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Hanlon/Nixon to Dartmouth/China

Doug Tengdin ‘82 is a Hanover resident and financial advisor who writes a pretty good blog/newsletter for his friends and clients. He describes his goal as follows:

“The markets are an endless source of knowledge and insight, not only about business and economics, but also about human nature and our place in the larger world. In my daily comments, I try to understand today’s financial world in the light of our knowledge of ourselves.”

As befits his education, Doug comments on issues far and wide, usually with a focus on financial markets, and always with flair, humanism and crisp prose. He has a provocative comment today on President Hanlon’s possible priorities:


For younger readers who don’t get the reference, Richard Nixon was the Republican President who opened American relations with previously ostracized “Red” China — after a career as an ardent anti-Communist. His action has become a metaphor for the need to have someone with impeccable credentials for a contrary position be the actor who makes a breakthrough reform. Imagine, for instance, Barack Obama restructuring entitlement spending. Given his background as a caring Democrat, he could do so in the name of fiscal responsibility, and not be accused of acting like one of those cold-hearted, greedy Republicans. Imagine.

Addendum: The Nixon/China metaphor seemingly remains part of intellectual history for many a year. An avid reader reports that in Star Trek VI, Mr. Spock states, “There’s an old Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China.


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