Quiz 2022, like last year, focuses on central banking in India.
There is a prize, like last year, for the first person to answer all questions correctly. The details are in my substack post. Participation in the quiz is open to those who were following me on substack at gsreekumar.substack.com as on 31 December 2022. Continue reading “Year-end Quiz 2022”
On 13 March 1999, the Reserve Bank of India decided to set up a Regulations Review Authority for one year. The objective was to make the Reserve Bank regulations effective and simple. The background to constituting the RRA, effective from 1 April 1999, was as given below: Continue reading “The Regulations Review Authority”
I initially thought of titling this Advice to a Young Director, in the manner of Advice to a Young Scientist by Sir Peter Medawar, the British-Brazilian biologist and writer of Lebanese origin, and Nobel Laureate in Medicine (1960). Writing of Medawar, “The wittiest of all scientific writers,” wrote Richard Dawkins, and “the cleverest man I have ever known,” wrote Stephen Jay Gould. Coming from Dawkins and Gould, there cannot be higher praise. Medawar’s short book, suggested by a Physics Professor at IIT Madras, stayed an inspiration through my research. It is highly recommended for researchers in any discipline including corporate governance. Continue reading “My corporate governance experience”
Last week I had posted questions for the RBI Quiz 2021. The answers are provided below. I should add that most of these questions are curtain raisers to future and more elaborate posts on the subject. Stay tuned! Continue reading “RBI Quiz 2021 – The Answers”
That wretched woman with the infant in her arms, round whose meagre form the remnant of her own scanty shawl is carefully wrapped, has been attempting to sing some popular ballad, in the hope of wringing a few pence from the compassionate passer-by.
Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz
“Cooperation has failed, but cooperation must succeed,” is an oft-quoted extract from the 1954 report of the All India Rural Credit Survey Committee (AIRCSC). Sir Benegal Rama Rau, the fourth Governor, Reserve Bank of India, appointed the Committee. No other financial sector was the subject of scrutiny by as many committees as Indian cooperation. The quote is believed to be the contribution of Burra Venkatappaiah, of the Indian Civil Service. Venkatappaiah was then the Reserve Bank of India’s first Executive Director, and a member of the AIRCSC. He later became Deputy Governor, and the fourth Chairman of the State Bank of India. Thereafter he chaired the All India Rural Credit Review Committee which reported in 1969. I have a separate post on Venkatappaiah coming up, but my focus here is on Indian cooperation. Continue reading “Indian Cooperation: Finding Raiffeisens”
The story of a former SBI Chairman’s arrest and release: the case of a resolution and retribution.
Sometime in early 2004. I was the last in-charge of the Reserve Bank of India’s Chennai Office of the (then) Department of Banking Operations and Development, now called the Department of Regulation. The following July the Regional Offices merged with the Bank’s Department of Banking Supervision (now Department of Supervision). Late in the afternoon, a short and quiet person walked in unaccompanied. He had recently taken over as the Chief General Manager of the Chennai Circle of State Bank of India. Seven years later he became the Chairman of the bank. He needn’t have troubled himself to meet me. At least the Reserve Bank I knew and admired never stood by such empty formalities. Nevertheless, the simplicity and humility of the man impressed me. Therefore, the news of his arrest shocked everyone who knew him. Continue reading “Former SBI Chairman’s Arrest”
In the history of Indian currency and central banking, the Fowler Committee occupies an important position. But, its relevance went beyond the currency question. One suggestion that emanated from its report was Sir Everard Hambro’s central bank proposal. Hambro suggested establishing a state bank along the lines of the Bank of England and the Bank of France. Hambro’s central bank proposal is contained in a brief note attached to the Fowler Report. It provided the rationale for the proposal. The suggestion went back and forth between Calcutta and London before it was dropped after objections from different quarters. Continue reading “Sir Everard Hambro’s central bank proposal”
The Case of the Reserve Bank of India Circular on Opening Current Account
An oft cited paper in the literature on regulation goes by the title “Gentle Nudge vs. Hard Shove”. The regulatory dilemma is exemplified by the recent case of the Reserve Bank circular on opening of current accounts. Years of “gentle nudges” which did not result in banks complying with instructions regarding credit discipline seem to have resulted in “hard shoves” involving more hands-on regulation.
Some bank borrowers have taken the legal course demanding quashing of the Reserve Bank of India circular dated 6 August 2020 on opening current accounts by banks. The Bank has since further extended the last date for compliance to 31 October 2021. Continue reading “Opening current accounts in banks”
The regulator has raised the ATM user charges. Once again. It follows a 2019 report of a Committee constituted by the Reserve Bank of India. The CEO of the Indian Banks Association (IBA) chaired the Committee and prepared the report. It had members from banking and industry stakeholders. Neither the regulator nor any depositor association was a member. Are these charges justified? Continue reading “For Whom the ATM Tolls? On Paying to Withdraw Our Money”
This post is a longer version of my article on James Wilson, the first Finance Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, which was published in Business Standard dated 21 January 2021. Please see the link here. Wilson was also the Founder of The Economist, and the Standard Chartered Bank. He presented the first Indian budget in 1860, and introduced income tax in the country. He also laid the foundations for introducing government paper currency in India the Indian Police, and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, among other things. Continue reading “Hawick to Hawick: Life of James Wilson”