Global Financial Crisis from the Frontline – with Abhinav Ramnarayan, Reuters, London

April 04, 2020:…Abhinav Ramnarayan interacts with the students and faculty on the challenge of financial reportage in times of global crisis.

VENI – The Ideas Place at Krea University launched its first digital edition for the students of SIAS (School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences) and IFMR GSB (Graduate School of Business) as part of the talk series “Where Creativity meets Critical Thinking.”

In a session titled ‘Now and Then,’ London-based Abhinav Ramnarayan, Capital Markets Correspondent, Reuters, talked to Krea students and faculty about the similarities and disparities between the global financial crisis of 2008 and the crisis induced by the Covid-19 outbreak on capital markets today.

Abhinav recalled his rookie days as a financial journalist in the UK, how he joined The Guardian a day after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Twelve years later, he is no stranger to capital markets and the British banking sector. Governments and policy makers in Europe have been quick to react today to the Covid crisis, but that wasn’t the case in 2008, he said.

Abhinav also provided an in-depth commentary on the existing economic landscape, Italian government bonds, the woes of the healthcare sector in the midst of the pandemic, the future of the EU, Brexit and India’s response to the crisis. He spoke of surprises afforded by an unpredictable stock market, pet care industry stocks, for instance, soaring like never before.

On a more sobering note, he said, “In a sense, the world has changed forever. There is an emotional toll to reporting today, more so than in 2008. People are dying.” He himself is learning how to cope. “Take a break during the day and read that book. Listen to music as you go to grab a sandwich for lunch. Switching off for a while makes a huge difference.”

Abhinav identified his own style of lifelong learning through various streams of knowledge, something he said resonates with Krea University’s model of interwoven learning. He explained how a love of reading during his early days in literary studies has stood him in good stead as a finance journalist specialising in a niche area today. Abhinav emphasised having a nose for a story – implying both the power and depth of effective storytelling and the need for stories to translate to a wider audience. Even an article on corporate bonds must be carefully researched and constructed as a narrative with a beginning, middle and end, he said.

Coming back to the post-Covid present, Abhinav offered some hope despite an unpredictable future and the possibility of a “W” shaped recovery. “The underlying systems are strong and so recovery may be faster as compared to 2008. Business as usual may be tough, but I can see that the world is moving towards being more environmentally conscious.”

The session was hosted by Dr. Akhila Ramnarayan, Divisional Chair of Literature and Arts at Krea and curator of programming at VENI, and moderated by Dr. Kalyan Chakrabarti, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

With its first digital edition, VENI- The Ideas Place is re-imagining the confluence of different knowledge streams, opening up a new chapter of global commentary with voices spanning the globe.

Click here to watch the full session

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