tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Syria installs market economy just in time for collapse

You might recall from an earlier Tuque Souq post that Syria's reformist finance minister famously lauded his country's imperviousness to the global financial crisis by reminding us that Syria really doesn't have much of an economic infrastructure to collapse.

Well, so much for the strategy of "the best way not to lose is not to show up."

That's right, Syria just got itself a stock market!

Finance minister Dr. Mohammed al-Hussein rang the first bell to open trading earlier this week, sending all three of Syria's stock brokers in a buy-and-sell frenzy (for about 39 seconds).

Because the new DSE (Damascus Securities Exchange) has only 6 companies listed on its index, trading will only be open twice a week for a few hours at a time, and prices will be strictly regulated so that the value of any stock cannot change by more than 2% over the course of a day's trading.

Syria's nascent private sector is anxious to carve out its own little (state-controlled) market economy within Syria's (state-controlled) socialist-like economic system. Apropos of which, it took little more than a decree from President Bashar al-Assad a few years ago to get this little project off the ground.

Still, the journey of a thousand bank failures begins with but a single step.

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