Category: Public Policy Analysis

Sri Lankan Terror Attack

I was planning to publish two videos to celebrate the essence of Easter before I got to know about terror attacks in Sri Lanka last evening. It shook me up and as a mark of respect for the victims, I have postponed both the articles for a bit. One article is a motivational interview of a physically challenged person and his success as a fitness trainer while another is about a French friend of mine and his artistic and versatile flair in music. (The video was shot while celebrating Easter in a café).

Pic Source: CNN Continue reading “Sri Lankan Terror Attack”

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) just released a report on impact investing market. Looks an interesting read. 1340 organizations manage $502 bn assets globally which is less than 1 percent of the size of  global capital markets. Asset managers dominate with 51% of estimated AUM and DFI at 27%. To make the impact space more impactful, the size of DFI must increase exponentially. Maximum number of the sample organizations are headquartered in North America.

FED and Inverted Yield Curve

The FED will not be increasing any more rates this year and there might be a possibility of a rate cut.  The US yield curve is showing an inversion forecasting a possible recession in the US. I had argued in my article on Jerome Powell about inverted yield curve a few months back when the yields were flat. Somehow my words have proved to be prophetic which is a bit scary for me. The labor market looks very strong still in the US.

Blended Finance: Please don’t blend it like Beckham

David Beckham’s iconic signature dead ball free kicks remain enshrined forever for curvy goals which flummoxed the best goalkeepers in the world but David’s was certainly not known for his innovative financial structuring skills.

Welcome Blended Finance. Blended Finance not to be confused with bending finance, is fast becoming an important and potent tool for bridging the yearly $2.5tr gap to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals target by 2030. Blended Finance is not a  panacea for the global development crisis but stills works as an innovative way to pool in commercial capital to aid risk-adjusted return for development projects. OECD defines blended finance as the strategic use of development finance for the mobilization of additional finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. This is a defining change in the scope of blended finance from its work as various financial structuring instruments to its strategic use as a form of finance to eradicate social inequity. Continue reading “Blended Finance: Please don’t blend it like Beckham”

Education Budgeting

The Indian government is targeting allocation of 6% of the GDP to education which is commendable. This is a good jump from the allocation of 3.8% of the GDP to education sector in 2014. Key drivers in education include Ed-tech and Digital Literacy for promoting education inclusiveness in India.

Mr Narendra Modi, India and the World

PM Narendra Modi, the world is with you. I have never seen India so truly united and due to credit to your impeccable leadership, diplomacy and hard work. It also highlights the innumerable and redoubtable courage and skill of the Indian Armed Forces. Indian Air Force is one of the world’s best air fighting defense forces and forever saluted by every Indian. I am deeply thankful and grateful to the international community for their strong support to India esp. the United States and France for taking judicious judgment in understanding atrocities and terror committed on Indian citizens by terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj, you are truly inspiring. Team Modi, do whatever you think is the best for our country. The right to protect the sovereignty of our country is a right given by nature.

I will not be writing more on this topic.

Swachh Bharat Mission Economic and Social Impact

UNICEF published an interesting analysis of Swachh Bharat Mission. A household living in a fully open defecation free environment saves up to $780 per year i.e. Rs 54,700 as of today. Swachh Bharat Mission has been hugely beneficial to citizens in India and the momentum needs to be maintained. Further, LinkedIn published average savings per household due to GST implementation. The government needs to highlight the economic impact of its policies in India. A small silver lining for the government after the recent debacle in state elections. Time to regroup and think ahead for team Modi.

LinkedIn recently published that India ranks among the top 10 dangerous countries for journalists. This is disturbing.

Man of the Year: Jerome Powell

2018, Man of the year, goes to the FED chairman Jerome Powell. Sorry, it’s not Bradley Cooper and in fact, I am yet to watch A Star is Born. In spite of unwanted criticism, Jerome Powell is a hero. When he got nominated as FED chief I was a bit skeptical. FED maybe is the only reserve bank which has a history of nominating chairman who does not have a Ph.D. Jerome following Alan Greenspan footsteps does not have one. At the same time, Mr. Powell outshines as a leader for his outstanding vision, tenacity, fortitude, and acumen in guiding the US economy through uncharted waters in 2018. He has been spot on increasing rates to not only stem inflation but also to give space for monetary flexibility once the recession hits the United States in near future. US today has one of the lowest unemployment rates thanks to sustained innovation and prolonged low rates and along with rising wage growth, fueling inflation in the US to 2%. Back it up with a 24% increase in earnings in 350 S&P 500 companies compared to the previous year beating analyst forecast of 20%, according to WSJ. All are telltale signs of an economy heating up due to low lending rates and increased consumer spending. Continuing real negative interest rates would have further fueled asset prices resulting in an imminent collapse fulfilling the doomsday prophecy. Continue reading “Man of the Year: Jerome Powell”