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When every penny counts

With her unusual amalgam of literary creativity and financial panache, Rachna Singh defies the conventional image of a writer. An IRS officer, presently posted as Commissioner, Income Tax, Rachna has come up with her new book, Penny Panache.

When every penny counts

Rachna Singh



Nitin Jain

With her unusual amalgam of literary creativity and financial panache, Rachna Singh defies the conventional image of a writer. An IRS officer, presently posted as Commissioner, Income Tax, Rachna has come up with her new book, Penny Panache.

Talking about the genesis of her book, she says, “Last year, I was asked to pen a weekly financial column for a business paper. I was pleased, as this meant melding of my hitherto divergent interests. After penning the articles for a year, I realised to my dismay that my writings had an ephemeral shelf life. After a short span of time they found their way to the newspaper archives. So one fine day, I decided to bring my articles back to life with this compilation Penny Panache.”

Most people consider economics boring and dry, so books on economic issues rarely make it up the popularity chart. But Singh invites her readers to curl up in an armchair with a cup of coffee and enjoy the grand economic tour without a heavy academic baggage. Her tail-piece has an interesting observation ‘economics is not the cut and dry droning it is purported to be, but has all the chutzpah of a nerve-racking thriller.

This observation sets the tone of her book. Singh has divided her book into eight sections with quirky titles and sub-titles.

The first section, Street Savvy, maps out the state of the investor market. Write-ups like Bourses: Boom or Doom and Volatility: the Fear Factor that stalks the Stock Market, deal with the dynamic state of the share market in India.

The second section, Policy Patterns, is a collection of articles that are a balanced assessment of the benefits and negative fall-outs of various policy measures initiated in 2015-2016. Will GST Walk the Talk? Ifs and Buts of Gold Monetization...are some of the pieces in this segment.

The third part entitled, Banking Bulls and Bugbears, discusses various current banking issues. Why the Brouhaha About Federal Interest Hike, Paying for Defaulting Black Sheep are featured here. Section IV, Global Gimmicks, deals with some international economic issues that grabbed headlines in 2015-2016. The economic implications of the Iran deal and the Greek imbroglio are deliberated in Iran deal: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Its Curtains for Greece.

Section V, Currency Concerns, is a comment on the state of the Indian currency as well as the currency slide seen the world over. Will the Rupee Rally or Languish, Fall in Dragon Currency and the Dollar Juggernaut reflect on the subject.

Section VI, Controversy Clouds, attempts to judge certain policy controversies on a fair and factual wicket. The penultimate section, Current Coinages, is an engaging scrutiny of the new-fangled ideas that have taken root in the Indian economy.

The Start-up epidemic, algorithm trading, et al, are touched upon in the articles, Do Angels Profit, What has Upset the Start-up Applecart and The fault is not in Algorithm Trading. The finale, The Way Forward, obviously suggests a way out of certain economic quagmires, as fervently debated in Easing the Way for Taxpayers and Corporate Credit Overload: A Way Out.

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