Hi! I resume the Tweakonomics column in the Hindu Business Line today, after a hiatus of about three months. A very, very special thank you to my Editor Raghuvir Srinivasan for thoughtfully sending in the sweetest email I ever got from the Business Line, asking me to drop whatever it is I’m busy with and get down to writing pronto! Thanks, Raghu!
So, here’ s a piece for Sarabhai fans ONLY 🙂 What happens when popular CNBC TV anchors start talking like the crazy Sarabhais?
You might want to see the article directly at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/tweakonomics-on-rbi-fed-and-the-rate-hikes/article9591444.ece
Else, read on here, directly. Enjoy!
That the Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai Season 2 is set to make a comeback after 7 years has taken the Indian public by storm, as the RBI Governor discovered, much to his dismay on a regular, boring, nondescript working day in the RBI. Janet Yellen raised the rates and thankfully, the markets, which had already factored in the move a week earlier, did not show a knee jerk reaction. There was no major outflow from stocks, and the Governor found himself breathing a bit easy. “Let me see what news analysts are saying,” he thought, and switched on the TV.
“OMG! Janet Yellen has raised the interest rates, Mummyji!” shrieked a female spokesperson of Franklin Templeton Investment Funds, in a Monisha-esque voice. “Sahil, mein ghar chhod ke jaa rahi hoon!” Sahil, which in this case is supposed to be the Sensex, reacted positively and went up a few points. “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” wailed Monisha Templeton. “Here I am thinking of leaving home, and your mood is upbeat. Now I know Indian markets don’t value me!”
“Gawd, what the hell is the matter with these folks!” thought the Guv and flipped channels to CNBC, where Lata Venkatesh was looking at the Franklin Templeton move of selling on Indian bourses. “To sell and move just because Yellen has behaved predictably is Foreign Institutionally middle-class”, she said with an upturned nose. “The least they could have done is looked at the UP story and what it means for the speed of reforms in India. What do you think, Rosesh beta?”
Udayan looked simply delighted. “I’ve written a poem on this, Momma,” he squawked. Lata didn’t look too pleased at being addressed thus, but just maintained a stoic silence. To have reacted to this would have been professionally middle-class.
“Janet Auntie has acted like a hawk/ Now the markets will listen to Momma talk!”
Lata was now simply quivering with the effort, but didn’t react to the poem.
“And here’s another one, Momma.
Us waali auntie, US waali auntie, kitna bhi kar lo rates ko hike, hike, hike/
FB par Sensex ko hi milenge like, like like!”
Deafening silence on the show.
“How is it, Momma.”
“Why don’t you take a break, Udayan,” said Anuj Indravadan Singhal, with clenched teeth, “before I break somebody’s head here. This show is called the closing bell, but any more poetry from you, and we’ll have the show closing before the markets do. And yes, Maya, let’s have a cheeseburger on the Breakfast show today!”
“I thought we’re here to discuss the heavy weight stocks, and not ourselves become heavy-weight, Indu,” said Lata, icily. “How about food for thought?”
“Here’s Maya in top form, folks! Why don’t you take a break while my heart breaks from the lack of sympathy on this show..”
“This is it! Everybody has gone complete nuts!” thought the Governor, switching off the TV as his special hotline rang softly. The ring tone was Mittrrrrron.
“Looks like politics is controlling economics, Urjit. Markets are up, Congress is down. I sometimes wonder about the NCP though. Can it pose a threat at the local level?”
“NCP? Unki ghadi kahaan kaam kar rahi hain?” said the Governor, before he’d realized he was being Dushyant. Horrified, he tried to cover up. “I mean, Sir, errr…”
But he was met by a chuckle at the other end. “You’ve been watching too much TV, Urjit!” the PM said laughingly. “Ye jo najar aate hain, Mittron, Ye toh woh hain nahi…”