The Banking and Strategy Initiative

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The Treasury Secretary of the United States

I must say Geithner’s visit here is a shocker to me. If I were at work I would have probably caught it on the calendar, but my work here is more and more tracing selected 4-5 stories and Tim Geithner and Vikram Pandit have been in the limelight too long for me to bother anymore about them till they do manage to get hold of a stronger agenda for themselves. And while I have been racking my brains the last one hour for why would Geithner be here, I nor Bob Diamond or I doubt Hank Paulson can figure out this man.

On Obama

Obama has other snide agendas’ none more obvious than the Pentagon trying to co-opt India as an inferior partner on the Kashmir issue and drop its pants in Afghanistan, while Pakistan merrily resorts to tribal responses whether it be Pakistani Cricketers or Indian Tennis players. The only other thing Barack Obama would understand about Tim Gethner’s visit to India is that G20 meets more than once this year and Us needs more friends.. If you are loking for friendless statesman and corporate leaders, you need to look for Geithner, Vikram Pandit and the others that left in 2009. Then it becomes more of a didactic blog post like this than a deep well paid and well followed analysis by more than one.

On Geithner

Geithner cannot really hope to make fiscal friends with India for reasons other than India does use USD as reserve currency and India needs a $2.5 Trillion in Infrastructure Finance. May be Goldman Sachs’ cause could get a little help from his immediate visit. I doubt it would be so. Maybe it is just to make sure he does not feel alienated when he makes a point or two at G20 conferences  but  india also has an important China policy that seems to be going against the grain of the US stance.

On US India Policy and media cameos

On the China front one does feel India and US should cement their ties a little more materially but then there is no reason for Pakistan to be molly coddled, it would set off the bomb, in fact as clear as day. Having witnessed the run of events to Kargill back in 99 soon after the Tiger economy crises in SE Asia, I am pretty sure-footed in this non fiscal, non business yet strategic advice for India. While we did well in trying to befriend the US, they do have a convoluted picture that brings them down and we are better off without them if need be.

On the G20 front and nuclear technologies front we have to grow the business with USA without feeling acrimonious about Pakistan’s participation. Also we should really be able to laugh at these fuddy duddy journalistic pieces on India timed with Geithner’s visit. Not the strategic ones but more the Victory March song in the NY Times on I Nooyi or today, Vikram Pandit. We have really come out of that coming in the way of our Indian Economic Interest and as professionals each of us can do business anywhere in the world for any corporation

On Geithner again

However, having followed the events up to and after the crisis of 2008, I think it likely that Geithner may have a personal agenda as his understanding of the Financial situation , much like mine, is entirely his own and he is a man of strong personal biases. Thus my stance that hopefully this meeting is next week. He has managed to fly under the radar being a Treasury Secretary even after being the Fed chief during the bailout week in September 2008 and he is making a strong case for America’s financial diversification in time and hopefully with the right panache and fervour. America should increasingly get used to more inflation, higher growth statistics and continue to work out debt programs that reduce debt with out impacting growth. Much of the $25 billion in FDI inflows to India in 2010 will be Portfolio inflows but a good 80% will be from the United States, the others advised by American firms like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan

Here is to Indo US ties

Only thing, as is obvious to most, India has an important role to play globally and it is not just lip service anymore. The day that is suitably addressed by these seemingly blue blooded but “Empty Inside” policy directors in the US, we would have moved. We do not need to become a big bully like China, not yet.


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