Pele, Madonna, Beyonce, Omarosa

MRD July.png

Marc Ross Daily
August 15, 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

✔️ Autostrade under fire after Italian bridge collapse

✔️ Turkey moves to ward off financial crisis

✔️ New Zealand bans foreigners from buying existing homes

✔️ Harvey Levin is casting the TMZ primary

✔️ Airbnb is 10

MR IN THE NEWS

China's external and internal economic challenges: Last night I spoke CGTN's Owen Fairclough about China's July economic data which showed economic activity slowing.

You can see the clip here: http://bit.ly/2OE5eiM

GEOECONOMICS

NYT: Highway bridge collapses in Italy, killing at least 37

Autostrade under fire after Italian bridge collapse
: FT reports, transport minister calls for managers to resign after Genoa disaster kills at least 36.

“The top management of Autostrade per l’Italia must step down first of all”

Engineer pins blame on ‘not very practical architect’: The Times reports, a leading Italian engineer has claimed that the Genoa viaduct that collapsed yesterday was an “engineering failure” that should have been knocked down. Antonio Brencich, a professor of engineering at the University of Genoa, said that Riccardo Morandi, the architect who designed the bridge in the 1960s, had “great intuition, but was not very practical at calculations”.

Turkey: The lira has lost 25 percent of its value since last week.

Take 100 one dollar bills, set 25 on fire, welcome to Turkey.

Ankara raises tariffs on US cars, alcohol and cigarettes as row escalates.


Bloomberg: Turkey moves to ward off financial crisis as US spat worsens

Modi offers healthcare sweetener ahead of India poll
: FT reports, PM also promises manned space flight by 2022 in wide-ranging Independence Day speech.

AFP: Modi says 'sleeping elephant' India has woken up

New Zealand bans foreigners from buying existing homes
: WSJ reports, New Zealand has lured Asian billionaires, Hollywood filmmakers, and tech entrepreneurs with a liberal immigration policy and light regulation of foreign property purchases. Now, as it tries to cool one of the world’s hottest housing markets, the country is banning foreigners from buying existing homes.

The Times: China lodges WTO complaint over renewable energy tariffs

Trump’s trade war is leaving China’s leaders rattled
: NYT reports, while President Xi Jinping remains firmly in charge, friction with the Trump administration and troubles at home have dented his political dominance.

As I see it, protectionism, lack of competition, and riding an economic business model that had reached its thirty-year peak is probably more detrimental than Trump's tariffs.

Chinese oil importers are shying away from buying US crude as they fear Beijing’s decision to exclude the commodity from its tariff list.

Henny Sender: China biotech looks to make leap from ‘fast followers’: Developing eco-system and access to health data should be a boon to development. https://on.ft.com/2OFVioZ

US fortifies wall against Chinese investment: Nikkei reports, new law empowers government committee to crush multibillion-dollar deals.

Brigadoon Cincinnati | Salon Dinner = Nov. 1, 2018

AMERICAN POLITICS

WSJ: Trump knew about Democratic emails stolen by Russia, ex-aide says

President was aware of messages taken by Russian hackers before they were made public during the presidential race, Omarosa Manigault Newman claims.

Omarosa: Name ID with one word = power

There's a debate raging among Trump supporters and some reporters about whether the media should cover Omarosa Manigault Newman. True, she's further amplifying the reality show melodrama Washington has become, but she's newsworthy.

America elected personality over policy - American gets the government it deserves, not always the government it needs.

Timothy O'Brien: Trump and Omarosa are kindred spirits: My conversations with him about her star power. https://bloom.bg/2Bfm5qg

‘He created Omarosa’: Protegee of Trump using his tactics against him: Bloomberg reports, Omarosa Manigault Newman’s controversial allegations in her new book, some of which are not verified, have rattled the president and thrust his aides into damage-control mode.

Election 2018: There are now at least 199 women who have won their primaries for US House in 2018.

KS-GOV: Trump-backed candidate, Kris Kobach, wins GOP nod in the Kansas governor's race.

MN-GOV: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota lost a bid to reclaim the Republican nomination for governor.

Pawlenty had called Trump “unsound, uninformed, unhinged and unfit to be president” in the weeks before the 2016 election.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index hit the highest level since 1983.

Harvey Levin is casting the TMZ primary: The man who reinvented gossip has set out to find the next celebrity president—and keep his brand relevant. https://bloom.bg/2BdDpM9

Manafort: Closing arguments are set to begin today in the trial of Paul Manafort. His lawyers declined to call any witnesses to the stand to defend him against charges of bank and tax fraud.

America debt: Non-housing debt continues to outpace mortgage balances, with student loans being the biggest driver.

Baltimore Sun: Trump tariffs mean uncertainty for booming Port of Baltimore

CEI: Traders of the lost ark: Rediscovering a moral and economic case for free trade http://bit.ly/2OG3uWh

Officials to lay out new plan to fight Mexican drug cartels: WSJ reports, DEA officials, alongside members of Mexico’s government and federal police, plan to reveal planned steps including putting more emphasis on attacking cartels’ financial infrastructure.

