Oman, South Korea, RMB, Fintech, The Skimm, Autonomous Vehicles

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Oman, South Korea, RMB, Fintech, The Skimm, Autonomous Vehicles

Marc Ross Daily
October 30, 2018
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Globalization, Disruption, and Politics

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✔️ Oman as peace-broker

✔️ South Korea's wartime labor ruling

✔️ RMB at its weakest official level in a decade

✔️ UK has most fintech companies outside the US

✔️ RIP: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha


Oman as peace-broker: Israeli Prime PM Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to the Gulf State of Oman over the weekend. The visit was the first by an Israeli prime minister in 20 years. The visit prompted speculation that Oman might try to revive peace negotiations in the Middle East.

Westminster voting intention:

CON: 43% (+6)
LAB: 40% (-)
LDEM: 6% (-2)
UKIP: 5% (-1)
GRN: 2% (-2)

via @DeltapollUK, 24 - 26 Oct Chgs. w/ 16 Aug

The UK unveiled a "digital services" tax: The tax, which kicks off in 2020 and is set at 2% of revenue earned in the UK, is a direct shot at big tech firms like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Brexit breakup admin costs: The cost of preparing Britain for Brexit will be at least £4.2 billion.

South Korea's wartime labor ruling: South Korea's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal to pay compensation of 100 million won ($88,000) each to four Koreans who were forced to work for the company during World War II. Dozens of other Japanese companies face the prospect of losing similar cases.

China and Japan signed a bilateral currency swap agreement during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to China.

Canada prepared to stall trade deal with China: Canada's ambassador to China says a trade pact with Canada likely won't be reached until China shows flexibility on certain controversial policies. John McCallum says most of the work he is doing in Beijing right now is focused on bridging policy gaps between Canada and China on agricultural market access, wages and gender equity, and on addressing issues with the Asian nation's human rights record.

China lifts 25-year ban on tiger and rhino parts.

Made in China 2025: China’s state-sponsored push to dominate technologies of the future is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to prospects for a resolution to the US trade war - which frankly should be called a tech war with trade frictions being used as the tactics. Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires taking place at the end of November.

The US will begin restricting firms from selling to Chinese SEO chip maker Fujian Jinhua on national security grounds after Micron accused it of stealing its IP.

Art of the deal: The US is preparing to announce by early December tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if talks next month between presidents Trump and Xi fail to ease the trade war, three people familiar with the matter said.

US-China Business Council senior vice president Erin Ennis said that it would not be a surprise to see Trump move toward announcing more tariffs, given his repeated threats to do so. But she said the group was urging both sides to better use the time before the Trump-Xi meeting to figure out how progress can be made on substantive issues.

RMB: China guided the yuan to its weakest official level in a decade - one dollar buys 6.9724 yuan.

Watch the currency not the stock market to understand China's economy - a devaluing currency with a 7 handle will put pressure on capex investment, cash outflows, and the central government needs to tap reserves.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the free market: His decision to rip up a $13 billion airport project sent markets into a tailspin. The peso sank 3.5% and pierced 20 per dollar, the stock market lost more than $17 billion in value and JPMorgan Chase & Co. slashed its 2019 economic growth forecast. AMLO is going to be an economic wrecking ball.


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Election 2018 = 7 days

This happened in your lifetime: The killing of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh is the deadliest attack on Jewish people in US history.

BTW - Trump revived his reference to the press as the “enemy of the people.”

Caravan craziness: Trump will deploy 5,200 to the US-Mexico border because he can.

BTW - 5,200 U.S. troops are currently based in Iraq.

Trump is the Canadian Bacon president.....

Trump eyes ending right to citizenship for children born in USto noncitizens: Trump promises action via an executive order during an Axios interview. The move would be certain to spark a battle over the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and return the nation to the 1850s.

GOTV: Trump has 11 rallies scheduled between now and Election Day with his final event of the campaign season happening in a southeastern Missouri county. The campaign swing focuses mainly on states that feature competitive Senate races. 

Trump will hold 11 rallies in 8 states before Election Day

Oct. 31 in Fort Myers FL
Nov 1 in MO
Nov 2 in Huntington, WV + Indianapolis, IN
Nov 3 in Bozeman MT + Pensacola FL
Nov 4 in Macon GA + Chattanooga Tenn.
Nov 5 in Cleveland, OH + Fort Wayne IN + Cape Girardeau MO

WSJ introduces the term = pre-Trump Republicans 

White House on November 7: Senior officials are resigned to losing GOP control of the House and are bracing for an exodus of staff worried about a torrent of subpoenas from Dem congressional investigators.

Taxes and benefits: More than half of Americans receive more money in various types of government transfer payments (Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and Social Security) than they pay in federal taxes. The Congressional Budget Office reports that only the top 40% income earners in the US pay more in taxes than they receive in government transfers.

Almost two years after taking office, Donald Trump still hasn’t nominated ambassadors to:

🇦🇺 Australia
🇪🇬 Egypt
🇮🇪 Ireland
🇯🇴 Jordan
🇲🇽 Mexico
🇶🇦 Qatar
🇸🇬 Singapore
🇹🇷 Turkey 
🇹🇭 Thailand
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia
🇸🇪 Sweden

plus more.....


Investors challenge 55 companies over commitment to climate change: The coalition of investors, led by the Church of England Pension Board and Swedish pension fund AP7, has written to 55 European corporations about their possibly hypocritical approach to climate lobbying. The investors have called on the companies, which include seven automakers and 10 oil groups, to review the positions adopted by trade associations and organizations of which they are members.

Nearly half of US stocks are in bear market.

Copper continues to drift lower.

ABB to build Shanghai robotics plant: This will be the company’s largest facility and will produce 100,000 robots a year.

Google cancels plans to open a new Berlin campus.

Gab, the social network used by the Pittsburgh suspect, has been taken offline: A statement on the platform's website Monday said it would be "inaccessible for a period of time" after several web hosting services declined its business. Gab said it has also been removed from app stores and refused service by payment processing firms.

Twitter has apologized for failing to act on threats made by Cesar Sayoc, the man charged with a string of attempted mail bombings that targeted prominent members of the Democratic party.

AI you can drive my car: Global investors have pumped $4.2 billion into autonomous driving-related companies in the first three quarters of 2018, according to data from CB Insights.

Twitter pushed back against a report that the social media platform intends to get rid of its Like button.

Epic Games, the creator of the wildly popular game Fortnite, sold $1.25 billion in stock to investors which values the company at almost $15 billion.

Warren likes fintech: Berkshire Hathaway has invested about $600 million in two fintech companies in the last two months: Brazilian payment processor StoneCo. Ltd. and the parent company of India's largest mobile-payments service Paytm.

- The UK is home to the most fintech companies outside the US, followed by India.

- Ant Financial is also the most well-funded company on the Fintech 250 list having raised approximately $19.1B across 4 investments

Mo money, mo problems: Goop has been reported to the UK's trading standards and advertising watchdogs over allegations that it makes misleading claims about its products.

The Skimm has 7 million subscribers.

Oreos will cost more: Mondelez plans price increases to counter rising costs of raw materials.

The HBS case study cash machine: The school produces some 350 new cases annually to add to a stock of about 7,500. Last year, it sold about 15 million copies globally mostly to business schools, from 11.5 million in 2013. Cases contributed much of the $221 million in its publishing division’s revenue in 2017.

Apple is expected to unveil updates to its Mac computers and iPads that include facial recognition features at an event in Brooklyn.


Chardonnay remains the most popular table wine sold through retail channels in the US, one in five bottles sold in the past year are chardonnay.


Scooter-mania: Detroit will be the home for a pilot mobility data project with the goal of creating a standard for cities and mobility companies to collect data all while protecting privacy, creating more manageable streets, and moving toward more equity in mobility. Detroit’s scooter use will help other cities achieve safety goals.

Peter Calthorpe and Jerry Walters on autonomous vehicles - hype and potential: "One thing is certain: zero- or single-occupant vehicles—even with AV technology—are a bad thing. They cause congestion, eat up energy, exacerbate sprawl, and emit more carbon per passenger mile. Surprisingly, even AV taxis carrying three passengers can generate more miles because of distant pickups and roaming as they await passengers."

The big business of Halloween retail: According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will drop about $9 billion on the festivities this year ($86.79 per person).


The rise of athleisure: According to Deirdre Clemente, a fashion historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, athleisure is the culmination of three long-term trends:

1: Technological improvements to synthetic fiber have made products like spandex more flexible, durable, and washable than natural materials

2. The modern fixation on healthy appearance has made yoga pants an effective vector for “conspicuous consumption” 

3. The blurring of yoga-studio fashion and office attire snaps into the long decline of formality in American fashion

What is the GPCI? The Global Power City Index (GPCI) evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their “magnetism,” or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring 6 functions—economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment, and accessibility.

Here's the GPCI 2018 top ten:

1. London
2. New York
3. Tokyo
4. Paris
5. Singapore
6. Amsterdam
7. Seoul
8. Berlin
9. Hong Kong
10. Sydney


This will be the difference: Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson has been fired after going 3-36-1.

RIP: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha: Entrepreneur who made his fortune in duty-free before buying Leicester City Football Club and steering them to a historic success.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.