XIII. "Do You Hear the People Sing?"

  • William Laraque, Managing Director at US-International Trade Services

  • 22.07.2015 01:00 am
  • undisclosed

A Tale of Two Cities                                                                                                                                               

The most used line in speeches is from "A Tale of Two Cities:: "It was the Spring of Hope and the Winter of  our discontent."

Music is distinct from noise. Eloquence is distinct from data. Just as data requires intelligence, instinct and imagination to become information, so does any form of human endeavor, including music, speech, economics.

My mother taught me that empty vessels make the most noise. This is why it is so difficult to disseminate information in our world. There is so much noise and so little music.

"Do you hear the people sing,

Singing the song of angry men?"

Angry men make the most noise. They live in violence, in the dark. They are "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. "Life is but a walking shadow. "It is a tale told by an Idiot."

For Cyrano, an angry man, Montfleury was that idiot, a poor actor. Cyrano ordered Montfleury off the stage for a month. Not because he was a poor actor but because Montfleury made a pass at Roxanne. Montfleury interfered with obstructed the love between Roxanne and he.

 Noise is the obstruction between data and signal. Technology does not improve the situation. It is a poor actor. Einstein said that "gravitation cannot be held responsible for two people falling in love."

Technology, like gravitation does not provide the connection between data and information. This requires intelligence, insight, imagination. Freud said that all of humanity desires the same two things, work and love. Love is the unifying principle.

 "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

"It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again."

Alexander Hamilton came from Nevis. Victor Hugo who wrote Les Miserables, "Les Miz," came from Haiti. His ancestors came there as slaves.  I too come from that wretched shore; I am the "teeming refuse of that wretched shore."

I see the lamp beside the golden door every day. It is on the U.S. 10 dollar bill; the same one with Hamilton's portrait on one side. The lamp, torch is on the statue given by the French to America as a sign, a sign to touch the human heart.

Emma Lazarus inscribed a message at the bottom of the torch's statue:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

"When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums."

Pope Francis makes a sound, delivers a message that echoes with the beating of my heart:

"The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast." Laudato Si

In the Mojave Desert, as the Supply, Logistics, Embarkation officer of the 2nd Bn, 25th Marines, I like Saul saw the Light.

As a banker working at 111 Wall Street, I saw the Statue of Liberty on clear days. “On a clear day, you can see forever.”

From an article on power in Nigeria:

Weak Power Grids in Africa Stunt Economies and Fire Up Tempers (the sound of angry men).

"There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes."

This entire series has been a tale of two cities. One is in the dark, at the “wretched shore” of despair, the Winter of our discontent. The other is the Spring of hope, it's harbor bears a torch and a statue that has an inscription which touches every heart.

On the reverse side of the U.S. 10 dollar bill is a picture of the U.S. Treasury. Above the Treasury is a sign:

"In God We Trust."

Life is a tale of two cities, the city of darkness and the city of light, the city of despair and the city of hope. Goethe wrote about this. "God is in the details, the devil in the extremities." Pearls before Swine? We’ll see on September 26th, not far from the Statue of Liberty.

Tomorrow I will post XVI:  for "Morning has Broken."

The Saudi Profit Sharing System

The Saudi profit sharing system features an unusual collaboration.

The Saudi Economic Development Capital Company or EDCC, is run by a major NY-based investment partnership.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.."

Backing the EDCC are the massive capital reserves of Saudi Arabia. These reserves dwarf those of commercial and investment banks. They are in fact managed by a U.S.-based and U.S.-manned investment bank which uses profit sharing to spread the resulting wealth to projects in nations which benefit from these projects (in $1-5 billion tranches) and benefit the Kingdom of course. Its returns are in the 80-90% range and its ROI is unmatched by any firm on Wall Street, High Street, in Hong Kong or Shanghai. The foreign currency reserves of Saudi Arabia are derived principally from oil sales and constitute the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund.

Democracy and Reputational Risk

In sum, financial systems are undergoing upheaval. In the process, the role of commercial banks, investment banks, community banks, credit unions,  microlenders and economic development organizations will be  altered as these investment avenues become more inclusive, more diffuse and more egalitarian. In the final analysis not only are the returns from the Saudi profit sharing model higher but its investment process is more democratic and less violent than the alternatives.

Einstein said that "any intelligent fool can make a system more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and enormous courage to move things in another direction." The reputational risk of economic development programs affect the human consciousness.

The Rock

All of the economic development models I have written about face the same impediments in the actualization of success in the pursuit of happiness. The obstacles for the investor and trade participants are political risk, economic risk, foreign currency risk, cybersecurity risk as well as reputational risk. We will deal with each one of these risks in due course.  Cybersecurity risk is particularly asymmetrical and we will deal with this risk in XIV.

Rocks represent the best and the worst of humanity. They represent the Spring of hope with Hamilton and Napoleon. They also represent the Winter of discontent with Hamilton who killed his brother not far from the Statue of Liberty. Napoleon brought law and administration. He also brought war, violence and death.

XV. Will feature a solution. It is entitled "Morning has Broken," for there is a Light in a sky full of stars.

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