Posts Tagged ‘Y.K. Wong’

Sun Tzu: Keep your adversary irrationally busy, worrying, confused,fearful and like to be your ally, if you want to be a global leader…..

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Currently America is a global leader in some way, but keeps busy moving the military units around the world, keeps worrying the whole world human right, and freedom, through the United Nation keeping the questionable allies….

It seems that a lot of contrast to what Sun Tzu  has to say. If Sun Tzu is the best military strategist,  then our leaders may need to review their planning.

America has been faithfully to help the world since the Second World War. The purpose is to keep the world peace and creates the world prosperity. When you help another country to grow up , you naturally create the competitions……

America has the best natural resources and human wisdom so as the technology. In reality, America can overcome this challenge without questions. This challenge makes the world better. That is America’s goal, that is America system. What is the problem?

Some political leaders and certain groups of organization keep complaining about the unfair challenges……

If America can send the spaceship to the Universe, or goes to the Mar, even Sun Tzu would agree that America can overcome  something that he can’t…..

“If Sun Tzu is alive to day, he will say that America has an internal problem .”

The extremity and obstructions of certain political leaders will cause this great country dearly. Look at the Wall Street. There are no rules and laws in their eyes. They do anything they want to. Because they can afford to pay $B of dollar fine and have political power. They can admit no fault. When the future oil trading is being investigated, the oil price goes down and a big bank loses multiple $B of dollars….When will it end ? Scandal waves move forward one after another. New IPO is on the NEWS. It is incredible!

Some ex-military officers have said there are not much competitions in term of military power in the near future. Why America needs more oxygenated problem plane……?

America has the budget gridlock, it can be done, if Congress can work together. If America can’t balance the budget, the world is not going to listen……..Can America to be a global leader under this circumstance ??

Know Yourself and Know the World…..Sun Tzu.

Walmart and K-Mart: Rivals on the Battlefield

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Sun Tzu writes in The Art of War that advantage / disadvantage and strength / weakness are continually shifting, depending on the circumstances. Business can also be interpreted through the lens of Art of War principles, in terms of  businesses and corporations battling to capture the dollars of the public.

Everyone knows what happened to K-Mart when it did not accurately assess the threat from WalMart. K-Mart rose up in the early 60’s as an innovative marketing idea.  K-Mart built an image and a strategy to present products that matched the middle class consumer.  Unfortunately, due to overspending,  management problems, and lack of experience, K-Mart was eclipsed by WalMart, who all but wiped them out.

WalMart made use of what it had learned about K-Mart’s strengths and weaknesses.  Sam Walton started small, kept the inventory lean, and provided good service.  When WalMart started to get some market share, they began to “attack” some major cities.

In the 1980’s K-Mart recognized that WalMart was a competitor, but thought WalMart was too small to take as a threat. K-Mart assumed it was too big to ever be displaced by the new competitor.  In the end, K-Mart lost the battle, and WalMart is now king of the mountain. Had K-Mart heeded Sun Tzu’s motto of “Know yourself and know your enemy,”they might have survived.

On the world stage today, America stands in the same position as K-Mart did.  America is a superpower whose influence is felt everywhere.  Yet, America’s image started to wane after 1980.  The country, like the consumers living in it, has been overspending.  You can’t use credit cards to pay down debt. Nor can congress use credit to pay down debt. 

It is time to trim the inventory. When our country spends billions of dollars that have been squeezed from the citizens to support corrupt foreign countries, it does not make sense.  Apparently the citizenry of both Iraq and Afghanistan  want the United States to leave their countries. They see the U.S. as basically supporting a form of government that is not yet providing them with safety in the streets. The leaders, who are enjoying the infusion of U.S. dollars, speak mixed messages.

