One of the most famous financial figures in the country, economist Raghuram Rajan turns 58 on February 3. At the age of 50, he became the youngest in charge of India’s central bank as Reserve Bank of India’s governor. His appointment was celebrated across media channels and Bhaskar went on to say as far as this: “Amongst all central bankers India Inc has had, there is one name that will top all others when it goes down the history- Raghuram Rajan.”
Sometimes called “hawkish” for his stringent monetary policies, and other times known as “rock star economist” on account of his persona and popularity among the masses. He was born to Tamilian parents when they were living in Madhya Pradesh. Rajan always had a penchant for things finance and his skill, knowledge, and ease with the world of money and numbers can never be forgotten. Unlike his predecessors, he did not live a traditional bureaucrat’s life away from the public eye and in isolation with the top brasses. He gave interviews, talked about his personal life, and made financial matter easily understandable by the public.
Here are a few facts about the “monetary heartthrob (called by Daily O) or the “Ranbir Kapoor of banking” as referenced by author Shobha De.
1. He has been a global student.
His father was a diplomat and in the Intelligence wing for a while. On account of his profession, Rajan travelled all over the world. he attended school in Sri Lanka, and Belgium before returning to India where he attended IIT Delhi and IIM, Ahmedabad. Then he lived in the USA while he earned a doctorate from MIT.
2. He is a great writer
Rajan has a flourish for words, as evidenced by interviews where he is gracefully eloquent and influential. But he has also written 6 books, all on themes of finance, but the writing isn’t the dry-style usually associated with maths and numbers. He is also very fond of reading and loves to read the fantasies of JRR Tolkien.
3. He kind of predicted the economic meltdown of 2008
He wrote a paper entitled, “Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier” in 2005 where he discussed a probable disaster ahead. His predictions came true during the recession and the global financial crisis of 2008.
4. He was the youngest IMF chief economist
In 2003, he was selected as the new chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. At the young age of 40, he became the youngest person ever to hold that position.
5. He loves sports
Rajan’s star persona is also in part due to his dedication to fitness. In a very old interview with James Crabtree, he told his fitness and physique is in part because of his squash and tennis routines.