My (new) boss gave me something to think about the other day as we were eating Bahn Mi at the local Pho joint behind Walmart. He said, why don't you go and work in Singapore for a month, you know, when we get the right engagement? I love my new boss. Finally, somebody who thinks like me. What have I been doing all these years?
Thsi morning's Bloomberg News had me reading about a gent from 'Middle Africa' who owns a pineapple farm there. He got his loan from Ecobank in which Mark Mobius is a stakeholder.
Pineapples grow in Africa? Mark Mobius is still around, in Singapore? I clearly have been out of touch for a long time. My latest podcast download from the RSA featured an enviro-wackjob who nonetheless provoked me into thinking that it might not be a bad idea to live in Asia. I might like it better than I like a lot of things that I don't like in America.
I say 'in' America rather than 'about' America, because the things that I love 'about' America I love anywhere they can be found, like a good Bahn Mi, and enough wifi to get me Bloomberg News on my iPad, and people who ignore Donald Trump, and a nice hotel room with all sorts of pillows. And obviously everything that's in America isn't what America is about. I think that's something a certain class of obnoxious and objectionable Americans don't understand, and I'm happy to leave them behind - just to get their noise out of my head.
I have a lot of what I call external imperative noise in my head these days. It makes me a very inefficient me. I'm going to air my brain out in the next couple of weeks. It should be good.
In the meantime, it makes sense to keep in mind what it is that Asians and Africans are trying to acheive and at exactly what cost. It might very well be a low cost with a high reward, and it seems to me that I need to figure that out.
Imagine, if you will, the following scenario. Bernie Madoff is the tipping point, or worse yet, the tip of the iceberg and the guys at Zero Hedge are right - that the only thing left to do is wait for the rest of the sucker to pony up. The affluent and lumpen rich get soaked over the next decade and the the Obamaheads get exactly what they want, a big fat stupid undifferentiated middle-class with very little more prosperity than there was in 1952. Which was good if your idea of luxury was a Packard. America goes back to Fred and Wilma-style one car, one kid families and you have a great ocean of grey equality. There will be haves and have-nots, but no more have-mores like me. We'll all be in Singapore with Mark Mobius.
That's a crazy scenario. There's no way I have the capital to be a baby banker chasing waterjug moms in Emerging Markets. But I can start to think along the same lines as my (new) boss, who has coders in South America, family in Bangalore, and an office in Lower Manhattan.