Other superpowers are busy investing in goodwill and business, rather than public dollars, in overseas countries, and may be getting better results than the U.S.  According to the “Dow Jones Theory,” our country’s strength is measured in terms of transportation, property, and energy.  The  American auto market has been losing to Japan, property has been depreciating, and oil has become more expensive. To quote Bonfire of the Vanities, we are “hemorrhaging money.”

American leadership cannot continue to waste time indulging in partisan ideological wrangling that does not address these issues.  It is time for our leaders to “either pee or get off the pot.”  President Obama seems to have taken a wise step in his intentions to bring a large segment of our military out of Afghanistan.

  Equal attention could certainly be given to unnecessary social welfare spending.  America cannot be considered strong if it is in fact being manipulated by its own politicians and special interest groups.  Sometimes “knowing yourself” can be painful.

Much more on the principles of The Art of War and on how they can be applied to your personal business success in my book The Art of War Applied to Wall Street.

Y. K. Wong

June, 23, 2011

Confucius, Sex, and Nature

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

In an earlier blog, I have discussed Confucius, who has unnecessarily been given a bad rap by 20th century critics for not condemning the stratified class system in which he lived. The Chinese Communists have tended to discredit him for this reason.  However, as I have explained previously, Confucius had to function within the society in which he was living 2500 years ago, and he chose not to “fight City Hall.”   He had a greater, more philosophical  message to get across.

One of Confucius’s students asked about the proper role of food and the role of sex in human life.  Confucius answered simply that both are vital to human life. Certainly, no one would argue with that!   All of Nature requires food to support life, as well as continuation of the genetic material. Confucius said, “No food, no life. No sex, no life.”  Seems like obvious common sense.

In reality, Confucius was teaching the principles of connecting with powerful forces that underlie all of life as experienced by all people, no matter what their social class.  His famous principles of  right  human interaction were based on balance and fair play.  Yet few people realized at that time that he  had developed these principles through  observation and insight into the laws of Nature.

Confucius apparently did make some negative comments about women of his time. He said that  they were prone to complaining that their men were away for too long (as a result of the slow travel over long distances in those days, or for warfare),  and then when the men did come home, the women tended to complain about petty things.  From our perspective today, as we consider the very confined and constrained lives of women of the time, it is understandable. 

Sun Tzu taught in The Art of War that it is imperative that we know ourselves and know the others we are dealing with.  In my opinion,  females are the most important element  in the natural world.  Without the female there is no life. In those societies where the females are oppressed and suppressed, there usually is a very static culture that produces little, if any, development in science, art, or technology.  When the natural balance of male and female energy has been upset, it follows that the economics and even the foreign relations of such societies experience much struggle.

Neither Confucius nor Sun Tzu would advocate that we live in the Wild Kingdom. We live in human society.  Right now in our current human society, we are seeing  prominent men suddenly attaining notoriety through the exploitation of women.  We even see women, particularly in the “entertainment industry,” complicit in this.

 There is no record of any further commentary that Confucius may have made on the topic of sexual activity. So therefore, one might turn to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, which was contemporary to Confucius, for some possible insights.  Most of the principles in The Art of War were also derived from observation of the forces of Nature and how they can be  utilized—and respected.  

As those familiar with The Art of War know, Sun Tzu developed precepts that emphasized how important it is to know yourself and to know others.  What are one’s own strengths and weaknesses? What are the  capabilities and potentials of others? 

When one has considered those questions, then conscious choices of right action can be taken.  The key concept, as I see it, is “respect” —of Self and others.  When you really KNOW yourself, you know your own greatness.  And when you take others into consideration, one is led to respect them as well. 

The great lesson that prominent people are bringing out to us in these times is  just that.  As sexual expression is a primary aspect of  Nature, and Nature is balanced, then the lesson is to deprogram ouselves from the imbalances of our cultures and get in tune with the harmonious Laws of Nature.

For more about how Sun Tzu saw the role of great leaders in bringing about harmony and balance of power, read my translation of  The Art of War in my new book,

Y.K. Wong,

June 1, 2011

“Superpower” —According to Sun Tzu

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

America is currently considered a “superpower.” Does America today fit the image of “superpower” as understood by Sun Tzu in his classic treatise, The Art of War?

