The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 plunged the global financial system into the deepest and most complex crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Central banks and central beakers were blamed for sleeping at the wheel as the world got into the crisis; they were also praised for leading from the front to get the world out of the crisis. Now, more than a decade on, central banks have absorbed the lessons of the crisis even as they face several fresh challenges.
Much of what has been written and said about the challenges of post crisis central banking has emanated from the perspective of advanced economy central banks. Do emerging market central banks face the same challenges and dilemmas? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
‘Yes’ because the core mandate of central banks, advanced or emerging, remains the same – maintain financial and macroeconomic stability as defined by low and steady inflation and sustainable growth. ‘No’ because the political, economic and institutional context in which emerging market central banks have to operate is markedly different.
Dr Duvvuri Subbarao who was governor of the Reserve Bank of India during five turbulent years (2008-13) will speak about the challenges of leading a central bank in the post crisis world. Even as central banking is a relatively narrow domain, the leadership lessons that Dr Subbarao will draw from his experience will be widely applicable.
About the Speaker
Duvvuri Subbarao served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for five years (2008-13). Prior to that, he was Finance Secretary to the Government of India and Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
Dr Subbarao was a career civil servant in India for over three decades where he worked in various positions, acquiring hands on experience in public finance management at national and sub-national levels. He was also actively involved in formulating and implementing economic and financial sector reforms in India.
Dr Subbarao was a Lead Economist in the World Bank (1999 – 2004) where his responsibilities involved advising developing countries on public finance reforms.
Dr Subbarao studied MSc in Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur finishing at the top of his class. He went to Graduate School at Ohio State University where he got an MS in Economics, and later went to MIT as a Humphrey Fellow to study Public Finance. He earned his PhD in Economics from Andhra University in India.
Dr Subbarao went in as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India just a week before the global financial crisis erupted in full in mid-September 2008, and he led the effort to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the Indian economy and to institute economic and financial sector reforms reflecting the lessons of the crisis.
Dr Subbarao was alternate Governor for India on the Governing Boards of both the World Bank and the IMF. He participated actively in the G 20 meetings, the meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (of the IMF), bi-monthly meetings of Governors at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, the Asian Consultative Committee of central bank governors and a host of other international committees and conferences where his views were respected for the emerging market perspective he brought to bear on the discussions, especially in crisis management, the spillover impact of unconventional monetary policies of advanced economies and post-crisis reforms
Dr Subbarao has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS) since mid-2014, attached concurrently to the Business School and the Institute of South Asian Studies. While at NUS, he wrote a book “Who Moved My Interest Rate” which was acclaimed for the exposition of crisis management from an emerging economy perspective. At NUS, he also worked on a host of public policy issues in the areas of macroeconomic management, central banking, financial sector regulation, challenges of globalisation and public policy leadership.