Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wall Street Jitters

I still don't understand how Wall Street traders interpret the news.

Today the market did poorly and oil prices shot to a new high all because of North Korea's missile launches. If Iran were to launch a missile I could see the problem. It sits next to most of the world's oil supply.

North Korea, on the other hand, is possibly the worlds least important nation. So naturally oil futures shot up and the market dropped 80 points on "geopolitical jitters." This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Every freaking day there is a problem some place in the world.

North Korea has no natural resources, no international economy to speak of and it's main export is starving North Koreans who seek refuge in China. Now, any country whose population heads to China looking for a better way of life really must suck.

On top of it all the one important missile tested failed. The ICBM that could possibly hit the U.S. exploded 40 seconds into its flight. The other six missiles fired into the sea of Japan were smaller Scud type missiles. These have no targeting ability. They simply hit whatever is underneath them at the end of their ballistic arc. The U.S. response was to call for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean problem. Hardly, sabre wrattling.

So why all the anxiety on Wall Street?

The only reason I can come up with is that the average Wall Streeter responsible for buying and selling has no concept of what is important in the news. They simply react without any effort to put the day's news into any type of context.

If the U.S. had shot down the missile or if the North Koreans had hit Japan or South Korea thus initiating a regional war then I would say the market would have every reason to react as it did today. But the only thing that happened was the UN met to consider a resolution demanding santions against the North. Sanctions that would cut exports of oil and food to that pathetic nation, hardly effecting the rest of us except for making more food and oil available for the world's markets.


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