This year has been one tizzy ride- an unprecedented crisis that affected almost everyone. The global economy is facing a recession, people are losing their jobs, livelihood, students learning online and the state is constantly chalking out new policies to minimize the health and economic risk.
Amidst all this chaos and derailed plans -Econfinity was born to help folks learn, unlearn and relearn. Our family is diverse and dynamic with ranging interests with one common quest for knowledge and constant drive to take part in the research dialogue.
Being different is what sets us apart, yet blending is what brings people together – a timeless social paradox that generations have struggled with. The best stories have the most diverse heroes; Aragon, Legolas, Gimli, Frodo and the others weren’t just different by nature but also came from different species, yet bound by a common goal!
During these hard times of economic recovery, our monthly brief is set to offer an economics spectacle to observe the current affairs and events.
Our promise is to provide you with a detailed lens to the stories, ideas, topical news that you may have heard or read in your regular newspaper. This is our first edition with a succinct analysis of India-US ties, India walking out of the RCEP deal and RBI recommendation on letting corporates in the banking sector. Rising concerns on urban planning in a flood hit Hyderabad and Chennai will be the regional column that aims to pick a local issue every month. Under the finance and technology corner, a short introduction to ESG and bitcoins is detailed for our readers.
These insights and thoughts we create will definitely stay with you. More than being a reader, Econfinity Views is focused to engage with our readers through Call for Articles and Photo Essays. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts – we believe that we will be able to contribute another strand – our words may help create a dialogue that may create thought, that may lead to results.
Join our community to get access to a depository of opinions, analysis, essays which will document economics in all its forms.
We hope you stay with us on our journey which may be smooth sometimes, which may be bumpy sometimes but will be resilient all the time. With this, we present to you our very first newsletter.
Better late than November
All that happened or shouldn’t have happened in the past month
The US-India partnership achieved another milestone on 27th October with the third annual US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi. The two countries emphasized the meeting on the overall security ties and inked a total of five pacts, including the strategic Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) that would allow India and the US to access a wide variety of geospatial data from each other, such as nautical and aeronautical charts, detailed maps, including imagery. The agreement provides a framework to share classified data in this discipline.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) drafted on November 11th, 2011 was finally signed by 15 countries on November 15th, 2020. It took thirty-one rounds of negotiations in nine years to finally sign the trade pact. The free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and China is envisaged as a way to bolster trading ties among nations across Asia-Pacific and promote trade and economic growth in the region.
The Reserve Bank of India’s Internal Working Group headed by P.K. Mohanty’s submitted a report that proposed to allow corporate or industry houses to enter into the banking sector. Mainly faced with criticisms, the particular recommendation was focused on relaxing regulations to enable large corporate entities to hold higher stakes as a promoter in private banks. Additionally, Non-Banking Financial Corporations with asset value above INR 50,000 crore and 10 years of operations function as full-fledged banks.
Chennai and Hyderabad have been the victims of cities of the heavy rainfall that stalled the city’s movement and flooded the roads once again opening the discussion on urban planning. Both the cities had distressing visuals of many inundated colonies, vehicles submerged in water, men trying to rescue passers-by. Social media by scenes of cars floating, colliding with one another; the trending Twitter hashtag ‘#HyderabadFloods’ and #nivarcyclone, though only conveyed the problem partly.
What a ponder-full world
Shedding some light on issues and ideas that have caught our eyes
The United Nations in 2015 had set 17 Sustainable Development Goals deepening the need to focus on sustainability across industries and governance. The financial segment is no exception in the transition of adopting a more sustainable approach in investment. Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) schemes are gaining traction in India with close to INR 5,900 crores under three schemes with five more similar schemes in the pipeline.
Cash as paper currency is here to stay for the foreseeable future but it is hard to deny the rise of digital currency. India’s virtual currency is experiencing rapid development in recent times. The Supreme Court lifted the ban placed on cryptocurrency trading after the RBI imposed a ban early this year. Although there is a lack of clarity in the regulatory framework, Bitcoins and Ethereum secured through blockchain technology are massively traded and are the champions in the digital currency world.
Econfinity Data Lens
Call for Articles
Econfinity invites students, researchers, and professionals to contribute to our website. The theme for the month of December is as follows. The best articles would be shortlisted and featured on our website. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Call for Articles’.
- India’s Trade Policy during Covid era
Contributors can choose trade issues from India’s perspective with any particular country/region (EU, China, Taiwan, ASEAN) or general international trade framework. The analysis can be a critique of existing literature, review of popular ideas or recommendation for the future course of action.
- Indian Agriculture Sector: Challenges and Concerns
In the context of the recently unfolding controversies on the farm bills, we welcome researched analysis on India’s agriculture landscape. Commentary on reforms, laws and policies.
- Banking Sector in India
With a recommendation for corporates to enter the banking landscape, the contributors can discuss the primary issues in the banking sector (structural or regulatory).
We read, therefore we are
Our team is quite an eclectic bunch, so there is always something for everyone. This what our team has been reading:
Book of the month
Kelton’s The New York Times bestseller managed to grab international attention by bursting the conventional myths in monetary policy. As a proponent of Modern Monetary Theory(MMT), the author departing from the academic literature has made a strong case for MMT policy by debunking the underlying assumptions of the deficit. In the wake of the pandemic, policymakers find themselves at the crossroad of a falling economy and fear of public debt. As against the common perception that the government will collapse the future of the economy, a nation with a central bank printing sovereign currency need not worry about the deficit. Being cautious about the inflation threat, heterodox economists’ favourite theory legitimizes printing of currency at the time of crisis and an attempt to prove the private sector does not crowd out due to government spending. The book treads through the path to convince the readers not to frown upon deficit because state government spending on people ain’t that bad. Although the ideas proposed are popular among the democrats (Bernie-AOC), the technicality of the theory and idea might take a while in the mainstream policy making especially in developing countries with less powerful currency.
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama A deep account into the life of the 44th President of the United States of America. We’re listening to the audiobook and couldn’t be hooked enough.
- Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver by Urijit Patel Former Deputy Governor of RBI constructively points out the problems with Non-performing Assets and faults in the system helping large corporates to recapitalize taxpayers money.
Podcasts that speak to us
- The Seen and The Unseen by Amit Varma Ep. 185 – Fixing Indian Education Amit Varma with Karthik Muralidharan discusses the failings of Indian education and the New Education Policy.
- The History Chicks Empress Sisi of Austria Part 1 & 2 A shy noblewoman pushed to the world stage who became an icon due to her beauty. Listen to these two witty women trail her history.
- The Pragati Podcast Ep. 154 The Role of an RBI Deputy Governor Pavan Srinath in conversation with Viral Acharya, about the role of the deputy governor in the RBI.
- The Debunking Economics Podcast Ep.230 Taming Asset price Phil Dobbie and Steve Keen discuss the ballooning asset price after the Fed admitted their inability to keep the private sector from taking advantage.
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