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Bull's Eye

Like millions of Indians I was stunned by the collapse of uti. The question kept ringing in my ears: "How could uti collapse when I didn't buy even one share?" ...

Bull's Eye
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Like millions of Indians I was stunned by the collapse of uti. The question kept ringing in my ears: "How could uti collapse when I didn't buy even one share?" Readers would be puzzled by the question. There's a history behind it.

Decades ago I built a house. After I moved in, the price of property tumbled. Circumstances led me to sell it. After I sold it, the price of property soared. I bought a small apartment. After I bought it, the price of property plunged.

I kept my small savings in a reputed bank's fixed deposit scheme. "You'll get higher returns from mutual funds, sir," the bank's financial whiz-kid said.

"I know nothing about shares," I said.

"What are we for," the whiz-kid said cheerfully. Through the bank, I put my meagre savings in mutual funds. I had entered the world of stockmarkets and high finance. The whole market collapsed. I lost half my savings. I couldn't blame the bank. It seems everyone except Ketan Parekh lost.

Though in fine condition, my Zen was rapidly losing its resale value. I sold it and bought a new Matiz. It's the best small car. But Daewoo, its makers, collapsed internationally. They are struggling to revive themselves. They made one miscalculation. They didn't reckon that one day I would buy their car.

My initial despair soon gave way to a sense of secret power. I was the kiss of death. Unlike Midas, what I touched became worthless.

I could have telephoned Dhirubhai Ambani: "Forget about presenting me a box of mangoes each year, Dhiru! Put one crore down or else!"

"Or else what?" he would have sneered.

"Or else I'll buy Reliance shares, wise guy! Your company will collapse! Your shares will become worthless scraps of paper! Nyana-nyana-nya-nya!... "

The UTI collapse has destroyed that possibility. Apart from myself, some new power has started to control the market. The government intends probing what it is.

Yashwant Sinha did admit: "The buck stops here!" Okay. But many other bucks go to Swiss banks.

"Yashwant Sinha should resign because of uti," Manmohan Singh said.

Sinha, of course, won't resign.

"Manmohan Singh should resign because of the securities scam," Yashwant Sinha used to say. Manmohan Singh, of course, didn't resign.

So there! It's Even Steven.
Hold your breath
For the kiss of death,
With quiet stealth
It destroys all wealth!

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