Can I write about the stock market? – The Hindu

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Dear Sir/Madam,

As you may be aware this is not the first time that I have sent a strongly-worded letter for your kind perusal and action. However this time I request you to ask me a question. Please ask me what happened to the stock market today and why. Please.

“Ok fine. Mr. J. Mathrubootham, please can you…”

“Please call me JM. No need for formalities between friends.”

“Ok JM. Can you kindly explain what happened to the stock market today and the reasons for the same?”

“Many thanks for this question. Today the SENSEX opened strongly and recouped 230 points from the losses incurred yesterday. This is because of headwinds in the Asian markets and higher volatility arising out of policy expectations in the United States.”

Do you like that answer? No? Ok, how about this: 

“Today the SENSEX closed in the red, dropping a little over 100 points. This was due to poor sentiments amongst retail investors and volatile headwinds arising out of higher U.S. volatility in the Asian emerging markets due to Brexit.”

If this is also not satisfactory, then please let me try once more. How about this:

“Sir/madam, what nonsense volatile Brexit headwinds rubbish you are printing in the name of business news?”

Sir/madam for the last many years I have been casually glancing at the business news section of your esteemed newspaper. I have always hoped that one day I will be able to make sense of the news that is printed on that section of the paper. After all I am paying for the whole newspaper each morning. I should be able to enjoy all the sections. This is not some jackfruit where 30% of the whole thing is useless.

This remains a dream. To this day I have not been able to make sense of any of the news printed in the business section. The worst culprit of all is the stock market news section. Sir/madam it is as if you are using the rest of the newspaper to lull the English language into a false sense of security before assassinating it with murderous weapons in the stock market section.

But it is only recently I realised that a cavalier attitude towards the English language is not the only problem with business news in newspapers and TV.

Sir/madam, the news itself appears highly spurious.

For the last two or three days I have been carefully observing stock market news on TV and in newspapers. I am now convinced that nobody has any clue about what is really going on. They are just saying whatever comes into their mind at that moment. Or what they hear other people saying.

In fact, the entire chicanery reminds me of that popular children’s game where the first child whispers something into the ear of the second child, a slightly complicated phrase like ‘Alleppey-Bokaro Express’, and then second child whispers into third child, and third to fourth, and this goes on till the 30th child announces with complete confidence what he has heard: ‘Veerapandia Kattabomman’. And everybody laughs. It was a useless game.

Sir/madam each evening on TV I watch some fellow in a half-sleeve shirt and a tie attribute the stock market’s movement to some completely vague reason such as profit-booking in the weak monsoon due to over-the-counter volatility around the muhurat trading during Brexit Hang Seng in the Nikkei something something Snapchat and therefore negative headwinds in the major small-cap blue chip due to policy by some Subramaniam or the other. Some experts don’t even make an effort. I saw one fellow say that the market had gone up because of a lot of optimism in the market. I immediately called my wife into the living room so we could both clap at the television together.

And then to make things worse, sir/madam, I have to read it all over again in the newspapers the next day. I sincerely request this newspaper to reconsider all stock market news. If this is not possible, then I would like to know if you would be open to stock market reports from readers.

I have a lot of free time these days and no stock market knowledge whatsoever.

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham