Home 2018-05-14T12:08:11+00:00

The Global Market Update is curated by Douglas Tengdin, CFA an employee of Charter Trust Company.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Charter Trust Company.
Investments may involve investment risk, including the possible loss of value.


By | May 7th, 2018|

What is a capital-intensive business? Illustration: Charles Graham, Harper’s Weekly. Source: Wikimedia Capital is what makes things. Factories and design studios and drilling rigs and construction equipment. To build the Panama Canal, the managing engineers employed thousands of steam-powered excavating machines, rather than millions of workers with shovels. Today, our economy runs on ideas, rather than steam-power. It needs people who are creative, who can [...]

Visions of Greatness (Part 5): A New Direction

By | May 4th, 2018|

How do you deal with a rising Great Power? Photo: Victor Hancek. Source: Picjumbo For decades, the US held a policy of “constructive engagement” towards China. By giving China “Most Favored Nation” status, encouraging trade and cultural exchange, Washington hoped to draw China into – if not the West – at least the broader family of nations. We would look the other way with human [...]

Visions of Greatness (Part 4)

By | May 3rd, 2018|

Can China build a great economy? Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong skyline. Photo: Samuel Louie. Source: Wikimedia In some ways, this seems like a foolish question. China’s economy is already huge. They’re the second largest economy in the world: $10 trillion, about half the size of the US. They’re a major player in trade, manufacturing, consumer goods, and the internet. But their stock market is [...]

Visions of Greatness (Part 3)

By | May 2nd, 2018|

What makes a leader great? George Washington c. 1772. Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia A great leader has the vision and drive to want to take their organization to a new level, and the skills and charisma to inspire followers who can make that happen. America has been blessed by many great leaders over the years: Washington, Lincoln, FDR. They established and fundamentally transformed our country. [...]

Visions of Greatness (Part 2)

By | May 1st, 2018|

What makes a country great? UN Security Council Meeting. Photo: White House. Source: Wikimedia The term “Great Power” was first used to describe the major nations in the Congress of Vienna – Austria, Prussia, Russia, England, and France. The members met periodically to settle disputes and to maintain the balance of power. Later, the Great Powers formed competing alliances among themselves, which were tested and [...]

Visions of Greatness (Part 1)

By | April 30th, 2018|

Visions of Greatness (Part 1) What makes for greatness? Photo: Ronnie Macdonald. Source: Wikimedia There’s a telling exchange in the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” where King Faisal tells British Lieutenant Lawrence that the medieval Arab city of Cordova had two miles of public lighting while London was still a village. “You were great then,” Lawrence replies. “Time to be great again, my Lord.” When Chinese [...]

A Better Idea?

By | April 27th, 2018|

There really are no sacred cows. Model T Roadster, 1910. Source: Wikimedia That’s what I thought when I read that Ford was pretty much abandoning auto production in the US. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. My first thought was, “Is this really happening? Is this ‘fake news’? Did some random feed take over my search engine?” But it’s true: Ford will stop producing most sedans [...]

The Power of Presence

By | April 26th, 2018|

Why is economic growth so geographically clustered? Economic map of the US. Source: WeForum.org, Bureau of Economic Analysis Almost 20% of the US economy is concentrated in the Boston-Washington corridor. Another 10% comes from California, between San Francisco and San Diego. In an era of teleconferencing and Skype, where almost everyone has continual access to web-based presentations, virtual reality, and equivalent of the Library of [...]

Our Fashion, Our Selves

By | April 25th, 2018|

Do clothes affect how we think? Photo: Ahman Ardity. Source: Pixabay A recent study supports this notion. It has long been known that what goes on with your body affects how your mind works. If we force ourselves to smile, we get jokes more easily; if we flex our muscles, we brace ourselves to resist temptation or tackle a difficult task. Stretching and relaxing our [...]