THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Monday, July 30, 2001

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Opinion

Banking and Finance
Integration of banking and insurance
THERE is a worldwide debate about the fast-growing integration of financial services. The changing face of banking, which has resulted from this integration, has been widely commented on. Nowadays, banks in many countries are permitted to engage in secur ities business as well as insurance. The idea of separation of roles between banking and other related financial activities has been discarded, especially with the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act in the US.

Economy
Reforms: Why things aren't hunky-dory
GLOBALISATION and marketisation of economics, politics and culture are primarily spearheaded by global capitalism. Many individuals are opposed to the crass commercialism and consumerism that globalisation brings with it.

Difficult times
THE economic reforms that have necessitated the dismantling of rigid institutional structures in a time-bound manner to facilitate the induction of new norms of work culture, product quality and volumes in a globally competitive atmosphere, have brought in positive and negative effects.

Vision 2020 -- Grain, grain everywhere, but...
A MOUNTAIN of food is currently piled up in the Government's godowns. At the same time, there is an alarming level of destitution in many parts of the country. The Supreme Court has been so moved that it has ordered six States to remedy this anomaly of h unger in the presence of abundance. That is easier said than done. There is practically no country in the world that is able to balance agricultural production against demand or regulate agricultural incomes to the satisfaction of farmers.

Editorial
Revenue portents
BE WARNED. A dismal performance on the revenue collection front last fiscal and its repeat in the current April-June quarter, when the mop-up dropped nearly 13 per cent, must be a cause for worry to finance managers in the Government. But North Block is unfazed.

Miscellaneous
US institutions in state of disarray
IT has been a sizzling summer for the US. An apparently unending flow of dispiriting news has pricked its pride in being mankind's mentor. Its narcissistic notion of itself as a standard-bearer with its path-breaking, pace-setting achievements in a varie ty of fields has taken a severe beating. There are enough stories of mismanagement and ineptitude to cast doubt on the all-too-readily-made assumption that its practices and prescriptions -- whether in business, governance, management, trade, commerce or international relations -- constitute the hallmark of wisdom, efficiency and rectitude for the rest of the world.

Politics
Vajpayee under pressure
CLOSE observers of the Prime Minister have noticed of late a certain dejection written across his mien. His usual alert, aggressive self is missing, particularly his penchant to break out into Urdu sayings which are not infrequently laced with a pungent sense of humour and irony. The question is: What is behind this metamorphosis of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee who, it must be acknowledged without any hesitation, has rendered yeoman's service to the nation ever since he ascended the ``political throne'' in N ew Delhi?


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