Monday, September 27, 2004

The Law of Unintended Consequences

BushCo.'s misadventure in Iraq is having quite a few unintended consequences. Iran is poking Bush in the eye over its atomic programs, Afghanistan is basically under Taliban rule again, our key allies are more estranged than ever and over a thousand American soldiers are dead. But none of this seems to affect Bush's ratings on national security or foreign policy.


In news that's likely to have consequences that fall beyond soldiers and their families, the Wall Street Journal brings us this news:

Stocks were likely to tumble at the start of trading Monday morning, as investors returned to Wall Street to find crude-oil futures nudging toward $50 a barrel.

About two hours before the start of trading, futures-market activity on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index indicated that the Dow Jones Industrial Average was likely to fall by about 20 points.

Crude-oil prices hovered near an all-time high of $49.40 Monday morning as supply fears in Iraq and other key producers roiled electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Violence in Iraq and Saudi Arabia put the market on edge, and OPEC's president said the cartel's recent decision to boost production by a million barrels a day from November has failed to have any "psychological impact on the market."
This kind of run-up in oil prices - and its attendant rise in gas and energy prices - combined with huge losses in the value of stock and retirement portfolios could finally cause the disinterested masses to finally notice what a mess they've created.

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