“I’ve read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.”
— Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal
I may have killed a tree or two today.
I know how important paper is. Call it old school awareness. I’m still inclined to print from the internet. Should I apologize? I like hard copy… in my hand. I like to take notes. (I can think of a few expletives if you want to change my habit.)
Lately, the only piece of writing I print out each day is Rude Awakening.
Sean Ring routinely brings things to my attention ideas I haven’t thought of before. So my inclination is to print it out. Then it sits next to me in black and white while I’m doing other things. I have a pen, black or blue, depending on the day. I have a red marker. The marker means I might bring it up later.
This week, we’re presenting some ideas from Sean. He’s an interesting character, as you’ll discover. We have an intertwined background, but only met recently through like-minded friends and associates. He’s writing Rude Awakening but not of my accord. Chris Carroll gets that kudo.
Sean and I are both married to Philippine women. Does that matter? Probably not. It’s just a fact. We talk about food, culture and the beaches. I, myself, have never been to the Philippines.
What I am most interested in during our discussion about the Russian invasion of Ukraine this week is “what’s going on in your neck of the woods”? What’s China’s take, for example. Sean has been training traders for multinational banks for years; these questions matter when you have your finger on the (trading) button.
Sean’s been around the globe a bit and has most recently settled in Cebu in the Philippines. Today, as we write, he and his fam-damily — a phrase my dad used — are moving to the Piedmont in Italy, by way of Rome. While he was in Southeast Asia, he got a glimpse of how the other side of the planet perceived our Western diastolic.
Sean’s side of the conversation took place in a Philippine police station — for mundane reasons, as you’ll learn tomorrow.
If you’re a regular reader of Rude Awakening, you probably know that Sean was born in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. He barely left his hometown to study finance and landed a banking job on Wall Street. At the age of 24, he went to London for a business trip and fell in love with the city. It was “Candyland for alcoholics,” he once told me, so he convinced his company to transfer him there.
While there he continued his corporate education, eventually becoming a teacher himself — helping traders pass high-level exams. That work took him to Singapore… then Hong Kong… and finally the Philippines.
Along the way, he’s become a certified Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst… Financial Risk Manager… Chartered Market Technician… among other qualifications that he says “don’t mean anything.” Skills are malleable.
Like me, he’s just trying to figure out how the world works. The biggest difference is that he’s doing it from Asia, which gives him an entirely different perspective. For now.
You’ll get to hear that perspective when we post our next Session mañana.
Follow your bliss,
Founder, The Wiggin Sessions
P.S. Just a quick thought… I may have killed a tree today by printing Sean’s Rude, but our family also owns land reclaimed from Plum Creek, a paper company operating forest-friendly in mid-state Maine near Moosehead Lake.
What comes around, goes around, don’t you think?
P.P.S. Last week, we encouraged you to let us know if you ever found a mistake in our prose. Today we’re sad to present the latest edition of our mea culpa files.
First up, reader Alex H. tells us, “One of the pet peeves of firearm owners is reading articles that have the gun facts wrong.” He tells me I misidentified the firearm I discharged at an innocent cardboard family: “Glock 9? You meant Glock 19 or a 9 mm Glock?”
Just proves I know as much about guns as I do college basketball. Alex ends by saying “otherwise, good article. Keep up the good work.”
Next up, Lisa S. calls me out for saying, “He was apparently entering the restaurant from the kitchen and causing a raucous.”
As she explains, “A raucous child may cause a ruckus, but an adjective can’t suddenly become a noun.”
Oops. Our lead editor, who identifies with your condition of reading with an eye for grammar, admits he has a bit of a blind spot with homonyms, especially when he’s in a hurry. He still regrets approving an issue that used the word “phase” instead of “faze.”
Lucy also ends with a compliment: “Thanks for The Wiggin Sessions. I may be able to spout grammar rules in my sleep, but in matters of finance, I need help. Hence my joy at reading your sessions.”
Reader Don S. didn’t have a nit to pick with us. He just says:
I have really enjoyed my new emails from Wiggin Sessions. It, along with other emails from “your group,” have really opened my eyes to realities not seen on MSM news. I really appreciate honest dialogue. I am learning a lot about history from a different viewpoint than I have been used to growing up.
And finally, Mike B. requests information “about the camp that Addison mentioned in today’s email.”
It’s called The Executive Operations Group. If you click on the link, the guy in the left top picture is the culprit. He’s the reason our next effort is called Bumfuzzled: What to Do When the Economy, Politics, Markets and Society All Go Cattywampus at the Same Time. Of course, he doesn’t know it.