ABSTRACT

“I do what I do” is the book authored by Prof. Raghuram G. Rajan, Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016 who is currently serving at University of Chicago as Distinguished Service Professor. The book is a compilation of speeches delivered by the author during his tenure on different policy issues and steps taken by Reserve Bank of India and articles authored by him not only during tenure as RBI Governor but during his stint as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund and at Chicago’s Booth School of Management.

In each chapter of the book, he has put a detailed commentary on the background and reason for delivering those speeches and after effects of the steps taken by him as Governor, RBI. In introduction chapter of the book itself he has tried to clear the air on his famous quote “My name is RaghuramRajan. I do what I do” how an impromptu sentence became the headlines of national/international media.

He discusses the environment under which he took charge of Reserve Bank of India when Indian economy termed to be fragile and prospects of economic destabilization were high. He goes on discussing the financial sector reforms in an institutional mechanism and taking ownership of those reforms. He comes out with step by step approach and processes undertaken by him to achieve the objective of financial sector reforms and bringing stabilization to the economy.

He mentions that one aspect was very clear as India is becoming a large middle income country, so to control everything centrally won’t be appropriate and hence government need to withdraw from occupying the commanding heights of the economy, confining itself to provide public goods and the governing framework leaving economic activity to the people and for sustainable and equitable growth this has to be done on continuous basis.

He then also narrated how the other important role of RBI i.e. to manage macroeconomic risk for the country using his speeches proved controversial and taken as challenges to the government and how some bureaucrats tried to undercut the RBI so as to expand their turf. He also discusses how press attention is a double-edged sword.

Rajan also clarifies his stand on demonetization when he was asked about his views on demonetization and he replied that though it may bring long-term benefits but short-term economic costs would outweigh them and according to him, there were better alternatives to achieve the main goals that demonetization intended to do and how RBI had provided the note to government with both pros and cons and also describing the preparation required if government wanted to go ahead with the process indicated problems that would come without adequate groundwork.

Divided into three sections wherein first section deals with RBI days and dividing the section in to 9 chapters dealing different aspects including making banking sector more competitive, broadening and deepening markets, financial inclusion, Resolution of distress, major economic issues, international issues and RBI matters, second session is about global financial crisis which Rajan is credited to predict with accuracy much prior to actual crisis and then his occasional papers in given the third section, this book is a must read not only to economists and people having interest in economic matters but for everyone in the country whosoever has some little interest in how Indian economy works.

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