RBI to Issue Automated Statements
05 Sept 2013
MUMBAI: New RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Wednesday came out with a slew of measures, including more trade settlement in rupees to rescue the battered financial markets and a possible shift in focus from inflation control to boosting growth. However, the most notable among these was his plan to speed up the way of functioning at RBI headquarters.
“Automation will be enhanced at every level.” Said Mr. Rajan in his first media briefing after taking charge.
“The first step will be visible very soon in the form of automated statement issuing mechanism.” He said. “From now on the RBI statements will be issued automatically by highly analytical algorithmic software.”
Unable to make any head or tail of it, the Funnynomics correspondent asked if it was something similar to the software driven rate cut mechanism introduced by his predecessor Mr. Subbarao?
“This will be much more sophisticated than that.” Said Dr. Rajan. “The software will look at all the parameters of the economy by going through the news feeds during the day, analyse them and subsequently issue appropriate statements.”
“For example, if the export numbers for a year come bad, the software will automatically issue statements saying “The export sector underperformed due to global factors. Continuing problems in EU, tardy economic growth in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy dented our growth. Arbitrary Fed taper also affected our dynamics”.”
“Similarly if the GDP numbers come bad, the software will issue a statement saying “the engine of economy is catching up a few breaths after running at 9% for long time” or simply “The global headwinds are effecting Indian growth”.
“The same way if the government cuts expenditure on education or healthcare, the software will declare “The government has been forced to slam the brakes on public spending to retain India's investment-grade sovereign rating”.”
When asked the reason for this change, the new governor said he was not satisfied with the issuance of policy statement by previous governors. “I will speak more about this after September 20, but I will just say that the old statements were pathetic. If you notice, the statements issued by RBI are remarkably same and banal. Extremely cautious language, similar explanations, always blaming the foreign factors for home-grown problems…this is what hundreds of RBI officers seem to be doing all the day. The way I see RBI, it appears to be more of a statistical department than an economic policy forming body at the highest level.”
“Besides, it will lead to some cost cutting. We have armies of officers who do nothing but spew decorated words about normal events. They get massive salaries. With this one time investment on software, we can now save on their salaries, gratuities, pension and much more....This is not an easy time to take charge as RBI Governor. RBI should be a beacon of stability as to its objectives.”
But honourable governor sir...what if the software makes a mistake and issues a statement that is not congruous with the broad policy?
“I have thought about it..and the redeeming factor is that 99% of our citizens don’t understand what we are saying. Leave alone common man even most financial journalists don’t understand. Forget all that, your own Funnynomics editor seems to be in urgent need of a few economics lessons. That aside, the software will be programmed in a way to make future statements virtually undecipherable. It will use very tough words and textbookish economics jargon to make things sufficiently hazy.”
Later Funnynomics learned that Infosys and TCS have been roped in for the job.
The Infosys spokesperson said the software was extensive. “The algorithm has been fed with 10 million RBI reports issued during past four decades. Reading these, the computer has learned to issue new statements.”
TCS has been exclusively hired to prevent the software from issuing any anti-government statement. The TCS representative said all the past reports have been purged of any negative remarks against the government. “They were very few, as you know the RBI hardly ever says anything against its political bosses, but whatever few were there, they have been carefully chopped.”
Let me give you an example. If the government decides to curtail its borrowing, the software will not say “The government refrained from borrowing fearing the collapse of rupee”, it will rather say “Weak public finances have constrained the option of pump-priming the economy out of the slowdown.”
Meanwhile PCI Chief Justice Katju said he was surprised by this development. “I did not know that computer technology has grown so much. In fact I’d like to have access to this software myself. I am tired writing to President every now and then on every issue. I’d like a software which writes to President/Prime Minister/Supreme Court automatically upon going through the news feeds.”
Mr. Chidambaram too seemed happy. He said he may employ the same software to issue statements every time he was questioned about the reasons for the rupee debacle. “I’d like the software to automatically issue statements blaming global slowdown and Fed taper.”
(Disclaimer: This news report is pure fiction, a produce of fertile imagination, and none of the people, organisations, NGO, politicians, office bearers, or government officials mentioned on this page have anything to do with this topic, subject or report. Entire fabrication is meant for simple fun. Dr. Raghuram Rajan or RBI has nothing to do with, nor is Mr. Chidambaram depending on a software to blame the global factors.)
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