Happy Birthday, America.
237 years ago, a 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson drafted a document to declare the 13 colonies’ formal independence from the British Empire. It was edited and signed by 56 delegates of the Continental Congress. This type of initiative and activity was very rare throughout human history. It is generally viewed as the basis for political freedom, and still provides inspiration around the world.
The world is a complex place. Languages, cultures and appearances may be different. But the desire to live a life of freedom and have the opportunity to pursue happiness is common.
The Arab Spring in 2011 was an exercise in irony, nowhere more so than in Egypt. On the surface, it appeared to be the Arab equivalent of 1989 in Eastern Europe. Soviet rule suppressed a broad desire for constitutional democracy. That year 1989 shaped a generation’s thinking in the West, and when they saw the crowds in the Arab streets, many assumed that they were seeing Eastern Europe once again. This was both exciting and concerning. Looking back on the Arab Spring, it might be surprising to see how few leaders were replaced, how few regimes fell, and how much chaos was left in its wake.
One key factor of the Arab Spring was that in opening the door for popular discontent, it demonstrated that while the discontent was real, it was neither decisive nor clearly inclined toward constitutional democracy.
What’s still not officially being called a coup in Egypt is creating great uncertainty in the North African nation, and the region at large. It is no wonder that the US Market is holding in much better than the rest of the world. As investors, we always look for opportunities and anticipate future activities and events. Taking a longer term view, certain international investments look really compelling after big sell-offs this year. Emerging Markets in Asia and Latin America stand out in particular.
In 1776, our young nation was the ultimate emerging market. Investments here have done quite well over time.
We hope you enjoyed the 4th. Have a nice weekend.
By: Mike Frazier