The Art of the Deal Vs. The Art of War

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At the risk of beating a dead horse on the topic of trade wars, the sequence of unfolding events is making me cautious near term.

Let me explain why.

First, for all those market pundits, analysts and investors who are following the twists and turns of this trade tiff using Trump’s Art of the Deal as their playbook…

I have a better read for you. Pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War instead! Continue reading

The Art of War

In Sun Tzu’s The Art of War present Chinese military strategy in the South China Sea comes into focus. Tzu argued that the best war is one not waged, one in which the cleverest leader wins without fighting.

The Chinese declaration over its perimeter zone incorporates a number of islands claimed by other regional nations, e.g. Japan and the Philippines. With the construction of reefs that can accommodate air force assets, the government is sending a message: the so-called contested islands are part of the Chinese Middle Kingdom. Continue reading

Today’s “Food for Thought”:

As you read the selected passage, bear in mind this book was written roughly around 500 BC.  Now fast-forward to 2012. Do you see any parallels?

Sun Tzu — The Art of War; Chapter Two: Doing Battle

A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.

When provisions are transported at great distances, the citizens will be impoverished.

Those in proximity to the army will sell goods at high prices.

When goods are expensive, the citizens’ wealth will be exhausted.

When their wealth is exhausted, the peasantry will be afflicted with increased taxes.

When all strength has been exhausted and resources depleted, all houses in the central plains utterly impoverished, seven-tenths of the citizens’ wealth dissipated,

the government’s expenses from damaged chariots, worn-out horses, armor, helmets, arrows and crossbows, halberds and shields, draft oxen, and heavy supply wagons,

will be six-tenths of its reserves.

Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy.