In­dia is On Right Track, Growth Rate Re­flects It: Lloyd Blank­fein

Gold­man CEO says I-bank to grow in­vest­ments, lo­cal fran­chise

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Ari­jit.Barman@ times­group.com

New York: Gold­man Sachs Group Inc., which has de­ployed al­most $3.5 bil­lion over the past decade in the coun­try, will con­tinue to build on its role in In­dia as trusted ad­viser, fi­nancier and in­vestor, said CEO Lloyd Blank­fein. “If you are will­ing to com­mit your own money, which we are, you com­mand at­ten­tion and it is help­ful to at­tract other peo­ple’s money,” Blank­fein, 62, told ET in an in­ter­view in New York. “It is one thing to rec­om­mend, but when your clients see you do­ing it, that is the sin­cer­est form of ad­vice you can give.” Blank­fein touched upon a wide range of top­ics dur­ing his in­ter­view such as Fed­eral Re­serve rates, the out­look for global mar­kets, the Trump regime, fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tions in the US and In­dia’s growth pil­lars. The con­ver­sa­tion took place in his 41st floor of­fice over­look­ing the Hud­son River and Jer­sey City.

In­dia is not an out­lier any more, he said: “If you told me five years ago that In­dia was go­ing to be out­grow­ing China con­sis­tently for a pe­riod of time, I would say that would have been a sur­prise to me then and less of a sur­prise to me now be­cause I have seen it evolve that way.”

Blank­fein said In­dia must lever­age its great­est nat­u­ral re­source — an ed­u­cated, busi­ness-savvy pop­u­la­tion now able to achieve suc­cess at home in­stead of hav­ing to go abroad. “There has been an el­e­va­tion in the con­fi­dence that In­dia is on the right track and you see that re­flected in the growth rate. You will al­ways rise faster when you are on an es­ca­la­tor headed up than an es­ca­la­tor headed down,” Blank­fein said.

The rule of law, patent pro­tec­tion, labour flex­i­bil­ity and tax sta­bil­ity will boost con­fi­dence. “In­vestors like ra­tio­nal­ity and pre­dictabil­ity,” he said.

In­dia and China are the nub of the emerg­ing mar­ket story. Point­ing out to a shift tak­ing place in global fi­nan­cial cur­rents, he said, “Now emerg­ing mar­kets are the fi­nanciers of the de­vel­oped mar­kets. They have the big­ger re­serves.”

FULL IN­TER­VIEW

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