INDIA: Good Difficulties

Village bazaars in Bengal and the Punjab were jampacked last week with farm women on a gold-buying spree—gold rings for their noses, gold bracelets for their ankles. In Bombay, betel-nut-chewing brokers in multicolored turbans jammed the city's bullion exchange, traded up to $50 million worth of gold daily. The nationwide gold rush heralded no sudden influx of wealth to the world's second most populous nation; on the contrary, it was proof that even the village folk knew their country was in serious economic difficulties, and that confidence in the Indian rupee was declining...

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