Thursday, May 10, 2007

Flaws in the monetary policy framework

Ila Patnaik has a response in Indian Express to calls for RBI to get back in the game to push the INR back to Rs.45 a dollar. As she emphasises, a key flaw today is the shroud of secrecy that surrounds monetary policy formulation and execution. This is not just about the generic issue of all government agencies doing better work when functioning with transparency and accountability. The lives of households and firms are greatly affected by "policy risk" of the fluctuations in RBI's currency policy. The work and planning of households and firms would be better enabled by improvements in transparency, where RBI would tell the country what is going on. E.g. how do you know they're not back in the currency market, defending 40.8?

PIMCO is long INR, and William Pesek agrees with what India has been doing, saying that this `madness' is the Right thing to do.

Other interesting pieces on monetary policy are by Nirvikar Singh and an editorial in Business World. Update (11/5): Kalpana Kochhar and Charles Kramer are bang-on with myths about inflation. Update (13/5): Vivek Moorthy talks about the linkages between inflation and a floating rate. Part of the impact comes from exchange rate pass through owing to appreciation, and part of the impact comes because of regaining autonomy of monetary policy.

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