When Raghuram Rajan decided not return for a second term as governor of the Reserve Bank of India, many Indians reacted with shock. Rajan had huge goodwill, and his measures to control inflation were generally lauded from all quarters. Taking up the governor’s role when the rupee was performing badly and the economic outlook was gloomy, Rajan lent respectability to his office and was not afraid of airing his views about the economy and tax evaders in public. He also initiated the on-going clean-up of Indian banks, which are struggling to survive under a mountain of bad debt. Today, with the government’s announcement to demonetize all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from circulation, one can’t help but wonder how it would have played out had Rajan still been at the helm of the RBI.
The Coup in Turkey
On 15 July, Turks woke up to suddenly find tanks blocking the Bosphorous Bridge that connects the European side with the Asia side. While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan successfully fended off the coup attempt that is said to have been orchestrated by a small section of the country’s military, the repercussions have become the talking point of 2016. Erdogan has blamed the coup on his one-time mentor, Fethullah Gulen, and has used it as an excuse to remove many prominent people from their jobs claiming that they worked for Gulen. Over 10,000 soldiers, 2,000 journalists, 2,500 judges, 15,000 teachers and other people employed in the government sector lost their jobs. Mass arrests and random shutdowns of institutions that do not toe the government line have led to some questioning Erdogan’s purges, even as the country waits to limp back to normalcy.
Samsung Phones Explode
The South Korean company literally played with fire after units of its flagship Note 7 smartphone began exploding across the world. The situation was so bad that airlines banned fliers from even carrying the phone on board! To make matters worse, some units of the new Galaxy J5 smartphone have also exploded. The management had to bow down to customers and apologise even as more than $10 billion in revenue was wiped out from the company’s balance sheet.
Until yesterday, the biggest political fiasco was undoubtedly Brexit – the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Citizens began questioning the wisdom of leaving the EU just one day after the vote. Soon, the pound fell to such an extent that it is still the worst performing currency of 2016.
Donald Trump Will Be Leader of the Free World
Many never thought they would see Donald Trump crowned Leader of the Free World, a moniker bestowed on the office of the President of the United States as the leader of the world’s biggest superpower. That Hillary Clinton would win the US election seemed like a done thing – polls suggested so. But Trump’s triumph has sent Canada’s immigration website crashing. The case against Trump includes racism, sexism, sexual assault and brazen tax evasion. Let’s see the Trump Presidency pans out.
-Like this article? Also read: The Evolution Of The Indian Currency Note Images courtesy: By Maurice Flesier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons; Flickr/MikeMozart [CC BY 2.0]; Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons