While national and international media focus their attention almost entirely on the political differences between the America-led coalition and western European nations such as France and Germany, BuzzCharts has been keeping an eye on the daily opinion poll that never lies — the marketplace. While opinion polls and elections are certainly useful in gauging public opinion, the financial markets reflect public sentiment on a minute-by-minute basis. BuzzCharts believes that ordinarily people give a lot more thought to their decisions when their retirement is on the line than they do when answering questions from a pollster in a phone call.
Viewed from this perspective, it seems that members of the Global Investor Class are doing pretty much the same thing as their counterparts in America — they’re rooting for coalition victory.
BuzzCharts has divided the timeline into 4 phases: the Ultimatum, the Decapitation Strategy, the Media Disappointment, and the Closing on Baghdad Phase, which we are still in the middle of. What the graph above shows with clarity is that, for the most part, foreign bourses such as the FTSE (Great Britain), the CAC (France), and the DAX (Germany) have tracked closely with the mood of U.S. investors. When the progress of the war is uncertain, the markets are uncertain; when the progress of the war is promising — such as during the decapitation strategy with its rumors of a hospitalized Saddam and frantically surrendering Republican Guard — the markets rally; when the media spends a weekend comparing Operation Iraqi Freedom to Vietnam, then the markets plummet on the following Monday; and when the war shows steady but incremental progress the market shows steady but incremental gains.
Scholars such as Michael Ledeen have discussed on NRO the great split between elite opinion in Europe and that of ordinary Europeans. It seems that this silent majority of Europeans has reflected its views in its investment decisions. The New Global Investor Class is showing its solidarity across national divides.
— Jerry Bowyer is a talk show host on WPTT radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He can be reached through www.BowyerMedia.com.