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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

THE ANALYST: Bombing in The Balkans Proves Lucrative for NATO




War? What war? There is no war. In this world there is only equity. Just look at the NATO Index, the new bombardment benchmark that was recently created by some of the dafter writers on The Moscow Times business desk. According to the NATO Index, which is the simple average of leading domestic indices from member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, since the bombs started to fall over Yugoslavia, the stock markets of all 19 states have risen by over 8 percent.


Stated in a slightly different manner, had you invested your money on March 24 in NATO's militaristic campaign, on the day when the first Tomahawks began to terrorize Yugoslav terrain, you could have scored an 8 percent return on your investment, which annualizes into a doubling of your capital. Smart money follows smart bombs. Where there is war, there is profit. The global economy, alas, knows no fear!


After the first 30 nights of bombing, the results are indeed spectacular. The FTSE 100, United Kingdom's benchmark, rose 6.8 percent by the end of last Friday's session.


Across the English Channel, France's CAC-40 jumped up by a decent 5.0 percent, though the stubborn, feisty French failed to beat the NATO average for the month (which they should consider bad karma for pulling out of NATO's integrated military structure in 1965). The Germans showed they were in fine fighting form, as the DAX Index propelled by a solid 8.8 percent since March 24.


The warmonger itself, the United States, is continuing to see an equity bonanza that knows no bounds. The broad market standard-bearer, the S&P 500, has leaped 6.9 percent, while the granddaddy of all indices, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, broke the critical 10,000 barrier while the bombs were a-dropping and has set ten consecutive records in April alone.


Since President Bill Clinton gave the green light to use Yugoslavia as a dartboard, the DJIA has registered a remarkable burst of 10.6 percent growth.


The wisest investors, however, would have put their money with NATO's new members - Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic. All three Visegrad countries celebrated their mid-March entrance into the strategic alliance by pushing their benchmark indices in double-digit territory. Czech Republic's PX-50 revived itself with a 10.5 percent gain, Hungary's BUX lunged an enviable 13.2 percent, and Poland's WIG went berserk with six-straight record-breaking sessions and a historical high. Any skeptics left?


Some of the duds in the NATO Index include Belgium, home to NATO headquarters (up only 2 percent on anxiety caused by all the world attention), Italy (up 1.7 percent on worries of an increase in Albanian refugees), and Denmark (barely up by 1.3 percent on fears that someone will again steal the head of the Little Mermaid statue).


The only NATO country to see its stock market suffer a decrease since the attack on Yugoslavia started is Greece. Equity from the Hellenic republic has dropped by over 4.5 percent, and analysts unanimously agree that this is due to statements by a leading politician at the beginning of the campaign that NATO was making a major mistake. If they had been wise, the Greeks should have followed the policy practiced by their arch-rivals, the Turks, whose ISE National 100 index has skyrocketed by a staggering 22 percent since the first bombs fell. Turkey topped the list of NATO member countries in terms of stock market growth.


Not to miss out on all the action, non-NATO Asia jumped into the fray as well. Stocks in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are hitting year-high levels, while Australia's All Ordinaries are setting new records from week to week. Even the moribund Nikkei 225, Japan's benchmark, is at a twelve-month peak. Since the start of the year the Nikkei has soared 26 percent. Watching the equity extravaganza, seven Balkan countries that feel threatened by the conflict - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania - sent representatives to Washington to partake in the 50-year jubilee and express solidarity with the military partnership. What they really wanted to say was, "We want to join you so that our stock markets can get a much-needed boost."


This worldwide investor is almost a caricature of itself. The exuberance has infected nearly everyone, so that bad news in the morning is normally forgotten by lunch. As one analyst was quoted over the weekend as saying, "What concerns me about Kosovo is that we haven't been concerned about it."


In this new global economy, more powerful than bombs in determining market sentiment are the interest-rate policy of the U.S. Federal Reserve and corporate revenues. War means virtually nothing, and just like anything else is quickly "priced in" to the going bids. So bombs away! Let's all get rich.