ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

H T Parekh Finance ColumnSubscribe to H T Parekh Finance Column

A Faulty Response to the COVID-19-induced Crisis

India’s response to the COVID-19-induced economic crisis is proving to be ineffective. The neo-liberal embrace of monetary measures that infuse cheap liquidity as a substitute for fiscal activism has not resulted in faster credit growth. The reliance on banks and credit to mediate the stimulus, rather than directly injecting demand through government spending, is not working. Agents overwhelmed by a demand recession are not seen by banks as creditworthy borrowers, and the former in turn are reticent to borrow, fearing that they will not be able to service the debt.

RBI Moves to Shake Up Governance at Banks

The Reserve Bank of India’s discussion paper on “Governance in Commercial Banks in India” is refreshing in that it takes an approach to governance that is ownership-neutral. This shows a recognition that there are governance issues at private banks, not just at public sector banks. The significant proposal is distancing of four key functions at banks from the chief executive officer. The RBI may benefit from incorporating radical proposals made in other places such as the United Kingdom.

The Wealth of Corporations

“Financial Assets = Liabilities.” It is one of the great accounting-identity truisms of economic understanding both among traditional, mainstream economists, and even (especially) among many heterodox, “accounting based” practitioners. It seems obvious—when a company issues and sells bonds, it...

Triggering a Global Financial Crisis

Whether a black swan or a scapegoat, Covid-19 is an extraordinary event. Declared by the WHO as a pandemic, Covid-19 has given birth to the concept of the economic “sudden stop.” We need extraordinary measures to contain it.

Climate Change Is Uninsurable, So, What Should We Do?

I have had a career that has spanned investment banking, public policy, and academia, in the early phase of my working life. As you can imagine, academia was the least, and investment banking the most, posh. I can recall a time when the Prague Symphony Orche­stra put on a private concert in Prague...

Revisiting the NBFC Crisis

Even while the effort to resolve the crisis resulting from non-performing assets in the banking sector was underway, India’s financial sector was overwhelmed by failures of large non-banking financial companies. In the discussion that followed the collapse of these NBFCs, the emphasis has been on the absence of due diligence, poor financial management and downright fraud. The environment these firms found themselves in did encourage such tendencies, but there were structural reasons as to why these institutions accumulated bad assets, and these reasons are often ignored.

Reining in Bankers’ Pay

The Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on compensation for top management of banks are more generous in respect of variable pay than those of the European Union. However, they are a step forward in that they address an important lacuna in the existing guidelines: the non-inclusion of stock options in variable pay. The guidelines should serve to set a cap on the total compensation payable to bankers. As important are the disclosures in respect of top management compensation that the guidelines mandate.

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