Jun 6, 1999|
War and hate
There is too much hate in the world. And maybe it is an expensive thing to have around.
Although the Indian stock market is bouncing back a bit from the Kargil
effects, the foreign perception of India and Pakistan as a place to do business
has certainly fallen by a few notches.
Don't use the FII money inflows as a
gauge of confidence. The FIIs are generally sattawallas with foreign passports
and different dress codes. Don't forget that it was just one year ago that
most of these FIIs operating in other Asian stock markets were telling us
how Asia was a basket case and had pulled their money out big time from this
continent. Now, of course, they are throwing money back in and telling us
how Asia is, indeed, the land of milk, land, honey, and opportunity. The
multinational companies are a better gauge of foreign interest in a country.
And, yes, they are coming in to India but at a much slower pace than what even
they would like to.
Assuming we had a stable government and no "war" with Pakistan, our Index
could be maybe 5,500. That is probably an addition of US$ 30 billion in wealth
to our country (about 10% of our annual income as a nation). Consider how a
'love thy neighbour' policy would help reduce defence spending in the long
run and allow more money for education of the people. A more educated people
is generally a wealthier people. That would help push the positive economic
effects even further. Add to this, if we had leaders who really cared about
our country and its people...
Aaah, but all of this wishful thinking. The reality of the situation is a
lot different. India has many problems: internal and external. And unless we
get someone up there who is willing to solve it as opposed to enriching
their families, India will continue to be a trading market bouncing between
despair and potential.
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