Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apples and Oranges

The African Stock Exchange Association meeting was held in early November in Zambia. I attended the past two years but could not make it this year. I found this one frustrated blogger who refused to go to the event. I actually would have gone if it the dates had been more convenient but this guy has HAD IT with ASEA.

This blogger thinks that the Association of African Stock Exchanges could be more could do more than it currently does. His frustration got me thinking.

The facts are that most African exchanges are quasi-governmental organisations and not part of a capital market structure as we know it. They are part of the government. ASEA functions perfectly well as a quasi-governmental organisation. It has very little power and spends time creating Memos of Understanding between exchanges so that there is cooperation and information is shared. Frankly I think it functions exactly as it has been created to function.

ASEA does not create opportunities for exchanges to take advantage of economies of scales or innovation. It provides an opportunity for meeting and hearing from exchange leaders and to learn a bit about the exchange of the host country. To ask it to be more is not to understand it.

I do not blame the blogger for his sentiments. I often think how much better things would be for certain African exchanges if they only…….

But there is something wrong with THAT thought, I think. The problem is thinking THAT way stops you from understanding how things ARE. If you can understand how things ARE then you know a lot more than if you spend so much time wishing things were different. If you understand how things ARE then you might be able to portray things accurately. That is always a good place to start and it might be where you end also. That is not so bad.

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