Archive for the ‘Speech / Interviews’ Category

The role of euro banknotes as legal tender..

February 15, 2018

Another speech from Yves Mersch of ECB who defends role of cash.

This speech is different as he looks at legal aspects of cash usage in Euroarea, what makes cash legal tender etc.:



Past, Present and Future of Economics: An interview project

February 14, 2018

A superb series of interviews of leading economists on state of economics education and the need for pluralism.

Economics education has been discussed in the public domain for a long time,  but since the Global Financial Crisis it has come under renewed scrutiny. This interview project aims to provide material for new generations of economics students and scholars, as well as the general public, to get acquainted with different schools of economic thought and their bearing on economics thinking.

Distinguished economists speak on how the plurality of analytical traditions within economics has influenced their work. The interviews range from long-standing debates to current issues, and provide first-hand access to the thought of key contemporary economists.

This video series intends to promote pluralism by presenting schools of economic thought as viable methodological, theoretical and policy alternatives.

We have interviews of Profs Charles Goodhart, Sheila Dow, Geoff Harcourt, Tony Lawson Julie Nelson and Ha-Joon Chang…

Malaysia adopted inflation anchoring over inflation targeting…

February 12, 2018

Interesting speech by Mr Muhammad bin Ibrahim, Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia.

He says despite strong preferences to adopt inflation targeting before 2008, the central bank did not straightjacket itself. They had a broader role with focus on inflation anchoring and not targeting. This way they avoided groupthink as well:


Comparing crypto currencies across three functions of money: medium of exchange, unit of account and store of value

February 12, 2018

Yves Mersch of ECB speaks about the hot topic of cryptocurrencies.

Mersch is one of those odd central bankers as he prefers physical cash over cashless world. In this speech, he also dismisses private cryptocurrencies as well:


Money in the digital age: what role for central banks?

February 8, 2018

This is the title of the speech by Agustín Carstens General Manager, Bank for International Settlements.

He has this amazing money flower ( I think have seen it elsewhere as well, not sure where):


Evolution of Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy in Sri Lanka and the Way Forward

January 25, 2018

Nice speech by  Dr P Nandalal Weerasinghe, Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. It discusses the history and evolution of monetary policy in Sri Lanka. Their central bank came up in 1950, 15 years after RBI:


Differences between Development Banks and Wholesale and Long-Term Finance (WLTF) banks..

January 18, 2018

Dr YV Reddy spoke on the topic at the centenary of Indian Economics Association.

He chose the topic given recent RBI discussion on Wholesale and Long Term Financing Banks:

I chose the subject Development Banking for the lecture today because there is a revival of interest in development banking consequent upon the large amount of non-performing assets in the banking sector in India. It is believed that large part of NPAs, are on account of banks’ exposure to the infrastructure sector. It is now felt in some quarters that the universal banks are not the ideal institutions for
development of infrastructure. There is, therefore, interest in resurrecting Development Banks.

The Reserve Bank of India has circulated a discussion paper recently on Wholesale and Long-Term Finance (WLTF) banks. The discussion paper recognises the current problems faced by banking sector in long-term and project finance, in particular, infrastructure projects and also reflects the change in attitude of the RBI in regard to differentiated banks.

What is a development bank?


Assessing the risk of inverting yield curve in US…

December 22, 2017

Speech by James Bullard of St Louis Fed given on 1 Dec 2017.

He says based on current trends and future projections, US yield curve could begin to invert around late-2018:

• Let’s suppose that longer-term yields remain near the average since 2012.
• Let’s also suppose that the FOMC remains on track to raise the policy rate at the pace suggested in the SEP.
• Under this scenario, the U.S. nominal yield curve would invert in late 2018.
• This scenario would not play out if either (1) the FOMC does not raise the policy rate as aggressively as suggested by the SEP, or (2) longer-term rates begin to rise in tandem with the policy rate.