Sun Tzu said that if a country is to function as a superpower, it must have an impeccable reputation for unity of purpose and a strong economy. 

To review Sun Tzu’s concepts:

The members of government and the people must be united behind the leadership.

The government must always choose diplomacy before resorting to warfare.

The primary intention of the military must always be to create a situation where the enemy is willing to surrender without resorting to actual physical warfare.

The military must not be interfered with by government leaders.

The military must not engage in warfare that is far distant from the home country.

The military must not engage in protracted military operations.

The military must have superb and totally secret intelligence-gathering.

The military must never reveal its operational plans to anyone beyond the leader of the country.

The military / government leaders must thorougly understand the culture and psyche of those foreigners they are dealing with.

If a superpower has taken control of another country, the primary intention must be to improve the lives of those they have taken over, so those citizens will more readily become  willing participants in the superpower’s domain.

The economy of the superpower must be stable.  Inflation and scarcity lead to civil unrest.

The citizens must not feel that they are being drained of resources to support unnecessary military actions or overpaid government officials .

I will leave it to the reader to determine if post-World War II  U.S. has been meeting the above-listed criteria.

Clearly, when a country’s image is shaken by continual political conflict within the seat of government, when its economic leaders are repeatedly being exposed for various types of unethical and exploitative activities, the solidarity of the purpose and identity of the populace is weakened.  And it is more than obvious that the leadership potential of such a country on the world stage is certainly eroded.

This is the position that America finds itself in today.   

This is not a time to waver in our expectation that our leaders and our economic institutions will perform their positions with integrity and higher purpose.  This is not done by pointing the finger at “wrongdoers” without thought to the ethics and standards of our own lives. This is not a time for self-righteousness.  But it IS definitely time to hold a  commitment to a cultural integrity that flows from the bottom to the top and back again.

“Vision” is not just for political campaigns.  It is the task of everyone, not just a political campaign platform, to create a vision. Vision is crucial if you want to see clearly into the future and have a part in what is created there.

Y.K. Wong

May 18, 2011

To learn much more about Sun Tzu and to get the most current translation of The Art of War, and how you can use the principles for your own economic strategy, get the book or the ebook of The Art of War Applied to Wall Street by Y.K. Wong, with Pat Kuzela.

A Shift in America’s Image

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

“Image is everything.”  (Sun Tzu, Art of War, 2500  years ago).  The image of the potential power of a military force is the linchpin of Sun Tzu’s concept of the right use of military force (excerpted from The Art of War Applied to Wall Street, pg. 85).  The elimination of Osama bin Laden this week has stimulated a change, temporary as it may be, in the image of the United States.

In the years following World War II the image and reputation of the U.S. was sky high.  However, American involvement in Korea in the 1950’s and inVietnam in the 1960’s, plus the misguided intervention in Iran, and events following, all caused a serious erosion in the perception of the United States.

It wasn’t until the presidency of Ronald Reagan and his success in dealing with the Russians at the end of the Cold War, as well as with the posturing of Gaddafi, that the image of the United States was somewhat restored.

After Reagan, the U.S. has struggled to maintain its posture of strength and moral integrity in foreign relations.  Even the so-called “War on Terror” has been a paper tiger—until this week’s raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan.  The stealth and success of the operation have had an dramatic effect on worldwide perception that ”America means business.”

Would Sun Tzu himself have thoroughly approved of it.?

An analysis of the information released so far about the strike on bin Laden’s lair reveals that its success can be attributed to many principles advocated by Sun Tzu. Those principles are:  the importance of planning (Chapter 1 of The Art of War), the importance of thorough preparation (Chapter 2 of  The Art of War), strategy and attack (Chapter 3 of A of  W), understanding the terrain ( Chapter 10 of A of  W), and most of all, the prime importance of military intelligence (Chapter 13 of A of W). 

