THE POWER OF PUBLIC OPINION. The cocktail circuit is awash with talks that politicians and power brokers are now frenetically engaged in high stakes game where the prizes are immense power and wealth. If you believe the purveyors of conspiracy theories, what is happening now are lots of horse-trading, plots and counter plots, and deals left and right. If this is true, they must have underestimated the public reaction to some of their machinations. We could only hope that strong public reaction will put some sense on them.
CONSPIRACY THEORY, ANYONE? But then again, it could be that all these were expected. Some people with creative tendencies are conjuring the next scenario: somebody will try to come out smelling like a rose for diffusing the tension. Of course, there are those who will say that they could have nipped it in the bud if they wanted to. Is it possible that someone is trying to divert public attention by fomenting a state of calamity? Is there any connection with opening of the dams? These issues do not seem to elicit much attention these days. Oh well, practically all other issues were relegated to the backburner by the recent natural disaster.
STOCK MARKET, EXCHANGE RATE AND INTEREST RATES. In the meantime, economic barometers have mixed performance. It could definitely have been much better if not for all the political calisthenics. The stock market continues to register subdued performance, mostly due to the overflow of investment capital in Asia. We are getting the crumbs but this is good enough to push the stock market index higher. The risk of course is if and when these guys decide to pull out as they have done in the past. But it is up and that is what is important. However, it does not speak well of our domestic investors base. We continue to rely on foreigners to propel our stock market. And we still lag behind our neighbors. Just look at the volume of trades of our neighboring countries and see how poorly we are faring. Besides, many analysts observe that PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.) seems to be carrying the whole market on its shoulders. Thanks to the Filipino penchant for text messaging, our biggest claim to worldwide leadership, PLDT’s Smart is raking it in.