Raghuram Rajan: The Gladiator returns to Chicago

The Teacher who became a Governor; decides to return to Chicago.

After rescuing India from ‘Fragile Five’ and helping to become the Bright Spot, Raghuram Rajan declared his intention to exit as the Governor of the RBI. India’s most popular and perhaps glamorous central bankers in history, Rajan intimated his staff at RBI that he is not taking a second term. The 23rd governor of the RBI, who took charge three years ago when rupee was sliding, opened his mind that he is returning to Chicago University as teacher.

Chicago University is the mecca of monetary economics and is a laboratory for economic policy. Rajan might be aiming more satisfaction as a teacher than hanging on an administrative post at politician’s mercy.

Reghuram Rajan’ exit raises questions about the country’s systemic ability to retain quality stuff at national institutions. The man who resisted political and business lobbying to orchestrate a speculator friendly soft interest rate policy was under attack from a section of the crony capitalists and their political mentors. He was even portrayed as antinational though the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister supported Rajan’s credentials.

Rajan’s decision to exit exposes the country’s inability to insulate economic reforms from the speculative attack of vexed interested political forces.  

Though several other governors of the past had resisted ambitious interest rate to cut to ensure stability, Rajan was brighter than them because of his outstanding acceptability in the global arena. His wisdom and perception about global economic events and his tag as a pundit of crisis management economics, separate Rajan from other central bankers in the world at present.

Inarguably, Raghuram Rajan leaves after helping the economy to be ranked as one of the stable performers in global economy. He made a legacy which is difficult to follow. His outstanding contribution is the stability of the economy with reduced interest rate and avoided economic disasters that would have caused had the interest rate lowered to unsustainable levels.

Exiting from the RBI Governor will not reduce Rajan’s career as an economist. Even before the appointment as the RBI Governor, he is being considered as one of the best expertise on world economic issues. But a remarkable personal achievement of Raghuram Rajan during his time at RBI was that he championed and stood for the cause of emerging markets. His demand that that advanced countries should implement monetary policies by considering their impact on developing countries makes him a higher order economist when he returns to Chicago. Rajan the teacher will have more peace productivity and is a superior profession compared to administrator and bureaucrat. Best wishes to Rajan…India and the emerging markets need you again. 

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