Chinese whispers


Almost everyone I speak to nowadays suggests or portrays that he/she is keeping an eye on foreign financial institutions — both domestic and overseas.

“This would be a good time to start reading the trade press carefully for news of overseas banks making acquisitions or changes to their businesses,” said one of my colleagues, who has never displayed any iota of interest in the financial sector.

Another one whispered while sipping a cuppa of cutting chai, “I have been hearing about opportunities in niche banks, in hedge funds. This one even exuded an intelligent tone that gave an impression of i-know-it-all. “The market is highly competitive, and with funds that have been raised to take advantage of distressed properties and assets of various kinds, it’s worth a watch now.” WOW.

Really! I whispered the same to my man –the i-banker. He laughed. Just like my father used to when I discussed my theories about Indian cricket.

Next day, a senior journalist from a reputed organisation (fully aware that my husband is an i-banker) casually asked me, “I hear a lot of people are using the exorbitant cash they made in last year’s bonuses and severance to day trade and manipulate the market?” A raised eyebrow…

He continued, “Not good for society but good for their pockets. They made a killing riding on AIG during the day yesterday, in global markets. Why even scour for a job?.”

I went back home and asked — you know who. He laughed.

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