'India fared well during financial crisis'
India fared comparatively well during the recession that had engulfed the world, mainly due to inherent strength of its economy, according to a Congressional oversight panel report.business Updated: Aug 13, 2010 13:24 IST
India fared comparatively well during the recession that had engulfed the world, mainly due to inherent strength of its economy, according to a Congressional oversight panel report.
"Because the financial crisis originated in domestic housing bubbles, and was transmitted by highly leveraged multinational financial firms, countries that were shielded from those forces fared comparatively well," said the panel in its 162-page report for the month of August.
India fared comparatively well, the report said.
"Brazil, India, China, Australia and Canada, for example, generally avoided the banking crises that plagued US and much of Europe, nonetheless their economies felt many of the aftereffects of the global financial crisis."
Brazil, the report said, is one of the countries that has fared best during the global financial crisis.
"Its highly regulated banking sector had limited operations outside India, and therefore very little exposure to subprime lending in the US," the report said, adding that although India did feel the follow-on effects of the crisis, though.
Its export-driven economy suffered when global demand dropped; its financial sector suffered from the global liquidity squeeze, which led to a fall in lending; and its stock market lost roughly 50 per cent of its value between June and December 2008.
"Although the Indian government did not provide capital to Indian banks, it did respond to the crisis with fiscal stimulus equal to about 2 per cent of GDP, and it shifted from a tightening monetary policy to an expansionary one," the report said.
The Congressional Oversight Panel said China's financial system also fared relatively well during the crisis, though it should be noted that China's state-owned banks have benefited from repeated government rescues in the recent past.
China maintains capital controls that limit foreign investment by individuals and businesses; these controls had beneficial effects during the crisis, since Chinese investors had little exposure to troubled parts of the US and European financial systems, it said.
Banks in China had invested heavily in US securities, but those investments were generally not in subprime securities, but rather in safer Treasury bonds and securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the US government stepped in to backstop during the crisis, it said.
"Therefore, China's financial system, like Brazil's and India's, did not sustain major damage from the crisis. China's export-driven economy did suffer, though, from the sharp downturn in global demand and the slowdown in foreign investment," the report said.
China's explosive growth slowed during the crisis, but the government countered the effects of the slowdown by increasing bank lending, lowering interest rates, and introducing fiscal stimulus spending that was among the largest in the world as a percentage of GDP.
"Australia also suffered relatively little from the crisis. Its only decline in GDP occurred in the fourth quarter of 2009, meaning that Australia did not enter into a recession," the report said.