IKN

a plague o both your houses

2008’s best stock market redux

I’ve had plenty of mailchatter about yesterday’s post on the performance of the world’s stock markets in 2008 (if you can’t scroll down two posts, here’s the link). Some points to cover:

1) Don’t you guys have anything better to do than read my blog on a Saturday evening? You need to get out more.

2) It never fails to surprise me what kind of post gets a shoulder-shrug reaction and what kind of post lights people’s fires. The one about world stock markets yesterday, for example, I consider as a fun bit of weekend fluff but audience reaction has been really strong.

3) Yes, I know that Venezuela’s market isn’t really that exposed to international money these days. The combo of difficulties to get official exchange rates in order to invest in the market there combined with the withdrawal of CANTV from the wonderful world of capitalism means that bonds are the way to trade Venezuela internationally, not stocks. However the equities market there keeps on trundling along and it’s still recognized as one of the larger world markets. Bottom line is “Venezuela’s stock market whupped your hometown market” so live with it. Really, the only reason you’re getting uppity about this is that you don’t like the country’s president. Think about that.

4) Venezuela is a side-issue, though. For me the most interesting point here is the relatively good (least bad?) regional showing for Latam markets (apart from Peru….I’m guffawing again). I know it’s been rough around here so I’m now feeling extra pity for people in other places. That Irish result was a real eye-opener here. Along with Iceland, Ireland has discovered that falling in love with full-blood capitalism might be fun for a while, but love is blind.

5) Of all the mails received, one this morning from regular reader ‘RB’ is worth reprinting. ‘RB’ wrote:

found on a thread that I visit
Sharemarkets Best — Ghana +59%, Tunisia +10%
Worst — Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus – all down 70% or more
Next worst — Australia -43%, Japan -42%, Germany -40%,USA DJ -34%, UK -31%

Apparently we need to add Bangladesh to that list, too (up 6% approx). Now I dunno how accurate that is (and there’s no link provided, either). I will say I got my data from the Argentina Stock Market people and its year-end review/study which (over the years) has been a reliable source of info. I’ll also wager that my hairdresser moves more money in a year than the Ghana bourse. I’ll also say that I’m not going to get into a long, drawn-out finickey discussion about a % point here and a % point there (for one thing, I know from previous experience that results change if you take 31 Dec 2007 or 1st Jan 2008 as your start point). The point here is to note general world trends in the recognized world stock markets. The bottom line to all this is that Latam really didn’t do that badly.

UPDATE: I’ve been sent this Bloomberg screenshot. This is as far as I go on the subject.

We don’t need no more stinkin’ facts.

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