And most important, there was zero collateral damage.  The community and the citizens nearby were not harmed in any way—in total accordance with the principles of The Art of War.

The success of this raid on bin Laden highlights that it is not necessarily firepower that creates respect and “image.”  It is wisdom in the choice of tactics that only can come from “Knowing yourself” and knowing the enemy” that creates Image. Our leaders and citizens would be well-advised to understand this.

And for this reason, one is not so sure that Sun Tzu himself would have approved of the raid.  Why? Because part of “knowing the enemy” is understanding that part of the piece called “reducing collateral damage” consisted of refraining from doing anything that would cause a desire for retaliation to fester in the heart of the vanquished. The one piece of this operation that will come back to bite America’s image was the use of torture to gain the information needed to locate Osama bin Laden. 

Although Sun Tzu emphasized the vital role of “military intelligence,” nowhere in The Art of War is there any suggestion that torture was the way to obtain it.  So it is that the dialog that is going on now regarding this may be the last piece needed to move America along in its quest to live up the image of strength and honor it has always sought. 

To learn much more about the principles of The Art of War, get the book The Art of War Applied to Wall Street.

by Y.K. Wong

May, 2011

The Fall of Federalist Empires: Sun Tzu’s Perspective

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Throughout  history, empires have fallen apart for 3 basic reasons:

1. War–either defeat by an enemy or waging a prolonged, long-distance war

2. High taxes on the people

3.  Ignoring problems of the citizens while maintaining spending on those in power.

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu emphasized that “war is for peace.”  “War is a last resort.  It should be quick and fast.  Long-distance wars exhaust a country’s resources.  The condition of the citizens must always be a concern. The goal is to keep a strong economy and a united citizenry.” 

The American government has been bogged down recently by the issue of balancing the budget. Rather than identifying the true problems and creating solutions, they have been caught up in locking horns over ideological issues.   No matter what proposals are offered, if they do not see what the real problems are, the so-called “proposals” are worthless. 

Sun Tzu said, “Know yourself; know the terrain.” If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you expect to solve it?  If a tree has a problem, and you confine the discussion only to the leaves, how can you deal with the problem, which may actually emanate from the roots and the trunk?

By now, Americans are disgusted with the political games and want the members of Congress to remember that they were elected to serve the people, not just their campaign contributors.

Sun Tzu said “Know yourself.”   It is time for our congressmen and women to acknowledge that for the most part, they have been serving their special interest supporters rather than the greater good of the country. They continue to cry “Cut the budget,” and  focus on ways to give  Social Security or Medicare the axe.  But no attention seems to be given to the $670 billion dollar military budget.

Sun Tzu would of course support having an adequate military—but not an overextended military buildup to support. That is a budget that can be cut. What kind of war are we actually facing, anyway?  For all the expense, what is the purpose?  Is it really related to strategic interests, or is there a political agenda?

Medical  expenses bilk the insurance carriers and Medicare for reimbursement costs that are far more than the actual, real-time cost of  the service or procedure.  Whether you are an individual paying  insurance companies, or the government using the people’s money to pay, it is still the individual who has money taken out of his/her pocket to foot the bill. Congress could take action to no longer permit the excessively high medical billing that is at the root of the problem. 

  In addition, pharmacy costs equally bilk the public.  Those who have had prescriptions filled in Canada know that the medication costs far less than what the American public and insurers are billed for. Whether the insurance is government-subsidized or paid for by employers or the individual, the escalating payouts always create higher premiums for the individual.

Another obvious solution is that the government could do much more to encourage public education about personal health maintenence and healthy lifestyle to avoid the illnesses in the first place.

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu emphasized the prime importance of maintaining a stable economy to keep a country strong and to avoid the possiblility of civil unrest.  Social welfare costs are another area where costs could be cut.  Data base capability needs to be upgraded to more effectively determine an applicant’s assets, so that people who actually have a comfortable income do not collect government checks. 

