Taking Stock

On May 17, 2004, news that the head of Iraq’s Governing Council had been assassinated sent the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling more than 100 points in two minutes. Then on Feb. 28, 2005, when insurgents killed 125 people in the deadliest attack in Iraq since 2003, the Dow barely flinched. What’s going on? "Geopolitical ...

On May 17, 2004, news that the head of Iraq's Governing Council had been assassinated sent the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling more than 100 points in two minutes. Then on Feb. 28, 2005, when insurgents killed 125 people in the deadliest attack in Iraq since 2003, the Dow barely flinched. What's going on? "Geopolitical numbness" has set in, says Sassan Ghahramani, president of the New York-based policy intelligence firm Medley Global Advisors. Yet geopolitical rumors -- both accurate and false -- that play on the world's hopes and fears can still move markets.

On May 17, 2004, news that the head of Iraq’s Governing Council had been assassinated sent the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling more than 100 points in two minutes. Then on Feb. 28, 2005, when insurgents killed 125 people in the deadliest attack in Iraq since 2003, the Dow barely flinched. What’s going on? "Geopolitical numbness" has set in, says Sassan Ghahramani, president of the New York-based policy intelligence firm Medley Global Advisors. Yet geopolitical rumors — both accurate and false — that play on the world’s hopes and fears can still move markets.

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