Archive for the ‘Globalization’ Category
The Financial Times interviews famed investor Jim Rogers today. I read his book Adventure Capitalist several years ago, which recounts his travels across six continents in a custom-made yellow Mercedes convertible. He told the story in a compelling way and I enjoyed the book greatly. He’s also been uncannily correct about the market for the last 40 years.
The week saw the President in China; questions about increasing trade tension between the U.S. and China; continued strength for gold; Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett launch an effort to support small business; wonderment at the supposed strong dollar policy; and retailers wondering whether the holiday shopping season, which offiially opens in eight days, will bring good cheer.
The Debt Economy, by James Surowiecki.
Main Street Tells Wall Street – Get a Real Job, by Susan Antilla. Reading this, the intensity, the passion, the feeling behind the comments struck me. Yes, I thought, people are angry at Wall Street — the bailout, the bonuses — but the intensity of the remarks made an impression.
Six Reasons Richard Russell Wants to Own Gold. Richard Russell writes Dow Theory Letters, and regularly criticizes the Federal Reserve and the Fed system. He writes in an entertaining style. You may not like the technical approach to investment analysis, but Russell makes cogent arguments. Always a good read.
China and the American Jobs Machine, by Robert Reich.
Looking back on history, we sometimes find a temptingly simplistic path from one age to the next. We seem to witness inevitable forces sweep across the story of history — forces like liberty, the rule of law, or democracy. Today, that unstoppable force — anticipated for decades, if not centuries, and now prepared to forever alter the course of humanity — appears to be globalization.
As proof of its inevitability, nearly all discussion on globalization focuses on whether it will cause mass benefits or misery for mankind. For nearly a decade, I cannot recall ever reading a article questioning it as a future, sweeping phenomenon.
Enter Patrick Deneen, a professor of political theory at Georgetown University. In his article “Conventional Wisdom? Checking Globalization,” he questions the inevitability of globalization. Now, I love this piece simply because it thrust before me an idea so contrary to my own thinking; it forced me to re-evaluate whole assumptions I had made for more than a decade.
Professor Deneen does an admirable job making a cogent argument that the trend of history may in fact turn toward localization, and not in the direction of a globalized world. In the last year, how many farmers markets have opened in major cities? How many ‘buy local’ (however ‘local’ is defined) campaigns have begun, perhaps as misguided notions to restore health to the local economy, but also perhaps as a reaction to people buying everything from everywhere but here. Certainly, Deneen’s evidence does not overwhelm. It leaves a dull sense in the reader that the matter needs greater exploration.
Does the answer matter? Who cares if we live in a more local or global world? While I cannot articulate reasons now, my sense says yes, it does matter. More thoughts on this later.