Japan has promised ¥3.5 trillion (Rs 1.8 lakh crore) and China $20 billion. This year has been about India bouncing back and attracting big amounts of foreign investment. A lot of it will go into equity and debt instruments, such as fertiliser bonds, oil bonds, foreign currency convertible bonds, and participatory notes. In the Handbook of Indian Securities (Bloomsbury India, Rs 799), Gautam H. Parikh says, “The variety of securities has left many investors, including domestic institutions, bewildered.”

Parikh, who studied business administration at the London Business School and law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, seeks to offer some clarity on them through this book, which is as exciting for its technical depth as it is for its historical insights. For example, before the Bombay Stock Exchange was opened up in 2006, says Parikh, BSE memberships “were generally handed down from father to son”.

One of the interesting sections of the book is a short history of the changes that the Indian economy has seen in the past two decades. It talks about how the Kargil war pushed India’s reforms and compelled it to loosen its forex controls. India became and continues to be one of the world’s largest spenders on arms, which, Parikh suggests, is one of the forces pushing it towards free convertibility of the rupee by 2015.