Well it’s over 24 hours now, and the gun battles and hostage situation in South Mumbai continues.
My heart goes out to the innocent victims and families who have lost near and dear ones in a totally bizarre and premeditated terrorist act.
The equity markets here have been volatile and volumes have been low, as signs of an economic slowdown have started to kick in. Pile up of goods at the ports, Airlines cutting back low traffic routes and auto companies announcing production cuts and running reduced shifts. Layoffs and retrenchments are going to be next in the news, as companies shelve expansion plans.
This is not just an India specific phenomenon, but is something that countries across the world are going through.
A disturbing fact however, has been the complete ‘lack of leadership everywhere’.
Let’s start with Bernanke and Greeenspan refusing to acknowledge the US Housing Bubble in 2006 and in August 2007 continuing to tell us everything was fine, as Bear Stearns Hedge funds were collapsing. Then hedge Fund managers and Investment Bank CEOs paying out huge Christmas bonuses in December 2007, as their firm were on the verge of collapse. Ad hoc and spur of the moment changes in bailout plans and totally opaque financial rescue/bailout packages, have done nothing to restore confidence in the system.
This is not just a liquidity crisis as the authorities claim, but a crisis of confidence.
Back home in India, with upcoming General Elections next year, each political party is going to use the events of the last few days to point fingers rather than work out any long term solution.
For a country with so much long term ‘domestic’ potential, and a hardworking and talented workforce, its sad to say that our politicians ‘stink’.
If the world is to recover from the current economic turmoil, something must be done before things take a turn for the worse, and now more than ever, there is a need for LEADERSHIP.