I have been telling you a lot about the technical aspects of the economy and money in the last few weeks. I have also been sharing a lot of thoughts about supply chains and how they are on the verge of reshaping the world. These are indeed all aspects of a world in mutation, of paradigms disintegrating. Other models are shaping themselves up and are in the process of emerging. We just are not able to perceive them.
Money and finance make the world flow, they provide energy and momentum to the world. The different modalities money and finance take and structure themselves around percolate throughout the economy and eventually society, including each and everyone of us. They even reach out into our minds. We just don’t realize it and cannot fathom to which extent they shape our thoughts and inner being.
In the last decades, the US$ as a reserve currency provided the structural backbones of the world, allowing at the same time American culture, also known as the “American Way” to reach out throughout the world. Without the $ as a core currency, American goods and services wouldn’t have reached every single corner of the planet. American universities wouldn’t have attracted so many talents from all around the world and trained them. And American movies wouldn’t have reached every single pair of eye balls in the last 100 years. It’s the US$ as a global currency that allowed the iPhone and smartphones to be placed in the palms of the hands of as many people as possible.
And if you want to look at a link about how this happens, just look at cinema.
Let me elaborate a little bit more at this juncture.
One of the cultural dynamics that we are all familiar with, all of us, is cinema. In fact, the other week I had an appointment at the ophthalmologist. He confirmed to me that eye sight remains our dominant form of perception, far ahead of sound and any other sense.
And festivals of cinema, throughout the world, play that role. Indeed what a better time to talk about the Cannes Festival that is just opening in the South of France and which will also shine throughout the world. I have always looked at that Festival as a barometer of what is happening in the world. And this year marks a very special moment in Cannes. Ukraine’s president realized that by talking directly to the artists live on the giant screen of Cannes.
Yet, when you look at every single award winner of the last decades in Cannes, you realize how every single year was a snapshot of what was unfolding on the planet. It is a living memory of the planet. Together with many other serious film festivals on the planet, these movies provide a timeline of a reality that we would not have been able to capture with our conventional perceptions. You need that kind of suspension of conventional reality to be able to observe what is really happening.
I used to follow it very carefully, in my teenage years. And then it disappeared from the spectrum of my attention.
But I am now realizing how crucial it is to keep an eye on it, as a true witness of its time. That’s not just because of the magic of cinema, but it’s also because cinema from all corners of the planet is an ideal medium for each of us to learn from each other. In these troubled times and after more than 2 years where we have all been restricted in our travels, more than ever, cinema allows us to travel in the minds of other people in other countries. It gives a chance to explore different psychological dimensions, to open ourselves up to emotions and learn about ourselves. It acts as a powerful tool of self exploration when used properly and focused on deep works of art.
If I look at the last 70 years for example and take a look at the names of movies that won the Palme d’Or, it is possible to highlight very powerful patterns that I had not even noticed right when this was happening. It is in hindsight that these patterns emerge. There is a story that can be told just by taking a look at how these awards at movie festivals were awarded.
And by doing so, you will have a much more complete picture of economic cycles in the last 70 years. It’s a very unconventional method, but it is a different lens of observation.
There is indeed so much to learn from movies. I am personally surprised at what they taught me. Here is an example; believe it or not, I actually learned a lot in terms of monetary policy and economics just by watching a movie like “Once Upon a Time in the West” or “Roll Over.”
That’s what I am inviting you to do in the next few days. Looking forward to following up on that exercise.
That’s what I wanted to share with you.
Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.