Dollar Vs Rupee

Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws-Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild.

This notable quote testifies the monopoly that the present banking system (read: monetary based economy) holds over the entire world today.

Till World War II, humanity witnessed colonization in the form of standing armies and savaging wars. That changed entirely post World War II and the form of colonization that followed thereafter was predominantly economic.

In 2013, the Indian rupee lost 20% of its value and was one of the worst performing currencies. A study by BBC depicts that the value of Indian rupee depreciated from INR 56.4 to INR 68.7 against 1USD. The then Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh conceded that the country was facing a ‘difficult’ economic situation and it had to reckon with the uncertainties created by global factors. The Finance Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram at that time said,“The economy needs more reforms to come out of the impasse of slow growth and high current account deficit.”

graph

Meanwhile, in 2013, the US economy was shooting up and its Index was up by 16.5 percent. Unlike crisis-ravaged Europe and credit-addicted China, the U.S. had at least five key characteristics to support its $15.7 trillion economy: record-shattering profits with companies increasingly returning money to shareholders, innovations in everyday technology (IT industry), a booming energy industry, ‘stability returns’ to housing and last but not the least, the U.S. Demographics; America homes 19 of the world’s top 25 universities.

So what were the reasons for the depreciation? What did the Indian government do to stop the depreciation? Why did RBI measures fail despite tightening liquidity? 

One can impute various reasons for the derogation of the Indian rupee. First of all, India had (and still has) to import oil in the form of dollars. As long as India keeps importing its oil in dollars, oil prices are bound to go up.

Secondly, India’s love for gold was (and still is) one of the main reasons behind the significant demand for the dollar. Gold is bought and sold internationally in dollars. India produces very little gold of its own. Hence, it has to import a huge amount of gold (ah, we love showing off gold, don’t we?) When gold is imported into the country, it needs to be paid for in dollars, thus increasing the demand for dollars!

Thirdly, India’s exports are not growing fast enough. India imports more than it exports. For instance, India imported a huge amount of coal in 2013. India’s coal imports shot up by 43% that year. Importing coal means greater demand for the dollar again. Now, India has huge coal reserves which are not being mined. The question is why? Do we blame Coal India Ltd, which more or less has a monopoly to produce coal in India?

Coal Scam

Low growth and high inflation are the biggest setbacks for India as of now. As long as the inflation rates are high, RBI cannot reduce interest rates, hence making the country’s economic growth even more difficult.

For India to circumvent the current cataclysm, its government and RBI needs to form a pathway to move forward. The RBI can ask exporters to convert dollars to rupees, in other words, it can ask exporters to buy rupees. Foreign direct investment (FDI) plays a very important role in managing the country’s economy. It is high time that the government comes up with reforms in FDI because when the dollars come into India through the foreign direct investment route, they need to be exchanged for rupees. Hence, dollars are sold and rupees are bought. This pushes up the demand for rupees, while increasing the supply of dollars, thus helping the rupee gain value against the dollar.

“After all is said and done, more is said than done.” India’s economic growth has taken a positive turn since 2013 but it has a long way to go.  It would be interesting to see how India proves its rationality, and how its policies shape up the “Dollar-Rupee” equation.

One thought on “Dollar Vs Rupee

  1. The abolition of the gold standard (which made for an awesome world domination ploy in 007 Goldfinger!) meant that defining modern money became a lot harder. Ignorance leads to confusion leads to fear. Thankfully, this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNu5ppFZbHo) at least partly assuaged my fears of the capitalist economy being an elaborate scheme of self-perpetuating, society-ratified slavery. It is not the most efficient system and I still am not particularly crazy about the idea of our “being” and “doing” for the sole purpose of making money, but given the general distaste of Utopia amongst the multitude (idealism is not something most want to participate further than doing lip service and just look at what happened to communism), monetary system does a good enough job of preventing society’s descent into anarchy. It is frustratingly fuzzy in its mechanism and things like stock trading are – quoting Mark Hana from Wolf of the Wall Street – simply “fugazi”, but I respect what the RBI and regulated trade bodies does in stabilizing and bolstering a country’s market dynamics.

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