Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The World Is Flat(ter)

When Chinese stocks drop 10%, the Dow responds by falling 3.3%.

I guess Tom Friedman is right. I think the lesson here is to invest widely, diversely, and globally, because keeping your money at home won't save you from trouble overseas.

A Bad Day In Shanghai

The Chinese stock market in Shanghai fell nearly 9% today, the worst single day in it's history. Of course, the market more than doubled last year, so you're still up 80% if you're a stock holder. It's a very exciting time to be in China; everything's going gangbusters now but their could always be trouble around the corner.

I don't really have money to invest right now, but I'm hoping when the crash does come (as recessions always do) I'll be sitting on some change waiting to pounce. Here's hoping.

Beijing? Or Baghdad?

Originally uploaded by weibinwestgate.
Well, the Chinese New Year is over and I'm happy to announce we survived it. Seriously.

I knew there were fireworks involved (legend has it to frighten off a monster and ensure a bounteous harvest for the year), but "involved" doesn't quite do it justice. It's EVERYWHERE. On the eve of the lunar new year, we were cycling back from a failed expedition to acquire a wireless router when explosions started assaulting our ears from every direction. Everyone and their brother is setting off those strings of little firecrackers that sound like machine guns, particularly when echoing off buildings.

People set them off in the middle of the street, in alleways, and on overpasses. Between buildings, off the roofs, EVERYWHERE. I'm definitely prepared to report from a warzone now.

Now, I love a good fireworks show, but this was kind of insane, because these are your puny American fireworks. No, they ship us the wussy stuff that meets our silly little safety regulations. Here in China, they play with serious explosives. And not just the adults - I saw toddlers setting firecrackers off. In fact, I was amazed to read the next day that "only" 125 people had been injured. I would have guessed thousands.