The Bourse Is Ours

November 10, 2014
Small people talk about people.  Bigger people talk about events.  Great people discuss ideas.  The greatest don’t talk – they do.  This is ancient wisdom.  This small-big-bigger-biggest concept can be applied to other things. 
The poor bet on lottery tickets.  The not-as-poor bet on horses and dogs.  The rich go to casinos, bet on cards and at roulette tables.  The super rich play the share market.   Note how the chances of winning increases the richer you are!  At the poor-end you get lottery vendors. They are in the hope-retailing business.  People can and do lose at the rich-end of course, but if you keep your head you can always break even.   Then there’s the share market.  If you have the bucks and you have a head, you are through.  You are laughing.  Those who have bucks but let greed discolor judgment can lose.  By and large at the end of the day the big boys are still at the crease, making a lot of runs. 
 Sri Lanka is a small country.  Everyone knows everyone, almost.  When it comes to the business community, we are just a handful of people – those who count, that is.  And most of us are Kolombians.  We club together.  Our kids date each other.  There’s a lot of wealthy-marrying-wealthy in our tribe.  We basically know who owns what and who wants to do what with what they have.  We have what could be called a healthy rivalry going among ourselves. 
Sure there are ups and downs.  When it is ‘up’, we laugh.  When it’s ‘down’ we blame the Government for failing to streamline the Colombo Stock Exchange.  We complain that the rules and regulations are tweaked to help the stooges.  We have enough economists, financial experts and even politicians in the Opposition who not only have shares but can talk shares.  They raise a hue and cry.  They won’t say ‘We are Kolombians’ of course.  When it is ‘up,’ as we said, we make do our thing, make our bucks and we don’t even have to laugh all the way to the bank thanks to enhanced technology that allows us to point-click our way to places way beyond the reach of the riff-raff. 
There is of course the unpalatable.  There are some baiyas who have become big shots of late.  They have the inside track so to speak.  They’ve risen and how!  They’ve even purchased large swathes of the best real estate in our traditional homeland.  It’s quite insufferable.  It would be nice if they joined the club and gradually become Kolombians in their own right. Over a few generations, let me add, for we can’t give membership to just anyone, especially some yakkos who have the gumption to sneer at us.  The problem is that they think they actually own the club and that they can give themselves membership and worse even strut around as though they are elected representatives of the exclusive Kolombian Collective.
We want them out and we shall hoof them out.  Sooner or later.  Our bloodlines must remain pure. 

But until then, we are not exactly scrambling for crumbs in some dingy back bedroom of a slum, mind you.  As I said, we are the big boys and girls in this business.  We have the inside track.  Others might make a run but we are the biggest winners when it’s ‘up’ and when it’s ‘down’ we can sit the bad times out without going under.  That’s the lovely thing about being Kolombians.  The country may go to the baiyas for some time, but you won’t catch us losing out.

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