It’s hard to come by a read that forensically lays threadbare the crimpled cohabitation of Mint Road with the two big sandstone blocks in New Delhi—North and South Block; and the dynamics of what is an inherently conflictual contract—if you can term it so—between them. You have one (of a kind) in T.C.A. Srinivasa Raghavan’s Dialogue of the Deaf: The Government and the RBI. Who gets to have the right of way—the mint or its owner? In the poser lies the intersection of monetary policy and politics; the tensions and the trade-offs between the cheap money the government of the day wants to pocket, and the costs attached to it. ‘TCA’ as the author is widely known marks the corners of the ring early on when he points out that the upper hand of fiscal policy has its political moorings in the march of democracy in Europe; and that of economics in the worldview of John Maynard Keynes. ‘Just as the French idea of Republicanism had gained hold at the turn of the 18th century, the Communist idea gained hold after 1920.’ Keynes’s egalitarian answer to Communism lay in his fiscal thought; politicians bought into it.
December 2017, volume 41, No 12