8. Can a global recession be predicted?


8. Can a global recession be predicted?
  • Recession astrologist: Economist Nouriel Roubini had correctly predicted the 2008 financial crisis when the economy in the US and elsewhere was booming.
  • New prediction: Roubini sees a “long and ugly” recession occurring at the end of 2022, lasting all of 2023, with the S&P 500 undergoing a sharp correction, said a Bloomberg report quoting his upcoming book, “MegaThreats”.
  • Dr Doom, as Roubini is nicknamed, has warned those playing down the economic crash fears in the US as “shallow recession”, pointing to large debt ratios of corporations and governments. He says “many zombie institutions, zombie households, corporates, banks, shadow banks and zombie countries are going to die”.
  • More rate hikes in the US: Roubini expects about 175 basis points rate hike in the US by December to contain inflation and ward off the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war and China’s zero-Covid policy on global economy.
  • How big a crash: Roubini said the S&P 500 can fall by 30% even in a plain vanilla recession but in “a real hard landing”, it could fall 40%. He says once the world is in recession, fiscal stimulus remedies may not be an option. Because governments with too much debt are “running out of fiscal bullets”.
  • A stagflation like the one seen in the 1970s is a possible outcome of the anticipated recession. While the common households and banks were hardest hit during the 2008 crisis, Roubini says corporations and shadow banks — hedge funds, private equity and credit funds —- “are going to implode” this time around.
  • A prescription: To investors, he says, “You have to be light on equities and have more cash.” More here
5 THINGS FIRST

Today: PM Modi to address rally in Himachal’s Mandi; EAM Jaishankar to address world leaders at the UNGA; Filing of nominations for the Congress president’s election to start. Tomorrow: Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav to meet Sonia Gandhi in Delhi; 3rd T20I – India Vs Australia at Hyderabad

1. Neutrality is the official word from the high command
1. Neutrality is the official word from the high command
  • No-taunt message: A day after a Congress spokesperson taunted Shashi Tharoor, a likely contender for the Congress president’s post, the party high command sent out a stern message “of neutrality” to all the spokespersons. AICC’s communication in-charge Jairam Ramesh “strongly” urged all spokespersons “to refrain from making any comment of any kind on any colleague of ours contesting the elections”.
  • Congress’s Gourav Vallabh had earlier taken a swipe at Tharoor saying that his only contribution was writing letters to party president Sonia Gandhi. Tharoor had met Sonia last week, reportedly seeking a ‘free and fair’ presidential election.
  • Neutrality promised: Reports indicated that Sonia assured Tharoor and also told Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot — perceived as the Gandhis’ choice — that she and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will remain neutral in the presidential polls.
  • Neutral Gandhis means more candidates in the presidential race. The names of Manish Tewari, Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath and Siddaramaiah are also doing rounds. But Gehlot is being seen as the front-runner for his loyalty to the Gandhis, with the word spreading that Sonia has personally asked him to take up the Congress president’s job.
  • Rahul has a reason: Gehlot said on Monday, “Rahul ji told me ‘I know they want me to be chief and I respect their wish, but I have decided, for a reason, that a non-Gandhi should be Congress president’.” Gehlot met with Rahul Gandhi in Kerala, joining his “Bharat Jodo Yatra” on Thursday evening before declaring that he would “definitely” run for the Congress president.
  • Meanwhile, Opposition leaders — Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad — don’t seem to wait for the next Congress president to get elected for their national unity coalition talks. Nitish and Lalu are likely to meet Sonia on Sunday for a grand alliance at national level.
2. PFI strike ‘courts’ trouble
2. PFI strike ‘courts’ trouble
A day after a nationwide crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI) for alleged terror activities, masked men and miscreants went on a rampage in different parts of Kerala on Friday during the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the radical Islamic outfit.

HC steps in

  • The Kerala High Court took cognizance on its own, of the “illegal” strike and initiated a case saying the flash protest was prima facie a contempt of court as it violated a 2019 HC order on such agitations. It also directed the state administration to take stern action against those who violate the order.

