Remember Pearl Harbor

In an earlier Dismal Optimist several months ago, I suggested that US tech embargoes might provoke a Chinese attempt to takeover Taiwan by force. I compared the current US tech embargoes with the US and British embargoes on oil exports to Japan before WWII. As a result of these oil embargoes, Japan made what turned […]

China Disappoints But Is Still Investible

There has been a sea change in Chinese policy regarding market capitalism in the last few months. Instead of Deng Xiaoping’s “to get rich is glorious”, Xi Jinping’s new slogan is a more egalitarian “common prosperity”. Instead of a market-driven Milton Friedman world of profit maximization, major Chinese companies are encouraged “to give back”. Instead […]

Afghanistan Déjà Vu

The fall of Afghanistan is the latest sad chapter in America’s futile effort to impose its own vision of the perfect democratic society upon hapless non-Western countries. America has tried to make the world safe for democracy whether the world wants this or not. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya, now Afghanistan– America never learns. It’s […]

The Baron Speaks

“Buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.” According to Investopedia, this is the complete quote attributable to Baron  Rothchild, prominent British banker and shrewd investor during the Napoleonic Wars. Regarding Chinese stocks, there’s no blood flowing in the streets. But there is an endless supply of red ink flowing […]

Warning: American Sanctions On Hong Kong Harmful To Investors

Photo by Simon Zhu on Unsplash The United States at the end of last week issued a warning that the situation in Hong Kong had worsened and promised more sanctions on the city. President Biden said the situation in Hong Kong was deteriorating. The Situation in Hong Kong Is Not Deteriorating From 2014 to 2020 […]

Global Industrial Policies And Us Chinaphobia Are Bad News

Legendary venture capitalist and software wizard Marc Andreessen famously said that “software would eat the world”. He wasn’t wrong but he took for granted one “minor” detail, i.e. that the enabling hardware—semiconductors– would always be there. And thanks to Moore’s law, the hardware was ever improving at rate which doubled every two years and was […]

America’s War With China Is Fundamentally Race-based

Image: Moma Sometimes what is overwhelmingly obvious cannot be seen by people whose history and culture and whose basic instincts have trained them not to see. With a few unfortunate exceptions, America’s ruling elites, be they Democrat or Republican, today no doubt would swear that they harbor no racial animosity towards Chinese people. The growing […]

Monkey See, Monkey Do

The United States has frequently criticized China for pursuing industrial policy and subsidizing its enterprises to gain advantage in international markets. Now the United States is proposing to imitate China and do exactly the same thing. The so-called Innovation and Competition Act is making its way through Congress. At this writing the bill is 2000 […]

So Who’s Guilty of Genocide?

In an article every international investor should read, in this week’s Barron’s Reshma Kapadia outlines a very compelling case for a continuing deterioration of US/China relations. And a deterioration which will be extremely negative for US China investors. She forecasts that coming legislation and pressure from China hawks focused on human rights and national security […]

Hong Kong – a Different View

In recent months China has been increasingly vigorous in asserting control over Hong Kong. Western politicians and the Western intelligentsia have been highly critical of China’s actions. I believe their criticisms are largely misplaced and reflect a lack of interest about in what has actually happened on the ground in Hong Kong. And they certainly […]

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