The Corner

War Profiteering

“How much money have you made out of the war?” shrieked that protester at

Cheney last night while Arnold was speaking.

This is, as we math buffs say, a nontrivial question, but one that could be

addressed to a great many of us. How much money have **I** made from the

Iraq war? I have no clue, but I doubt the answer is “zero.” Like 50+

percent of the U.S. public, I have investments in the market (via a bundle

of mutual funds, in my case). Were my investments affected by the decision

to go to war in Iraq? I have no idea of the specifics; but since markets

*do* react to large events like that, my investments surely were affected in

some way, as likely upwards as downwards. It’s entirely possible that I

have “profited from the war.” You, too.

And then there is George Soros, who is widely rumored to have been selling

the dollar short in the run-up to the war, hoping for a fat profit if the

dollar dropped. If this is right, and Soros’s “view” was the correct one,

then Moveon.org and the rest of Soros’s political ventures are financed in

part from “war profiteering.” Is anyone protesting about this? My guess

would be: No.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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