Tax reform would certainly close up the loopholes that permit untold amounts of lost revenue to slip through the system.  A simple percentage-of-income tax for everyone, regardless of income, would be a solution.  Not only would it eliminate the loopholes for special-interest groups, but it would eliminate a whole army of  bureaucracy the taxpayers have to support just to process the paperwork in the present system.

Another way to cut expenses and increase revenue would be to close the loopholes that allow corporations to set up headquarters in Bermuda to avoid paying taxes.

All of this boils down to item number 3— the well-being of the citizens. The last thing the people need right now are higher taxes. As stated, the revenue is available—from budget cuts. 

The continually fluctuating prices of gasoline certainly is a  burden to the people.  The price increases usually have nothing to do with the viability of the oil producers or the refineries .  They are more likely the result of greedy speculators on Wall Street. The government has the right to intercede for the best interests of the citizens and, they should do so.

Credit card costs have been squeezing Americans.  Banks have been allowed to offer low introductory rates, and then increase the interest in a matter of months.  In the end, people who do their best to protect their credit by paying the bill have less cash to flow into the economy. Congress needs to take action here, also.

The solution is always evident in the midst of the problem. Therefore, if the Congress really cares about the American people, the  solution is quite obvious: Reduce spending, revise the tax system, get serious about bank regulation and energy speculation.

Y.K. Wong, April 20, 2011

To learn more about Sun Tzu’s Art of War and how it applies to finances and investment, read The Art of War Applied to Wall Street by Y.K Wong

Libya: What Would Sun Tzu Do if He Were Alive Today?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Commentators and experts continue to talk endlessly about Libya, despite the fact that no one can really predict the outcome.  What would Sun Tzu, the author of THE ART OF WAR, the definitive treatise on war and foreign affairs, say about the action in Libya?

Primarily, Sun Tzu’s initial words of wisdom are, ”War is serious business.”  He would say that “War is the last resort, to be employed only when all diplomatic means have been exhausted.” 

He would say that “Everything must be taken into consideration.”

He would say that once a decision has been made to go to battle, then the purpose is above all, to win as expediently as possible, and with as little collateral damage to the land and the people as possible.

Sun Tzu would say that if the leader of a country tells another leader to “step down,” then he has to stand by his statement, lest he be perceived as being merely insulting without serious intention. President Obama may have made this “suggestion” hoping that other voices would join his and pressure Mommar Gadhafi into a peaceful regime change. Nonetheless, it is certainly regarded as a challenge.  Now that he has stated his position, President Obama is going to have to stand by it.   Sun Tzu always emphasized the power and importance of “image.”  If the United States backs down from the challenge it has set up, instability and unrest is likely to escalate as other policital forces come forward to fill the void in leadership.

Now that the United States has become involved in Libya, it would be worthwhile to explore the situation from The Art of War perspective.  A primary principle of A of W is to find the enemy’s weakness. In Libya’s case it is the fact that the government is a military dictatorship.  Historically, there is no real loyalty between dictators and their military forces.  in the end, the militaryalways looks out for its own interests, not the dictator’s.  There is always the strong likelihood that the military will turn against its leader if it becomes advantageous. This is the major weakness of the Gadhafi regime.

 In addition, as a result of the brutality of his regime, there is little true support among the population for Gadhafi. Furthermore, the Gadhafis know that militarily they are in the weaker position. When Gadhafi’s son said that the essence of his military plan is “to fight and die here,” he is indicating that he knows they are overmatched.  In fact, years ago, when Gadhafi dropped his nuclear program, under American pressure, that was an indication that he knew he was not in any position to defy the United States. 

Thus the internal weaknesses are evident.  The fact that Gadhdafi’s Prime Minister recently fled to England makes it clear that there are serious problems in the Gadhafi government.

