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Salute the Fathers of the 04-09 Boom and Bust Bicycle

I had written many articles on this blog, real estate bubble, 2006: cautious optimism and will India have its own sub prime crisis. I was constantly hassled as others kept harping, how great the economy was, how global India was, as market indicators like Sensex, Real estate prices and GDP growth were not converging. We should credit  the brilliant FM and his master, the PM, who are the architects of this fantastic 04-09 boom and bust bicycle of their tenure. These 5 years always contradicted the simple wisdom, that one has to crawl before walking, one has to walk before running, for no good reason everyone was running.

During this boom, I met many instant experts in stocks, real estate and everything. Good example is a previous IT flunky and now a stock punter who knows everything about stocks and markets, he always predicted the stock market correctly that day, the previous day. For eg: Whenever we met and the market was down, he claimed to have shorted some stocks the previous day and vice versa, if the market was up. It was disturbing to see mediocre and crass locals, many of them real estate dabblers, gold chains around their necks drive Mercedes cars, where honest educated people had to work a lifetime to own a house and a car. Politicians and Government Employees created scarcity for everything including land, permissions  and security just to extract bribes under the pretext of 9% growth. Were the PM and FM spectators or architects ? I have always argued that the the PM was a spectator not architect of India’s liberalization. During 1992, when the country was on the brink of bankruptcy, it was the  IMF and foreign agencies that structured India’s new laws. For the patriotic Indian it was Manmohan Singh who was the architect of India’s liberalization. Where was he before that ? First you keep the door closed for 45 years and take credit for opening it, just because you were the door keeper! Whenever, I discussed my views, I was cast as a cynic, person with negative outlook, etc.

Where are those stock market experts who predicted the Sensex to touch 26,000, all of them popularly called the Warren Buffett of Indian markets, grabbed the cover pages of many magazines and made innocent investors buy more and more shares at higher levels. My condolences to those poor retired people, who believed they had one more chance to make money and helplessly watched 50% of their savings wiped off. I sincerely hope, they remember the people behind this fiasco, before they cast their vote and not play with fire again.

In future, you may disagree, but do not ignore what I say, for now you can only pray to God. In this higly interconnected world you are as strong as your weakest link. Some customer who owes you money may go bust because his customer went bust, only pray these customers are not there in your portfolio. As a country we must credit our cocky FM, innocent PM and Pasta Ben, as architects of this super 04-09 boom and bust bicycle. I am ready for a final settlement with those I had heated arguments with, that if in 92 our revered PM  was a spectator, he was a spectator this time too.

3 thoughts on “Salute the Fathers of the 04-09 Boom and Bust Bicycle”

  1. People making amazing money without sweat or innovation. Salaries way above what what they truly deserve. Perks that go overboard. Employees with no fear of losing jobs because of under performance because another company is waiting to snatch them. Ridiculous valuations for companies. Stock prices which fed itself. Real estate valuations that are unrealistic when compared with the yield. SYMPTOMS OF A ‘XXXL BUBBLE’ THAT JUST BURST! Time to get back to REAL ETHICS…..REAL WORK….REAL INNOVATION….REAL PERFORMANCE…AND REAL EFFICIENCY! NO MORE EASY MONEY.

  2. Hi, Amar, Shrikant,

    Well those remarks were wishfull thinking. There are many examples in history where the undeserved are beneficiaries a system. The Sensex like sex and senses react wildly. But the markets are seldom wrong although they have a tendency to overreact. We are a young nation just seeing the good of an open economy. Like shrikant said we have learn to walk but thank god atleast we are trying. Economy is a leveller. Where every cast, gender, age and race can participate without any opposition. The ruppee-dollar equation is in our favour. I think we are the going to boom again….

  3. Shrikant, we will soon have to call you the “sage of pune”! It would seem that if one “ignores what you say”, one needs to get very spiritual for redemption. Seriously though, I have always agreed with you that the Indian market has been running on overdrive when some lower gears were appropriate. Lets hope that this alarm call in the Indian market will bring some sanity in terms of people’s expectations and that companies build strong fundamentals including appropriate salary growth rates and that the markets get appropriate support from Government and Regulators – so far growth has come about in spite of any help from these areas – now that we see growth in jeopardy, hopefully more pro business policies will be seen.

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