India’s former central bank chief Raghuram Rajan was once described as a “rock star” economist but the Reserve Bank of India’s new deputy governor has actually written an album of songs.
Viral Acharya, a New York University professor, was on Wednesday named as a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
Not only does Mr. Acharya have an impressive professional and academic record, he is also an accomplished composer and lyricist.
According to his profile page on the web site of NYU’s Stern School of Business where he has been teaching since 2008, Mr. Acharya, 42, has written and composed at least 10 Hindi songs.
The titles listed on the page show his compositions lean toward the romantic genre.
The song titles include “Mere Dil Main [In My Heart] – Togetherness,” “Kya Yeh Wohi Phir Raat Hai [Is This That Night Again]- Passion”, and “Ae Dil [Oh Heart] – Solitude.”
The page also has a picture titled “Yaadon Ke Silsile” – an ode to friends — that shows Mr. Acharya strumming on a guitar.
Mr. Acharya helps raise funds for a nonprofit that promotes primary education in India, according to the profile.
At the RBI, Mr. Acharya will be in charge of monetary policy and research, according to a statement issued by the central bank. The role has been overseen by R. Gandhi–another of the four deputy governors–since September when the then-Deputy Governor Urjit Patel was promoted to governor to succeed Mr. Rajan.
Mr. Acharya is joining the RBI at a time when the central bank is managing what many economists describe as one of the biggest economic reforms in decades in the country. On Nov. 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the almost overnight withdrawal of high-denomination bank notes comprising 86% of the currency in circulation to crackdown on tax evaders and counterfeiters.
Mr. Acharya will also be joining at a crunch time for monetary policy. Pressure to lower interest rates is growing as many economists predict India may lose its much-prized position as the world’s fastest-growing major economy due to a persisting shortage of cash.
The economist started teaching at NYU’s Stern School of Business in 2008 and has been a C.V. Starr Professor of Economics there since 2011. Previously, he taught Finance at the London Business School and was also a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
He has written numerous research papers and articles on varying subjects, from analyzing systemic risk of the European banking sector to the health of Indian state-run and private banks.
He also coauthored a book, “Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance” and edited others including “Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance.”
His bio lists banking, corporate and international finance as some of his areas of interest.
In 2001, Mr. Acharya completed his Ph.D. in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business and in 1995, he completed a B. Tech in computer science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, in Mumbai.
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