And then as we know, inverted yield curve is a great predictor of recessions.

We are back to full circle with so much monetary interventions and policies. It started with US yield curve inverting in 2007 whose signs were ignored. This was followed by failure of Lehman and AIG leading to all kinds of monetary interventions. And now 10 years later, we are again seeing signs of inverted yield curve…

Should Australia issue an e- Australian Dollar?

December 13, 2017

Just a few days ago, Riksbank chief Ingves spoke about whether and how Sweden should issue an e-krona.

On the speech, JP Koning rightly remarked that the speech does not talk about the need for e-krona to be anonymous. JP had earlier educated us about two key features which led to acceptance of paper money: anonymity and censorship.

Now, Australian central bank chief Philip Lowe speaks about whether Australia should issue an e- Australian Dollar (eAUD). He also looks at usual attributes of an e-AUD says that though cash usage is declining but cash is likely to remain, whether banks will be key to issuing this money and so on.


The economics of printing securities including banknotes…

December 5, 2017

Securities is a wider term which includes banknotes, tickets, stamps, cheques and  so on.

Lindsay Boulton, Assistant Governor of Reserve Bank of Australia gives a nice speech on printing securities which also discusses banknotes.  He discusses the trends in Asia:


History of 150 years of monetary policy in 7 sentences….

December 4, 2017

Missed this speech by John Williams of FRBSF which he gave on 16 Nov 2017.

The speech is on low r-star (natural rate of interest) in the developed world. Prof Phelps recently said: there is nothing natural about natural rate of unemployment, this should be extended to natural rate of interest as well.

As he discusses why we have low r-star and what to do about it, there is this bit on 150 years monetary history. He said ideally would have liked to sum the history in 140 characters but that will hardly cover anything. But how about summing the history in 7 sentences. Here are the 7 sentences:


How financial systems work: evidence from financial accounts (History of Funds Flow accounts..)

December 1, 2017

Bank of Italy is conducting a conference by the same title.

Here is the speech/opening remarks by  Luigi Federico Signorini, Deputy Governor of the central bank. He points to this interesting history of development of financial accounts, how central banks warmed up to these accounts, the decline of them in research and again their importance post-2008 crisis:


How to get rid of banking supervisors?

November 24, 2017

Central bankers are increasinly talking about culture, incentives etc. There have been two recent speeches which revisit these topics using bank supervision lens. First by Norman Chan of HKMA and second by Andreas Dombert of ECB.

Norman Chan of HKMA in this speech goes back to banking history when there were no banking supervisors:


When the definitive history of demonetisation is documented, RBI’s valiant defence of financial stability hopefully gets its due?

November 21, 2017

It is like when the kings force war onto its people and then saying look how well I defended you.

RBI Executive Director and MPC member Michael Patra in this speech reviews one year of RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee and comments:


Economics of prison in Australia…

October 31, 2017

This blog has written about economic of prison in US.

Here is a discussion and interview (mp3 format) on the economics of prison in Australia:

There are more than 41,000 daily full-time prisoners in Australia, according to the latest ABS data. Many of them are in private prisons – almost 20% of the prison population according to a 2014 Productivity Commission report.

But we don’t really know whether private prisons are more cost effective or produce better results. Private prison contracts are often “commercial in confidence”, and it’s hard to know what exactly we’ve paid for. All this means we have to rely on watchdogs to ensure taxpayers are getting value for money, and it’s tough for companies to really compete.

Prison job programs are often touted as a way to reduce prisoner recidivism, but again there is little evidence showing a positive impact. Joanne Wodak was a research assistant on a study in the Northern Territory. Despite positive feedback from both prisoners and employers, Wodak says these programs don’t address other, important factors affecting recidivism such as alcoholism and homelessness.

Technology could drastically change what a prison is and who is in them – through the use of algorithms that decide who gets bail, for instance. But as the University of Sydney’s Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer discuss, it’s unlikely to have an impact on the jobs prisoners themselves do. Low wages mean that prisoners provide an incredibly cheap source of labour, and the economics of this is unlikely to be drastically changed by technology.

