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October 19, 2012

Myanmar Part II


My friend Chris Mayer continued his journey through Myanmar. If you missed Part I, click here. If you want to visit the Capital & Crisis website, please click here.   “This is a market of 65 million people where everyone is basically at the starting line. There is no other market like this.” — Masaki Takahara, managing director of Jetro (a Japanese trade organization), on Myanmar   ... Read More
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October 14, 2012

Myanmar Part I


For the better part of a year, I have been trying to find some free time to go and visit Myanmar. My good friend Chris Mayer seems to have beat me to it and in the first of what I hope will be many entries (keep writing Chris!!) posted some initial thoughts on his Capital & Crisis website.   “The heat rolled from the earth like ... Read More
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October 12, 2012

A Whole Lotta Coal….


Back in early September, I took a trip to the South Gobi in Mongolia. I went to look at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT), which owns the largest coking coal deposit in the world (now ramping up) incidentally named Tavan Tolgoi. While in the Gobi, I also got to get a good look at Mongolian Mining Corp’s (975: HK) Ukhaa Khudag mine also ramping up, ... Read More
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August 29, 2012

Mongolia Road Trip Part II


Please see Part I for the first 2 days of our trip. As we travelled around, we got to visit dozens of small cities that I would never have had a chance to ever visit. When you pass by rapidly, they really don’t look like much… …but once you stop and look around, you find all sorts of interesting sites to check out and people ... Read More
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August 22, 2012

Mongolia Road Trip Part I


I’ve now spent the majority of the last two years of my life in Mongolia, yet I haven’t really ventured much outside of the capital of Ulaanbaatar. Last weekend, some good friends of mine took a roadtrip and I naturally decided to tag along. Here’s the photologue of our trip. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed living it…. We started ... Read More
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August 3, 2012

Kazakhstan Part II


Please see Kazakhstan Part I if you missed it. You cannot have a real estate bust without debt — lots of it. When looking at real estate busts, very few American cities can even come close to the epic collapse that Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, experienced. Of course, to have a bust, you also need a boom, and here again, Almaty’s ascent from Communism is the ... Read More
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June 17, 2012

Kazakhstan Part I


It’s now been a bit more than 2 weeks since I spent a few days in Almaty, largest city and economic capital of Kazakhstan. I’m still trying to process it all. When people think of Kazakhstan, they naturally think of Borat, but that is simply a mistake. Almaty is such a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city with the unfortunate residue of Soviet architecture. Even here, ... Read More
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March 6, 2012

Namibia


There are many reasons to visit Namibia. While the economic possibilities are intriguing, I really went for the scenery. I had read about the dunes and even seen some pictures, but until you’re actually climbing on them, you cannot really understand just how amazing they are. I recently read that in 2010, 984,000 people visited Namibia. That compares to 16.9 million people going to ... Read More
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February 8, 2012

Zimbabwe Part III


It’s been called Uncle Bob’s (Robert Mugabe) insane asylum. It’s destroyed the wealth of almost every white investor (and many of the black ones too) over the last thirty years. It’s functionally dysfunctional and the concept of rule of law is as vague as Mugabe’s moods. Why would I ever invest there? One reason, Mugabe is 87. He has to die eventually. This is ... Read More
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