Gustavo Arellano: Don't split up California — make it even bigger: Three Californias had it all wrong. Our state is stronger united, weaker divided. Our size and diversity across social, ethnic and geographic lines is what makes us great. That’s why we need to reunite with our twin, Baja California. The 1848 Mexican-American War officially split us apart, but we’ve always held hands to spite our disapproving parents. Our border features cities and towns — San Diego and Tijuana, Calexico and Mexicali, Andrade and Los Algodones — cut off from each other by an arbitrary line that residents never let get in the way of creating business and family ties. The San Diego-Tijuana area hosts a $230-billion economy that entrepreneurs on both sides consider one whole; $44 billion in goods passed through the Otay Mesa commercial crossing last year alone.

ENTERPRISE

Ford’s new CEO has a cerebral style—and to many, it’s baffling: WSJ reports, Jim Hackett was hired to turn around an automaker struggling with falling profits and industry transformation. First, he has to explain his vision. So far, investors are confused and executives seek out the boss’s 28-year-old chief of staff to explain his comments. 

Late night emails with links to Ted Talks, Science Daily articles and phrases such as “clock speed.”

Can Hackett set up Ford so it can secure and employ the talent necessary to ensure the company's success in the next evolution of the auto industry?


Tencent’s bad year gets worse, leading selloff in Chinese tech stocks: WSJ reports, after hitting a record high in January, Tencent’s shares have lost 29%, wiping out $165 billion in market cap—more than roughly the entire value of Walt Disney.

FT: Tencent delivers rare decline in profit on gaming woes

NYT: Tesla is in damage control mode after Elon Musk’s tweets


Tesla’s board has brought in legal help and urged the chief executive, Elon Musk, to stop tweeting after its members were blindsided by his talk of taking the automaker private.

Tesla market value:

August, 2013: $17.9 billion
August, 2018: $58.5 billion

 
Much of Tesla's value is in the currency of trusting Elon Musk as a solid business executive and thought leader. His recent actions challenge this belief. Musk's action is a prime example of thought leadership valuation that can be challenged by erratic behavior and sub-par leadership.

LAT: Bird and Lime deactivate scooter services in Santa Monica for a day in protest

Corona maker invests $4 billion more in pot producer Canopy: Reuters reports, Constellation Brands Inc said on Wednesday it would invest $4 billion (C$5.24 billion) more in Canopy Growth Corp , raising its stake in the Canadian marijuana producer to 38 percent.

Buzzy news. 

Kroger is partnering with Alibaba on a pilot test of an online store.

Sprint says it will bring first 5G smartphone to US next year.

Airbnb is 10.

A former Microsoft and Yahoo exec will lead Y Combinator China: The US startup incubator that seeded companies like Airbnb and Dropbox is coming to China. Tech veteran Qi Lu will head up the accelerator’s first full-fledged international effort.

HBR: Why western digital firms have failed in Chinahttp://bit.ly/2Ozd6Sz

The unlikely activists who took on Silicon Valley — and won: Facebook and Google made billions mining personal data, and fought off anyone who threatened to stop them. Then came a challenge in their own backyard. https://nyti.ms/2BdBo2H

TRENDS

@jasonfried: In the same way that sound isn’t music, traffic isn’t audience.

People killed in 2015 by:

Mosquitoes: 830,000
Humans: 580,000
Snakes: 60,000
Sandflies: 24.200
Dogs: 17,400
Kissing Bugs: 8,000
Freshwater snails: 4,400
Scorpions: 3,500
Tsetse flies: 3,500
Roundworms: 2,700
Tapeworms: 1,600

HT GatesNotes


Think tanks per country, 2017:

US: 1872
China: 512
UK: 444
India: 293
Germany: 225
France: 197
Argentina: 146
Japan: 116
Russia: 103
Canada: 100

HT University of Pennsylvania


CULTURE

Today: The film “Crazy Rich Asians” opens

Kenan Thompson, reluctant star of ‘Saturday Night Live’: NYT reports, he has always been most comfortable as a supporting player. The longest tenure on the show and an Emmy nomination have helped change that state of mind.

HBD: Jennifer Lawrence, actress, Silver Linings Playbook (2012), 28

The US Civil War helped tattoos become mainstream: Soldiers got inked to help the army identify their bodies.

Bon Appétit: America's best new restaurants 2018:

1. Nonesuch - Oklahoma City
2. Maydan - Washington, DC
3. Ugly Baby - Brooklyn
4. Freedman's - Los Angeles
5. Nyum Bai - Oakland
6. Nimblefish - Portland, OR
7. Che Fico - San Francisco
8. Yume Ga Arukara - Cambridge, MA
9. Drifters Wife - Portland, ME
10. Call - Denver


Bon Appétit: Portland, Maine, is the 2018 restaurant city of the year http://bit.ly/2OyZlmX

SPORT

The most 2018 team in baseball: the A’s: WSJ reports, Oakland took all of the trends sweeping across baseball, distilled them into their purest forms and combined them to create a surprise playoff contender.

A football player died, and all of the University of Maryland is diminished: WP reports, the school’s handling of the tragedy, from the time 19-year-old Jordan McNair suffered heatstroke at a practice in May to Tuesday’s news conference by university leaders to apologize for his death, has harmed the entire institution in College Park.

After DC cyclists were killed in Tajikistan knife attack, some wonder if they were naive for traveling there: WP reports, the Islamic State asserted responsibility for the attack, although Tajik authorities are pointing the finger at a banned political party. Experts on the region said Central Asia generally is fairly safe.