In this week's wrapup, we talk about instant settlements, the Rupee, G20, net neutrality and more.

For the markets edition this week, we talk about the IPO of Zaggle, a B2B SaaS (software-as-a-service) fintech company that simplifies payroll and business expense management. We explain its business model and yeas and nays of the IPO. You can read the story here.

Meanwhile, here’s a recap of what we wrote over the week.

SEBI says, “Get your shares in 1 hour!”

If you bought a stock two decades ago, it would only hit your account a week later. Courtesy, cheque clearances, physical share certificates. It was a lengthy process. But things changed in the 2000s. As computer and online trading became rife, the market regulator SEBI moved to a T+5 settlement cycle. With T denoting the day in which the trade was placed. Within a couple of years, that moved to T+3 and then to T+2.

Now, that’s how it has been for 20 years. Most global markets followed T+2. And so did we, until last year, when SEBI became ambitious and got the ball rolling for T+1. Everything got settled in 24 hours.

And guess what? SEBI now wants to bring in T+0, which means that if you buy a stock, it’ll appear in your account within an hour. The tech is ready. We’re capable even if no one else in the world has got there. And this could be game changing.

If you think so too and want to know more, here’s our story on it.

Is the RBI defending the Rupee?

If you scurried through the headlines, you’d know that the Rupee was at a record low this week. But here’s something you should know. Over the past two months, the Rupee actually has been pretty stable against the rest of the world currencies. So the dip is not really a case of the Rupee weakening, but, the dollar strengthening.

Now, you could blame it on oil prices and inflation.

Because you see we import a lot of oil. And we pay for it in Dollars. That way the demand for the Dollar surpasses the Rupee. And you can imagine that most of the world will be running through a similar exercise. Because almost every oil trade is settled in dollars.

As a result, when the Rupee loses value, we end up shelling out more money for imports. And this higher cost is eventually passed on to consumers like us. In fact, as per the RBI, almost every 5% fall in the Indian rupee increases inflation by 0.15%.

But since it can’t let that happen, it goes into firefighting mode. And our Tuesday’s newsletter tells you exactly how it does that. You can read it here.

What’s the G20, anyway?

Until 2008, world leaders like Prime Ministers and Presidents didn’t get their hands dirty over global economic decision-making. They left it to the Finance Ministers.

With the world witnessing an oil crisis due to a conflict in the Middle East, the G20 (then G7) only began as an informal organisation in 1975. And then when the Asian financial crisis struck in 1997, maybe the West realized that they needed to get more people involved. Because their dominance seemed to be threatened by China, an emerging superpower. So they got together a bunch of diverse nations — emerging and advanced — and formed the G20.

But with the Global Financial Crisis, everything went topsy turvy. Growth rates crashed and people lost their jobs. That’s when the world leaders started getting involved. They slotted in an annual meeting into their busy calendars. And the agenda expanded to include foreign policy and climate change. That was the beginning of the G20.

And in our Wednesday’s dispatch, we talked about the relevance of the G20 today. Curious much? Read it here.

India cracks down on dark patterns

Websites love nudging you. They could tell you that stocks are running out or that you’re running out of time to make a purchase. And that could trigger a trail of impulse buying decisions. Not just that. Sometimes they could just sneak some products into your cart without your consent. You could end up knowing about it only when you pay more.

There are zillions of tactics sellers could use to increase their revenues under the guise of marketing techniques. While it’s good for them, it’s certainly not good for you.

These tricks are called dark patterns and they’ve been on the rise for over 2 decades. And Indian regulators have been keeping a watchful eye on this. They want to protect consumers from these shady nudges. And they’ve recently come up with a guideline draft that lists 10 dark patterns. That and more in our Thursday’s newsletter here.

What is Net Neutrality?

Favouritism is everywhere. Bollywood has nepotism. News channels lean either left or right. Heck, workplace appraisals can be biased too!

But the internet has no favourites. It’s impartial. You pay an Internet Service Provider (ISP). They give you data. And you do whatever you want with it. So you pay one price for all the data your internet uses. That’s what net neutrality is all about.

What if it wasn’t like this though? Imagine an ISP asking you to pay a special fee to access Netflix or YouTube just because videos consume more internet bandwidth than a WhatsApp message or a Finshots story.

Yup. It’s got ‘problem’ written all over it. But that’s not how everyone looks at it globally. India for instance, has one of the strongest laws supporting net neutrality. While the US has been flip flopping on a net neutrality law for decades. And if that intrigues you, then you should probably go ahead and read our Friday’s newsletter here.

That’s the end of our weekly wrapup. Enjoy your weekend!

Until then…

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