Friday, February 24, 2006

wrinkles in globalization

Examples of persisting problems in globalization, or ways that the world is not still seamless, or flat (pace Thomas Friedman).

Example 1: A US$100 check mailed to me from a company in Singapore, issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore), could not be cashed by Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong (the fees would have been over HK$500 on what should have been a HK$778 check). My bank in the US could not cash a foreign check, nor could Merrill Lynch in HK. So I asked to the Singapore company to wire the amount to me. I only got HK$360! Hang Seng claims that is all that arrived, and that it was not their charges.

Example 2: Yale's "Recommendation Form" for graduate students does not have a box for "country" but has one for zip code; they assume all referees are based in the US.

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