 Sun Tzu says “Know yourself.”  America’s position is stronger because it has the support of the United Nations, NATO, most of the Europeans, plus it has superior military power.  Add to that its noble goal of supporting human rights and democratic principles.  Real trust of America can be gained when the United States is effectively furthering human rights in the world.

In Chapter 13 of The Art of War, Sun Tzu advocates the strategy of using citizens and military officers with grievances against their leaders. “Use the enemy’s own spear to pierce  his shield. Tempt them to go against their leaders. “ Even the Libyan Prime Minister can see the wisdom of aligning with the United States. Those who are fighting for Gadhafi are not religious fanatics who are going to martyr themselves for their leader.

The Gadhafi forces are much more likely to recognize the obvious superiority of the American and NATO forces.  It was one of  Sun Tzu’s principles that display of military strength serves to erode the adversary’s confidence.  It is actually a psychological tactic—which is essentially at the heart of everything that Sun Tzu taught. 

 For Sun Tzu, the psychology of intimidation creates conditions for quick surrender.  Quick surrender reduces the “collateral damage”  0f  loss of life and infrastructure. Sun Tzu was very clear that it was far preferable to gain quick surrender and thereby spare the people and the country itself from undue suffering and damage, not to mention sparing the economic drain and loss of morale engendered by protracted warfare.

If you would like to learn more about Sun Tzu’s teachings in The Art of War, get the most updated translation available today at 

 or as an ebook at

Y.K. Wong, April 2011

Libya: An Opportunity to Spread Human Rights and Freedom

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Sun Tzu teaches that if you want to be a world leader, you have to be clear about your purpose, your adversaries, and your circumstances.

Let’s review the circumstances relating to Libya. The citizens in Lybia have been calling out for global help.  The people want freedom and a substantial number of them want to expel the dictator.  About 60% of the population is under 30 years old, and they have a concept of freedom that they have picked up from the media.  They have been calling out for change.

Momar Gadhafi has been in power for over 40 years.  He has brutally repressed  the citizens of his country who have not cooperated with him.  Gadhafi has not used the wealth generated by the oil industry of Libya to benefit the citizens.  Instead, his family have used it to live lavishly while the population is in need of economic development for the thousands of unemployed. When the younger generation does not have hope for the future, there is the demand for regime change. 

Gadhafi has admitted to  linkage to terrorism.  In 2003, Gadhafi finally said that Libya was “responsible” for the 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. And Gadhafi may have agreed to hold back from developing nuclear capability, but he still has WMD, such as mustard gas, at his disposal.

The American and NATO forces have support from the European allies.  It is clear that Ghadfai is outnumbered and outgunned. While Sun Tzu would say that you must never overestimate yourself and underestimate the enemy, it appears that Gadhafi is going to be overturned.  The key thing is for it to be done quickly enough for the people to attain their freedom without developing resentment for strangers hunkering down on their soil.

If our military leaders  have “taken everything into consideration” as Sun Tzu advocates, then this deployment of forces could have an outcome that is favorable to the image of the United States as well as to the future of the younger generation of Libyians. Therein lies a worthy goal.

Not only that, but such an outcome would have a ripple effect on the entrenched repressive regimes in other countries of that region where people are asking for change.

As we are aware, recently a couple of  generals involved with operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq have publicly stated that had the planning and research been thorough enough in advance, things would have gone quite differently in both settings.

Hopefully, our military leaders have learned from their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As Sun Tzu said, “there must be an ovewhelming reason” to engage in warfare.  ”Everything must be taken into consideration.”  This includes the psychological effect  on the citizens. Long-distance, and long-term wars weaken the country.  These are all points that Sun Tzu emphasized. 

As Sun Tzu taught, it is all about “image” in leadership.  If you haven’t done the homework, you cannot maintain the image.

There is no reason to keep rediscovering the wheel, and continue to learn from the same mistakes over and over again, when Sun Tzu has already written the handbook on how to avoid them in the first place.

