Banks & Bankruptcy
This book is the epic story of banking in India in the last decade. The years from 2007 to 2017 were the most tumultuous and exciting time for this sector, which saw D Subbarao, Raghuram Rajan and Urijit Patel as RBI governors working with finance ministers Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley.
What a decade it has been from India's first microfinance institution, SKS Microfinance, entering the capital market to the near death of the industry; the RBI giving the nod to 23 banks and becoming an inflation-targeter; from 9 per cent economic growth for three consecutive years to the jolt of demonetisation.
Author Tamal Bandyopadhyay understands well the beast called public sector banks (PSBs), which account for 70 per cent of banking assets, giving the reader an insider-like account of the fall of PSB from grace. However, all these details are written dispassionately and without any malice. On a more serious note, he has also explained the need to reform the method of selection of heads and bank representatives.
Mr Bandyopadhyay is at his satirical best while dealing with some of the misadventures of successive governments - the Bharatiya Mahila Bank and the Mudra Bank, to name only two. He succinctly questions why these were set up and what purpose they have served. His observation on the Banks Board Bureau is equally scathing. With a vague mandate and no clarity of role, the bureau is counting its days, writes Mr Bandyopadhyay.
Featuring essays and interviews with the who's who of this sector, including Deepak Parkeh, K V Kamath, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chanda Kochchar, Aditya Puri, Shikha Sharma, Raghuram Rajan, U K Sinha and Viral Acharya, this book makes for a riveting read.