Diverging Markets seeks answers to these questions in the context of markets. Many of these markets are emerging markets, frontier markets, less developed or whatever other modifier you prefer, so that is where I generally focus my attention. The focus is more economic and financial than political or cultural, but as anyone versed in this realm is aware, it is impossible and foolish to completely ignore politics and culture.
Diverging Markets are where the majority of humanity lives. If you believe in the determinative power of markets—as I do—then this majority determines the pace at which humanity collectively advances. Someone in Park Slope, Palo Alto or Mayfair may use FourSquare to check in at some café and that’s great—the technology enabling this action implies a huge leap from a decade ago. At the same time, as of this writing, the world’s wealthiest man lives in a nation where half of his countrymen subsist on less than US$10 a day and the world’s most populous nation just 18 months ago suffered a nine-day, 60-mile long traffic jam.
Diverging Markets is about markets moving apart from each other. What is up for debate is why, how quickly and how far they are diverging.
Who am I? Who are you?
My name is Ulysses de la Torre. I was born in Washington, D.C. during Richard Nixon’s second term and I’ve been roaming the world’s economic blind spots in various capacities since my early twenties, punctuated by a few brief stays in New York. At the moment, I rent an apartment in Mexico City but spend about six months of the year traveling.
I’ve noticed over the years that “rich country” citizens with an ongoing interest in diverging markets usually fall into one of three camps:
1. People whom I refer to as “Corporate-Financial Cowboys”. You know who you are.
2. Anyone who might fly under the banner of what is increasingly being called “development”. Some of these people are referred to as “wonks.”
3. Niche media
Each camp has its own incentives and all three can be amazingly bad at communicating with each other. That’s where I come in: since I’ve worked alongside all three of you, I speak all three of your languages. Consider me your interpreter.
Thanks for stopping by and please bear with me as I gradually iron out the kinks of maintaining this blog.
If you’re looking for one single thing I’ve written that best encapsulates the ideas behind this blog, try this.
Otherwise, please feel free to contact me with any comments, suggestions, questions or guest blogging ideas here on the site, Twitter @divergingmarket or by email at Ulysses@divergingmarkets.com.