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The prime minister had predicted the financial crisis!

By Sheela Bhatt in Tokyo
October 21, 2008 19:52 IST
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Almost 18 months ago, when the world was blissfully unaware of an impending financial doom, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had accurately predicted the global economic crisis, claimed a senior official and confidant of the prime minister on Tuesday.

While briefing the media on board the prime minister's aircraft en route to Tokyo, the senior official said: "The prime minister had predicted a year-and-a-half ago that a food crisis could arise."

Apart from the food crisis, the prime minister, said the official, had also correctly foreseen the rise in oil price.

According to the PMO official, Manmohan Singh had in his discussions with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, during the latter's visit to India for the Republic Day celebrations in January 2008, had also mentioned the possibility of a financial crisis gripping the world.

"The prime minister," said the official, "had told President Sarkozy that the surveillance and regulation of global financial systems was not up to the desired standards, and this might lead to dangerous consequences."

The PMO official said that the prime minister had aired his fears about a global economic crisis during their internal discussions and while returning from the G-8 Summit in Japan.

For the record, this year, the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to economist Paul Krugman, who is also an outspoken Bush administration critic, for his accurate assessment of financial crisis, amongst other things.

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Sheela Bhatt in Tokyo

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