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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » EXPERT CHRONICLE™ » Sorry Mr Governor, adjust the sail or quit the ship!

Sorry Mr Governor, adjust the sail or quit the ship!

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God Father

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Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

Sorry Mr Governor, adjust the sail or quit the ship! 1200x-10
When you came to the office in early April, we had very high hopes of you. Yes, you yourself said you can’t do magic but we thought you will think out of the box and out of your theory books to fight the fire at home! But we were wrong sir! Instead of fighting fire with fire or any  extinguishers, you started to guard the house! Sir, we don’t need a guard for a house under fire; we need a good fire fighter! The way you're guarding the house will end up giving us only ashes and nothing else. Look at your decisions over the last five weeks! Very theoretical, non-practical due to ground situation, and subject to lots of assumptions! These are not the decisions that will take us anywhere but complete shut down and collapse of the economy . 

You said you are against the printing of cash . Very theoretical and popular statement! Sir, no government wants to print cash if things are perfect . We run with a huge budget deficit and we are a subsidized economy. Everything in this country is subsidized! And our taxes are low. Instead of making  popular statements against money printing, you should've said that we need to increase taxes drastically, both direct and indirect, and that we should get rid of most of our subsidies! Sir, you must fight the cause, not the symptoms. You know very well that money printing, and the inflation that results, are the best form of taxation across the board, but you selected the popular root! Yes, we can stop printing, but we must get rid of all the popular subsidies and all the wastages in the government sector and we must increase taxes. We must increase the productivity of every single working individual. That’s the long term solution to this crisis, but did you take (or at least suggest to the government) a single policy measure towards that? No. 

Sir, all steps and policy decisions you have taken so far are directed towards starving the economy. It seems you try to discharge the patient by killing him and not by curing him! Yes, thats   a one way of discharging the patient, but not the way we expected or want! Look at all your popular but theoretical policy decisions over the last one and half months. 

No printing of cash, increasing the interest rate by almost 100%, directing exporters to not ask for dollars from banks, directing banks to follow the central bank indicative rates when quoting for dollars and then quoting artificial low indicative rates, declaring the holding of dollar notes illegal, no imports on open accounts, no LC without 100% cash margin, etc etc are all decisions directed towards starving the economy and its growth. These are all text book measures, but will not help increase the productivity, reduce inflation, or increase dollar inflows and government revenue. These are all typical measures of a watch dog or guard, but not of the dynamic fighter we wanted! 

Please note that we are a crisis hit country. These text book measures are not resolving our issues. Our issue is the scarcity of dollars and the low government revenue.   Our issue is not inflation or the depreciation of rupees. Inflation and rupee depreciation are only symptoms (AKA natural reactions) of those issues.  You try to focus on reactions, but treating the reactions instead of the cause will end with the patient dying! Did any of your measures so far result in attracting one additional dollar to the country? One additional rupee to the government revenue? Did any of those measures help to reactivate the economy or its productivity? No. 

You increased the policy interest rate by 100%. You expected this will control the inflation? Yes. Only in theories sir! Our inflation is not a result of consumers consuming more, as you appear think, but because of the scarcity of goods, or the increase of import cost . Import costs went up because of world issues and rupee depreciation. Rupee depreciated happened because we ran out of dollars! By increasing interest to such high levels , you will kill all local industries and investments. You know very well that no producer or business in Sri Lanka can make 25/30% return risk free , specially after paying a proposed 40% income tax. So, what do you want? Everyone to stop doing production or business but instead invest that money in government treasury bills at 25% and sleep?  Is that your method of increasing the productivity of the country and reducing inflation?   

You asked exporters to refrain from asking dollars from the bank. If they can’t ask from banks to where they are remitting the dollars, from where do you want them to ask dollars? From the black market or from your grandma? If exporters can’t import using there export proceeds, whatever the inputs they need, how do they continue export businesses? If exporters can’t use their dollars, why do they continue exports ? 

You declared that you are going to illegalize holding dollar notes! You think just because you declare that, people will come in queues and deposit their dollar notes in the banks? You will not get a penny, sir! People hold dollar notes because they don’t believe in rupees, and they know that the rupee will get depreciated much further, even though you artificially hold it lower. Are you going to send CID or the police to every household to find hidden dollars? Sir, you need to learn something very important. Never give false indications to the public that you are in control of something when you are not! By doing so, you take upon yourself the responsibility of something which is out of your control, and the public will loose confidence in the institution and the system itself . Your predecessor made that mistake in style! That’s why you are here, so don’t get yourself thrown into the same dustbin! 

You declared that you are banning the open account imports to control or curb the Undial/Havala system! Very good, if you can do it, but make sure the imports are available to the public. If you cannot make the foreign currency available for those importers to import goods through your theory book policy measures, there's no point in you curbing the informal market. When the tap water runs dry, people will dig wells whether it is authorized or unauthorized! Your responsibility is to ensure the smooth flow of tap water, and when you have failed in your responsibility,  there's no point in barking at well water! People will dig for their survival regardless! 

