Eric Fry of The Daily Reckoning, commenting on his colleague Chris Mayer’s column, about the advisability of investing in uranium “futures” in the wake of the ongoing nuclear reactor crisis is Japan:
Uranium is “too hard” indeed. On the other hand, nothing is very easy these days. Following the Nikkei’s vertical plunge during the last two days, most stock markets around the globe also posted minus signs. From the highs of March 11 – the day the 9.0 quake struck – to the lows of today, Japan’s Nikkei Index plunged more than 20%. The would-be buyers of Japanese stocks apparently decided that widespread devastation and smoldering nuclear power plants are not bullish phenomena… Obviously, the unfolding nuclear tragedy in Japan is not a non-event… as the harrowing volatility in global stock markets attests. The uranium sector, in particular, is in full meltdown mode…
I’d been trying to think of a pure and active exponent of unregulated capitalism. The sort of person who looks 24/7 at the places where current events and investment decisions converge. Someone who can watch news footage of people rendered homeless and hungry by an earthquake-tsunami-nuclear crisis and worry more about the health of investors than hungry people.
Fry might not be my guy. Speculation is his passion and writing about money is his gig, but he possibly only appears to think of everything in terms of gold to be squirreled away. He’s not a corporate shill or an elected official (I know, there’s often no difference).
He’s less obnoxious than the first-rate jerks — Republican politicians — who’ve responded to the Japan disaster by defending nuclear power plants rather than by expressing concern for the victims. These are the same politicians who cried out against a moratorium on offshore drilling even while the catastrophic Gulf oil spill was in progress. They’re full-time climate-change deniers who never buck the interests of their corporate masters.
I found the worst apologist for free-market callousness, or at least this week’s worst, when Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander spoke:
We don’t abandon highway systems because bridges and overpasses collapse during earthquakes. The 1.6 million of us who fly daily would not stop flying after a tragic plane crash. We would find out what happened and do our best to make it safe.
Right, Lamar, except that bridges and planes aren’t nuclear reactors. One nuclear catastrophe could kill more people than all the collapsed bridges and crashed planes in history.
Alexander stood on the Senate floor and shilled for the nuclear power industry while reactors were close to meltdown. Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour was using the disaster to warn an audience that Democrats want to “drive up the cost of energy so Americans will use less of it.”
Not even a facade of concern for the hurt and needy, just business as usual. These guys are not only free-market zealots. They are what Republicans call compassionate conservatives.
Footnote: Fox News is, of course, working hard to contaminate the discourse about the reactor(s) crisis even as it worsens.