Bin Laden - Prophetic?

By: Ian Campbell | Wed, May 11, 2011
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An article published May 7 titled 'In Death Osama bin Laden Causes Another War' - reading time 3 minutes - includes a number of statements I consider extreme. However, having said that, I think the article is worth reading and thinking about. The message the article seeks to convey, or so I think, is that the assassination of Osama bin Laden on April 30 has been used by the current U.S. Administration to deflect the focus of 'average Americans' away from current U.S. economic problems, enhance American patriotism, and increase the political capital of President Obama as the 2012 U.S. Presidential election race approaches the starting line.

In a commentary early last week I recounted what I had read to be Bin Laden's thesis for economic destruction - namely, to plan terrorism events that cost Al Qaeda very little (the recent UPS/Fedex computer printer 'explosive devices' affair being but one example), but in turn costs the targeted countries very large amounts of money to protect against similar real or perceived terrorist events. It seems to me time may demonstrate that in death Bin Laden may continue to accomplish his objective. Only time will tell, but I find it difficult to believe that Al Qaeda will not plan and attempt to execute numerous reprisals. As I am sure you know the Hydra was a mythological serpent-like beast with multiple heads and a facility of growing two new heads if any one of heads was cut off. It seems to me to be entirely possible that Al Qaeda may prove to be much like the Hydra in this regard. I doubt the world has heard the last of Al Qaeda and other similar organizations.

As for the politicizing of Bin Laden's death in the past week, I for one consider that an example of very 'overdone behavior' on the part of America and its people. Bin Laden was a declared enemy of America. Finding and killing him clearly was a form of retribution for the events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. That said, for me at least, for the current U.S. Administration to spend subsequent time using that event to develop political currency is wrong-headed for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that given human nature such activity may well increase the chances of visiting 'more of the same' on America and its allies. All in all, it seems to me that the U.S. Federal Deficit may now prove to be higher than it otherwise would be as a result of the possible necessity of spending even more on Homeland Security in the aftermath of Bin Laden's death - increasing once again the depth of the economic hole America finds itself in. To add to all of this, last evening's (May 9) U.S. television news coverage included extensive coverage of what was reported to be a disruption in relations between the U.S. and Pakistan that is an extension of the Bin Laden affair. It seems to me that nothing much good can come of that either.

So why is all this this important to equity investors and owners of precious metals? It seems to me that if I am subsequently proven right with respect to any or all of the foregoing, in the end America's retaliatory strike against Bin Laden, and its subsequent behaviour, may further exacerbate America's debt burden. In turn this may impact the equity markets negatively and the precious metals markets positively. Time will tell.



Ian Campbell

Author: Ian Campbell

Ian R. Campbell, FCA, FCBV
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Through the Economic Straight Talk Newsletter Ian R. Campbell shares his perspective on the world economy, the financial markets, and natural resources. A recognized business valuation authority, he founded Toronto based Campbell Valuation Partners (1976), Stock Research Portal (2007) a source of resource companies market data and analytic tools, and Economic Straight Talk (2012). The CICBV* annually funds business valuation research in his name**. Contact him at
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