Ordinarily, this blog includes our thoughts and observations but I was on vacation last week in Grenada. So it turns out I haven’t spent any time catching up on the markets or global economy at all. Luckily, my wife and I hired a Grenadian tour-guide, Michael, to drive us around the small island on day. In between his comments about the island’s culture and our next destinations, he would also share his thoughts on a variety of topics.
Some of Michael’s observations aren’t relevant to this blog: for instance, the way to prepare the Grenadian traditional dish “Oil Down.” But driving over narrow-streets and mountainous terrain is slow, so he found lots of time to express his insightful political and economic commentary. He spoke at length about the great failure of the United States to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a way to curb China’s economic power. Noting a JMC (Jiangling Motors) car on the road, he spoke about the outright thievery of GMC branding and about stolen intellectual property for lots of industries that exported manufacturing offshore. Although Grenada is small, it has received many infrastructure development gifts – an oil depot or a bus station – from nations (e.g. Venezuela, China) eager to curry favor or favorable votes. For example, Japan’s gift of a fish market for the island translated into a relatively beneficial “abstain” vote over Japanese whaling rights during an International Whaling Commission debate.
While I didn’t agree with Michael on every one of his points (e.g. I would challenge his disregard of traffic lights as a useful tool for city planning), it is heartening to know that attention is being paid and passions are being engaged all over the world.