Finally sir, please remember, economic theories in text books wont work in a collapsed, bankrupt, destroyed economy. You were witnessing the systematic distraction for 35 years but never raised your voice, when you were inside that system. You are now trying to rescue a sunken ship of which you yourself was a member of crew for 35 years! Now, what matters are not your theories but the ground reality! That reality will run the system beyond all your theories! Look at it from Far East to the west. Look at it from East Asian countries to Asian countries to middle eastern countries to the African continent to the South American continent! Every country which went through these kinds of economic calamities and disturbances went through a particular cycle of  recovery. We are not an exception. We will have high inflation, high depreciation of currency, higher printing of money, higher circulation of dollars among the public, higher taxes, higher incomes, higher expenses, higher prices for everything, and virtually, over a short to medium term, everything will get repriced, and that repricing will compel our labour force, our entrepreneurs, and our country to increase productivity for survival and then for growth. Once our productivity as a nation goes up, we will start to sail again !

That’s where the wind is blowing. It's best you adjust your sail, or quit the ship ! What matters for us is the journey, the passengers, and the ship, not the captain!

Sources: FC Whatsapp Group

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Post Thu May 26, 2022 1:37 pm by target1

https://apnews.com/article/c8c2b8e59de340dffa7f6f30f91f3eb5
Currency speculators: Some of world’s biggest gamblers


http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UNSWLRS/2017/41.pdf

Ref: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UNSWLRS/2017/41.pdf

AROSS P. BUCKLEY AND SARALA M. FITZGERALDN ASSESSMENT OF MALAYSIA’S RESPONSE TO THE IMF DURING THE ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS


Conclusions:

Malaysia’s economic policies during the Asian crisis, on balance, delivered slightly better, and certainly no worse, economic results than those in countries under IMF programs. It has been argued that Malaysia would have fared even better with IMF assistance, because unlike some other program countries Malaysia had the political will to undertake significant reforms. This willingness to undertake significant reforms may have resulted in a faster recovery for Malaysia than in fact occurred there. Unlike others in the region, Malaysia had a strong corporate regulatory and legal framework,151 which helped it to cope with problems caused by the crisis better than other crisis countries.152 This may have made it a much better candidate for IMF assistance. However, this argument entirely ignores the fact that, in reforming its system, Malaysia was implementing home-grown policies, not those imposed by an external supranational institution. Policies developed abroad are rarely likely to be adopted and enforced with the enthusiasm and rigor of those developed at home. This is a simple fact of human nature. We all do more willingly what we choose to do, rather than what we are told to do. What can be said with certainty is that Malaysia’s policies during the crisis were better suited to its specific circumstances than those in other IMF program countries were suited to their circumstances. In particular, Malaysia has a history of economic affirmative action in relation to its Bumiputra population that was accommodated during the crisis. An IMF program in Malaysia was unlikely to accommodate these cultural issues. Malaysia’s policies were also preferable to those implemented in IMF program countries because they had a more benevolent impact on the poor. Fiscal austerity almost inevitably takes money from programs that benefit the poor. Malaysia’s approach was more equitable. It did not punish the poor to repay capital that had principally benefited the rich when it had flowed into the country. 148 Ian Vasquez, Why the IMF Should Not Intervene, http://www.cato.org/speeches/sp-iv22598.html, 4 July 2003 149 Hak K Pyo, 'The Financial Crisis in Korea and its Aftermath: A Political Economic Perspective', in Dipak Dasgupta, Marc Uzan and Dominic Wilson (ed), Capital Flows Without Crisis? Reconciling Capital Mobility and Economic Stability, 2001, 237 at 248 150 Ibid at 248 151 International Monetary Fund, Malaysia: Selected Issues, 1999 at 85 152 International Monetary Fund, Malaysia: From Crisis to Recovery, 2001 at 7 23 Malaysia’s refusal to adopt IMF policies also allowed it to keep control of its own economic destiny. This was preferable because it meant Malaysia could act solely in its own best interests. Unlike the IMF, it was not responsible for protecting the international financial system as a whole. Retaining control of economic policy also ensured that decision-making power in Malaysia remained with those who were elected to represent its citizens. This is desirable because it promotes democracy and because it prevents the country being dominated by more powerful states and international organisations which may not act solely in its best interests. So, whilst Malaysia’s policies may not have made a large difference to its “bottom line” during the crisis, there are many important ways in which they were good for Malaysia. Given that Malaysia’s policies certainly delivered no worse economic results than IMF policies elsewhere in the region, there can be no doubt that Malaysia’s decision not to request IMF assistance and instead pursue its own path out of the Asian Economic Crisis was right for Malaysia.

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Post Thu May 26, 2022 1:42 pm by target1

https://criticalfinance.org/2020/03/24/developing-and-emerging-countries-need-capital-controls/



DEVELOPING AND EMERGING COUNTRIES NEED CAPITAL CONTROLS TO PREVENT FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE

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Post Sat Jun 04, 2022 9:39 am by samaritan

Won't be surprised if this appointment too enters President's mistakes list, the recent one being 100% organic farming.

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