Book Review by Nidhi Choudhari
There is enough on this earth to meet the needs of all, but not the greed of all. Mahatma Gandhi
Why I picked up Y.V. Reddy’s Book???
There have been a large number of books published on current global financial crisis therefore; selection of this particular book on the subject requires some reasoning. First, there are not many books written by central bankers on the topic. Central banks have been central in the management of the crisis and therefore, Dr Reddy’s book provides a central banker’s assessment of the crisis and its impact. Second, on personal level, I have worked in RBI between September 2006 and December 2011 and was witness to the measures taken by Reserve Bank before and during the crisis under the able leadership of Dr Y.V. Reddy, the Governor, Reserve Bank of India (2003-2008). Having worked under his visionary leadership, I opted to take his book, “Global Crisis, Recession and Uneven Recovery” for review. Third, Dr Reddy led the course of financial pragmatism in times of relentless deregulation and ensured that Indian financial system does not fall into the blind race to bottom in regulation. Finally, having read Dr Reddy’s previous book on the topic viz. “India and the Global Financial Crisis: Managing Money and Finance”, I was very keen on reading its sequel viz. “Global Crisis, Recession and Uneven Recovery”. For all these reasons, I selected this book and am thankful to Madam Nidhi Sharma for approving this book for review. The reviewed book is a collection of 27 speeches (given in the form of 27 chapters in 5 parts), Dr Reddy delivered at different points of time during and after the crisis. These chapters give a deeper insight into the actions taken by the RBI to mitigate the impact of the crisis in India and how India remained largely unaffected due to adequate regulatory mechanisms. Dr Reddy has also been a member of the Commission of Experts of The President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of The International Monetary and Financial System popularly known as Stiglitz Commission after its chairman Joseph Stiglitz. He has given several references about the recommendations of this UN Commission in the book. The 19th Chapter in the book is about the UN Commission recommendations about global crisis. Hence, the reader of the book gets an understanding of the global thinking on the crisis and its after effects.
What’s there in the Book???
Economists have compared the current global financial crisis to that of the Great Recession of 1930s. The current crisis has in fact, affected all countries across the world in different degrees and that way, it was truly a global recession. Today, the crisis is over however the recovery has started at different paces in different places. Dr Reddy is of the view that the recovery from the global crisis is going to be prolonged and uneven. The book “Global Crisis, Recession and Uneven Recovery” provides an experienced policymaker’s understanding of the genesis, progression and impact of the financial crisis, and of the lessons it offered. It is written at a time when Indian economy is facing several challenges in terms of slowdown in growth rate, inflation, ballooning fiscal and current account deficit etc. The book contains Dr Reddy’s perspective and analysis of the crisis, recession and recovery in a simple, lucid and non-technical manner which appeals the reader. There are five sections in the book containing 27 chapters in all. The five sections relate to the global financial crisis and its aftermath, financial sector: retrospect and prospects, public policy: challenges and responses, global financial architecture: the debates and India: performance and prospects respectively. The first section of the book gives a lucid account of the financial crisis and its consequences in six chapters. In the first chapter, Dr Reddy talks about the role played by central...