Among the fallout from the Wikileaks document dump is one clear loser: anyone who travels in conspiracy theories.
Here are hundreds of thousands of secret memoranda and there’s not one mention of the Trilateral Commission, no meetings upon a Grassy Knoll, no Elder Protocols. Those who think that the U.S. is managed by an elite cabal of overlords will have to explain why their pet theories came up empty.
Of course absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You can’t prove a negative, which is why conspiracy theories survive–and even thrive–despite their having no support.
There are still some who think that Assange’s revelations are part of a Master Plan. Ahmadinejad thinks it’s psychological warfare. Many Russians see it as a plot by U.S. hardliners to discredit President Obama. But most folks who’ve read the news have met it with a yawn. Is this all they’ve got?
No assassination plots; no secret payments; no mysterious mountain retreats–just a bunch of boring chatter about Berlusconi’s nightlife and Saudi hostility to Iran. It’s hard to see where the leaks stop and the fiction begins when The Onion reports that Syria attended a Mideast peace conference in order to snag a free continental breakfast.
Without a doubt the leaker is a thief (and a traitor) and Julian Assange is a fence, trafficking in stolen property. But if the most embarrassing revelation is a diplomatic cable about Muammar Qaddafi’s weirdness, the world is a pretty banal place.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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