Vandalism across Kerala

  • At least 50 Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses were damaged with their windscreens smashed and seats damaged. Over 10 of its employees suffered injuries in the stone pelting and related incidents, officials said.
  • Masked men and miscreants unleashed violence and attacked shops in Kozhikode, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts. Police had to lathi-charge at some places leading to clashes with protesters.

Elsewhere…

  • Unidentified persons damaged two cars and equal number of autorickshaws belonging to BJP and Hindu Munnani functionaries in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, police said
  • The Assam Police on Friday arrested the West Bengal president of PFI, Minarul Sheik, from Delhi and brought to Guwahati for production before the court. He was charged with sedition, criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity in the northeastern state.
3. The waterworlds of Delhi-NCR
3. The waterworlds of Delhi-NCR
  • Heavy rains in Delhi-NCR caused severe waterlogging at several places in the national capital, Gurugram and Noida. Traffic jams were reported at Delhi’s key stretches after incessant rainfall over the last two days. People and vehicles were seen wading through long stretches of flooded roads throughout the day.
  • The Delhi Traffic Police issued an alert on Friday, asking commuters to avoid certain waterlogged areas — near Hanuman Setu on Shanti Van to Hanuman Mandir carriageway, Libaspur underpass, Maharani Bagh Taimur Nagar cut, CDR Chowk, Mehrauli towards Gurugram, Andheria Mor towards Vasant Kunj, under Nizamuddin bridge, Singhu Border, MB Road towards Sainik Farm carriageway.
  • In Noida, all government and private schools from classes 1 to 8 on Friday were closed due heavy waterlogging and incessant rainfall.
  • In Gurugram, the disaster management authority advised work from home for all corporate and private offices to ensure repair work of roads and drains. Schools and colleges were also shut.
  • Yellow alert: The IMD has issued a yellow alert for rainfall in Delhi-NCR for the next two-three days.

Is this September rainfall unusual?

  • Safdarjung observatory serves as the rain-marker for Delhi. Another marker is Palam. In a normal monsoon, Delhi receives one spell of heavy rainfall — that is, 64.5-115.5 mm of rain in 24 hours.
  • This year, Delhi has recorded two spells of heavy rains — the last one was on June 30. Last year was unusual — six spells at Safdarjung and eight at Palam.
  • In the current spell, Safdarjung received 72 mm rainfall between 8.30 am on Thursday and 8.30 am on Friday — Palam 102 mm.
  • As for September, the highest 24-hour rainfall since 2010 was recorded on September 2 last year — 117.7 mm. Before that over 70 mm rainfall was recorded on September 23, 2017. More updates here
4. ‘Exercise caution and remain vigilant’
4. ‘Exercise caution and remain vigilant’
  • India on Friday advised its nationals in Canada and those travelling to that country to exercise due caution and remain vigilant in view of what New Delhi called “sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities” there.
  • MEA advisory: The Ministry of External Affairs also said the High Commission/Consulates General in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to investigate these crimes and take appropriate action.
  • Registration: Indian nationals, including students have been asked to register themselves with the High Commission/ Consulates or the MADAD portal madad.gov.in, which would enable officials to better connect with India citizens in Canada in the event of any emergency.
  • Khalistan issue: The advisory comes a day after India reacted sharply to the “so-called Khalistan referendum” in Canada, saying it was “deeply objectionable” that such a “politically motivated” activity by extremist elements was allowed to take place in a friendly country.
  • No firm action: Canadian authorities’ scant efforts to stop the “so-called referendum” seeking Punjab as a separate country had angered India.
  • Hate crime: In July, India had expressed its deep anguish over the desecration of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Richmond Hill city of Ontario in Canada and asked for a probe into the vandalism, which police termed as a hate crime.
6. Not our job to regulate alcohol consumption, says SC
6. Not our job to regulate alcohol consumption, says SC
Noting that “this is a policy matter”, the Supreme Court (SC) refused to entertain a plea seeking prohibition/regulation on the production, distribution and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs in Delhi.

