Friday, February 15, 2008

Bear Market Syndrome

The city is never the same when the stock market goes down. People become moody, irrational and downright spiteful. They look at you with vengeance as if you are responsible for the losses sustained by them. The wives shout at their husbands, bosses at their sub-ordinates and all of them at their children and house-maids.

The morning after the crash is the most dangerous period because that is when the hang-over of the loss plays truant on the senses of the individuals. People go about in the government offices with a sour face and nasty look, barking at each other and spitting on the wall corners to get the trauma out of the system. Any one walking into the banks, insurance offices or other government outfits, could become an innocent victim of what is commonly known as bear market syndrome.

It works like this:

“Sir, there is a letter from a retired government officer that he hasn’t received his pension for the last three months.

”So what? The heavens are not going to fall if he did not receive it for another three months? Let him wait like everyone else. The government’s job is not only to pay pension. It has other priorities too. If he had taken up a job he would not be looking for a government dole-out every month.”

“Sir, he is over 70 years of age.”

“So is Vajpayee, Advani and so many others. It does not mean people should not work.”

At CIDCO they are about to decide on a Rs.200-crore flyover at Vashi. The chief engineer reports “The survey team says that the contractor has met all our specifications and is waiting for our go-ahead.”

“Impossible. Everyone knows that if all our specifications are met, it will be impossible to build a wall let alone a fly-over. We should refuse permission and float fresh tenders.”

“But Vashi residents would be disappointed. They have been looking forward to this bridge for the last 10 years.”

“They should have thought of that when they hammered RNRL yesterday afternoon.”

“Sir Vashi residents did not have any hand in RNRL fall.”

“That’s what everyone says. If no one hammered how did it fall?”

At SBI Main Branch the scene is no better. The Deputy Manager asks the Branch Manager “Mr. Naik would you like to have some coffee?”

“No, I think I will call it a day. Ask Mulji to close the teller, clearing and forex counters with immediate effect. There is no point in pretending that everything is all right when it isn’t.”

”Our customers won’t like it.”

“Neither did we when we sold power stocks like mad.”

The senior ITO at Aayakar Bhavan is equally in a bad mood.

“Mr. Mehta, I am sending your file to CBI for foreign exchange violation. Don’t ask me the reasons. If you had seen yesterday’s quotations you’d not be asking such silly questions.”

BMC too take the happenings in the stock market very seriously.

A lower division clerk in the demolition section runs to the boss “Sir, I’ve just received a report that a new unauthorized structure is coming up in the slums close to the governor’s bungalow. Two floors are already complete and they are planning a swimming pool and a tennis court on the third. Shall we alert our Demolition squad? They will enjoy having a go at it.”

“Not at all. It is good to know that in these times of bear assault at least some thing is going up. Just write a report and file it off.”

Source : Free Humours