The future is in the womb of tomorrow. One never knows when that tomorrow will come and what it will look like
SHANTI VEER KOUL
I had already read the paragraph twice. Apart from knowing that everybody whose earnings was in rupees, be it a salaried employee in public and private sector, small and medium level business entrepreneur or the big industry and corporate, would have to bear unavoidable consequences I could not make much sense of the very informed debate in the media about the Indian rupee in free fall. Yes, it seemed that exporters were having windfall profits because of the depreciating rupee. But again, for future export they would be required to source their raw material locally and the production process would also be domestic and the prices of both were bound to increase appreciably. What I was seeing was a dismal lose-lose situation all around, including in the predominantly consumer market of J&K State. Trying to understand the nitty gritty of the thing I read the paragraph again.
“The only corporate demand for the dollar is from those companies which have foreign exchange loans that are coming up for repayment. Bankers said that there were indications that Wednesday's fall was not triggered by demand. There was a gap opening in the currency. There has been a sharp drop in volumes and foreign exchange market have turned extremely illiquid with importers putting decisions on hold and exporters fearing to encash their dollars—a situation which dealers say is a speculator's paradise.”
Pretty blank. And then – “In the central bank the immediate suspicion is the non-deliverable forward market. The NDF market is an unofficial rupee market since no rupees are actually bought or sold. What happens is that banks enter into a deal to buy and sell rupees on the future date but when the due date comes they settle the trade in dollars.”
This I could well understand. Not economically but politically. And so would any sensitive Kashmiri. For, have we not have been having non-deliverable forward market of promises and dreams ever since forever? Another fact is that more often than not economics is politics and vice versa as well. It is like the duality of nature light exhibits, behaving both as wave and as particle – for what is perceived as two is in reality one. The NDF market is outside India in financial centres such as Singapore and Hong Kong. For that reason the Reserve Bank of India cannot prevent punters from placing bets on the volatility of rupee. The other statutory mechanisms are either incapable of addressing this complex problem or are simply not there. The political non-deliverable forward market is similarly situated outside Kashmir. It is only the seismicity that is felt as a referred phenomenon in Kashmir in terms of death and desolation, disquiet and anger. In centres like Islamabad and New Delhi, or even Washington and Geneva, bets are placed regularly on the volatility of Kashmir while the promissory notes of that non-deliverable market is sought to be monetized in terms of some promised tomorrow in some sort of Shangri La – the fictional, permanently happy place James Hilton described in his book “Lost Horizon”. One is truly befuddled at the extent of credulity, rather self-deception, that we are capable of. Generations of Kashmiris have been sold one or the other dream for decades by political ‘baazigars’ and the same generations have actually bought into this never ending scam.
Shorn of the rhetoric, exhortations or invocations let us pause and think – what is going to happen in tomorrow’s Kashmir and what will it be like? Each one of us would naturally hope to see what one cherishes most happening in the Kashmir of our individual dreams. But so many dream-realities can’t exist in one geographic-reality, whatever its contours. Naturally, the greatest common wish factor has a better chance of inhabiting that future reality. There ought to be general agreement on this. But it is the future itself of that wished for reality that hangs in the balance of hard trading. The external stakeholders – think of them as the Board of Directors – will determine at what future date which dream will be given the status of reality but when the due date comes no alternate realities will actually come about as the players in that forward market will trade off dreams instead without having to bother about realities. In a word, the general shareholders – who are the actual stakeholders and actual owners of the company will get short-changed. The reason for this is that nobody representing the general shareholders has ever made it to the Board of Directors. An informal syndication has ensured that such representation is kept out just as it has always been kept out.
The future is in the womb of tomorrow. One never knows when that tomorrow will come and what it will look like. But one thing is for sure. Forward trading of promises will keep going on while we wait for that cherished and yearned for tomorrow. And it will be non-deliverable.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST
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