Giuseppe Conte, Taiwan, Darwin, Arby's, Marco Rubio, UFC

Marc Ross Daily June.png

Giuseppe Conte, Taiwan, Darwin, Arby's, Marco Rubio, UFC

Marc Ross Daily
May 24, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here
https://goo.gl/bSQKwA

TOP FIVE

✔️ Brexit has left households 900 pounds worse off

✔️ Italy’s new government will challenge the EU at its heart

✔️ 3 Ebola patients fled quarantine in Congo

✔️ Trump: Canada and Mexico 'very difficult' to deal with

✔️ Netflix has overtaken Comcast in market value

ROSS RANT

The "Chinese way of doing business" needs to change

Amid all the high-pitch noise surrounding a possible trade deal between Washington and Beijing or Trump and Xi frankly, less attention has been devoted to the holes ZTE dug for itself and neglected to fix.

The ZTE corporate governance and senior management debacle should serve as a timely warning for all Chinese companies on the urgency and importance of taking concrete steps to introduce tight corporate compliance guidelines, particularly at a time when Chinese firms are making aggressive overseas investments following Beijing’s decision to launch the One Belt and One Road infrastructure initiative across the planet.

More importantly, the ZTE saga highlights the necessary need to change “the Chinese way of doing business”, which frequently ignores long-term ethics, laws, and regulations in pursuit of short-term profits and KPIs.

Former SCMP Editor-in-Chief Wang Xiangwei has penned a column which hopefully is being widely read in China's elite C-suites. The high-level business class of China needs to decide, are we a Chinese business or are we a global business? 

They can't be both.

You can read the column here: http://bit.ly/2Lnnzj7

GEOECONOMICS

UK-US foursome? Trump has decided that when he finally visits Britain in July he wants to stay another day and have a round of golf.  Now Whitehall's best minds are trying to work out who can be the US president's golf buddy. 

"It has already proved to be the trickiest and most politically fraught presidential visit anyone can remember. Now Trump has British diplomats scrabbling to find a celebrity sportsman who can partner him at golf." -- The Times.

Bloomberg: Brexit has left households 900 pounds worse off, Carney says

- Accelerating inflation, weak investment hit UK incomes

- Weak productivity, stagnant wage growth are also factors


If war comes? Stock up on tortillas and wet wipes, Sweden suggests: NYT reports, the country released a revised handbook titled “If Crisis or War Comes,” its first such update since the Cold War era. 

Little-known law professor gets nod to form Italy’s new government: WSJ reports, President appoints Giuseppe Conte as prime minister to head a coalition of anti-establishment parties.

Italy’s new government will challenge the EU at its heart: As Italy’s new populist leaders prepare to form a government, European leaders are bracing for potential new confrontations over migration and some of the core principles of the common currency, the euro. They were already trying to tame a rebellion against Europe’s shared democratic values in the east, led by Hungary and Poland. They now face the prospect that Italy, a founding member and Europe’s fourth-largest economy, could be next to challenge the bloc’s cohesion, finances and democratic principles. https://nyti.ms/2J1X44w

With no Team Itlay in the World Cup as a distraction, the whole country can focus on politics and policies.

WP: Three Ebola patients fled quarantine in Congo, sparking fears that the disease may spread

China plans tariff cut on
wide range of consumer goods: Bloomberg reports, China is planning to reduce import duties on consumer goods ranging from food to cosmetics, people familiar with the matter said. The tariff cuts, which would be effective as early as July 1, would apply to significantly more product lines than a similar reduction on around 200 items announced last year

Airlines face China deadline over Taiwan references: FT reports, Chinese state-media has singled-out several US airlines for failing to comply with a demand to list Taiwan as a region of China on their websites — a request dismissed by Washington as “Orwellian nonsense.” Most airlines have complied with the order. But the state-run Global Times newspaper on Wednesday singled out the US’s Delta, American and United Airlines and Qantas of Australia for failing to comply. “These overseas airlines are still resisting,” it said.

Canada blocks Chinese takeover on security concerns: NYT reports, Canada has blocked a $1 billion takeover of a construction company by a state-controlled Chinese company over national security concerns, a rare move by a government that until now has largely welcomed such deals despite growing skepticism over Chinese money elsewhere.

China's global M&A ambition has been reduced in many top Western economies.

As Merkel visits China, German businesses question their prospects: WSJ reports, trade between Germany and China reached an all-time record last year. But when Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the country this week, she will carry a growing list of concerns from a wary business delegation. The familiar grumbling of German businesspeople about the difficulties of doing business in China is now becoming deafening. 

It is not just American business that finds operating in China difficult.

Pentagon disinvites China from major naval exercise over South China Sea buildup: WP reports, the Pentagon disinvited China from participating in a major naval exercise on Wednesday, signaling mounting US anger over Beijing’s expanded military footprint in disputed areas of the South China Sea. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Wednesday, called the decision “unconstructive.”

