The Contrarian Investor: For life after populism, look to India

The Contrarian Investor: For life after populism, look to India

Populists are all the rage today (except in Austria) but if we want to understand what they might do next - and the likely impact on share prices - maybe it is time to contemplate recent events in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of populist, elite-bashing nationalism into power, promising to drain the swamp of local politics and kick-start growth.  Back at the beginning of November, his BJP government finally delivered on their reforms in the shape of a mighty bazooka called demonetisation. Overnight, on 8 November, the government decided to scrap Rs500 and Rs1000 notes, which were equivalent to 86% of the value of cash in circulation, worth $256bn. Large parts of the economy have been paralysed as banks struggle to exchange old notes, largely because not enough new no...

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