There is a joke about the stock market. The market may be bad, but I slept like a baby last night because I woke up every hour and cried.
The story of our stock market investors may be likened to this joke.
But for our investors it's not a mere joke. It's a cruel reality they have been experiencing over the years.
And probably by now they don't cry any more. Bob Marley has sung "No woman no cry". Our investors can now sing 'no market no cry'.
The market has been in doldrums for the last three and a half years. Numerous investors have lost everything—money, dream and confidence.
We are a complete opposite to the global stock market trends. The history of the stock market dates back to 12th century. Over the years, the markets in different countries have gone through various turbulence, but they have bounced back.
Stock markets have been contributing to boost up economies in many countries. People feel safe to invest in stock markets in their respective countries as they have confidence in the markets. Approximately 6.30 lakh companies now trade publicly throughout the world.
Our story is different. We have a story of cruel crashes of the stock market, in 1996 and 2010. It is a continuous nosedive of the market with rare rise in index. It is a story of falling fast but struggling to rise.
Our stock market however does not tell the story of our economic growth. Our economy hit record growth at 8.15 percent in the last fiscal year. It averaged more than 6 percent for the last one decade. It has been consistency on the rise. But the stock market's contribution to the growth is not significant.
Interestingly, the stock market has consistency in its fall. It keeps falling and falling.
Still, there is so far three dozen countries that do not have a stock market. Why? It is because of corruption and lack of good governance in those countries.
Given the present situation of our stock market, critics may raise the question: what if our stock market were not to exist?
If so, we could have escaped at least two big crashes - in 1996 and 2010.
If the stock market does not exist from now, every day we will not need to write negative headlines on our stock market performance. We will need not hear the cries of our investors.
Let's conclude with another joke.
An economist walks into a pizzeria to order a pizza. The waiter asks him: "Should I cut it into four pieces or six pieces?" The economist replies: "I'm feeling hungry right now. You'd better cut it into six pieces."
The story of our stock investors is no different than the hungry economist!