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I never planned to be a business and economics journalist.
No one does.
But in 1991 when CNN International offered me a job in London — in the basement of a big glass building on Southwark Bridge that also housed something called the Financial Times — I got a quick education.
Yes, there was all that hair and make-up. Screaming, preening anchors. Sly maneurverings of colleagues who would sell their sisters for a chance to sniff Christiane Amanpour's perfume.
And, sure, all that was fun for a 21-year-old kid from Detroit.
But what really hooked me was the stuff scrolling by on the prompter. Behind the TV cliches and all that silly jargon, something was happening. Interesting things. Important things.
Europe was uniting — politically and economically — beneath a single currency. The "Third World" became "emerging markets." China boomed. India followed. Back home, Wall Street went mainstream. New ideas, companies and technologies changed the game. Something called the Internet appeared.
Suddenly, we were all connected: my German, South African, Australian and British co-workers. The poor Mexican strawberry farmer who found a job in a U.S. auto parts factory in Guanajuato. The hedge fund manager in Boston trying to guess which brands Chinese teens would be buying in 10 years.
It was globalization — the story of our time — bursting forth like a song in Mandarin, Hindi, German, Japanese, Swahili, Spanish and a thousand other tongues.
Since then my job has been to listen. To somehow comprehend how all of this fits together — from politics, to economics to culture. And then to tell the best stories that I could find on TV, radio, magazines and the Web.
If you ask the right questions, these stories are everywhere.
How does McDonald's sell burgers in India, the land of the sacred cow? Why are all these corn-fed Midwesterners stumbling around Guangdong province and the dusty corners of Maharastra? What is a tiny Chicago design firm doing in the villages and forests of Java?
They're such great stories because they combine everything that makes us human: Greed. Fear. Competition. Cooperation. Treachery. Hope. Malfeasance. Honesty.
And these are the kinds of stories we're proud to be telling you here at GlobalPost.
You'll find them every day, of course, in the Commerce section but also throughout the site, and throughout the world.
Because politics in China matters to the economics of the United States. Because the culture of Poland, Thailand, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe — or any other county — is central to its business, its people, its neighbors, its past and its future. Because wisdom knows no boundaries.
Because we are all connected.