Great disruptions are currently occurring in Middle Eastern and African regions. Horrible as these are and as difficult as the resultant refugee crises may be as well, their combined devastations are not in themselves as destructive as the chaos of World War II, when, despite that overwhelming global conflagration, the Standard and Poors 500 rose 24%.
We also have understandable concerns about terrorist violence. However, much as an alarmist media makes hey (and sells advertising) by ginning up our fears, such mayhem is a small fraction of the violence ongoing in our country. Oddly enough, homicides, non-negligent manslaughters, and other violent crime are going down in the U.S., showing a 51.41% reduction between 1991 and 2014 (when such stats were last reported). However, if we look at terrorist deaths as a percentage of total violent deaths in the United States, we find they are only 0.99% of the latter figure (421,459). The terrorist death figure (4162 killings) includes domestic as well as foreign inspired violence of all kinds affecting our country, and is probably inflated a bit in a way that prevents apt comparison on an apples to apples basis. It encompasses things, for instance, like mass suicides and deaths of perpetrators as well as innocent civilians and those U.S. citizens killed in plane crashes overseas. It also includes deaths through 2015, such as in San Bernadino, whereas the general murder stats only go through 2014. If anything, then, the percentage of terrorist killings is probably lower. In any case, it is safe to say it is below 1% of the total. On an individual basis as well as in shocking instances such as on 9/11, any terrorism is both dramatic and inexcusable. Nonetheless, it is important when viewing the objective bases of a correction or bear market to put things in perspective. If less than 1% of all murders of our nation's men and women are due to terrorist violence, it is not a factor that warrants a big reduction in equities' price. As a fraction of deaths of all kinds, terrorism (domestic plus foreign) is a still more negligible variable, on average accounting since 1991 for less than 0.007% of all death causes per year in this country. Markets, realistic in the long-term, will eventually take this into account so that prices will rise again.