A village wrestler in the rustic state of Haryana in India, so goes the story, used to be the only one to keep huge moustaches. Tipped nicely and pointing to the sky it stood clear to all the moustaches were a mark of his power over the villagers.

One day, the village grocer decided its time for him to sport similar moustaches. He grew his. Tipped nicely and pointing to the sky his moustaches matched the apparent mojo the wrestler’s displayed.

Now, in a village only one could be the supreme. The wrestler presented himself promptly at the grocer’s on hearing about the other big moustache. He challenged the grocer into a duel. The one who wins should be the one entitled to keep his mouche.

The grocer scratched his head. He proffered, why create a fight and enmity that will go on forever. Whoever loses will leave his kin come forward and challenge another duel and so on and so forth. So, instead he proposed that they should fix up a date for a full fledged fight between the two clans – the grocer’s vs the wrestler’s and a time and day three months from then was finalized. Both agreed to assemble all there relatives, friends and well wishers to partake from their sides.

The wrestler sent over message to all the nearby villages calling for all his kind to assemble and build bodies and prepare for the coming fight in 90 days. The grocer continued to sell goods at his grocery. The wrestlers bought milk, butter, cheese, fruits, meats and nuts day in and day out. The big wrestler with the mouche was of course financing the preparation of bodies for the big fight. Scores of wrestlers were keeping gobbling the goodies, pushing iron, pressing benches and raising the village dust for 90 days.

On the day of the appointed fight the wrestler roared outside the grocer’s establishment with his well built battalion of four scores of other wrestlers, all well fed and well prepared.

The grocer came out of his shop. Surveyed the well built bodies, folded both his hands in obeisance and twirled his own moustache down and offered to shave it off conceding defeat. The wrestlers laughed at his cowardice. The grocer still said he was sorry and went back to his shop, took a razor and shaved off the moustache immediately before all.

The wrestlers went back to their respective villages The big wrestler was left with his huge moustache all alone again in the village. He was also left now with a pawned house, sold off oxens and a pile of debt on his head.

Moral of the story:

1) There is no money in ego.

2) Money is power. Power may not be money.

3) Humility, at the right time, pays.

Now, in the global village one worries if China is the village wrestler or the village grocer.

On one hand West has kept on funding one bubble after another. Bubble not in the traditional financial markets’ context, but a more simplistic one, funding consumption beyond the means of the consumers. Yet on the other hand China has been supplying to global consumers at prices below which no sensible producer of any goods should be selling.

China too has gone ahead funding its asset financing spirals. Company A listed on the stock market in Shanghai holds 30% of Company B listed there which holds 30% in company C and so on and so forth. Talking about the opacity of Chinese numbers, whether at the Corporate level or at the level of aggregate Government released data is as good as passe’. No one bothers to even talk about it now.

One wonders if after a 100 years a bestseller would be written with the title, “Extraordinary delusions of Economists and Madness of Central Bankers” based on what this world is right now doing and pushing itself to.

Every Government, every Central Banker and every Treasury Chancellor in today’s world has is mouche twirled up and pointing to the sky. Lets see who will turn out to be humble, wise grocer shaving the mouche off, in time. Any thoughts?





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1 Comment so far

  1. Anonymous on July 11, 2011 5:58 am

    good one!!!good example


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