The Media Spin Doctors

Some friends ask me why don’t I stop reading the TOI when I have so many problems with their content (or lack of it). The short answer is, TINA (There Is No Alternative) … Not in this part of the world. Not early in the morning… Or rather TITA (There Is Terrible Alternative). But that’s not all. TOI is a perfect antidote to that dreaded writer’s block. Who else would give you early morning material like this Sensex needs to understand nature of mandate?

The hysteria on the markets is akin to a pampered child throwing a tantrum. The markets need to understand the electoral verdict, instead of nosediving in the hope of exerting some kind of policy pressure on the newly elected Congress-led formation.

I don’t know if to laugh or cry over this! This is written as if markets are a thinking entity. Forget thinking, that market is some homogeneous (what’s their favorite word for it, yes monolithic) entity that sits there and in a cool and composed manner decides or understands things. And it is the market, that needs to understand the stupid statements or silence of the government, whereas the government is free to do whatever it wants. This, I submit, is the epitome of unconventional wisdom, to say it in a politically correct way. To be honest, this is plain bull.

The mandate questions precisely this euphoria and instead calls for reforms with a human face. The inability of the markets to accept the altered political situation underlines their disconnect with the ground realities of this country, where the poor and unemployed are no longer reconciled to being left out of the growth and development process.

So the market now apart from being cool and intelligent also has to have empathy, you see. What next? Should the markets also develop an ability to have a collective orgasm over the intelligent gems of the left such as these?

They should have seen the writing on the wall when the Andhra Pradesh assembly results were declared. It was clear then that those who had focused on the emblems of ‘India Shining’ such as IT, while overlooking the concerns of the masses, would pay the price.

And others will make the exchequer pay for the rice that they’ll distribute freely?

Therefore, the prospect of a Congress-Left government at the Centre should not have come as a shock.

Ha! If that is the case, how come the all intelligent media failed to even hint at that possibility? With exit/opinion polls at their disposal?

The frenzied response of the markets to Left presence at the Centre not only suggests a lack of respect for the mandate, but also a feeble understanding of the political economy of reforms.

So, in short, left can ignore any understanding of the market — which is nothing but diverse individuals, who are putting their money where their mouth is (unlike the Left, which is putting other’s money where their mouth is) — but these diverse individuals — in another context I’m sure the left would have used the word microcosm here — instead need to learn/respect/understand the political economy of reforms (sic!).

It is about time investors realized that the Left is opposed to the sequencing of reforms, not to reforms per se. Whatever the rhetoric, the Left, in practice, welcomes foreign investment, selective privatisation and service sector growth.

In other words, the Left is big hypocrite! In practice, they’ll use the market economy when their asses are on fire, all the time shouting rhetoric that undermines the market sentiment. They want to have their cake and eat it too. And worse, the markets should help them to pretend that can have their cake, and eat it too.

In the popular perception, profit-making PSUs were being sold at a throwaway price to big industrialists. The presence of the Left would ensure a course correction in the form of employment-oriented industrial development and a package for farmers.

LOL! What is this popular perception? The farmers? Do they give a shit about selling of the PSUs? Or the small investors? Who are hit in the worst way in the yesterday’s crash? What has fifty years of farmer friendly packages done for either farmers or the small urban investors?

If this agenda is dubbed market-unfriendly, then the markets run the risk of being seen as people-unfriendly.

As if markets care! Well, may be now markets even need to learn to care about the popular perception… If they get time from the collective orgasms over Left’s intellectual gems, that is.


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