An ultimatum

  • The apex court ordered the petitioner — serial litigator and BJP member Ashwini Upadhyay — to either “withdraw” the petition or the court “will dismiss it.” It even refused him permission “to approach (the) Law Commission”, saying that it will “only allow withdrawal.”

What he wanted

  • The petition sought the court’s directions to the Delhi government to publish health warnings on liquor bottles and packages similar to those printed on cigarette packets along with advertising the warnings via electronic, print and social media in order to create awareness among the people about the ill-effects of consuming alcohol.
  • Upadhyay also sought the SC’s directions to the Delhi government to conduct a ‘Health Impact Assessment’ and ‘Environment Impact Assessment’ of production, distribution and consumption of the intoxicating drinks and drugs in the spirit of Articles 21 and 47 of the Constitution.

What he got

  • The SC, observing that “there are thoughts and counter thoughts”, noted that “some say liquor taken in small quantity is good for health.” This is not the first time the SC has refused to touch an alcohol related issue — earlier this month, it had refused, on similar grounds that it was a policy matter, to hear a plea that sought directions to the Centre to introduce an alcohol-prevention policy at the national level.
7. Referendums and ‘war crimes’
7. Referendums and ‘war crimes’
  • Mass grave: Ukrainian officials say 436 bodies have been exhumed from a mass burial site in the eastern city of Izium, 30 of them with visible signs of torture, as UN investigators reported evidence of war crimes in the country.
  • Referendums: Voting began in Russian-held regions of Luhansk, Kherson, parts of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk on referendums to become part of Russia, an exercise that was widely denounced by Kyiv and the West as shams without any legal force. The balloting will continue for five days through Tuesday.
  • Troop mobilisation: The referendum votes follow Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order of a partial mobilisation of reservists, which could add about 300,000 Russian troops to the fight.
  • The reason: Observers say that by moving quickly to absorb the captured territories into Russia, Moscow hopes to force Ukraine to halt its counteroffensive and accept the current areas of occupation or face devastating retaliation.
  • Current status: Russia already considers Luhansk and Donetsk, which together make up the Donbas region Moscow partially occupied in 2014, to be independent states.
  • UN-backed probe: A team of experts commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council presented evidence Friday of crimes including beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity in Russian detention facilities, as well as executions in the regions of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy. But the commission’s chairman didn’t specify who or which side in the war committed most of the alleged crimes.
9. Rs 50,000 crore lost in taxes due to…
9. Rs 50,000 crore lost in taxes due to…
The government is estimated to have lost Rs 58,521 crore in taxes in 2019-20 due to illicit trade in goods in 5 key industries, including FMCG, mobile phone, tobacco products and alcohol, according to a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Industry-wise losses

  • Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, the two highly regulated and taxed industries, account for nearly 49 per cent of the overall tax loss to the government due to the illicit trade.
  • Of the total illicit market size of Rs 2.60 lakh crore, FMCG industry (household and personal goods, packaged foods) constitute over Rs 1.97 lakh crore, followed by alcoholic beverages at Rs 23,466 crore, tobacco products (Rs 22,930 crore) and mobile phones (Rs 15,884 crore).

Tax losses

  • The tax loss to the government due to illicit trade in these five sectors stood at Rs 17,074 crore (FMCG packaged foods), Rs 15,262 crore (alcoholic beverages), Rs 13,331 crore (tobacco products), Rs 9,995 crore (FMCG household and personal goods), and Rs 2,859 crore (mobile phones).

Job losses

  • The maximum number of jobs (7.94 lakh) were lost due to illicit trade in the FMCG packaged foods industry, followed by tobacco industry (3.7 lakh), FMCG household and personal goods industry (2.989 lakh), alcoholic beverages industry (97,000), and mobile phone industry (35,000).
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Answer to NEWS IN CLUES
Answer to NEWS IN CLUES

Medina. Saudi Arabia announced the discovery of gold and copper deposits in the holy city, famous for Al Masjid an-Nabawi, also known as the Prophet’s Mosque, which was constructed by the Prophet himself and is also the place where he is buried. The King Fahd Glorious Qur’an Printing Complex, the world’s biggest publisher of the Muslims’ holy book, is also located in Medina.





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