Something strange has been happening in India in the last year: while the rest of the "developed" world has been doing all in its power to crush its currency in order to promote exports within a globalist mercantilist system suddenly gone haywire, India has had the opposite problem: with its economy slowing down even as rampant inflation persists, its currency has been sliding against all other currencies. But probably more importantly: plunging against gold, as can be seen on the chart enclosed.
It appears that finally after months of "being long of Gold in Indian Rupee terms" having proven to be quite a resilient and profitable strategy, the Indian state has also figured it out. And they are unhappy. Because to them, the key reason for the rupee weakness has nothing to do with the actual economy, and all to do with the Indian population trying to protect against currency debasement coupled with inflation: i.e., purchasing gold. And they will no longer allow it.
From The Business Standard of India
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to clamp down on gold coin sales by banks, amid rising bullion imports adding pressure to the current account deficit and weakening the rupee.
The Banking Regulation Act does not allow banks to trade in commodities and they play the role of a financial intermediary. This norm was relaxed in the pre-2008 era when the country saw a dollar influx that resulted in a sharp appreciation of the rupee. To sterilise dollar inflows, banks were allowed to sell gold, as they imported the yellow metal. The measure was temporary.
Banks were allowed to sell gold by importing it to fight the excess dollar flows. By the same logic, the measure should be reversed now as we are at the opposite end of the spectrum. It was a temporary measure, which unfortunately was made permanent by banks,” a top RBI official said.
The rupee has depreciated 30 per cent since August amid the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone, which made investors flee to safer havens. Weakening macroeconomic fundamentals like the fiscal and the current account deficit have resulted in investors pulling out from the Indian market.
In its recent interactions with bankers, the central bank sounded its discomfort over the practice of banks pushing gold coin sales and asked them to go slow. However, banks have not stopped the practice of incentivising their staff to push gold sales, as they earn a margin of Rs 100-150 per gramme of gold sold.
Sadly, India's reaction which does nothing to address the actual source of the economic malaise will backfire, as acts of economic desperation always do. However, the next step will be even sadder, and one known rather well to most American alive between the two world wars: the first instance of Executive Order 6102 in the 21st century. Because again, he who defects first from a regime that pretends to allow fair price discovery of currency substitutes, defects best.