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Don’t jump now, the end of the world is postponed

It’s all a giant financial bubble. All the bubbles are bursting. The end of the world is nigh: sceptic

columns Updated: Aug 31, 2015 00:21 IST
Stock markets,Stock market crash,Onion prices

Me: Welcome to this conference on the recent wild swings in the Indian stock market. Gentlemen, what explains this rollercoaster ride?
Technical analyst: Let me look at my charts. Notice how this graph moved sharply up … oh, oh ... wrong graph, that’s the chart of onion prices. I’ll get back to you soon.

Me (to trader): Sir, why are you bare-bodied?
Shirtless trader: I lost my shirt in the market crash. This is the 15th floor, right?

Me: Yes, why?
Shirtless: I’m planning to throw myself out of the window.
Stock guru: That’s so sad. Let me help. Did your mother-in-law lose money in the crash? Have those colleagues you hate the most also lost money?
Shirtless: Yes, we all lost money.
Guru: Don’t you want to live a little longer to gloat over their losses?
Shirtless: Eh?... Hmmmm.
Trader 2: Think positive. Never say you lost money, say your investments are seeing negative growth.
Broker: Buy, buy, buy every dip. Sell, sell, sell every drop. That way we all make money. My stocks have already bounced 50% after falling 90%.

Me: Why did it happen? I believe it started with the fall in China?
China expert: Yes, we woke up one morning and found that things are terrible in China. The authorities there are horrible.

Me: Yes, no human rights, no freedom. Tyranny and oppression.
China expert: No, no, all that is fine. The buggers can’t even prop up their market, the incompetent fools.

Me: Our star investor didn’t lose any money during the crash. What was your brilliant strategy, sir?
Star investor: All the economists and market gurus were saying India is a great place to invest, so I decided to buy as much as I could. But you see, I have lost my glasses and can’t see properly. So I clicked on ‘Sell’ instead of ‘Buy’. The market crashed that day, but I had already sold all my stocks.
China expert 2: Confucius say, dumgai.

Me: No Chinese please. Any advice for young investors?
Star: Um…Lose your glasses?
Guru: You must diversify. I’m diversifying into crystal ball gazing and palm reading. Also lotteries.
Technical analyst: Here’s the right chart. See this nice head and shoulder pattern?
Sceptic: But that’s the map of India. The head is Kashmir and the shoulders are Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Technical analyst: Oh…ooops, wrong chart again, will get back.
Sceptic: It’s all a giant financial bubble. All the bubbles are bursting. The end of the world is nigh.

Me: What are you investing in?
Sceptic: I am fond of liquid assets. Especially vodka.
Trader 2: I’ve invested in a book: ‘Chicken soup for the investor’s soul’. Do buy it.
Chinese expert 2: Confucius say, searching for stocks in bottom gives smelly finger.
Shirtless: I think it’s time to jump.
Sceptic: Wait, wait. They’ve just managed to patch up the bubble. No need to jump. The end of the world has been postponed.

(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed are personal.)

First Published: Aug 29, 2015 22:41 IST