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Jayant Bhandari

Jayant Bhandari

Jayant Bhandari grew up in India. He advises institutional investors on investing in the junior mining industry. He writes on political, economic and cultural issues for several publications. He is a contributing editor of the Liberty magazine. He runs a yearly seminar in Vancouver titled Capitalism & Morality.

Articles by Jayant Bhandari

India – Is Kashmir Gone?

6 days ago

Everything Gets Worse  (Part XII) –  Pakistan vs. India
After 70 years of so-called independence, one has to be a professional victim not to look within oneself for the reasons for starvation, unnatural deaths, utter backwardness, drudgery, disease, and misery in India.
Intellectual capital accumulated in the West over the last 2,500 years — available for free in real-time via the internet — can be downloaded by a passionate learner. In the age of modern technology, another mostly free gift from the West which has significantly leveled the playing field, societies that wanted economic convergence with the West, such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, HK, China, etc., have either achieved it rapidly, or have strongly trended toward it.
 
More than 28,000 children less than six years of age have

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India: The next Pakistan?

March 23, 2017

India’s Rapid Degradation
This is Part XI of a series of articles (the most recent of which is linked here) in which I have provided regular updates on what started as the demonetization of 86% of India’s currency. The story of demonetization and the ensuing developments were merely a vehicle for me to explore Indian institutions, culture and society.
 
The Modimobile is making the rounds amid a flower shower. [PT]
Photo credit: PTI Photo
 

Tribal cultures face an inherent contradiction. They create poison from within to grow more collectivist, controlling and tyrannical — members of the populace looks for nannies, and they readily find sociopaths to exploit that need. Their lack of organizational skills, their inability to engage in economic calculation and their irrationality lead to

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India: Still the Fastest Growing Large Economy?

March 7, 2017

India’s Currency Ban – Part X
It has now been four months since Narendra Modi declared about 86% of monetary value of currency illegal. Linked here is the last in my series of updates, which was written soon after the deadline to deposit the demonetized currency. Most of the banned currency was eventually deposited, making a mockery of Modi, who had claimed that unaccounted money would not reach the banks.  Perhaps 3% of the cash never reached the banks.
 
A cunning plan unravels
Cartoon by Sandeep Adhwaryu
 

Those living outside India still have the option to return to the country, complete a number of formalities at the airport, and then hope that India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will do the conversion.
Many of these people are unfortunately return empty-handed.

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India: The World’s Fastest Growing Large Economy?

February 2, 2017

Popular Narrative
India has been the world’s favorite country for the last three years. It is believed to have superseded China as the world’s fastest growing large economy. India is expected to grow at 7.5%. Compare that to the mere 6.3% growth that China has “fallen” to.
 
India’s quarterly annualized GDP growth rate since 2008, according to MOSPI (statistics ministry) – click to enlarge.
 

The IMF, the World Bank, and the international media have celebrated this event. Declining commodity prices and other problems in Russia, Brazil and South Africa have damaged the prospects of the BRICs (ex-India) and other emerging markets.
Commodity and currency markets have been very turbulent, and the Arab Spring has not only failed to keep up its pace, it has half-destroyed the Middle East, with

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India – On a Downward Spiral

January 23, 2017
India – On a Downward Spiral

India’s Currency Ban – Part IX
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on 8th  November 2016 that Rs 500 (~$7.50) and Rs 1,000 (~$15) banknotes would no longer be legal tender.
 
Sadly, the despondency visible in the old man’s facial expression has become a widespread phenomenon since the currency ban, particularly among India’s poor
Photo credit: Aayush Goel
 

Here are links to Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV, Part-V, Part-VI, Part-VII, and Part-VIII, which not only provide updates on the demonetization saga, but explore and dissect India’s culture and why in this country of 1.34 billion — more than 1 out of every 6 human beings on the planet — so many exist in wretched poverty in this modern age, in an insect-like existence.
 

People storming a bank. If this is not an

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Modi’s Great Leap Forward

January 1, 2017
Modi’s Great Leap Forward

India’s Currency Ban – Part VIII
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 (~$7.50) and Rs 1,000 (~$15) banknotes would no longer be legal tender. Linked are Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV, Part-V, Part-VI and Part-VII, which provide updates on the demonetization saga and how Modi is acting as a catalyst to hasten the rapid degradation of India and what remains of its institutions.
 
India’s Pride and Joy
 
Indians are celebrating that their economy has surpassed that of India’s former colonial master, the UK.
 

So-called educated Indians have latched on to the above visual, with full support of the Indian government. It has been shared far and wide in the national media. When you remind them that India’s population is twenty-one times that of

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Modi’s Fantastic Promises

December 19, 2016
Modi’s Fantastic Promises

India’s Currency Ban, Part VII
This article continues right where Part VI left off (for earlier updates on the demonetization saga see Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV, and Part-V).
There is still huge support for Modi even among the poor.  A big carrot is dangled before them, which makes many stay numb to their current suffering.  During his election campaign in 2014, Modi promised to deposit more than Rs 1.5 million (~$22,000) in each poor person’s account once the government had seized all black money.
 
