The Competitive Advantage of Stock Exchanges Without Parking Lots

The headline of the day, without a doubt, is at Bloomberg News:

Pakistani Investors Stone Karachi Exchange as Stocks Plunge

Yes, they really started throwing stones at the physical stock exchange.

In Karachi investors today broke windows, threw plant holders in the parking lot of the building, burned shareholder statements and at least one protester was injured, prompting intervention by police and the paramilitary.

‘Cos the best way to stop your stocks from falling is to throw plant holders in the stock exchange parking lot. That’s bound to work, that is.

But there are more constructive ideas, too:

"We demand that all stock prices be frozen at current levels," said Kauser Javed, who heads the Small Investors Association.

Which might prevent a margin call or two – but would also prevent those small investors from getting any of their money out of the stock market at all. I’d advise Mr Javed to be careful what he wishes for.

Oh, and all this is taking place in the context of a stock market which has risen 14-fold since 2001. Here’s the five-year chart:


Yes, the Karachi stock market is down to levels not seen since March 2007. If that’s enough to cause riots, just imagine what might happen if stocks fell all the way to merely twice their value in September 2004!

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