Raghuram Rajan is 'top contender' as Bank of England Governor
The Bank of England will bid goodbye to its current governor next year, and authorities are gearing up to launch a hunt for Mark Carney's successor. Speculation is rife on who'll clinch the top job, and much to India's pride, former RBI-Governor Raghuram Rajan has been widely regarded as a top contender. The only obstacle is, Rajan has never shown interest in the position.
The reputed Financial Times has listed the top six contenders for the coveted post, which, incidentally, includes another Indian-origin expert. For the publication, Rajan's "impeccable international economics and central banking experience" combined with "significant achievements at the RBI" set him apart. But "attracting the highly respected Chicago-based economist...would be a coup," the article adds.
Before joining the RBI as governor, Rajan was the first non-western and youngest chief economist at the International Monetary Fund during October'03-December'06. In 2008, as the US housing crisis unraveled, Rajan gained global attention as more and more people realized he had warned against the crisis three years earlier, but had been ignored.
When the eminent economist joined RBI as governor in September 2013, the currency was falling, current account deficit widening, and foreign exchange reserves shrinking. In just some days, the IIT/IIM alumnus had helped stop the rupee's fall. What also set him apart was his tendency to speak his mind. This meant run-ins with the government, but even political rivals have acknowledged Rajan's expertise.
The other Indian-origin expert in Financial Times' list is Shriti Vadera, the chairperson of Santander UK bank and a former business minister. That she has "lived through the financial crisis and (is) a dynamic manager who gets things done" are her strong points, the publication notes. At the same time, she is "dogged by criticisms of her abrasive working style," and "lacks monetary policy experience."
Mark Carney's term as the current Bank of England governor ends in June 2019. He was the first non-British to be selected for the position in 30 years. UK chancellor Philip Hammond has now apparently indicated that another foreigner could be roped in for the role. The Treasury is expected to publish an ad for the job in July, a year before Carney leaves.