Book Review: Duvvuri Subbarao, Who Moved My Interest Rate? Leading the Reserve Bank of India through Five Turbulent Years

AuthorV. Srinivas
Date01 March 2018
Published date01 March 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Indian Journal of Public
64(1) 131–141
© 2018 IPA
SAGE Publications
Book Reviews
Duvvuri Subbarao, Who Moved My Interest Rate? Leading the
Reserve Bank of India through Five Turbulent Years. Gurgaon: Penguin
Publications, 2016, 323 pp., `699.
Duvvuri Subbarao represents India’s highest meritocracy. He spent a lifetime in
the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) as Joint Secretary, Department of
Economic Affairs; Secretary in the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council
and Finance Secretary of India in addition to a stint in the World Bank, Washington,
DC. He served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), from 2008 to
2013, joining the elite list of IAS officers who have served on the Central Bank.
Duvvuri Subbarao is an inspiration, a common man rising to the pinnacle of
administration by sheer dint of hard work and deep commitment. The remarkable
humility of Duvvuri Subbarao, despite scaling the Himalayan heights of adminis-
tration, is reflected all through the book. The book is divided into sixteen chapters
and an introduction.
The introduction titled ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ commences with
the G20 meeting on the global economic crisis dated 11 October 2008, in the
International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, which Duvvuri Subbarao attended
as the newly appointed Governor of the RBI. In the midst of Duvvuri Subbarao’s
intervention, President Bush joins the meeting. It is an amazing feeling to make a
speech in the presence of the President of the United States. Duvvuri Subbarao put
forward his views cogently and effectively. He said the narrative that emerging
markets had decoupled from advanced economies had been dented and the market
situation was uncertain and unpredictable for the emerging market economies as
the precise channels in which the global contagion would hit emerging markets
was not clear.
Chapter 1 of the Book is titled ‘From Main Street to Mint Road, Appointment
as Governor’. Duvvuri Subbarao was appointed as the Secretary of Department
of Economic Affairs and Finance Secretary in April 2007. His ambition was to
become the Cabinet Secretary of India, a job within the realm of possibility given
his age and seniority in the list of IAS officers. However, Duvvuri Subbarao
was destined for greatness at the RBI. On 2 September 2008, Duvvuri Subbarao
was appointed as the 22nd Governor of the RBI, the 11th bureaucrat to don the
Governor’s mantle. He was the first Finance Secretary to go directly from Main
Street to Mint Road without a gap in between.

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