Gita Gopinath, an Indian born American citizen has been appointed as chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Currently she is John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University and economic advisor to Chief Minister of Kerala. Gopinath, 46, will succeed Maurice “Maury” Obstfeld whose tenure will end in December this year. Gopinath is second Indian economist to secure top economist job at IMF. Former governor of RBI, Raghuram Rajan was first Indian born citizen to hold the position. He was at IMF from September 2003 to January 2007.
“Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience,” IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. “All this makes her exceptionally well-placed to lead our research department at this important juncture. I am delighted to name such a talented figure as our Chief Economist,” she added. Gopitnath was born in Calcutta and did her graduation from Lady Shree Ram College for Women, Delhi University and Masters from Delhi School of Economics. She did another Masters from University of Washington and Ph. D from Princeton University.
Former chief statistician of India Pronab Sen said Gita Gopinath is a great choice. “She understands central banking unlike most previous chief economists at the IMF.” Sen said she could well follow Rajan’s path to Mint Street. “It certainly makes her a candidate for the top job at RBI,” Sen added. Gopinath is the co-editor of the American Economic Review and co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is the co-editor of the current Handbook of International Economics with former IMF economic counselor Kenneth Rogoff. She has authored some 40 research articles on exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt, and emerging market crises. Gopinath was the “third woman ever and the first Indian after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to receive such an outstanding honour” when she was appointed permanent professor at Harvard University’s economics department in 2010.
When she was appointed economic advisor to CM of Kerala, many people in the ruling communist party criticized her appointment. They accused her of being an advocate of neo-liberal policies against which Communists are fighting. The only silver lining they found in Gita Gopinath is that she belongs to family of Communists leaders from Kannur. Communist Party of India (CPI) stalwart, A. K. Gopalan was one of her family members. In many ways, Gopinath’s support for capitalism and her appointment as economic advisor to CM of Kerala shows the failure of Communism. She has everything that could have taken her to path of Communism but she came out as one of foremost supporters of free market economy. Her appointment also symbolizes intellectual bankruptcy of Communists in India. Despite takeover of academic institutions, Communists could not find a single person capable enough to advice on economic matters. For economic matters they had to look for so called neo-liberal expert because Communism is intellectually bankrupt.
Communists fool common people of the country with their decade old ideas. Kerala CM had to visit America for healthcare and appoint an American University professor to advice on economy. However, the communists do not shy away from criticizing America for being a neo-liberal economy. The hypocrisy of Communism and contradictions in their ideology is visible every other day. Still Communists fool thousands of people and students in top Indian universities like JNU. Gopinath’s appointment should be lesson to all the students and people being fooled by rotten Communism.