Opinion

Yuan: a lens eye view

MANASI PHADKE | Updated on January 23, 2018

Sudden moves in the currency, seen filmi style

It’s official. So impressed is the film fraternity with the filmi way in which the Chinese Yuan was suddenly devalued, that film-makers the world over now want to re-create famous movies in China.

The cast of the sci-fi movie Honey, I shrunk the kids was found in China last week, trying to re-create the magic in Honey, I devalued the Yuan. Instead of a mad scientist, this movie features a mad economist, trying to gain entry into the IMF’s inner circle.

The mad economist makes a desperate appeal to the IMF to let the Yuan be one of the four currencies that are part of the Special Drawing Rights. But the IMF refuses to consider it; the mad economist goes back to China and creates a machine that can shrink the Yuan to miniscule size.

In the meanwhile, IMF agent Raghuram Rajan comes to India on a Mission Impossible. His mission is to prevent the Chinese devaluation from affecting the Indian markets. He is given a team of the best and brightest to assist him; an FM who can make statements to calm the markets and Sundar Pichai to provide IT support.

Rogue Nation

As he duels with the Rogue Nation over the havoc it wreaks, he uses the forex to control the rupee from spiralling into a free fall. Indian forex reserves fall a bit, but he says in style: “Desperate times, desperate measures.”

Karan Johar has also reached China to re-make his famous Kabhi Khushi, Kabhi Gham. It will be called Kabhi Renminbi, Kabhi Yuan. In Johar’s film, Shah Rukh Khan, who is Bachchan’s son, like in the original, is called Dollar, and lives in a palace that looks suspiciously like the NY Federal Reserve. In the meanwhile, Renminbi, played by Kajol, lives in abject poverty in a lane off the Great Wall of China. Dollar and Renminbi exchange rate their vows and enter parity. Soon, the marriage enters troubled waters.

The reason? Renminbi lets herself go and becomes fat and has slowed down. Bas! Aur nahiiii! Renminbi decides to devalue and break parity. Draped in a 10-feet black pallu, Renminbi depresses currency, derivative and stock markets across the globe. But she emerges looking leaner and meaner, with renewed fundamentals, and enters a more flexible relationship vis-a-vis the dollar. Shava shava!

Yuan dynamics

Karan Johar also wanted to remake his Student of the Year as Currency of the Year in China; but the Chinese Government expressed serious reservations about casting Alia Bhatt in a central role in any movie made on Yuan dynamics. Much to the consternation of the Chinese, the entire star cast of Bahubali reach Shanghai, with ‘Mahishmati’, or towering matriarch.

Chinese economists are rounded up for a compulsory viewing. They watch in stunned silence as the powerful matriarch, with the curled lips, gives crazy orders holding a baby in each arm,while Orcs, from The Lord of the Rings series, suddenly enters the scene to pass lewd comments. Her demeanour reminds many of the good old days of Mao.

After the ordeal was over, wiping tears of disbelief and relief, the Chinese Premier asks the question that has been bothering crores of Indians as well: “Why, oh, why did Katappa cut appa, Bahubali? Tell me the answer and I’ll do anything you want. I’ll even stop the Yuan from devaluing further.” Bahubali Junior removes his helmet, and behold! It’s PM Modi.

“Place a call to Dr. Rajan and tell him it’s all over. Mission Accomplished. There’s no need for competitive depreciation and forex reductions. All it needed was a Hindi movie.”

The writer is a Pune-based economist.

Published on August 26, 2015

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