So many different organisations and how economics differs across them…

President of India’s interesting speech on 60th anniversary of Karnataka’s Vidhan Souda…

October 26, 2017

In this environment of chaotic and acerbic political mudslinging across political parties, this speech is a welcome change (HT: qfint).

The President of India speaks on the occassion of the controversial 60th anniversary of Karnataka’s Vidhan Souda (seat of legislative assembly of the State). He talks about the 4 Ds that make the 5th D – Democracy (hope all political party members read it):

It is not just the 60th birthday of this building that we are marking. This is also the diamond jubilee of the debates and discussions in the two Houses, of legislations that have been passed and policies that have been shaped for the betterment of the lives of the people of Karnataka.

We are aware of the three D’s of the legislature, that it is a place to debate, dissent and finally decide. And if we add the fourth D, decency, only then does the fifth D, namely democracy, become a reality.The legislature is an embodiment of the will, aspirations and hopes of the people of Karnataka, irrespective of political belief, caste and religion, gender or language. It needs the collective wisdom of both Houses of the Legislature to fulfil the dreams of our people.

This spirit of debate and discussion, of inquiry and of service, is not limited to simply the Vidhan Soudha or to political life. It has existed in the soil of this great state. Karnataka has been known through history for spiritualism as much as science, for its farmers as much as its technologists. Its contribution to the intellectual and cultural – and ultimately democratic – heritage of our country has been enormous.

This is a land with ancient Jain and Buddhist traditions. Adi Shankaracharya founded the math in Sringeri in this very state. Gulbarga is a centre of Sufi culture. The reformist Lingayat movement under spiritual leaders such as Basavacharya was also located in Karnataka. In their own way, each of these currents has contributed to nation building.

Karnataka is a land of formidable soldiers. Krishnadeva Raya was the greatest ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire, and remains an inspiration for all Indians. Kempe Gowda was the founder of Bengaluru. Rani Chennamma of Kittur and Rani Abbakka led among the earliest battles against colonial powers.

Tipu Sultan died a heroic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development and use of Mysore rockets in warfare. This technology was later adopted by the Europeans. More recently, two of our finest army chiefs – Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and General K.S. Thimayya – were sons of Karnataka.

This is also the seat of education, technology and science. The engineer-statesman M. Visvesvaraya was a builder of modern Karnataka and of modern India. He was responsible for major irrigation projects that continue to help farmers to this day. The Indian Institution of Science and the Indian Space Research Organisation are among so many of our crown jewel institutions that are based in Bengaluru. The dynamism of its entrepreneurs has made Bengaluru India’s IT capital. It is known the world over as the Silicon City.

As expected, people have only looked at his comments on Tipu Sultan whose role has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent times.

He goes on to explain who is a nation builder:

The opening of this building in 1956 coincided with the reorganisation of states and the creation of the boundaries of Karnataka state. In a sense, both these momentous happenings represented the sovereign will, the cultural and linguistic pride and the identity of the Kannadiga people. As such the people of this state are always the focal point of all our endeavours – and of all that is undertaken in this legislative building.

Having said that, Karnataka’s dreams are not for Karnataka alone; they are dreams for all of India. Karnataka is an engine of the Indian economy. It is a mini-India that draws – without losing its cultural and linguistic distinctiveness – youth from all over the country. They come here for knowledge and for jobs, and they give their labour and intellect. Everybody gains.

There was a time when Hampi, here in Karnataka, was one of the richest and greatest cities in the world. Today, as our country strives to regain its importance in the global economy and international system, once again we look to Karnataka to provide India with the enlightenment, the technology and unity of purpose to take us forward. And as representatives of the people of Karnataka, the members of the two Houses here have a special responsibility.

Legislators are both public servants as well as nation builders.

