Chinese Investment, Brexit, Harley-Davidson, Uber, Amazon, Iceland, Italy

MRD_TW July 2018.png

Chinese Investment, Brexit, Harley-Davidson, Uber, Amazon, Iceland, Italy

Marc Ross Daily
June 25, 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

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TOP FIVE

✔️ US plans curbs on Chinese investment, citing security risk

✔️ Erdogan claims victory in Turkey elections

✔️ 2 years on, Brexit vote has taken a toll on UK economy

✔️ Harley-Davidson to shift some production of motorcycles

✔️ Uber is appealing a ban in London

ROSS RANT

What global business needs to know about Xi

Earlier this year, Chinese Communist Party big boss Xi Jinping broke with a 25-year tradition by unveiling a new senior leadership group that includes no clear potential heirs, raising the chances bigly that he will stay in office beyond 2022. 

His lengthy stay in office was ensured as the rubber-stamp legislative body in March passed a set of constitutional amendments removing term limits for the office of president.

The consolidation of power in the hands of one man is a departure from the collective leadership that guided China through decades of historical and impressive economic growth and consumer stability. Today's top leadership reveal is a return to China's cultural code of imperial command.

He's now seen as so powerful that Forbes ranked Xi as the most powerful and influential person in the world, dethroning Vladimir Putin who held the record for 5 consecutive years.

What does it mean for global business? How will he use this power? Does the C-Suite commit or retreat?

As always, global business and the Davos crowd hopes a stronger Xi will now be able to push through bold economic and financial reforms.

I don't see it.

Xi is beholden to China and not the shareholders of the world's Western-based blue chip companies.

Xi and his party ideologues coined the phrase "Chinese Dream" to describe his overarching plans for China as its leader.

Xi's plans and leadership enhancement does little to change the ethos that to invest and manage a business in China you need fortitude, patience, and need to think in China for China. Capital controls and other investment barriers remain, while debt soars.  

If you sell a commodity and consumer packaged good and service, all is well, and there will be continued access and success in the Middle Kingdom.

If you are a bank, a tech company, an oil exploration concern, a biotech startup, a developer of new energy vehicles, you best buckle-up. Your business model is seen as a challenge to where Xi wants to take China, and the Great Wall just got higher.

GEOECONOMICS

US plans curbs on Chinese investment, citing security risk: Bloomberg reports, under the plan, the White House would use one of the most significant legal measures available to declare China’s investment in US companies involved in technologies such as new-energy vehicles, robotics and aerospace a threat to economic and national security, according to eight people familiar with the plans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a report scheduled to be released on June 29, will suggest administering that law through an inter-agency government panel called the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US, or CFIUS, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss the plans.

FT: Trump targets China investments as trade war heats up

WSJ: Trump plans new curbs on Chinese investment, tech exports to China

Politico: Trump gets ready to slap China with investment restrictions, export controls

FT - Editorial: US tariffs pose a danger to the global economy
: Innovation and productivity will be casualties from a trade war.

Draft legislation may increase pressure on small Chinese e-commerce firms to fight fakes: SCMP reports, China’s draft e-commerce law may increase pressure on small online retail companies to fight the sale of counterfeit products on their platforms, as lawmakers aim to make internet retail site operators directly liable for such online transactions.

Ozone pollution: Scientists say new production of a banned industrial chemical is damaging the ozone layer. Investigations by the NYT and an independent environmental group led to factories in China.

Expect Xi to aim charm offensive at Abe next: Nikkei reports, China seeks to build 'network of global partnerships' to expand influence.

China cut its required reserve ratio by half a percentage point for some banks, unlocking about 700 billion yuan ($108 billion) of liquidity. 

China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions: The planned city clusters are far larger than any others around the world. https://econ.st/2tCtoB8

Japan Times: Japan considers crime prediction system using big data and AI

Nikkei: Trump car tariff threat sends Japan on
search for escape route

A 25% levy could mean $21bn in lost earnings for Toyota, Nissan and peers

Saudi Arabia ended a driving ban for women.

FT: Erdogan claims victory in Turkey elections

The Times: Erdogan tightens grip on power as opposition routed

WP: If they needed to fend off war with Russia, U.S. military leaders worry they might not get there in time


"Humvees could snarl behind plodding semis on narrow roads as they made their way east across Europe. U.S. tanks could crush rusting bridges too weak to hold their weight. Troops could be held up by officious passport-checkers and stubborn railway companies."

Salvini’s League makes gains in Italy’s local polls: FT reports, the capture of leftwing strongholds by far-right populists unsettles financial markets.

Bloomberg: Italy wants to put a million electric cars on the road. Price: $10 billion

Policing for Trump visit to Britain will cost £5m: The Times reports, protecting Trump, whose visit is expected to draw mass protests, is expected to require between 5,000 and 10,000 officers working overtime for the visit, due to start on July 12. Riot vans, search dogs for firearms and explosives, helicopters, mounted officers, public order units, protest removal units and evidence-gathering units will join counterterrorism and specialist protection officers to guarantee the US president’s safety. They will need support from civilian staff in control rooms, analysts, researchers and police community support officers to man road closures.

