The Goal of Terror & the Global Economy

Whenever I post about any terror related issues and their impact upon the Markets, I brace myself for the email barrage:  Someone inevitably accuses me of callously ignoring the horrors of these assaults and the tragic loss of life to make a quick buck.

Only it didn’t happen this time. I find that intriguing.

Its especially so, when you consider the strategic objectives of those who use terror: By focusing on "soft targets," i.e., civilians, they are seeking a disruption of the global economy for their own ends. Cower in your homes, don’t go out, travel, shop — thats part of their grand plan.

Even the timing of these "barbaric attacks" are coldly calculated: By hitting during rush hour (as opposed to at night), they not only maximize casualties, but they insure "good," well-lit video for TV. They maximize their media coverage, catch the news cycle with plenty of time to make front page coverage the next day.

Allowing this to occur is unacceptable to me. Since one of their goals is a disruption of the global economy, any hesistation I used to feel about getting back to business is now gone.

Posting about these events is not about making money. As I mentioned (Understand the Clinical Objectivity), I’ve been thru this before.

We all must accept a few ugly facts of life

1)  We will all die one day
It may be in bed as an old man, or it may be on a crosstown bus sooner;

2) How we live our lives is our own decision
I for one do not want to base my life decisions in response to pathologically deluded fearmongers;

3) Returning to living your own life sooner is preferable to living in fear
Once we decide to not allow others to make decisions for us, it becomes easier to deal with the horrors that  lunatics impose on the rest of the world

That’s it for my dime store philosophy.

The bottom line is this: When the next terror attack occurs — and there will be another and another and another — my response will be to appreciate the bravery of those souls who went about their lives unintimidated, briefly mourn the loss of life — and then start looking at my macro economics and charts and indicators.

My goal is to get back to normal, to choose my own path, and to not allow these cretins to dictate how I live my life.

>Soapbox mode off.


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  1. dave commented on Jul 9

    Am I the only one a little uneasy with all this ‘we’ve learned to live with it’ talk? The London, Madrid, WTC attacks were perpetrated by vicious savages determined to destroy our way of life. The terrorists need to be defeated as opposed to being tolerated. I appreciate the need for citizens to carry-on their day-to-day business and I was back to my regular cross-country flying 10 days after 9-11, but that attack was met with a determination to fight and defeat the bad guys.

    The fact London citizens returned to their day-to-day business is admirable and the right thing to do but the chatter on TV and the stock market rally indicates to me a level of complacency that is going to leave us vulnerable. Personally, I’ll feel a lot better when the discussion is dominated by counter-attack plans.

  2. spencer commented on Jul 9

    counter-attack who?

  3. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jul 9

    Its not that we’ve learned to live with it — its that we’ve recognized this will be an ongoing part of life

    This doesn’t mean we should lie back and accept it — or be any less vigilant — it just is.

    The first step to responding to a problem is recognizing it

  4. Bill commented on Jul 10

    All these terrorist need to do is light a fire under the wrong people . I’m sure the fence sitters in Brittain have just jumped off . Maybe we’ll see alot more courage from nations willing to eradicate these monsters . Exterminate is a better word . This terrorist enemy is out to KILL us , that don’t follow their religious brand , the very worst kind of people . Better to go get them first….with a vengence . Sorry . Thats how I feel . Bill

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