Massive problems have been reported with the new bills. Some have been printed on defective paper and are simply falling apart. The inferior quality of the print job is generally often on the appalling side of deplorable. The new notes are counterfeited with great abandon, quite

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India’s Rapid Progression Toward a Police State

December 19, 2016
India’s Rapid Progression Toward a Police State

India’s Currency Ban – Part VI
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 (~$7.50) and Rs 1,000 (~$15) banknotes would no longer be legal tender. Linked are Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV, and Part-V, which provide updates on the demonetization saga and how Modi is acting as a catalyst to hasten the rapid degradation of India and what remains of its institutions.
 
There are undoubtedly many differences between the two gentlemen depicted above, but both appear to have mastered the age-old trick of extending one’s grip on political power by inflicting chaos.
 

As the deadline of 31st  December 2016 approaches, Gresham’s law has been turned upside down. When they needed to be converted, the banned currency notes were trading for a 20% discount to

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Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part V

December 5, 2016
Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part V

A Brief Recap
India’s Prime Minister announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes will no longer be legal tender. Linked are Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, and Part-IV, which provide updates on the rapidly encroaching police state
Expect a continuation of new social engineering notifications, each sabotaging wealth-creation, confiscating people’s wealth, and tyrannizing those who refuse to be a part of the herd, in the process destroying the very backbone of the economy and civilization.
There are clear signs that in a very convoluted way, possession of gold for investment purposes will be made illegal. Expect capital controls to follow. Chaos from people’s inability to access the money in their bank accounts is now spreading to the people who have so far been

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Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part IV

November 30, 2016
Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part IV

A Market Gripped by Fear
The Indian Prime Minister announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes would no longer be legal tender. Linked are Part-I, Part-II and Part-III updates on the rapidly encroaching police state.
The economic and social mess that Modi has created is unprecedented. It will go down in history as an epitome of naivety and arrogance due to Modi’s self-centered desire to increase tax-collection at any cost.
 
Indian jewelry merchant
Photo via indiatimes.com
 

Fear has gripped the bullion market, for one is deemed to be guilty until proven otherwise. People with perfectly legal cash are afraid of cameras recording their purchases and having to pay outrageous bribes. After an adjustment period people will buy more — not less — gold. For now, the gold

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Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part III

November 24, 2016
Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part III

When Money Dies
In part-I of the dispatch we talked about what happened during the first two days after Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes, comprising of 88% of the monetary value of cash in circulation. In part-II, we talked about the scenes, chaos, desperation, and massive loss of productive capacity that this ban had led to over the next few days.
 
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi – another finger-wagger, as can be seen in this photograph. Beware finger-wagging politicians, as we always point out. Modi now plans to impose income tax penalties on large bank deposits; the State’s rapaciousness knows no bounds and evidently the mere possession of some arbitrary amount of money considered “too large” now means one is deemed a criminal a priori in

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Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part II

November 16, 2016
Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part II

Chaos in the Wake of the Ban
Here is a link to Part 1, about what happened in the first two days after India’s government made Rs 500 (~$7.50) and Rs 1,000 (~$15) banknotes illegal. They can now only be converted to Rs 100 (~$1.50) or lower denomination notes, at bank branches or post offices. Banks were closed the first day after the decision. What follows is the crux of what has happened over the subsequent four days.
 
  India’s prime minister Nahendra Modi, author of the recent overnight currency ban
Photo credit: indiatimes.com
 

Today India is on the verge of a major social-political crisis, unless either the government backs off from the decision of banning the currency or some real magic happens. There is chaos in the streets and daily life is slowly but surely coming to a full

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Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban

November 9, 2016

India’s Government Makes Banknotes Worthless by Decree Overnight
As I write this in the morning of 9th November 2016, there are huge lines forming outside gold shops in India — and gold traded heavily until late into the night yesterday. Depending on who you ask, the retail price of gold has gone up between 15% and 20% within the last 10 hours.
 
Gold quotes in India – gold traded for as much as Rs 49,000 per 10 grams or US$ 2,294 per ounce
 

At some places, it was sold for as much as US$ 2,294 per ounce. That is, if you can actually find physical gold — gold inventories at stores are rapidly depleting. All of this happened well before the international price started to move up because of the election results coming out of the US.
Last night (8th November 2016), India’s government

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The Myth of Leverage

August 23, 2016

  Mining Stocks, Gold Prices and Commodity Price Trends Gold has gone up >400% over the last 16 years. Ironically, it is hard to find a gold mining equity exhibiting similar performance. In retrospect, if one invested in gold, one not only made much better returns, one also took a relatively insignificant risk in comparison …

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Gold and Brexit

June 20, 2016

  Going Up for the Wrong Reason Gold is soaring. It should—and a lot—but in my view not for the reason it is. Indeed gold is insurance for uncertain times, a time that Brexit seems to represent. But insurance is an administrative cost — one must minimize its use.   August gold contract, daily – …

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