Shanghai before the bright lights

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The New Encyclopedia of the World by Octopus Books Limited dated 1977, like almost any other timely book over 30 years old, can provide an inspiring flashback of what the world was, and how things have actually changed versus how we might have expected them to at the time. Below is a photo of Shanghai […]

One of my top 10 favorite drinks in Bombay

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Tweet: Many photos in India say a 1,000 words – this one makes it easy to consume 1,000 calories Made in: Bombay, India Alcohol: 0% Cost: INR ₹40-90/L Primary tastes: Kulfi Serving suggestion: Best when hot and hungry – these are far more filling than lime soda or even chai of course!

India at 66% of a centennial

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Just over 25 years ago, I remember my teacher pointing out to the class the bicentennial of the US constitution.  “Then in another 100 years in 2087”, he continued, “will be the tricentennial, marking 300 years since the constitution was written.”  Being the shamelessly curious student I was at the time, I raised my hand […]

Martini with Thai chili instead of olives

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Tweet: Thai chili is one of many things that floats well in martinis in lieu of olives, onions, or twists.  Basil and other herbs in later posts. Made in: Home, with Bombay sapphire and thai chilis Alcohol: 40% from the vodka, maybe 20% after shaking with ice Cost: HK$200-400/L Primary tastes: Martini Serving suggestion: Ice cold, […]

Age and interest rates

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In this Bloomberg article relating aging populations to lower inflation on age, one of the important relationships in financial macroeconomics is hinted at: the more top-heavy a country’s population pyramid, the lower its interest rates will tend to be. This is not an absolute rule of course, but if we think of the stereotypes of […]

Why Asia should have more random fines

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This week I am in Europe, and was quickly reminded of a transit fare system I recall seeing far more here than in Asia or America for some reason. On the continent, many trams and buses do not check tickets of every passenger when they board, but rather leave them on their honor most of […]

Sovereign risk in a nutshell

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Credit risk is one of those concepts that can take a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.  Every year a noticeable share of the world’s financial assets are charged each year by credit analysts and rating agencies to answer the simple question “how likely is it that this borrower will pay me back?” Spreadsheet […]

Mongozo coconut beer

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Tweet: Mongozo coconut beer – slightly more manly than a pina colada or a wine cooler Made in: ??? Alcohol: 3-6% Cost: HK$125-250/L Primary tastes: Coconut, sugar, beer Serving suggestion: As pictured

“Road Less Traded” 2009 Train Trip Through 23 Countries in 206 Days Itinerary

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This is a re-print of the itinerary taken through 23 (mostly) emerging market countries in 2009, by train, with my wife and son, over about 206 days that year. I was fortunate to find it still exists on this old blog of mine. 9 April: Fly from JFK to India, lose the 10th via connection […]