Once upon a time, a man offered to buy monkeys

As the Indian stock markets defy all known laws of physics and psychology, KAMLESH MODHA forwards a parable that has a familiar ring.


“Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for Rs 100.

“The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.

“The man bought thousands at Rs 100 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at Rs 200. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

“Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to Rs 250 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

“The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at Rs 1,000! However, since he had to go to the City on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.

“In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at Rs 750 and when the man returns from the City, you can sell it to him for Rs 1,000.

“The villagers squeezed up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!

“Deja vu?”