Sri Lanka’s stock market game has changed: Unlike a decade ago when a few high networth individuals and their crony brokers played the market so much so the regulators were helpless and some of the latter were sent home.
This game – for the lack of a better word – is now played on social media.
One would think the so-called big guys learned their lesson a decade ago but no, they learned to maneuver the loopholes better and talk about certain shares on the Colombo Stock Exchange when they found Twitter, Facebook, telegram, WhatsApp, and what have you not. They hit the jackpot when they found a group of gullibles who will bite the bait and take them up on every word typed online, industry sources said.
This also has a lot to do with freedom of expression and business is thriving.
This time the onus is not on the regulators. It is on those who follow these social media sites. “Most of these people are 18- to 35-year-olds and they are not babies,” a stock market analyst stressed. He added that they should know that a stock should only go up in price to a reasonable fair value. “Crying over spilled milk later is of no use. This was a lesson learned a decade ago.”
Another analyst noted that staying at home during the pandemic with nothing to do in front of a keyboard has made young people join the cause/call.
On the other hand, these so-called high networth individuals’ argument is that when the stock market goes up, those with a ‘negative’ mentality will find fault, and when the opposite happens, they will still have things to say. These arguments have been popularly directed at media personnel and others who point out that something is not right. These allegations are also decades-old.
It is also important to note that one must analyse the track record of certain Twitter warriors and other social media instigators when taking their advice. The choice is yours. Do your homework is all we, as scribes, got to say.