Oct 13, 2014
John writes. A rising stock market, like a rising tide, can cover a multitude of interesting and/or scary things. The thinking seems to be that if the finance guys who really know what’s going on are buying, then the disturbing stories that lead each evening’s news must be manageable. So, in general, we’re okay.
But let the market fall a bit and those headlines suddenly begin to seem both oppressive and really, really numerous. And maybe we’re not okay after all. To take just a few of the issues that, in the wake of the recent equity correction, now loom large:
Islamic State, the tiny band of religious crazies that the US armed to do its bidding in the Syrian civil war is now threatening to take Baghdad, capital of Iraq and home to a US embassy that will live forever in the annals of hubristic excess. Actually a small, self-contained city, the embassy contains all kinds of sensitive equipment, documents and personnel, and will be defended with (thousands of) boots on the ground if an Islamic State victory appears imminent — which it now seems to be. In other words, we’re getting ready to dump another trillion or so dollars into the hole where we previously dumped two trillion with nothing to show for it but chaos.