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Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

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(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Opium and the DJIA: 2007 Table

So this article came up in my search engine and it reminded me that I didn't update my ongoing 6 year project tracking the opium production in Afghanistan and the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the last business day of the year annually for the year 2007. Usually I do this in February or March of every year. If you want more background, on this interesting drama, check out my previous posts here.

Each year I've done this and been astounded at the results. The new figures are in and they are right in line with previous history... They never seem to change. The DJIA is tied in some way I cannot comprehend to the Opium production numbers out of Afghanistan...

Afghanistan produced 8200 mt in 2007. That's 92% of all the opium produced in the entire world and the most produced ever! An interesting thing to note... In November and December of 2007, the Dow hit it's record highs of over 14,000 points and began to drop right before the end of the year, so if I chart the DJIA all time high closing from October 9, 2007, just two months earlier than when I usual run the numbers, it would look more like this...

Double click on the graphs to read them better.

The Bush Administration cares so much about the Afghanistan opium production problem that it devoted 1.5 pages in a 79 page report entitled the National Drug Control Strategy Report 2008 to it.... a full half page of that is a chart and all the figures are now taken from the UNDOC reports.

From the White House's own website:
While the bulk of our drug control program is based at home, there are elements of an effective drug control program that can only be pursued abroad. Internationally, we and our allies will attack the power and pocketbook of those international criminal and terrorist organizations that threaten our national security.
Here's another fun statistic for you from your Bush Admin...
First this statement from the US State Dept:
Although only a small portion of heroin produced from Afghan opium finds its way to the United States, the negative implications of the drug trade for Afghan security, reconstruction, governance, and economic development make countering narcotics key to achieving all other U.S. objectives in Afghanistan. ...

Much of the heroin used in the United States comes from poppies grown in Colombia and Mexico, though opium gum production in these countries accounts for less than four percent of the world’s total production and Colombian production has been cut by 60 percent since 2001. Mexico supplies most of the heroin found in the western United States while Colombia supplies most of the heroin east of the Mississippi. Long-standing joint eradication programs in both countries continue with our support. Colombian law enforcement eradicated 375 hectares of opium poppy in 2007, while the Government of Mexico (GOM) reported eradicating 7,784 hectares of opium poppy, a decrease from 2006 levels. The decline in the rates of eradication is at least in part due to the realignment of responsibilities for aerial eradication, as well as higher than normal precipitation during the key growing season.
According to the UNODC report about, 10.6% of all heroin consumed in the world is consumed in the US, Afghanistan makes 92% of all the opium produced in the world, so that means that if the other countries around the world sent ALL their heroin to the US only 2.6% of heroin used in the US could be from Afghanistan. We know though that 5% of opium produced is produced in Myanmar... That's farther away from us than Afghanistan, so I doubt more than 1% of US heroin is coming from there, so that leaves 3% produced primarily in South America.

Let's look a bit closer:
Myan 1%
SA 3%
Def. Afg 2.6%
Total 6.6% this doesn't equal the 10.6% coming in SO...

Really the only place the other 4% of heroin in the US could come from is Afghanistan. So that means that of the 10.6% of US heroin used, 6.6% is most likely Afghan heroin or 63%!

Remember this line above from the State Dept?
Although only a small portion of heroin produced from Afghan opium finds its way to the United States,
63% is not an insubstantial amount of US heroin by ANY measure and the US State Department report is just plain LYING!!! The numbers just don't add up!!!

Here's another old but really good assessment of all of this:

Narcotics: Second to Oil and the Arms Trade

The foregoing estimates are consistent with the UN's assessment concerning the size and magnitude of the global drug trade.

The Afghan trade in opiates (92 percent of total World production of opiates) constitutes a large share of the worldwide annual turnover of narcotics, which was estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $400-500 billion.

(Douglas Keh, Drug Money in a Changing World, Technical document No. 4, 1998, Vienna UNDCP, p. 4. See also United Nations Drug Control Program, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 1999, E/INCB/1999/1 United Nations, Vienna 1999, p. 49-51, and Richard Lapper, UN Fears Growth of Heroin Trade, Financial Times, 24 February 2000).

Based on 2003 figures, drug trafficking constitutes "the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade." (The Independent, 29 February 2004).

Afghanistan and Colombia are the largest drug producing economies in the world, which feed a flourishing criminal economy. These countries are heavily militarized. The drug trade is protected. Amply documented the CIA has played a central role in the development of both the Latin American and Asian drug triangles.

The IMF estimated global money laundering to be between 590 billion and 1.5 trillion dollars a year, representing 2-5 percent of global GDP. (Asian Banker, 15 August 2003). A large share of global money laundering as estimated by the IMF is linked to the trade in narcotics.

All that money has to be going somewhere.... is it strange to think that the US Stock Markets are the largest drug money laundering organization on the planet?

I'll check the estimates/DJIA again next Feb and maybe one year, the lines will diverge... I can keep hoping I'm wrong right?

And oh yeah... did someone mention once that we might decide one day to fight a war on terror??? I could have sworn I heard something about that somewhere...

Notes on the data presented:
^ http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2002/html/17947.htm -- Information was found at this web address. All US information has been removed from the US Dept of State website with no explanation and I did not save the original reports (something I've corrected withthe UN report now included in the figures).
*Potential Yield estimate from the U.S. White House; UN estimate is approx. 3,600 metric tons
**Potential Yield estimate of production thru Sept 2002 based on the 2002 number divided by two for charting purposes
***Close last trading day of December annually unless otherwise** noted
87% of the world's opium production in 2004 and 2005 came from Afghanistan eradication efforts led to an estimated 5% reduction in opium production from 2004 to 2005, but the reason for lower amounts of final product are believed to be on the processing and crow yield side more than the growth side of production.
2006 figures so far are estimated to be at or above the levels in 2006 depending on whether or not any eradication efforts are carried out or successful (coincidentally, the stock market is also expected to rise during the year). http://www.unodc.org/pdf/research/Afg_RAS_2006.pdf
New estimate is that over 90% of the world's opium production came from Afghanistan
page 48 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/pdf/world_drug_report.pdf?sid=ST2008062601924&s_pos=list

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