On January 10, President George W. Bush gave a speech in which he announced plans to increase the number of troops in Iraq (and Baghdad, in particular) by 20,000. Two days later, Larry Kudlow pointed out on NRO that as a result, “oil prices continued to fall and share prices hit record highs.” World markets, it would seem, like the plan.
But what of the Iraqi markets, specifically?
Well, the ISX Price Index, the Iraq equivalent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, shows that Iraqis support the plan, too. As the chart above makes clear, the ISX rose a full point in the days following Bush’s speech — one point is significant for an index at this level — and has risen slightly higher in the two weeks since.
Many polls purport to measure the composite opinion of Iraqis on the way the war is being conducted. But the way in which people spend and invest their money remains the best indicator of how they really feel about their situations. While it’s still tough-going in Iraq, market data reveal that Iraqis are decidedly more positive about their future than are many American politicians.