WP - Editorial: The biggest China problem has nothing to do with trade

"China’s de facto takeover of islets claimed by several other countries, including US ally the Philippines, and its construction of a military capacity to control vital international sea lanes represent a failure of more than one administration."

Darwin evolves: US military turns Australian outpost into Asia launchpad: WSJ reports, allies upgrade facilities, and Marines expand operations as China extends its reach.

"400 miles from the Indonesian archipelago and 1,700 miles from the South China Sea, provides what could serve as a springboard for US forces in the region."

CBC: Trump: Canada and Mexico 'very difficult' to deal with on NAFTA talks

Bloomberg: Trump considering tariffs on US auto imports, source says

Auto tariffs
: The Trump administration may impose new tariffs on car imports, using national security laws as the justification (as was the case with President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.) "There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

AMERICAN POLITICS

Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks: BBC reports, Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved.

LAT: On 'Stormy Daniels Day,' West Hollywood to honor porn star with key to the city

New poll finds a volatile race for second place in California governor's contest: LAT reports, the fight for second place in California's governor's race between Republican John Cox and Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa remains unpredictable and volatile as the June 5 primary approaches, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom led both by 10 percentage points or more, validating every other poll that suggests it's a certainty the Democrat will claim one of the two spots on the November ballot.

Meg Whitman backs Antonio Villaraigosa for governor.

AP: FBI raids house, storage unit of former Ohio House speaker

"While speaker, Rosenberger took trips, sometimes with lobbyists present, to Europe, Israel, Iceland and various US cities and rented a luxury Columbus condo from a wealthy GOP donor."

Rubio emerges as one of Trump administration’s loudest critics on China: WP reports, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has emerged as one of the loudest Republican critics of President Trump’s policies on China, the latest in a series of splits with party leadership by the Florida lawmaker, who might eventually run for president again. For the fourth day in a row, Rubio took to Twitter on Wednesday to argue that China was besting the Trump administration in critical negotiations.

From a state that has little commercial activities in the Asia-Pacific coupled with grand presidential aspirations, Rubio makes an ideal critic of China.

Analysts: Trump doesn't get the auto industry; tariffs hurt consumers https://on.freep.com/2knoEeE

Isaac Stone Fish: Can Politico pull off its new partnership with a Chinese-owned paper? In explaining their choice of partnership, the editors called the SCMP “the only independent English-language publication in the region.” Someone forgot to do their fact-checking: The SCMP is not strictly independent. The paper is owned by the Chinese Internet giant the Alibaba Group, which runs the country’s most popular e-commerce platform, as well as many other businesses. https://wapo.st/2J2QESw

The exorbitant cost of Trump’s America going it alone: Allies and adversaries are learning to sustain deals without the US.
FT - Edward Luce

ENTERPRISE

Marks & Spencer is planning to shut down 100 physical stores by 2022 in order to boost profits.

Deutsche Bank executives have zeroed in on plans in recent weeks to eliminate close to 7,000 jobs.

Costco to open two stores and an investment headquarters in Shanghai.

FanDuel agreed to sell itself to Paddy Power Betfair.

The future of the plastic straw: It is up for a vote today at McDonald's annual shareholders' meeting.

Apple has signed a deal with Volkswagen to make self-driving cars.

Arby's is switching from Pepsi to Coca-Cola.

Netflix has overtaken Comcast in market value.

Kroger plans to buy Home Chef.

TRENDS

Decarbonization, that is funny: The percentage of fossil fuels in the world’s energy mix — coal, oil and natural gas — is still lingering well above 80 percent, a figure that has changed little in 30 years. HT Daily Pfenning

By 2050, the use of air conditioning could triple.

Can we meet? Americans schedule approximately 25 million meetings per day. 

CULTURE

Bloomberg: Here’s how much money you need for bankers to think you’re rich https://bloom.bg/2kmZGw4

"In an era of hyper-wealth, economy-class rich starts at $25 million."

I am a little short of this number.


What’s behind rap’s love affair with cryptocurrencyhttp://bit.ly/2x5YOVC

"Part of the beauty of Bitcoin is that there’s little way to know who has it, how much, and what they’re spending it on; it’s why crypto has been used widely to sell and buy drugs. In that sense, crypto’s values seem to align with rap’s: there is no snitching."

Bloomberg: Americans are prioritizing phone payments over car loans

"The sea change has taken place over the last few years as mobile devices become an integral tool not just for communication with loved ones or employers, but also everything from banking to dating to watching TV and listening to music. As cars grow relatively less important, borrowers struggling to pay back their loans on time are increasingly prioritizing payments on the latest iPhone instead of making sure they hold on to their pickup or coupe."

Today: 'The Last Days of Michael Jackson' documentary airs on ABC

André Leon Talley’s next act: The pioneering editor talks about race, money worries and the cold, cruel world of fashion. https://nyti.ms/2GMNA85

SPORT

NFL and the national anthem: NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer

UFC: ESPN agreed to buy the broadcast rights for Ultimate Fighting Championship in a five-year, $1.5 billion deal.