Read the best, most readable, up-to-date version of Sun Tzu’s The Art of  War available today, which is incorporated into the book, The Art of War Applied to Wall Street.

Y.K. Wong


“Art of War” Applied to Wall Street

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

                                  “Know the Enemy”–Sun Tzu

Many people buy stock, but very few people understand the mechanism that underlies Wall Street.

                                Don’t let the Market Confuse You

Is the activity of the stock market the result of random forces, or are there some underlying principles that we must learn about?  Is there a “science” of the stock market? 

 In theory – – maybe. But in reality–impossible.

Most people tend to agree with Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, that the stock market is ”irrational and exuberant.”

Nevertheless, technical analysts publish their charts and look for patterns from the past that could predict the future, and then they advise their clients on the basis of their data. Their charts are based on theories of “’support,” ”resistance,” ”trends,” and ”sales volume.”

Then they try to apply principles of prediction to make their decisions to buy and sell. There are entrenched beliefs in the concept that decisions to buy and sell can be based to a large degree on prediction principles.

Investors need to get out of the traditional approach, and play Wall Street like a game.  There is more to the picture than what Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis alone can give you.  The books you study have often been written by experts who are employed by Wall Street.  They can lead you into a trap.  This book will teach you how to develop you own guidelines for choosing investments.

Find out why the emphasis on long-term investing may not be in your best interests, and learn why the “easy money” of short-term investments may not be that easy.

A stock has no life of its own.  It moves up and down because of unknown forces.  Most of the time investors overemphasize a company’s profit or loss, and assume that is the reason for the rise and fall of the stock. In reality, the movement of the stock is the result of rumors that come from Wall Street itself.

Without a well-equipped mind-set, you cannot build up and maintain your confidence. You can’t see through the toxic cloud coming from Wall Street. You will panic easily when the Market drops, and you will lose your hard-earned money.

               “Know Yourself and Know Your  Opponent”–Sun Tzu

Do you want to play the stock market?  If so, you need to understand what Wall Street really is. Sun Tzu’s major principle is that you must have an honest assessment of yourself and also of your opponent.

In terms of The Art of War, Wall Street plays the role of your ”enemy”. Wall Street is a place where could be said that “the king gets to write the history book.”  You need to know how the structures and operations of Wall Street function before you get your fingers burned.

 Wall Street has linkage to almost all of the currency on the planet.  Companies and corporations can legally borrow public and private money through issuing debts and stocks with the help of brokerage firms and banks.

You are David facing Goliath.  You are one individual up against a monolith of money and power. Sun Tzu teaches that all of the variables relating to the opponent need to be understood.

This is why you’re going to find my new book,”The Art of War” Applied to Wall Street to be an invaluable tool for personal investing.  Everything that you need to consider is explained simply and clearly.

Plus, you will discover that the book contains a completly new and fresh translation of the original “Art of War” material!

 Y.K. Wong, March 8, 2011 

Time Will Tell..History Will Be the Judge

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

St. Paul said that “All things work to the good.”  That has proven to be the case when one reviews events in Chinese history.  There have been several periods in Chinese history that were characterized by ruthless, brutal leaders who made life miserable for their subjects.  Yet in the long view of history, it turns out that some of their most totalitarian acts actually benefitted the country in the long run. 

One of the first examples would be Qin Shi Huang,”The First Emperor”  (Qin Dynasty– 200-100 BC).  He conquered six other warlords, which in effect unified China, and then he took control of the entire country.  However, Qin Shi Huang  was one of the most cruel kings in Chinese history. It is said that he executed his own biological father and then ordered his mother to commit suicide. 

In addition, Qin Shi Huang rounded up all the scholars in the country and eliminated them by burying them alive.  Then he burned all the books, and prohibited the teaching of any kind of philosophy. Somehow, despite Qin Shi Huang’s purge of the scholars, the teachings of  Confucius, the Daoists, and  Sun Tzu (The Art of War) survived.

