I feel as if there have been too many excellent articles lately not to share. First, there was last week’s cover story in Barron’s on the decline of the “Great China Growth Story” and indications of slowing growth in China. While I have read some about China, the country and its goings-on are still a black box to me, and this article made me want to learn much, much more about China. Most interesting fact from the article:
“Nicholas Lardy points out that last year residential construction accounted for 9.2% of Chinese GDP. Compare that with 6% in the U.S. at the peak of its housing boom in 2006. Among major countries, only Spain has hit that level—right before the housing collapse in that country.”
There is also differing points of view on China’s debt to GDP ratio which are even more interesting than the residential construction figures. That doesn’t mean growth in China and opportunities in China are impossible–far from it. I am still interested in business with China, I just haven’t figured out what yet :).
Next, you have to read Marcus Samuelsson’s Overcooked Memoir Makes His Pricey Harlem Discomfort Food Hard to Swallow at the Observer. Samuelsson owns the Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, which has obviously rubbed the author the wrong way. The writer was so personal I wonder if he’s a blogger…CHECK. His blog is awesome and he has a restaurant in New York with good cheap food? Add Eddie Huang to my reader and list of obsessions please.
Financially relevant: H & Ahem: Cheap clothing hurts the planet, the economy, and your style talked about why we should avoid cheap clothes made with cheap overseas labor at massive volumes using shoddy synthetics that inundate the market so that people shop constantly for crap they don’t need. The author’s parting suggestions were useful and relevant, and asked readers not to stop shopping, but to shop differently and view clothing differently. And tailoring should always be part of your budget as it will make your clothes fit so much better.
The story of real estate in California is well-told in the California Dreamin’ blog (tagline: Real Estate,Tulips and the Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds).
Pop culture relevant: Oh, you heard about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s divorce huh? And that immediately prompted you to read as much as you could about Scientology because you are convinced they are some freaky bastards? Well, this 26-page article on Paul Haggis’ departure from Scientology should give you enough reading on the topic and on Paul Haggis himself. And I wish the best for Suri, she’s just a 6-year-old kid.
I’m still not watching television, but I’ve watched a couple movies with friends in this 28-day regimen. If you want a movie that shows an intense Los Angeles landscape (Pacific Palisades to Boyle Heights to South Central) and features Demain Bichir (also known as Esteban Reyes, Mayor of Tijuana and Husband #3 in Weeds), then watch A Better Life. Now, I get teary-eyed at heart-wrenching life insurance or pet food commercials, but this movie was on another level. I don’t think I’ve cried so much since The Joy Luck Club.
That’s all I got for you. I am working on business stuff as usual. One of my eBay clients has slowed down for the next two weeks, which gives me time to work on my other idea. Also, check out my debt update at the very bottom of the page. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy the sort-of 4th of July weekend!