Foreign Policy magazine recently unveiled its list of the top 100 "Global Thinkers” and the highest-ranked Indian American was Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who was accorded 10th place.
Kocherlakota, Foreign Policy pointed out, made a public statement in September that the Federal Reserve should hold interest rates near zero until unemployment falls below 5.5 percent, which reversed his previous stance as a “lifelong inflation hawk.”
Kocherlakota “had been one of the most outspoken opponents of lowering rates and had voted against doing so in 2011.” Why did he switch his position? “Jobs, jobs, jobs,” the magazine answered. “By increasing monetary accommodation, the committee can better meet its employment mandate while still satisfying its price-stability mandate,” Kocherlakota said.
Other notables on Foreign Policy’s list included novelist Salman Rushdie of New York, in 33rd place, and U.K. author Pankaj Mishra, listed 86th, who was cited for “charting the intellectual rise of the East — without the West” in his 2012 book, “From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia.”
Others on the Foreign Policy list included Harvard University economist and MacArthur “genius” grant award-winner Raj Chetty, in 74th place, who “has managed to overturn various age-old assumptions and ensure his place at the center of the U.S. policy debate over everything from unemployment benefits (they’re not necessarily a crutch — they give people time to find well-suited jobs) to tax breaks (one of their most important qualities, it turns out, is that beneficiaries actually know how they work).”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was listed in the 77th spot for “turning around India’s poorest state” in two terms in office.
“A law passed last year allows the government to take control of ill-gotten land and, unless the owner is cleared in court, use it for schools and health clinics. He has overseen the construction of nearly 15,000 schools, hired 150,000 new teachers, launched a program to give free bikes to girls so they can get to class, and distributed free radios to lower-caste citizens.”
Former University of Chicago professor and IMF chief economist Raghuram Rajan is listed in 80th place “for saving India from its politicians. His forecast about the financial crash due to irresponsible speculation proved right three years later and in August, he accepted the post of chief economic advisor to India’s Finance Ministry.
Listed in 90th place was researcher and BusinessWeek columnist Vivek Wadhwa, for his “fresh” ideas in the U.S. immigration debate. With his new book, “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent,” Wadhwa is leading the “movement to institute what he calls a ‘start-up visa,’ through which entrepreneurs with proven job creation and company size get fast-tracked for long-term visas.”