Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emerging and Submerging Markets: The Morton Report Shows Me the Difference

Andrew Morton
Funny. Having dinner with Dr. David Williams from Mojo Innovations in Shanghai and the ideas roll around to 'submerging markets' (David coined that) - the idea that we work in emerging markets but David, an Englishman, and another Brit, a woman from The Netherlands and myself are having a bottle of white and figuring out why we are all here, instead of living in our birth countries - the submerging markets - rich countries and the only victims of the recent financial crisis (and then we order the fish).

The woman from Holland, a young professional, is leaving an executive job at a foreign university here, to move to Istanbul, Turkey, with no job at all - just to live life, and live the best. Neither David, nor I nor the English interior designer showed much interest in going back to our home countries, for individual reasons. And so many of those reasons have nothing to do with money.

We are all career professionals, all capable of getting name-your-number six-figure salaries back home, yet we do not. Why not?

It's all about where the future is, and we have all run into the roadblocks of our western countries trying to maintain the status' quo of an old century while things here are just the Wild Wild East. It's fun, and a whole lot better than pushing sand uphill back home to feed an economic model that is so obviously broken.

This all came to real this week when it was time to be paid for my first month at an American webzine, The Morton Report. When it came time to pay, an editor said they would 'send me a check'. Ha. I laughed. Were they serious? Turns out they were.

When I explained that the check system they used in the US (Yes, printing personal money that may or may not be any good) did not work outside country, they truly didn't understand - and then they got mad. "Wire transfer? WTF is that?", they said. Now, this particular webzine, luckily has an online shrink, so I'll leave it to her to figure out how f-ed-up that is - but that was the story. Getting mad over watching the world change? "Gee, American money is no good anymore?". Call the Chinese.

And in telling that story, David chimed in, "Ha! I had an American client look at my invoice and say 'What's EFT?" - Electronic Funds Transfer. "I'm not sure we know how to do that", the American company responded.

So it's true, in submerging markets they will never understand that the reason the other markets are emerging, is that they are not just not doing the SOS. They are building something, something their children won't have to pay for like America's children will have to pay the Chinese.

So we are in Asia, emerging, and America is submerging. Do the math. Good Morning America!

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
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D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Read my previous blog: The Wild Wild East Dailies.