Lucid explanation

With reference to Shyam’s article “When the bubble burst” (October 5), he deserves a pat on his back for making crystal clear the root causes of the present financial crisis in the U.S. A lot has been written about the crisis and debated but mostly without understanding the basics. All those who want to understand this crisis have only to read “chat session” of the article between the author and his friend Rohit.

Prof. Ketan K. Shah


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The article is really an eye-opener to millions of people who invest in the speculative financial market. The transcript of the chat session the author had with his friend really impressed me. It exposed the game plans of the financial giants using the investment of the common people. The U.S. government should have bailed out the investors instead of the speculators. Let this episode be an eye-opener to our national leaders who are crazy of pursuing unregulated financial systems as in the U.S and EU nations.

Govindankutty P.

Dy. Tahsildar (Rtd.), Ottapalam

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Indian banks, especially the new generation banks, who tend to copy the techniques of the foreign banks in promoting their business should imbibe lessons from this crisis. They are cautioned to exercise strict norms in assessing the credit worthiness of the clients before disbursing a loan so as to avoid a breakdown resulting in recession.

Petson Peter C.,


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The article was brilliantly accessible to people like me who did not get a hang of the crisis in the U.S. finance markets and investment banking. It clearly explains how a false sense of comfort and security was created by the assumption that ‘home prices would keep rising’ and the blissful neglect of the possibilities of default.

The U.S. financial tsunami brought back memories of a similar meltdown in Chennai about a decade ago. Finance firms (Nidhi companies and benefit funds) mushroomed and lured investors with incredibly fabulous rates of interest on deposits. People gullibly invested their hard-earned money, little realising the fiscally dicey and imprudent ways of these firms which instantly caught their fancy and exploited their greed. The investors —which included pensioners who invested their gratuity and other retirement benefits — were left traumatised after the big collapse.

The bottom line is even highly literate societies are not immune to the enticement of big money. It is not only the nuclear deal but also the greed for fast bucks that has united India, the U.S. and other countries that invested in American markets.

S. Thyagarajan,


Crime against the poor

In her article “Corruption’s real victims”(October 5), Kalpana Sharma has drawn our attention to the cruelty involved in corrupt practices. The brunt of corruption is invariably borne by the most vulnerable sections of society, the hapless poor. The postman who pocketed Rs.10 out of the meagre monthly pension received by a widow is a typical example of the exploitation of the uneducated. Similarly, the diversion of cereals supplied for midday meal for poor schoolchildren is a heinous crime which makes us ashamed of the degradation we have fallen into. Corruption is a crime against the poor. Corruption is not only a curse, it is a threat to social justice. Our rulers have to rid themselves of corruption before they declare war on it.

N.K. Vijayan,

Kizhakkambalam, Kerala

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Saraswati devi’s story symbolises the struggle of numerous pension holders in our country. Her ignorance about the government pension shows the level of awareness about government policies and facilities among the vulnerable sections of society, which obviously is not conducive for the success of a participatory government. This unveils the reality of the so-called transparent governance. Corruption in its most dangerous form has eaten into every facet of Indian life.

Sandipan Talukdar

New Delhi

Bridges between chasms

The article “Chasm between children” was really a bridge between the two sides. For the affluent children the interaction was educative and invaluable since they begin to know the harsher side of life. It is commendable that many children of Ummeed decided to set their future in social work instead of longing for careers that would place them comfortably in life. It demonstrates their maturity and their attitude to society and altruistic mind. Similar interactions can be tried in other parts of our country for the benefit of the haves and have-nots among the student community.

A. Sundaresan


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