The Bahubali of a Devaluation!

Dear Reader,

The Chinese Yuan was devalued so suddenly, it was almost filmy in its implementation. Here’s my filmy take on a “Bahubali of a Devaluation” that appeared in the Hindu Business Line today under my column “Tweakonomics.” You can also read the column directly at



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

Cast of the sci-fi movie “Honey, I shrunk the kids” was found in China last week, trying to create “Honey, I devalued the Yuan.” Instead of a mad scientist, the movie will show a mad economist, trying to gain entry into the IMF inner circle. The mad economist makes a desperate appeal to the IMF to let the Yuan be one of the 4 currencies that can be part of the Special Drawing Rights. But the IMF refuses to consider it and then the mad economist goes back to China and creates a machine that can shrink the Yuan to miniscule sizes.

In the meanwhile, disavowed IMF agent Raghuram Rajan comes to India on Mission Impossible. His mission, if he is to accept it, is to prevent the Chinese devaluation from affecting Indian markets. He is given a team of the best to assist him in this mission. An FM who can make statements to calm the markets and Sundar Pichai as IT support. The services of Amma or Didi can also be availed to create the charm of the femme fatale, but he correctly refuses. As he fights with the havoc created by the Rogue Nation, he uses the FOREX to control the Rupee from going into 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 “Kabhi Renminbi Kabhi Yuan”. In Johar’s film, Shah Rukh Khan, who is Bachchan’s son and lives in a palace that looks suspiciously like the NY Federal Reserve, is called Dollar. In the meanwhile, there’s Renminbi, played by Kajol, who lives in abject poverty off the Great Wall of China. Dollar and Remnimbi exchange rate their vows and enter parity. The marriage enters troubled waters. Reason? Kajol has become fat and has slowed down. Bas! Aur nahiiii! Renminbi decides to devalue and break parity. Kajol, wearing a 10-feet long black pallu depresses currency, derivative and stock markets through the globe. But she emerges looking leaner and meaner and with re-newed fundamentals, re-enters a new, more flexible relationship vis-a-vis Dollar. Shava shava!

Karan Johar also wanted to re-make “Currency of the Year” in China; but the Chinese Government expressed serious reservations about allowing Alia Bhat to play a central role in any movie made on Yuan dynamics.

Finally, much to the consternation of the Chinese, the entire star cast of Bahubali reached Shanghai, the new Mahishmati. Chinese economists were rounded up for a compulsory viewing of the first part. The poor economists could only watch in stunned silence as the towering matriarch with the curled lip gave crazy orders holding two babies in one hand, while Orcs from another movie suddenly entered the scene to pass lewd comments. Her spite and command reminded many of the good old Mao days. After the ordeal was over, wiping tears of disbelief and relief, the Chinese Premier asked the only question, which has been ticking in the mind of crores of Indians. “WHY, oh WHY did Katappa cut-uppa Bahubali? Tell me the answer and I’ll do anything you want. I’ll stop the Yuan from devaluing further.” Bahubali Junior removed his helmet. It was PM Modi. “Place a call to Dr. Rajan and tell him it’s all over. Mission Accomplished. There’s no need for competitive depreciations and FOREX reductions. All it needed was a Hindi movie.”


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By Manasi Phadke

Consultant Economist & Analyst | Visiting Faculty @Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics et al. | Blogs @

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