I know what everyone who has been on here is thinking, “Jonathan, we love the writing…but seriously, when do I put a down payment on a yacht?”
Unfortunately, for anyone who has turned on the news or opened the WSJ the last few days, things have been rough. Now, I don’t want to point fingers…actually screw it, we’re point fingers. It’s China. China, China, China. The developed world decided to let China sit at the big boy table and pretend to be one of us and now it’s messing everything up.
One of my best metaphors for our relationship with China is like the basketball player Allen Iverson and the NBA. I don’t really care about professional sports, but every now and then a player comes along so radically different, so good, and so darn ’hood’ that I feel compelled to join the bandwagon. Allen Iverson was that guy growing up.
“AI” was the closest thing to a true thug the basketball courts had seen at the time and if there’s one thing Middle America loves, its co-opting street culture. Iverson made the NBA very rich and sold tons of Reeboks, jerseys, and elbow sleeves. The problem with Allen Iverson and the NBA was a collision of cultures. The NBA (like the world) is used to a culture that likes its players to show up to practice, outwardly try be role models, and generally stay out of trouble. Allen Iverson (sort of like China?) doesn’t really like following orders, picks fights like a pre-married Kanye West, and has a financial discipline that would make Suze Orman jump off a bridge.
So in conclusion, over the last few days we’ve been witnessing an Allen Iverson flare-up because the world that wanted Allen to behave like A.C. Green.
I’m not just talking about the bigger picture:
-Like fact that commodities are too darn scaled up.
-Like the overwhelming proportion of China’s population that are too poor to be taking club selfies on iphones.
-Like a country that has lost it’s primary job of making Air Jordan’s cheaply.
I’m talking about us forgetting that we are in bed with a heavily regulated country that does not share many of the values (economic, religious, political freedoms) that we assume everyone enjoys.
China’s stock market is still a hot mess. It drank way too much and they still aren’t doing a good job letting it puke and rally. There is still a lot of money to be made off China (just slightly less than before) but this new year has brought a big wake up call that we are playing with a country that doesn’t play by everyone else’s rules. Anyways, it’s been a really rough few days. These things happen. The economy goes up and down. It sucks but no reason to freak out any more than I usually freak out. I’m still very bullish on FB, but I need China to stop wilding out…
*I just remembered it was AI who started the whole Chinese letter (Kanji) tattoo craze. So further proof, AI is just like China…
**side note: anyone remember when NFL player Randy Moss got fed up with a parking meter maid and pushed the meter maid’s cart down the road with his Mercedes….awesome!