Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

PDR

THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW 

Ravi Batra. Dharma and Depressions: A Review of “The Great Depression of 1990”. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1987.

Professor Ravi Batra’s research and reflection have lead him to believe that the world is headed, more or less inexorably, towards a major depression “of the same, if not greater, severity” than the one of the ninteen-thirties. He explains that he has written the book to warn people and he provides a set of investment and financial tips, so that the reader can avoid personal disaster in the “impending cataclysm”. Batra’s tone is light, pleasant but totally self-assured; he “fervently hopes that his prophecies turn out to be totally wrong” but he does not expect this outcome. One must accept that the book is a serious effort at scholarship and analysis and that Batra truly believes in his underlying model and the forecasts it produces. I stress this because there are many passages, even entire sections, in the book which, taken by themselves, might lead one to suspect that the book is a hoax and that the author is having fun at our expense. But, let us reject this possibility and attempt to deal seriously with this presumably serious book.

Warren C. Robinson

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