? People repeatedly see that elected governments are not delivering governance and good public service. Instead they slip into whimsical, ‘kitchen cabinet’ government style-where an inner circle of the unelected starts to take arbitrary decisions. The prime minister wants to run the country in imperial fashion and ministers close to him act like imperial lords by passing all laws. Rumours of corruption grow large. Dynastic ambitions reveal themselves in children being thrown into decision-m…