Markets: Eerie calm

Markets: Eerie calm

it is not clear when market sentiment can change; as in the past, it can be quite sudden.
At a turn and yet not

At a turn and yet not

RBI could be tempted to cut policy rate to support growth at its bi-monthly review.

Volatile living: Bold monetary experiments of Raghuram Rajan's RBI

Nov 15 2013, 11:41 IST
Comments 0
RBI has targeted interbank rates to control the supply of money, aiming for a more surgical monetary tool than orthodox bank reserves or policy interest rates. RBI has targeted interbank rates to control the supply of money, aiming for a more surgical monetary tool than orthodox bank reserves or policy interest rates.
SummarySteps taken by Indian, Chinese central banks this year might one day be hailed as a success.

The bold monetary experiment that the Indian and Chinese central banks engaged in this year might one day be hailed as a success. So far, the result has been unprecedented market volatility and little else.

Both central banks targeted interbank rates to control the supply of money, aiming for a more surgical monetary tool than orthodox bank reserves or policy interest rates.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) were worried that sticking with traditional policy rates or bank reserves would have had a greater impact on the overall economy and slowed growth, which they wanted to avoid.

"They shifted to a more interest-rate based system in both cases. Both central banks should be applauded for doing that," said Frederic Neumann, co-head of economic research at HSBC in Hong Kong.

Both central banks are looking to liberalise their markets, but the PBOC and RBI are adopting a similar policy strategy in very different situations and for different reasons.

China is now using its open market operations almost exclusively to try to rein in a credit binge. Apart from growth concerns, the PBOC feared that raising policy rates or reserve ratios would have added unwelcome fuel to a rally in its currency.

India had similar GDP concerns after growth slumped in recent years. But, unlike China, it urgently needed to shore up its currency, which dropped in August to a record low, and to tame steep inflation.

Economists feel it is too soon to pass judgement on these policies and they are impressed that the two giants tried to move towards market-based pricing in what has been a challenging year for emerging markets.

The experiment is an attempt by both countries to release some of their central grip on the economy and develop deeper roles for markets.

But for middle income countries such as China and India - the top tier of emerging economies but not yet developed like Western nations - there is no boilerplate recipe.

South Korea's experience in trying to liberalise its financial system and currency in the late 1990s was riddled with policy missteps, bankruptcies and crises.

Until this year, Beijing and New Delhi had countered the classic 'impossible trinity' of trying to control capital flows, interest rates and their currencies at the same time through quantitative measures: bank reserve ratios, lending quotas and regulated investments.

NEW TOOLS, OLD INSTINCTS

Despite now using more market-oriented tools, the policy mix remains tilted towards controls.

"It is

Single Page Format
Ads by Google
Reader´s Comments
| Post a Comment
Please Wait while comments are loading...