Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Jim Rogers Quits India

Flamboyantly media-minded investor Jim Rogers has abandoned his stake in Indian equities, saying that Modi's govt has failed to deliver on expectations:

"God gave you everything. And then, he also gave you Delhi to mess it all up"- Jim Rogers
Well, even though Rogers is over-hyped (not least due to his own efforts), I think it's good for Modi and Jaitley to keep hearing the chorus of disappointees, because this will force them away from any "India Shining" reverie, and compel them to face ugly realities. The disloyal opposition (Congress Party & Co) are hell-bent on blocking any and every possible reform legislation. The new reformist Modi-Deng era cannot fully proceed while the old Sonia-JianQing still continues to tarry around and cause political mischief. Like a system undergoing phase-change, India's economic temperature will likely stay plateau'd until a political transition has been fully completed.

But since India's less globally-integrated economy also has significant thermal mass / inertia, the gathering global slowdown may take more time to affect it than other countries. Some Indian exporters will be hit, but old-economy Indian companies may still continue enjoying their captive markets.

Furthermore, it's legitimate to consider whether a gathering global recession might send more customers towards India's cheaper labor costs. After all, even while decision-makers are more risk-averse in a recessionary climate, competitive pressures will still always exist, and Indian service-providers aren't such an unknown quantity to the world as in the past. So even the squeeze of economic downturn may itself push customers towards a cheaper Indian option. India's manufactured goods are generally on the lower-end, and these may find greater appeal among those with whom money is tighter.

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