How a Fake Country Fooled the Big Banks

As an emerging markets investor in 19th century South America, it was tough to find out what was really happening. At best, up-to-date news had a three month journey. Even with good winds, the round trip between London and South…

When Buying a Bond Might Not Be Ethical

Enjoying rich returns from emerging market funds, Venezuela’s bondholders have ethical investing dilemmas because the cost could be starvation.

What Have We Built From the BRICs?

While in 2001 the BRICs–Brazil, Russia, India and China–were going to fuel the world’s economic growth, now it is all about China.

How To Know You’re Sitting Next to a Billionaire

With globalization the source of the wealth of the super-rich, billionaire characteristics that relate to education can be surprising.

The Meat Problem at the UN Climate Talks

With UN climate talks starting, one issue that will be tough to manage is the unavoidable growing demand for meat in emerging market nations like China.

What Refrigerators Can Tell Us About Global Markets

In refrigerators in developing nations, we can see the impact of affluence on their diet and on supply and demand that will change worldwide food prices.

What Golf in China Shows About Economic Development

On a ladder of spending in developing economies, growing affluence first means wheat and meat. Then, climbing somewhat higher, people can afford consumer durables like a washing machine and a car. On a Chinese spending ladder, we could add golf. But it is a…

Cow Burps and Global Warming

As most of us know, cow burps add to global warming. So too do the methane releases of sheep, goats and other ruminant animals. In a recent opinion piece in Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers suggest we should…

More Expensive Ice Cream?

Milk prices are going up. And yet, in the US, we are drinking less milk. According to Corey Geiger, managing editor of Hoard’s Dairyman magazine, one reason is oil. Countries in the Middle East with massive oil reserves have to import 90%…

One Reason That Chocolates Are More Expensive

In an econlife post from September 2013, we presented a spending ladder that emerging market nations like the BRICs–Brazil, Russia, India, China–might climb. At each rung, spending surges and then flattens at that higher level until consumers can afford to climb…