During his reign,  as Qin Shi Huang traveled throughout the country, he observed that differences in dialect could cause misunderstandings and miscommunications.  He insisted on the use of only one dialect of the language throughout the country, so that his edicts would be unequivocally understood. 

The result of his language edict was to unify the country linguistically. The dialect that Qin imposed is the language used today throughout the land.  Had it not been for Qin Shi Huang, China would have remained a a hodgepodge of 38 different states. 



Another emperor, Yang Jian (541-604–Sui Dynasty) was notorious for  being one of the most corrupt,  ruthless and debauched emperors. Yang Jian was also known as Emperor Wen of Sui. Stories say that he had a kind of indoor swimming pool filled with wine in which beautiful naked women basked. The literature of  Emperor Yan Jian tells of  “3,000 beautiful women” in his palace.  That may be an exaggeration, but it is reasonable to assume there were at least 500 women!

One of the practices common to the emperors of these dynasties was the use of herbs to promote longevity. Often one  of the main ingredients was arsenic, which damaged the brain and nervous system, and was likely responsible for many of the irrational behaviors and excesses displayed by Yang Jian and others.

For example, Emperor Yang Jian insisted that he wanted to sail a boat on land, rather than on the sea. There was a belief in that time that the king had a “Dragon Mouth,”  which meant that  his authority was absolute, and whatever he demanded had to come to pass, and no one could change it or oppose it.  He told his prime minister to create a land-cruising boat.  The prime minister would be executed if he refused the order.  So the prime minister gathered all of the engineers to deal with the emperor’s order.

What they did was to connect all the rivers from north to south; in effect, creating a huge canal.  The result was a canal that traversed the country from north to south.  This canal became the main avenue of commerce for over a thousand years, continuing even to present time.

Once again, a seemingly irrational whim of a brutal emperor king served to unify and benefit the country as a whole.

Click to see an enlarged picture

And as we look at a figure of modern Chinese history, Dr. Sun Yat Sen comes to mind as a person whose ideas were not fully appreciated in his time, yet in hindsight one can see the value of his vision. By the time Sun Yat Sen had managed to finally overturn the Manchurian Kingdom, no one saw the benefit at the time because there was so much chaos and loss of life in the process.

 It wasn’t  until the dust settled and Sun Yat Sen brought forth a Constitution that the wisdom of his vision was confirmed. While the American Constitution has 3 branches, Sun Yat Sen’s Chinese Constitution has 5 branches.  Sun Yat Sen believed that capitalism could run into trouble if the natural resources of a county fell into corporate ownership. Such corporations would have too much power over the economy and therefore over the government itself.

 Therefore the Chinese  Constitution set forth government ownership of the minerals and natural resources of the country. Sun Yat Sen believed this would ensure a more balanced way to set up the economy. 

Even though the leaders of China today might not readily admit that they are the benefactors of the vision of SunYat Sen, it is clear that by the government having ownership of the natural resources, particularly in the case of energy resources, the economy is free of the price and supply manipulation that privately owned corporations can create. With the cost of energy remaining constant, the Chinese economy is not subject to the uncertainty of price variations in the cost of doing business.  As the Chinese economy continues to strengthen, I see the constitutional vision of Sun Yat Sen gradually coming more and more into reality.

In our time, as we look over the records of Mao Tse Tung, and Deng Xiao Ping, only time and history will be judge.

In my opinion, even though China is considered to be linguistically and economically unified, despite the efforts of communism to create a monolithic culture in China, there are many variations of what it means to be Chinese.

For those who really want to study the common basis of all the variations of Chinese culture, The Art of War by Sun Tzu would be a good start. 

A new, in-depth, easy-to-read translation of The Art of War is included in my book, The Art of War Applied to Wall Street.

Y.K. Wong, February 23, 2011.