Two Chinas: Hong Kong and Shanghai

WASHINGTON: People in mainland China don’t have a clue as to what is really happening in Hong Kong. State television lacks any semblance of balance. Its reporting emphasizes violence while downplaying the magnitude of what until recently were non-violent demonstrations against the steady erosion of democratic freedoms.  CCTV gives huge play to the defacing of the government insignia on a prominent building. As is well … Continue reading Two Chinas: Hong Kong and Shanghai

Letter from Shanghai: A Reflection on China Rising

SHANGHAI: As long as your visa is in order, it’s a fast passage through immigrations and customs in Shanghai. This sprawling city of 23 million has a modern, efficient international airport and it’s only a short walk to the world’s fastest train. The Siemens built maglev costs only $7 for the eight-minute, 200 mph journey to Shanghai’s outskirts. Connected to hotel Wifi, your laptop’s home … Continue reading Letter from Shanghai: A Reflection on China Rising

Remembering Mozambique Independence

My, how the world has changed.  Mozambique independence in 1975 was a kind of high water mark of communism. Fresh from victory in Portugal’s 1974 military coup and its triumph in Vietnam, ‘world revolution’ arrived in southern Africa on June 25, 1975 with the People’s Republic of Mozambique. In the days before the Portuguese handover, pundits in what was still Lourenco Marques wondered whether the … Continue reading Remembering Mozambique Independence

Berkshire 2015: Notes from the Warren and Charlie Show

OMAHA: As usual the Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger show played to thousands of the faithful at Omaha’s main sports arena.  The day-long Saturday session was chock full of jokes and wisdom for investors. This 50th annual meeting (my fifth) was noteworthy for the principals pronouncements on the euro currency and China.  The Young and Not So Young in Omaha There have always been questions … Continue reading Berkshire 2015: Notes from the Warren and Charlie Show

A Stunning Lack of US Support for the IMF

Thessaloniki, Greece.  Some years back, I wrote that the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington was Davos on the Potomac. It is, but it is much more.  Held two out of every three years in the IMF headquarters city, it is a much larger and more important gathering than the World Economic Forum.   Marco Annunziata of GE, formerly the chief economist at … Continue reading A Stunning Lack of US Support for the IMF