Superb piece by Ananth Karthikeyan in Mint.
He analyses the three demon episodes in Burma:
The demonetization of 1964
The economy, unsurprisingly, plumbed and black markets grew exponentially. The Junta, however, did not pause to reflect. They could not slow down their drive to nationalization everything without losing face and revealing their administrative naiveté. Since they jealously guarded power, they could not delegate responsibilities, install a proper financial system or curtail policies that drove galloping inflation.
Something had to give. The dictator’s mind, moulded by years in the military, now seized upon a blitz-like move. In what was meant to be a masterstroke, large denomination notes, with which the “evil capitalists and deviants” obviously hoarded their money, would be swept away.
The reasoning was as follows: the Indians and the Chinese would be the first casualties and inflation would be halted. Therefore, the people would welcome the move. All deviants who had…
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