Thursday, November 29, 2007

Op-ed on Indian Financial Sector Reform

Confusion worse confounded?
Whither Indian financial reform? An answer to that question remains elusive. After a decade, debate about reform has revived with the Tarapore-2 and M-IFC Reports. But it is bizarre and personal. A visiting Martian would think that it involves only dichotomies; i.e. between: (a) going fast vs. going slow; (b) pitting the careful/conservative vs. the brash, aggressive, over-ambitious; (c) impugning 'young', inexperienced, critics vs. eulogising practitioners wedded to past paradigms; (d) old heterodoxies, apparently durable vs. new orthodoxies, allegedly crumbling; (e) Big Bangs vs. small splutters, neither understood; (f) a fiscally incontinent GoI vs. a blameless RBI burdened with cleaning up everyone else�s mess; (g) impossible trinities vs. monetary magicians who reconcile the irreconcilable through sleight-of -control; (h) institutional infallibility vs. the all-too-fallible who argue that regulators may have no intellectual clothes on � if they did, they would not be arguing the way they are; or (j) theoretical market-fundos vs. experienced control-commandos. And so on.

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