Advice & Dissent: Reddy's take on RBI



I've changed my mind after going  through "Advice & Dissent". Thinking of listening more and being more considerate to elders' views...My response...

M G Warrier
Reddy’s take on RBI
This refers to “Reddy-made central banking” by NS Vageesh (The Hindu Business Line, Book Review, July 17). Beginning from the “History of the Reserve Bank of India, Volume I- 1935-51” published decades ago to Y V Reddy’s “Advice & Dissent”, for any serious student of central banking, there are thousands of pages of recorded literature to understand the unique position of RBI among all central banks in the world. Transparency in expression of thoughts gradually increased during the periods of Reddy, Subbarao and Raghuram Rajan. While Rajan lost no time in responding to issues and events on an ongoing basis, Subbarao came out with interesting revelations through a memoir (‘Who Moved My Interest rate?’) not long after his retirement. Reddy waited for an opportune time to come out with his perceptions about his own experiences in government and RBI.
Raghuram Rajan’s following observation on the back cover of the book flags the reason why “Advice & Dissent” is a must read for policy makers and students of central banking alike:
“Few people know more about India’s financial system than Dr Y V Reddy. And even fewer have the authority that he commands.”
At a point of time when relationship issues between GOI and RBI are being blown out of proportion, the history and biographies with us in black and white throw light on the evolution of the role of India’s central bank in building a viable and vibrant institutional structure for the Indian Financial System, besides playing its core mandated functions relating to monetary policy and financial regulation and supervision. The focus should not get diverted to ‘sensational’ revelations made to make books interesting reading.
All through, albeit in self-interest, GOI has ensured having a professional team to head RBI and there is no other statutory body in India which has been continuously lucky in this respect. One wishes media and analysts spend  some time reading and understanding books like “Advice and Dissent” before highlighting frictions between GOI and RBI or counting how many times governors offered to resign.

M G Warrier, Mumbai

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