(According to a Financial Times article, Chinese authorities asked students of Tsinghua University to shout loudly the slogan,‘Revive the A shares, benefit the people; revive the A shares, benefit the people’.)
Minister: Call me comrade.
Me: Comrade minister, why is the Chinese Communist Party forcing state-owned companies and brokerages to buy stocks? Why have you ordered people not to sell their stocks? Shouldn’t the market decide share prices?
Minister: There is a huge imperialist plot to send the prices of our stocks down. It is typical bourgeois ideology to say stock values depend on the market.As chairman Mao said, ‘Stock prices flow from the barrel of a gun.’
Me: Oh. Why did you instruct your central bank to lend money for buying stocks?
Minister: Buying stocks is revolutionary. Surely you are familiar with the Communist slogan, ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his stock portfolio?’
Me: I vaguely recall hearing something like it.
Minister: Marx said the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle between stock buyers and stock sellers.
Me: And you are on the buyers’ side?
Minister: Definitely. For too long have proletarian stock buyers been ground beneath the heels of an oppressive stock selling bourgeoisie, aided and abetted by running dogs of imperialism. Remember the famous slogan, ‘Stock buyers of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your shares.’
Me: Would Mao or Deng be fine with the Party propping up the stock market?
Minister: Why not? Recall what Mao wrote: ‘A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery ... A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which stock buyers overthrow stock sellers.’ As for Deng Xiaoping, he said, ‘It doesn’t matter if a dead cat is black or white, as long as it bounces.’
Me: I see.
Minister: Long live Marxist-Leninist-Warren Buffetist thought. Have you read the great revolutionary book?
Me: You mean Mao’s Red Book?
Minister: No, comrade. I mean Graham and Dodd’s ‘Security Analysis’, which has the fundamentals of value investing. By the way, do you think your Sensex has formed a bullish breakout pattern?
Me: No clue, minister. I thought the East is Red.
Minister: Nowadays we say ‘The East is in the green’. We have a new Long March ahead of us, the march of the Shanghai stock market index to a high of 10,000. Let a hundred stocks bloom. Smash the stock sellers. Let shares have a Great Leap Forward.
Me: Are these slogans by Comrade Xi?
Minister: No. They have been coined by revolutionary heroes Comrades Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
Me: Umm…thanks. Would you like to add anything?
Minister: Just a comradely tip. Buy Baidu, Weibo and Alibaba. To buy stocks is glorious.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal.