In his first official act as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Raghuram Rajan raised the benchmark interest rate from 7.25 to 7.5%, causing a ripple of surprise in financial circles and eliciting protests from various business representatives. But for people who know the current condition of emerging markets and Rajan’s professional trajectory, this was not surprising, at all.
Rajan has no qualms about staging such challenges. In 2005, Rajan was chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and attended the top central bankers’ get together in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to present a paper on how the financial sector had evolved during Alan Greenspan’s era. As Rajan later described the meeting, which was to be Greenspan’s last, in his book Fault Lines: “Some of the papers in the conference, in keeping with the Greenspan-era theme, focused on whether Alan Greenspan was the best central banker in history, or just among the best.” Continue reading
As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s tenure draws to a close, these are the top 10 take away from the last night :
1. Janet Yellen voter to taper
2. Taper nothing more than symbolic – $10B split between Treasuries and MBS
3. Fed changes forward guidance – Low rates now appropriate “well past the time that the unemployment rate drops below 6.5%”
4. Bernanke believes FOMC will taper QE probably at each meeting, $10B each time with end of QE before 2014 year end Continue reading
Economic commentators are disappointingly short on metaphors. New economic figures released last week prompted a slew of articles asking whether or not India’s economy had “turned a corner,” “cleared the woods” or begun sprouting “green shoots.” After a turbulent summer – and against the backdrop of a lingering global downturn, looming general election and a booming China – it’s no surprise that Indians, and investors, are desperate for signs that the country’s economy is “back on track.”
As the global markets flopped at the end of last week under the repeated threat of the Federal Reserve removing its support for the US economy, one market decided to go the other way – India. Continue reading
What determines the shape of the zero curve? Why is it sometimes downward sloping sometimes upward sloping and sometimes partly upward sloping and sometimes partly downward sloping?
Lot of theories have been proposed but the simplest one is the expectation theory which conjectures that long-term interest rates should reflect the expected future short-term interest rates. More precisely, it argues that the forward interest rates corresponding to a certain future period is equal to the expected future zero interest rate for that period. Continue reading
From the last Monetary policy RBI has started publishing Post Policy Conference Call with Researchers and Analysts providing transparency.
There are a lot of questions on the interest rates including MSF, LAF and OMOs.
You can read the full edited script on RBI Website
With reference to the above lets focus on The “term structure” of interest rates refers to the relationship between bonds of different terms. When interest rates of bonds are plotted against their terms, this is called the “yield curve”. Economists and investors believe that the shape of the yield curve reflects the market’s future expectation for interest rates and the conditions for monetary policy.
Usually, longer term interest rates are higher than shorter term interest rates. This is called a “normal yield curve” and is thought to reflect the higher “inflation-risk premium” that investors demand for longer term bonds. Continue reading