Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama and India

It has become a very looong break infact. Partly to blame the "compile..verify..send" stuffs in office and numerous spread sheets to work with. Mean while a lot has happened, the usual " Israeli attack on yet another Arab groups (and this time it was Hamas), Tigers looks to be almost cornered ( will that be for good/bad deems a separate blog!! though) Obama's team hs come in, World is keep swirling towards an invisible, hapless the dark trench made by these greedy Americans and at last the cliamate change talks taking a back seat logically as well.

This seems to be a oppurtune moment to skim through the important things at stake for the Obama team and what's in it for India. Watching a bunch of Obama's speech one will be naturally attracted towrad's this guy and no wonder entire America whole-heartedly voted for this Afro-American whose very earlier generation did'nt even had voting rights. With the hard-fought race with Hillary for the Democratic nomination, a promising "Yes We can" morale-booster for the Americans especially when Russia is slowly gaining prominence with petro-dollars and a very,very aggressive and new "Middle Kingdom" competitor this guy has real burden in his sholders. And will he be able to repeat a lucky Franklin.DR is a million dollar question.

A whole lot of things are awaiting him. Two wars, a sick American banking system, especially worrisome Iranians, nuclear armed North korea. The most important will be the banking system. If he needs to continue at least short term "surge" before the promised "return of troop" in Irq and Afganisthan Obama has to have his economy spick and span and his top silicon valley execs should make money selling products world wide. And this time problems are manyfold, the automakers are lined up for federal money, sick banks are either beign closed or merged, investment banks are either downgraded or going bankrupt and well established folks like Citi and Bank of America are looking vulnerable. A normal american would not imagined this even in his wildest of dreams. Honestly I am unable to relate their economic crisis with the war but logically a cash-crunched Americans would find it difficult to sustain losing wars. And going through Thomas Friedman's columns it looks to be "fix the bank" will be Obama's first priority. With federal money flowing inside the banking system some senators have already started clamping down on firm's to hire local talent first instead of H1B hires, cap on executive salries and some formal strong messages from Oval office for the untimed wall street bonuses. And to have the very very successful capitalist model to sustain Obama and his economic team has to really work hard to get out of this logjam.

Being said that, worrisome note to ponder is India's external driven growth model which helped to sustain its 8% year on year GDP growth which dares our economist to compare ourself with China needs a real introspection. Although we managed to catch the "IT services" bus with our own big guys like TCS/Wipro and Infosys, these companies are pre-dominantly west-dependent and literally when America sneeze, IT majors will catch cold. Though this model is very very sucessful so far in bringing up India's reputation in world stage a long term plan of improving human developement index, minmal un-employement rates, rural-health care, very very strong farm subsidies, electricity and water and rural infrastructure our leader should start planning for a internally-driven growth model going forward. Our states (It is good for states to vie for Tata nano rather than some American corp ) instead of vieing each other to attract foreign firms should start spendign on school and higher education which forms the backbone of this frame-work, which makes us to compete with chinese and Isralis and Americans.

With all the above items it is naive to expect an unseen generosity from an another classic democrat US president ( all of Obama's new administration are old Clinton hands), and with Hillary as secretary of state in helm of affairs it would be no diffarent than any other democratic president at least for us who (Barack.H.Obama) cribs and claims to stand for all out measures(read support unproportionate military retaliations from Israel) for an out-dated short-range rockets fired from Palestine for the barrage of shells and arial attack from Israel. 

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