By Dennis HansSan Francisco Chronicle/ Common Dreams News Center
(Transcript of the June 1, 1999, broadcast)
Good Evening and welcome to the PBS ``Nightly Peoples Report.''
Trading was fast and furious today on the Ethnicities and Nationalities Market. The value of the American continued to soar as the world held its collective breath over the fate of U.S. bomber pilots flying 10 miles above Yugoslavia. News of their safe return to base sent Yankee bulls on a spending spree.
The upshot? At the close of trading, the life of an American held nine times the value of its closest competitor, the Brit. Elsewhere on the European Big Board, the German closed at 11 to the American, the Swede and Dane held steady at 12.5, while the French fell to 22 as investors recoiled at the heavy volume of hairy legs along the Riviera.
The big news remains the volatile Albanian Kosovar. For most of the decade, it sold at 10,000 to the American, but the Kosovar has fluctuated wildly since deregulation March 24. In the weeks that followed, both in Belgrade and the capitals of NATO, the Kosovar lost nearly all its value, plunging to 300,000. So it declared a split and relocated half its human capital to foreign markets. The new offering, known as the Exiled Kosovar, became the darling of western investors and skyrocketed to 25.
But that's not the end of this remarkable story. Wily traders caught with the crumbling Kosovo-based Kosovar discovered that a Dead Kosovar was worth its weight in gold in western propaganda markets. It closed today at 15 to the American, and analysts see a bright future for the Dead Kosovar -- if it retains political utility.
Elsewhere in the Balkans, more bad news for the battered Serb. It plummeted for a 70th straight day and now sits at 400,000. Investors left holding the worthless ethnicity blame London and Washington, but New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman blames the market itself, saying that Serbs are subhuman and thus shouldn't even be traded in a humans market.
We'll be right back after this message.
Remember, this is pledge week at PBS. Donate $100 and we'll send you a copy of Gary Null's ``How to Live Forever If You're an American
--or Till 45 If You're a Kurd.''
Welcome back. In the Peoples of Color Market, the Angolan fell to 44,000 to the American while the Cuban closed up 500 points at 13,000, reflecting a strong rookie pitching crop that has scouts salivating. The Haitian climbed 800 to 22,000 after Disney's announcement of a summer blockbuster with textile tie-ins.
Today saw another big sell-off of Timorese as investors remain frightened by western support for intensified Indonesian repression. Analysts say the Timorese, which closed at 52,000, could go the way of the Iraqi.
Speaking of which, indifference to the Iraqi market is so great that in a recent poll of people value managers, 95 percent were unaware that eight years of economic sanc tions had taken a million or more Iraqis off the market.
Some analysts credit President Clinton for degrading the Iraqi to its true value (500,000 to the American), while others feel a hands-off approach might trigger a recovery. In any event, the Iraqi has been demoted from the Peoples Market to the Commodities Market, where it is pegged at 200 to the cow and 25 to the soybean.
Word on the street is commodities queen Hillary Clinton will cash in her cows for 100,000 Iraqis and use them as shoe leather in her senatorial bid. If she does, a big win in the Big Apple could spark an Iraqi rally.
And now, tonight's commentary:
Once again, government intervention in the Peoples Market has reared its ugly head. While the Exiled Kosovar is a great story, the NATO-organized relief effort has artificially inflated its value. In a free system of freely traded humans, the Exiled Kosovar would be worth no more than the Rwandan or the Guatemalan. Let's allow the market to work its magic. In the long run, we'll all be better off. Thank you for watching the ``Nightly Peoples Report.'' Happy investing, and may you never sell people short.
Dennis Hans is a free-lance writer and an occasional adjunct professor of American foreign policy and mass communications at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice and Christianity & Crisis.
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