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Crisis: focus on relative scale

For the last few weeks, the dominant meme in the investment community has been that there are the crises that the world is facing and that they need to be resolved before things can look up again.

india Updated: Aug 07, 2011 23:41 IST
Dhirendra Kumar

For the last few weeks, the dominant meme in the investment community has been that there are the crises that the world is facing and that they need to be resolved before things can look up again. In the US, there was this wait for the debt ceiling to be raised. Europe has a variety of plans being floated to solve its variety of debt problems and so on. On each issue, the talking heads point to an event at some point in the near future when the crisis under discussion will be resolved and post this resolution, things will improve. This way of thinking is a throwback to the 2008-09 financial crisis, when events really did move somewhat like this.

Things are different now. There's no crisis, or rather, what we think is a crises is a semi-permanent condition. Look at the US crisis. What exactly happened on August 2nd when the debt crisis was declared over? Basically, it was proven that that hugely indebted country now has a political configuration which is not only incapable of producing any solution, but is very much part of the problem. This is true in Europe as well. Back home, you would have to be a delusional optimist to see any radical improvement in the environment in which businesses operate.

At the end of the day, it would probably be sensible to just focus on the fact that on a relative scale, things won't be so bad in India, and that a lot of businesses will grow and make more money. There's room for long-term investors to make money, but not for them to hang around waiting for the good times to come back .None of these things are going to work themselves out at a scale less than years, or even decades. If you think you are going to wait around for the end of these crises before you feel like investing your money, you could find yourself waiting for a long time indeed.