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Monday, 2 May 2011

Although the Obama-effect didn’t last very long, the Osama-effect might!

This morning, the word was spread that the world’s number one terrorist Osama bin Laden has finally been caught. The largest manhunt that ever took place and that started directly after 9-11 has finally come to an end. This will probably lead to a gulf of optimism on the national stock markets, as you could consider the world to be a little bit saver.

The same kind of optimism could be found at the time that the man with the very similar name Barack Obama had been elected to president of the United States of America.

The two million dollar question are now:
  • Why the optimism on the election of Obama did not last ?
  • Will the optimism on the capture of Osama do last? 
The first question can be answered quite easily: the current president of the USA Barack Obama could not live up to his almost divine status. While his status, his prowess and his speeches during his election were almost God-like, his first stint as a president showed that he was all too human and almost too vulnerable to the division between the Grand Ole Party and the Democrats.

Although the reform of the medical system in the USA could be considered a victory for Obama and for everybody that wanted to have change in that area towards a more ‘European’ system, Barack Obama suffered some shrewd blows:

  • The promise that he would close Guantanamo Bay was nothing more than hot air: everybody knows that Guantanamo will remain open until the last (innocent / guilty) prisoner perished, as a remaining scar of the US’ evading of the Genevan Convention.
  • His approach of ‘saving’ the economy was more of the same useless throwing of good money at bad money, just like his predecessor did. The only part of the economy that has been truly saved are the large banks and their bonuses. The average Joe is probably in a more difficult situation than in 2008 when the credit crisis gained velocity.
  • Obama didn’t manage to unite the country: to the contrary, the USA seem more divided than ever nowadays.
Can you blame him for suffering these losses? Yes and no: especially with the first promise (bullet one) he could have been less frivolously and he could have thought better in advance what to do with the human ‘nuclear fuel rods’ that were stored in Guantanamo and that no country in the world wanted to have as either a prisoner or a free man.

Further he had the bad luck of becoming president in some of the most polarized political times in the American history. But he is a big boy, so he should get over it during his 2nd stint as a president. Unless the Americans want to hear from Donald Trump as their president: “your fired!”.

The 2nd question is not so easy to answer:

It is a fact that the true ‘antichrist’ of terrorism Osama bin Laden has been caught and killed and that will send a sigh of relief through millions and millions of houses. I’m also convinced that it will send a rush of optimism through millions and millions of amateur and professional investors, traders and hedge funds that finally the cause for the war in Afghanistan has been removed.

It is now May 2, 10.30 AM CET and already the story has popped up on CNN that the body of Osama bin Laden has been tossed overboard of a marine vessel for a ‘Davey Jones’s locker’. I don’t know if this is true, but I’m convinced that the first conspiracy theorists have already sharpened their pencils:
  • Osama bin Laden is not really dead
  • Osama bin Laden was already killed a few years ago, but the news is now spread due to electoral/political/economic/financial (delete where not applicable) reasons
  • Osama bin Laden has been executed summarily with ## bullets and the American army does not want to show this. Hence the watery grave
  • Osama bin Laden has been a patsy from the beginning and the American government didn’ t want to put him on trial to keep this a secret. Hence the summarily execution.
  • Osama bin Laden’s family were very good friends of former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and when the American government would have put him on trial, Bin Laden would have disclosed some dirty secrets. The American government couldn’t afford this. 
You know the works…

My point is: although I don’t like to cheer the death of a person, we still might consider this as a good omen that can bring some optimism back in a very pessimistic and uptight world.

According to Todd Harrison of Minyanville ( ‘Hope is not a viable investment strategy” and that is very true. On the other hand you could say: the night is darkest right before dawn. 

And maybe the death of Osama bin Laden might be a signal that dawn for the international economy has come. I wish it is…

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