Wednesday 2016-11-23

Apparently Modi wants to now develop financial centers in India.

Let's just say that it's a bit difficult to trust the regime in India right now, since they decided to destroy ~80% of their monetary base without any warning.

Given that India's inflation has been high ( 10% in 2014) -- which dissuades people from hoarding cash as it would lose half its value in just 7 years at 10% inflation -- it seems likely that the ostensible target (untaxed illicit wealth) is cover for the actual target.

Possible real motives include:
1) Political -- enemies were amassing cash for some purpose, and this hurts them badly.
2) Economic -- reduce people's (especially the poor) willingness to use physical cash so that people will use gov't observable e-payment systems.

Neither of these possibilities are comforting because the first implies the political environment is unstable, while the second implies that the gov't prefers "shock and awe" dislocation instead of gradual change.

Finally, while we will likely never see the gov'ts guesstimate of this policy's contractionary effects, it would be interesting to see whether the resultant economic fallout is anywhere inside the error bars.