The dollar took another beating on the world currency markets as a direct result of the US trade figures for February which showed the deficit increase by over US$ 1.4 billion, reversing the trend of the past few months. The US dollar promptly bounced back buoyed by the positive trade figures for March. At the moment it is going both ways. The earlier downturn triggered a sympathetic fall in the Dow Jones Index, the gnomes on Wall Street bringing it down a sharp 100 points or so. On the other hand, the Geneva Accord on Afghanistan fetched nary a blush and served as a significant example of the prevailing perceptions of various forces to paper agreements that (1) the Russians are using the Accord as a mere propaganda ploy as a backdrop of the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Moscow in May 1988, having no real intention to go back and (2) the world of paper currency is increasingly getting divorced from happenings that are not real to them. There was a time when an honest to goodness “happening” on the international scene would act as a stimulant pushing share prices in either direction but the frenetic pace of panic selling/speculative buying is now linked to the vagaries of Corporate behaviour, Superpowers and Multi-nationals included. Having had their bits and chips snipped to the extent of trading within a span of 50 points up or down, computers are programmed to go into a limbo thereafter, while the market adjusts itself to real time. This fail-safe mechanism is meant to avoid a Wall Street meltdown a la Chernobyl, which almost happened on Black Monday last October when programmed computers set off a chain reaction almost leading to economic apocalypse.