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--Barry Asmus

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Sometimes, The Marketplace is a Pack of Jackals

By now, you've probably seen the headlines and heart the news that Osama Bin Laden is dead. He was apparently found in a summer resort town about 35 miles north of Islamabad, in what is being described as a "million dollar compound"[1].

"Justice has been done," the President said about Bin Laden's death. You can probably debate whether or not killing a man in a 40 minute shootout is justice, but it's not as if things would have been any different had he been brought back to the United States to stand trial. I suspect that an unbiased jury of his peers would have been hard to come by. But I guess that we could have at least paraded him in chains in a triumphal procession, for the amusement of the mob.

But, and here is where I find it a little embarrassing to be in the securities industry, here is one of the first headlines I saw when I went to Reuters: "Stock futures gain after U.S. kills bin Laden". The dollar is up, crude oil is down, stocks are up, all on the death of one man.

Not the destruction of Al Quaeda. Not genuine victory in Afghanistan or Iraq. Not an end to terrorism conducted by religious fanatics.

The death of one man.


[1] Incidentally, why are they always called "compounds"? Why not "villas", or "estates"? I mean, Camp David doesn't get called a compound.

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