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Best Columns: Inverted world, Diverted funds
We used to think the
T
he new, upside-down globe

We used to think the “world was flat,” says Roger Cohen in The New York Times. “Now it’s upside down.” The developing world accounted for “two-thirds of global economic growth last year,” and the contrast with sluggish developed nations will be more stark this year. Fed by rising prices for energy and natural resources, East Asian and Persian Gulf nations have amassed “dollar-dripping sovereign wealth funds” that “amuse themselves” by picking up developed-world assets. And countries like Brazil, China, and India are leaping ahead by “expanding internal markets” and gaining corporate savvy. “Globalization is now a two-way street,” and if this new world doesn’t make sense, “try standing on your head.”

The 3x5 budget

Admit it: “you really don’t know” where your paycheck goes, says Douglas Sease in The Wall Street Journal. The rewards for summoning the time and “willpower” to figure it out “can be huge.” But forget fancy software—the place to start is with “a pack of 3x5 index cards.” Label the first one “Week of June 1,” stick it in your pocket, and write down “every single cent you spend” each day, and what you spend it on. Coffee, gas, everything. Also note your take-home pay. After a month, four cards, sit down and tally up the numbers. After maybe 30 minutes, you’ll get a quick and detailed snapshot of your finances. You might be surprised at what you find you don’t need.

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