Jets. Yuck! “What I hate second
most is doing silly things. But being human, I do.” These
were the thoughts as we bounced from one harried traveler
to the next while scurrying through Atlanta’s Hartsfield
Airport. Merri and I were traveling for the weekend to
Portland for my mom’s 84th. Congratulations mom!
Jet travel in this day and age can make
you do some pretty silly things. I’ll explain why
in a moment. Yet born and bred in the West, with family
scattered around the world and homes in two nations, despite
its ridiculousness, jet travel is something I sometimes
This brings us to what I hate most, “being
forced to do silly things”. This includes
taking off shoes and coats and showing ID three times
within 50 yards. Mental disengagement is all we can do.
Go blank, accept, tread on and ignore the rude silliness.
Imagine this age. We can walk on the moon, travel the
solar system and beyond yet cannot engineer even a touch
of friendliness, compassion or happiness. Isn’t
it silly? Walking on the moon does not do the world a
lot of good. Yet what if we had spent the trillions learning
to be happier and get along better?
So we ran through the hoops, got on the
plane, (Delta’s commuter partner in Tri-Cities Tennessee
to Atlanta) and then onto Delta’s flight to the Pacific
Merri and I usually fly business or first
class. We rarely pay…direct. Again this is silly
the way we twist our lives to get frequent flier miles.
Credit cards that earn FF miles kinda control so much of
the way we do….so we can travel first class at low
cost. This is silly, chasing free upgrades. Somewhere along
the line we pay for those seats.
But here we are and I need to get to the
point. This message comes from a Delta first class seat…2
A and 2B. Being here reflects some interesting trends we
can use to help us in investing, in health and even in
My rear end and the back of an airline
seat know each other pretty well. At age 21, I started
commuting the Pacific. Every month or two my routine was
flying to Portland, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Saigon,
Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila. I did my work,
stopped home for a bit and then took the flight again.
This ability to work this way, as a 21
year old baby boomer, was a reflection of the industrial
evolution. Man’s technological advancement was first
powered by the water wheel, then steam, then internal combustion
engines, then jets, telephone, TV and finally the computer
and telephone. We baby boomers entered the business world
just as the era of the jet, TV and telephone really began.
We were reared on Howdy Doody, Ma Bell and Pan Am. All
great American names…now mostly dead.
This trip today shows what is coming of
age. Here in first class the food was lousy, more like
what used to be served in economy. In economy all they
had was snacks! Of course they had five choices. Potato
chips, peanuts, chewy granola, crackers or pretzels. This
is really silly as I’ll explain below.
Yet how can we expect a bankrupt airplane
to do more? Worse in Business Class, Merri asked for a
pillow. She was rudely informed the plane no longer has
pillows. Why should the airline have pillows when it’s
bankrupt? Why shouldn’t the stewardess be rude? Her
pay has been cut. She has job insecurity. After over 25
years of service and hard work, her pension is in shambles.
Her plans are in ruins. No wonder the severe is mad. Yet
this is silly as well. Getting mad just complicates the
The airports are run down, the carpets
frayed, the toilets dirty, the seats cracked, the halls
Here is an economic observation that comes
from seeing all this. History suggests we are at the end
of a financial era when middle class Americans were very
rich and very spoiled (I recognize this in myself). This
is much like the fall of the Roman or British Empires.
Ignoring history is pretty silly. The US economy is coming
apart and no fence, no army, no military might, no written
laws, no congressional act or Presidential decrees can
hold this together. Getting mad, writing your Congressman,
demonstrating or even boycotting won’t change this
Yet most investors will ignore this and
stick their head in the sand. History suggests that in
the West, the rich will get richer. The poor will suffer
more. The middle class will become poor. This is the nature
of economies and societies!
Most investors however will get mad at
Congress, at the institutions etc and demand their rights.
The sad fact is the establishment can do very little to
change this relentless tide.
Baby boomers were the first to really
enjoy this great American boom. The boomers who do not
shift with the change will be the first to suffer as they
retire, even sooner. I think many are feeling the pinch
now. Inflation robs the retired and those on a fixed income
first. It steals from the salaried worker second.
Do not be a duck in the pond when the
shooting starts! See
what I mean
Fortunately history also shows that in
every collapse there are those who become even richer as
the Phoenix arises. Since one way Americans will become
poorer is through a fall in the purchasing power of the
greenback, one solution is easy. Invest in other currencies.
can see how I am doing this.
Be sure to diversify out of the dollar
with care! There is no guarantee when the dollar will fall.
For example, one way I have hedged against the dollar is
in Turkish bonds. They have not done well the last two
months. Jyske Bank recently wrote:
“Turkey's central bank raised key
interest rates by 225 basis points on Sunday in line with
expectations and said it would start lira purchase auctions
in moves welcomed by analysts to halt the currency's slide.
The moves could bolster the lira, which has tumbled some
23% against the dollar since the end of April. Bond yields
have also surged and shares dropped in a sell-off triggered
by a sharp rise in inflation.”
This makes this a better time to invest
in Turkey. Just do not diversify more than you can afford
to lose or wait for to recover. This may be an especially
good time to invest in Turkish shares. History suggest
that when the Turkish lira falls the Turkish stock market
Learn more about Turkish investments from
Thomas Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about fighting inflation
by investing in emerging currencies, gold, silver, Ecuador,
import-export, overseas markets and more. Join Merri,
Thomas Fischer from Jyske Bank Copenhagen and Steve Marchant
from Ecuador and me at our September 15-16-17, 2006 International
Business and Investing Made EZ course in North Carolina.
Review where to invest and do business now and learn
which markets and currencies may be strong in the year
ahead. Learn more about Ecuador import and export from
Steve. Our May course was overbooked and the September
course is filling up quickly. Our free accommodations
here on the farm are reserved on a first come first served
basis so do not delay! Go to http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ibeznc.
Until next message, may all your silliness be laced with