Yesterday, one of our lawyers, Mathew Alderson, wrote an overall pretty favorable review of Martin Jacques’ book, When China Rules the World. In the comments section to that post, an excellent discussion is ensuing, mostly focusing on whether or not Jacques’ various thesis are correct. I personally liked and agreed with the comment from “thinking too much,” who said, “Good comments from everyone, even those who disagree with each other.”
But what I found most interesting was a sub-discussion between a number of the commenters regarding whether I (or my law firm or this blog) would prefer things to go well in the world or go badly. The first comment to address that issue was from “The Hobbit,” who is of the view that we (me/my law firm/China Law Blog) needs an ascendant China:
However, for the purposes of China Law Blog and for your law firm, it is probably a good idea to preserve the notion of an ascendant China for as long as possible.
To which FOARP left the following comment, noting that we lawyers do just fine in downturns and that we “regularly” push doom-and-gloom here on the blog:
Dan, as a lawyer, would profit just as much from a collapse in China as he would from its continued success. Indeed, he regularly carries doom-and-gloom predictions on these very pages.
And then things got really weird. Otherworlder then left a comment essentially saying that he/she would cease reading CLB because we fervently want our readers to suffer.
“Dan, as a lawyer, would profit just as much from a collapse in China as he would from its continued success. Indeed, he regularly carries doom-and-gloom predictions on these very pages.”
So THAT is why this blog always left a strange bad taste in my mouth!! Okay, I get it, will quit it from now on. It’s just not quite worth the effort of sharing opinions when fundamental purposes and intents diverge. What’s the point of listening to the opinions of those who don’t wish you well? Lol.
Let me clear a bit of air here.
Does anyone actually believe that I or this blog or my law firm can influence world events? I sure don’t. As proud as I am of our purported influence, I am 100% convinced that what we write on this blog is not going to influence the course of the world economy or the economy of China in the slightest. That being the case, even if we were to benefit from a tanking of the world economy (or from its ascendancy), who cares? I and my co-bloggers simply figure that if we cannot influence any economies, we might as well just tell the truth about them, to the best of our abilities. I mean, why not?
But would we benefit from China tanking? Probably not. The reality is that lawyers overall usually do best during periods of change, be the change good or bad. When an economy is rising fast, we get a lot of deal work. When an economy is tanking fast, we get breach of contract cases, work-outs and assorted other litigation or debt relief type work.
But as far as my firm goes, we do best when the economy is rising. When the economy tanked in 2008, we did very well for the first six months or so of the tanking, but when most of the issues arising from that tanking had mostly been sorted out, our business plateaued, not to rise again until the recovery started happening at the end of 2009. 99.9% of our clients are businesses that do business internationally. When they do well they have more money to spend both on us and on the deals that drive our business. So even if we did think we could influence the world’s economies, we would be seeking to influence them on the upside.
I could go on and on with this, but I am starting to find this all a bit silly? Oh, and otherworlder, I wish you good riddance.