Common Sense

Money Talks. Fear Walks

The next time someone tells you all hell's breaking out in the Middle East and that it's just a matter of time before it hits Middle America, take a look at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

It's back to where it was before war broke out with Hezbollah.

Look at the region's largest stock exchange, in Cypress. It's higher than it was before the war.

Look at the Israeli pharmaceutical powerhouse Teva. Its profit more than doubling on 77 percent higher sales.

Something tells me those who bet with money aren't losing any betting on a more promising future.

The one thing I've learned covering the markets these many years is that they're a great discounting mechanism: They don't take sides — they do take chances.

I remember a great investor in this country once telling me, "Neil, I don't see red or blue, only green."

Money is what matters — keeping it is what matters more.

And more of them are keeping it in regions that the not so financially minded rest of the world considers basket cases.

Markets aren't always right, but they are "mostly" right.

They see past the fog of the moment, so ignore the momentary daily blips and focus on trends: up in the Mideast — resilient here.

I suspect when the rest of the world catches on, some of these investors will move on.

For now, they don't share our angst. For now, they're profiting off it.

A cruel, crass world where money talks and fear, for now at least, walks.

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