Friday, September 20, 2013

Raghuram Rajan's maiden policy review

Raghuram Rajan looked much less sure of himself today (20th Sept.) while addressing the media after the mid-quarter review of monetary policy than he was immediately after taking over as Governor of RBI. Has the responsibility of the post mellowed him already? Has he started feeling the pressure of the Finance Ministry?

Wit and cheerfulness associated with him were absent though the FED has postponed the much feared tapering. In the event, he has played rather safe. He has reduced one rate (MSF / Bank Rate) and hiked another (Repo). The CRR daily maintenance by banks has been reduced from 99% to 95%

BSE Sensex has dived. Rajan's brief honeymoon is probably over. Rupee was less reactive. We will have to wait and watch.

The Governor seems to depend on one Deputy Governor (Urjit Patel) more than on other three DGs. Perhaps not a very sound policy! Indications are that he defers to Finance Ministry more than what independence of central bank can accommodate.

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