Price of Raytheon shares. Notice the big spike immediately following the missile attack. Source: New York Stock Exchange

by Phil Duncan

The US strike against targets in Syria seems like a slap with a wet bus ticket – it appears the US administration felt it had to do something in response to the use of chemical weapons by the regime again, but not too much.  While the strike will hardly frighten the Russians or Assad, it has been a nice little earner for weapons manufacturer Raytheon.

Raytheon, you see, makes the Tomahawk missiles.

And Trump had shares in Raytheon,at least up until he was appointed as US president by the Electoral College (votes by the mere citizenry don’t decide who is president in ‘the land of the free’).

As The Palmer Report notes, “. . . according to this report from Business Insider (link), Donald Trump owned stock in Raytheon up through at least the start of the presidential election cycle. There is no record that he subsequently sold that stock.” (See article by Bruce Palmer, here.)

The US Department of War, which goes under the official name the Department of Defense, estimates the weapons fired would have been worth about $US94 million – that’s around 130 million NZ dollars.

The Department will have to replace what was fired, so there is presumably a nice little sale for Raytheon of – at least – close to 100 million US dollars.

No wonder there was a boost in the price of Raytheon shares (see graph).  On April 8, Fortune magazine reported that Raytheon’s stock value had risen by a billion US dollars while The shares of other missile and weapons manufacturers, including Boeing (BA, -1.41%), Lockheed Martin (LMT, -0.65%), Northrop Grumman (NOC, -0.70%) and General Dynamics (GD, -1.08%), each rose as much as 1%, collectively gaining nearly $5 billion in market value as soon as they began trading, even as the broader market fell.” (See Fortune article, here.)

And thus the US capitalist state helps prop up the US capitalist private sector.  Ain’t the ‘free’ market great?


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