Monday, March 08, 2010

Competitive Advantage

If you live in a totalitarian state that uses propaganda, racism, and mythology to control the populace, chances are you will have a good supply of artists and craftsman who excel at populistic imagery. North Korea is no exception to the general Ricardian rule of comparative advantage. Of course, it is unfortunate that global demand for 50 Meter statues depicting stylized humans "resisting" who knows what does not quite fill the coffers of North Korea enough to feed its 24 Million"citizens".

The latest triumph is the African Renaissance Monument in Senegal. Spending roughly 1% of 2009 GDP on this talisman is a wonderful example of the risks involving in African investment. Of course, equity investors in America can certainly point to examples where Executives have spent equally absurd amounts for equally absurd displays of status, but at least we have shareholders derivative suits and some semblance of corporate governance law to rely upon both ex ante, during, and ex post an event such as this.

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