Karthik Shashidhar

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Access to banking services an overestimate?

Until the 2021 census, it is unlikely we’ll find out the proportion of households with access to banking services

Consumers are increasingly choosing cards over cash for Diwali shopping

Barring 2013, the usage of debit and credit cards at points of sale relative to ATMs was higher during the Diwali month than in any other time of the year

Moving towards a cashless economy

In any transaction, the process of payment is a pain. It is a necessary step, of course, in that payment is what completes the transaction, but the process of payment is not something that adds any value to the transaction. If...

Dealing with loss of cash

Ever since Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender on Tuesday night, the internet has been full of “human stories” of people for whom tragedy has struck because they are not able to transact. This is...

Reasons for voting

A vote is fundamentally a blunt instrument. Each voter has exactly one vote, and this one vote needs to express the voter’s opinion on a large range of issues. Since you are extremely unlikely to have a unique candidate for...

Financial Inclusion

Matt Levine had a superb newsletter recently on whether asset managers and pension funds who push customers towards buying high-cost retirement savings plans are doing a good thing or a bad thing. As Levine expertly explained, it all depends upon...

Does raising rates really help in fighting inflation?

Given the unclear relationship between interest rates and price changes in vegetables and housing, it is not clear if RBI will be too effective in using monetary policy to curb inflation

Was the spectrum auction a success or a failure?

Given Reliance Jio’s battles with incumbents, it was unlikely telcos would collude to keep prices low, and so it is surprising that the government went with high reserve prices

When is a war a war?

War is an inherently political instrument used to achieve a political objective, so a credible political adversary is necessary for war to be war. As the US Presidential election race hots up (or gets more one-sided, depending upon your interpretation),...

Elite tennis is becoming an old person’s bastion

In 2008, the average age of players in the ATP top 10 list was 24.4 years. In 2015, it had risen to 28.9 years
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