The Reserve Bank of India announced its quarterly monetary policy today. It left benchmark rates unchanged, like the repo rate (the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI) and the reverse repo rate (the rate at which banks park their surpluses with the RBI. What it did was to hike the cash reserve ratio by a good 75 basis points, taking out Rs 36,000 crore from the banking system. Cash reserve ratio is the proportion of deposits that banks must set aside as a reserve. Apart from this, the RBI has not made any changes and the Annual Policy will be announced on April 20. Continue Reading →
Enough money has been thrown at banks, industry and consumers. But none of them are showing any interest in it. The RBI has given Rs 300,000 crore in additional liquidity to the banking system, which seems like a lot that has achieved very little other than preventing a financial sector crisis. But now that banks are safe, what’s the guarantee one more round of lollies will force demand out of its hiding?
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On Saturday, the RBI presented its part of the stimulus package, a combination of interest rate cuts, credit flow improvement, relief to exporters and rescuing banks from showing red ink on their books. Since mid-September, the RBI claims to have made available primary liquidity of Rs 300,000 crore. While the October crisis has blown over, when money evaporated from the system, it still does not appear as if there is money sloshing around.
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India’s economic actions today resembled that of the US today: concerted action to restore confidence in the monetary system. Strange, that the system should have been exposed to be so weak when we supposedly had none of the rot that had permeated the US banking system. Makes one really wonder what went wrong. Maybe we will get to know sometime; at present all one knows is that there is a liquidity crunch, which is being blamed on various factors, ranging from rising credit demand, drying overseas fund markets, FII outflows and whatever else. Continue Reading →