1. The Truly Modern Market

I love Asia: it smells of raw capitalism. Especially at night. Several years ago, I was watching Hong Kong in the evening as the city became a brilliant silhouette of pure commerce against the dark Communist backdrop of mainland China. The rickshaw drivers, rivers of neon lights, open-air markets, and steel high-rises always make me think of foreign exchange, the fundamental transaction of capitalism and the building block of modern globalization.

I couldn't speak Chinese, but as I approached a currency exchange booth on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, I silently prepared to engage in an ancient conversation. I pulled out $100 in 20s, and the young man behind the counter smiled and said in broken English, "I love LA, ...

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