In his first month as Reserve Bank of India Governor, Raghuram Rajan has helped restore calm to volatile markets and a battered rupee. And it seems that investors are not the only ones impressed.
Rajan has been the subject of much debate in the local media over the past few weeks, with the words “rock star” and “sex symbol” bandied about.
A recent article on Indian news website IBN Live highlighted how the local press and social media had focused at great length on Rajan’s “jawline, tailored suits and classy looks”.
It went on to contrast Rajan’s appearance to previous RBI governors to help explain why Rajan deserves to be compared with Bollywood movie start Ranbir Kapoor.
Rajan is not the only central banker that has had his appearance scrutinized as closely as his comments on the economy.
Rajan, a well-respected economist who previously worked at the International Monetary Fund, fell under immediate pressure to stabilize a battered rupee and restore confidence when he became RBI chief in early September.
The rupee hit a record low against the U.S. dollar in late August, bearing the brunt of a sell-off in emerging markets amid fears about an unwinding of U.S. monetary stimulus. India’s wide-current account, sluggish economic growth and slow pace of reforms exacerbated the rupee’s woes.
Rajan has helped soothe markets by outlining measures to shore up the battered currency. The rupee has recovered about 10 percent of its value from its record low, while India’s benchmark stock index rose to a three-week high on Thursday.
“Rajan has a lot of credibility and this has been one thing the market has focused on. He has been pro-active and we think he should remain so despite the fact that the Indian government heads into an election [next year],” said Teoh.
SO what do you think? HOT OR NOT?!!