Dialogue of the Deaf

TCA Srinivasa Raghavan is the guru of political economics for the common readers. He has the devotion to digest the complex topics , simplify to the core and deliver in a crisp easy to grasp form, as a quotable quote, slogan or proverb. He makes up pithy lines like’ Indian Constitution is the most process oriented Constitution in the world.’ Or ‘giving financial control to politicians is like giving machine guns to monkeys. ‘

He is a delectable writer whose regular columns in Business Standard are veritable riots pulling the legs of whoever happens to be the fancied target. He writes so lucid that this particular book of about 280 pages on central banking, monetary policy and governmental financing, of all the subjects, could be completed in one stretch of about 10 hours. It traces the evolution of banking in India from 17th century, need for a central bank, how government finances it’s expenditure, monetary policy, fiscal deficit and rural banking. It explains how the 1969 nationalisation of 14 banks constituting 90% of the banking in India has completely overturned financial environment in India by handing over the control entirely to politicians.

He explains how Keynes smuggled politics into economics,
how he captured the workings of any economy since the beginning of time in a single identity,

‌how If you don’t want a revolution spend more on creating jobs,

‌ how If the elite wanted to remain elites, they have to make some sacrifices by paying taxes and enabling government to spend,

how C. Rengarajan emerges as the governor who contributed most to make RBI at least decently powerful,

how politicians are waging a relentless but successful war to keep the financial control with themselves,

how Rupee devaluation started and continued to free fall,

how Deficit financing is nothing but printing of more and more currency notes, but a necessary evil,

how Printing of more money is only debasing the rupee’s worth
and so on,

it’s a time capsule of all the worthwhile developments in financing that shaped the current environment and continuing to evolve.

The power and control of the department of banking is depicted to be an all encompassing octopus like grip , that it warrants a follow up book on itself!