Brexit’s big short: How pollsters helped hedge funds beat the crash: Private polls—and a timely ‘concession’ from the face of Leave—allowed the funds to make millions off the pound’s collapse. https://bloom.bg/2tCm34y

Two years after Brexit vote, British leaders still tied in knots over how to leave Europe https://wapo.st/2ysGcQe

2 years on, Brexit vote has taken a toll on UK economy: AP reports, while it’s still unclear what Brexit will look like when it happens next year, the decision to leave has already had a clear effect on the economy: households are poorer, companies are more cautious about investing, and the property market has cooled.

Nigel Farage’s last laugh: Politico reports, two years after the Brexit vote, the British Euroskeptic and Trump enthusiast is building a second career on social media.

Iceland: From crisis to hotspot, 10 years on from the financial crisis http://bit.ly/2tAwjdB

Mexico’s leftist ‘Amlo’ weighs up Trump challenge: FT reports, would-be president and foreign policy neophyte faces test north of the border.

LAT: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the front-runner in Mexico's presidential race, greats supporters before speaking at a campaign rally in Chihuahua. 

Mexico goes to the polls on July 1.

AMERICAN POLITICS

A trade war with China could hit these communities hardest: WP reports, the latest tariffs announced by China on June 15 would tax goods that accounted for about $45 billion in US exports last year. It’s a tiny speck of the nation’s thriving overall economy. But those tariffs are no broadside threat. They’re targeted with laserlike precision at farmers, ranchers and certain manufacturing workers, as well as at the local economies of rural and small-town America.

“If export markets get shut off, I could see us getting to the point where we’re dumping our milk in the fields. It’ll be a big ripple effect through the state.” -- Jeff Schwager, president of a longtime cheese producer in Wisconsin.

Bloomberg: Harley-Davidson to shift some production of motorcycles out of US after EU tariffs

‘We’re riding a tiger’: The Iowa GOP bets it all on Trump: Politico reports, the president’s trade war could cripple the state, but Republicans trust in him as negotiator-in-chief.

Mattis is out of the loop and Trump doesn't listen to him, say officials: NBC News, on Iran, North Korea and other major issues, the defense secretary has been out of the loop

Impeach Trump? Even Democrats who despise the president can't agree on a strategy for the midterm election: LAT reports, advocates like Tom Steyer see it as the only way to rouse Democratic voters who might otherwise sit out the midterm elections. But many Democrats fear it will antagonize Republicans and spur them to the polls.

The power of Nancy Pelosi: Can the Democrats' polarizing leader chart a path to victory in the 2018 midterm elections? https://rol.st/2tFFzgS

No. She's got to go.

RCP Generic Houe Ballot: DEM +6

ENTERPRISE

Uber is appealing a ban in London.

Tesla may be profitable in the second half of this year partly because of tax credits sold to Nevada casinos. 

General Electric may soon sell its distributed power business division to private-equity outfit Advent International.

ZTE is expected to deposit $400M in an escrow account in a U.S. bank in the "next couple of days," the last step it must take before a ban on US suppliers can be lifted. 

Bitcoin fell below the $6,000 mark on Friday for the first time since February.

Amazon’s private label business is booming.

Apple will fix your broken MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards for free.

TRENDS

18 wheelers: The trucking industry is about 50,000 drivers short.

CULTURE

HBD: Ricky Gervais, comedian, actor, The Office (2001-03), and writer, 57

LAT: Full vending machines. Pot on the pillow. What some California hotels are doing to attract marijuana smokers. 

COTD | SOTD

A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime https://goo.gl/GPwnbB

SPORT

Can the Lakers land LeBron James?

Politics Ensnare Salah and Switzerland at World Cup: NYT reports, Mohamed Salah was said to be considering retiring from Egypt over interactions with a Chechen politician, and two Swiss players caused a firestorm by displaying an Albanian symbol.

Switzerland's Xhaka and Shaqiri charged by FIFA over Serbia goal celebrations: Guardian reports, FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri after they celebrated their goals during a 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia in Kaliningrad by performing an Albanian nationalist symbol.

LAT: Argentina's lack of talent and philosophy are making it nearly impossible for Lionel Messi to succeed

World Cup matches today - Matchday 3 of 3:

Saudi Arabia v Egypt @ 10:00 a ET

Uruguay v Russia @ 10:00 am ET

Iran v Portugal @ 2:00 pm ET

Spain v Morocco @ 2:00 pm ET


World Cup teams qualified for the knockout stage (Sweet Sixteen) so far:

Russia
Uruguay
France
Croatia
England
Belgium

World Cup teams that will not advance to the knockout stage so far:

Egypt
Saudi Arabia
Morocco
Peru
Costa Rica
Tunisia
Panama
Poland


World Cup 2018, leading goal scorers:

Harry Kane: 5
Cristiano Ronaldo: 4
Romelu Lukaku: 4
Denis Cheryshev: 3
Diego Costa: 3
Ahmed Musa: 2
Artem Dzyuba: 2
Mile Jedinak: 2
Luka Modric: 2
Eden Hazard: 2
Philippe Coutinho: 2
John Stones: 2