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The art of rational, collegial conversation

I happen to write 500 to 1000 words a day, short essays to my clients who live around the world, such as UK, France, Zurich, Rome, Mexico City, Tucson, Arizona, Austin, Texas, New York City, Birmingham, Alabama, Miami, Florida, Paris, France, Colmar and Strasbourg, France, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, and Oregon. Some of my readers are at major universities, such as UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, NYU, Harvard, Arizona State University, University of Texas, and University of Zurich, and INSEAD, France, University of Paris X, La Sorbonne, Paris France. Why do I write? Basically to keep in touch with certain ideas in economics, finance, direction of markets and projections on world currencies and commodities. The focus is: I am sitting down with a certain person at an outdoor cafe, say on the Boulvard de San Germaine, Paris and we are having a coffee and I am telling him or her what I think is going on. I expect that they are interested in what I have to say and they listen. Occasionally, they interrupt to add something. It often is a spirited conversation with a lot of give and take, but most importantly, I have stimulated them to respond to my ideas. Often the basic idea spills over into world history, recent economic history, and off the wall ideas such as the recent finds in Antarctica re: plants that are more than 71 million years old! I often use analogies foreign to my companion such as usage of Baseball or American football terms, or classical terms and references to ancient architecture and medieval churches. I try to be comprehensive and I realize that my background and learning is unique to me, thus I have to ask questions while I am narrating a point of view. If it is a new idea, I try to analyze it rationally and logically at first and then look for a wider range of analogies or historical precedents. I find that one must be a good listener as well as educated to share in the process.