Inside the Baghdad stock exchange’s two-story concrete building, investors are upbeat. The benchmark BSI index, which closed at 2,212 on Monday, has gained 31 percent this year, according to data provided by the exchange’s research department. The big movers: Baghdad hotels such as the Palestine, the Ishtar and the Sadir. Investors are betting that a quick war, followed by the ouster of President Saddam Hussein, will lead to a surge of visitors and tourists. [Bloomberg News, 3/7/03]

I wonder how the press will spin this? Probably similar to the recent U.S. market upsurge after Bush’s recent press address, where the BBC claims “New York shares are up on rumours that soldiers may be close to Osama bin Laden, but war jitters continue to hammer markets elsewhere.” The truth, as Richard Salsman has reiterated for the past few years is that the so-called “war-jitters” are bullish. [Thanks to Paul Blair for the news sighting.]

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