Stagflation watch : Pakistan

The world is currently awash in western currency because of either government borrowing, balance of payments deficits, or both. Agricultural and energy prices are soaring because of increased demand. This is good news for Africa, which is composed of very many commodity producers whose debt is denominated in western currencies. It is good news to a lesser extent for South America. It is bad news for us.

Another group of people who are suffering, interestingly, are the Pakistani government. Fresh from compromising the admirable judicial traditions of that state, they are now suffering from the consequences of inflation in agricultural prices. This will matter in the forthcoming elections.

The regular milky over-sweet tea drunk across the country is more and more expensive, because sugar and milk prices are rising way too fast.

This is causing not a little discontent in the Punjab, according to the Chicago Tribune. Perhaps this is why the famous liars and thieves, Ms Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif are looking forward to the hustings.

Not that Pakistan's sinister but highly efficient intelligence services will allow things to get out of control. One of the reasons Bhutto is in long-term trouble with that lot (whom Musharraf has to be careful of too, and who hold the key to Bin-Laden's whereabouts)is that she sold them out in the Punjab to Rajiv Gandhi just before he got blown up. Have a look at the Pakistan Blog, which I like very much, and read exegetically to get that point.

I do sometimes wonder why I am so intrigued by Pakistan. Perhaps I associate it with my first trips to London, where at Victoria Station, my best friend and I would gaze out on a little curry-shop that is now gone called the 'Lahoree House'. Offensive, funny and enticing on at least four levels that.

Merry Christmas.

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