G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Friday, July 18, 2008

All I want is a Stock that will go up a Little Bit…Else I will Smash the Stock Exchange

This is bubbles and bunges season.

Bloomberg reports on July 17, 2008:

"Pakistan investors stormed out of the Karachi Stock Exchange, smashed windows and cursed regulators after the benchmark index fell for a 15th day, the worst losing streak in at least 18 years...

...Police surrounded the exchange after hundreds of investors stoned the building and shouted anti-government slogans. They directed their ire at the government and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, which this week removed a 1 percent daily limit on price declines. The measure was aimed at halting a slide that wiped out $30 billion of Pakistan's market value in three months, threatening to undo a 14-fold rally since 2001...

... Investors were also protesting outside the Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges, Geo Television reported.

``We demand that all stock prices be frozen at current levels,'' said Kauser Javed, who heads the Small Investors Association. ``People have sold their assets in the last 15 days to meet payments and if things continue this way, you will start hearing of suicides. The regulators always favor big brokers and investors.''

I think India is prone to bubbles of all kinds. Fixed deposit schemes of many NBFC's, stock markets from time to time, real estate, plantation companies, pyramid/ ponzi schemes, certain medical treatments, godmen, astrologers, coaching classes, film-stars, ideologies…

However currently for Indian stock markets it’s like February 1637 in Holland . In that one month prices of tulips fell by approximately 90 per cent, bursting tulipmania.

Likes of Daniel Gross have argued that bubbles are good for us.

“The bigger the bubble, the more useful soapsuds it leaves behind when it bursts.”

“Gross believes that America is prone to investment bubbles partly because its government tends to have a laisser faire attitude to innovation, preferring to let private investors fund new technologies, rather than the state. “

I am not sure about the reasons in case of India and Pakistan.

Possibly here is one…

Artist: Helen E. Hokinson The New Yorker 7 August 1948

Angry Pakistani stock brokers demonstrate at the Stock Exchange to protest the decline of stock market in Karachi Photographer: Fareed Khan/AP Photo via Bloomberg News Thursday, July 17, 2008.

p.s. “The final myth is that the crash put the Dutch off tulips. In fact, a form of tulipmania never died…Today the Netherlands has 90 per cent of the international flower trade. Fortunes really are made in tulips.”