It just made sense to be in South America’s economic heart, Jonathan Rosenthal reasoned, no matter that he had been working on Wall Street with some of the investment world’s most heady firms. ...
... “When you’re talking about skilled labor, there’s a huge lack of supply, so as a result if you have the courage to come down to Brazil, or you have the language skills, or you’re Brazilian American, it’s a no-brainer to come down here,” said Rosenthal, 31, who runs Newfoundland Capital Management with a Brazilian partner.
In New York, Rosenthal had a golden career. At 22 he joined Morgan Stanley, and he later worked for one of Julian Robertson’s Tiger Cub funds. But the culture of New York’s financial world can be stiff and closed, Rosenthal said, and he was attracted by the investment possibilities in Brazil and neighboring countries.
Here, Rosenthal said he runs into the executives of big firms at the gym, and he is a cab ride away from 80 percent of the firms on the Sao Paulo exchange. “Those interactions are priceless,” he said. “You don’t get that in New York.”
Emphasis added. Use to be, not too long ago, that one could get anything in NYC. Americans didn't need to migrate to another country. They could move to the Big Apple and tap into the world. BRIC economic geography is changing that. Sao Paulo (not Brazil) is where the action is.
This talent emigration pattern helps me to rethink the prospects of hegemonic transition. Will China or India replace the United States at the top of the heap? The question ignores the current urban century and the rise of the metro hegemon. The economic power of New York and London challenges that of nation states. The main metric for measuring that power is migration. The domestic and international draw of NYC is a testament to that metro's might. But talent choosing Sao Paulo over New York is a sign of the times.