Indeed, anybody who performs his or her duties with honesty and dedication is a nation builder. Those who maintain this building are also nation builders. Those who provide it security are nation builders too. It is by the efforts of ordinary citizens, who diligently carry out everyday tasks, that nations are built. As you sit and work in this Vidhan Soudha, I am confident you will never forget this and will continue to draw inspiration from it.

Let us then make this diamond jubilee not just the celebration of a proud past – but a commitment to an even greater future. A great future for Karnataka and a great future for India!

There is a lot of talk on who is patriotic and who is not. President of India just sums it for us…

GST discussion: Public Finance view vs Legal view

October 17, 2017

Interesting set of views/interviews on GST on (or explainers as the forum calls it) .

I think this is how we should learn the subject as well from different perspectives..

History explains why Cameroon is at war with itself over language and culture

October 16, 2017

One had just blogged about how French is taught in South Africa without the usual colonial hangover.

However in Cameroon, the battles over Francophone and Anglophone continue like the Anglo-French battles of yesteryears.

In this interview, Prof. Verkijika G. Fanso of University of Yaounde explains:


“Most things that are urgent are not important. And most things that are important are not urgent”

October 12, 2017

The earlier times were something. Even government officials said something worth pondering on.

Mr Frank Elderson, Executive Director of the Netherlands Bank in this speech quotes American President Eisenhower:

I’m sure we’ve all been in this situation. You’ve got something really important to do, but it never makes it to the top of the agenda. Instead, there’s always something more urgent that comes along and takes up all your time. Something you need to deal with right away. Which means putting everything else on hold.

A wise man once said: “Most things that are urgent are not important. And most things that are important are not urgent”.

Today I’d like to present you with three pearls of wisdom from this man. You’ve just heard the first. I didn’t mention this because you don’t appreciate the urgency of financial inclusion, but because you so admirably manage to keep the subject constantly on the agenda.

The man I just quoted was a Republican President of the United States. Although the president I am referring to spoke these words in nineteen fifty-four, they form the basis for a time management technique which is still widely in use today. Unfortunately – among some young people – this historical figure is better known for this technique rather than for all his other achievements.

I am of course talking about Dwight D. Eisenhower. The man who was not only President of the United States, but before that was the general who played such a paramount role in liberating Europe from fascism, putting an end to the Second World War. 

The famous Eisenhower matrix..

He says to address financial inclusion is both important and urgent:

But today I’m not just going to draw on Eisenhower for inspiration. I’m also going to look to you for inspiration. Because you have succeeded in bringing a sense of urgency to a very important matter. 

And you have done this despite facing a deadline that’s a long way off, while also having to contend with a constant stream of other issues. Over the years you have taken great strides towards financial inclusion.

And you continue to seek further cooperation. This brings me to the second of Eisenhower’s maxims. He reiterated how cooperation is a critical success factor for every mission: ”Leaders need to work with others and build coalitions if they want to get things done.” He said.

What things do we want to get done? And why are we concerned with financial inclusion at De Nederlandsche Bank?

Financial inclusion relates directly to sustainable prosperity. And that’s definitely an area that concerns us at the central bank. Because contributing to sustainable prosperity is an issue at the top of our agenda. That is why, six years ago, we added the word ‘sustainable’ to our mission statement.
Although that’s just one word. It can make a big difference.

Our mission statement now reads: We seek to safeguard financial stability and thus contribute to sustainable prosperity in the Netherlands. We don’t just do this by focusing on ourselves, following the principles of corporate social responsibility, however important that is. We also focus on the outside world, considering how we can incorporate sustainability in our role as central bank and supervisor of the financial sector. This is what our stakeholders ask us to do: Use that influence, use your influence, your convening power, use the leverage that you have.


Economic Policy and the Need for Humility

October 11, 2017

Nice and much needed speech by Yves Mersch of ECB:


%d bloggers like this: