Baltic Dry, Esports, Grand Havana Club, Hemp, Spike Lee, King the Wire Fox Terrier
Marc Ross Daily
February 13, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Marc Ross Daily = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics
✔️ EU lawmakers approve free trade deal with Singapore
✔️ Spanish PM expected to call for snap election
✔️ No more 'old, male, and pale'
✔️ Tesla should pull an Apple: Leave ‘production hell’
✔️ Spike Lee: ‘It’s not my job to be the culture police
Until you have been hit by risk, you really don't pay too much attention to it.
Slowing world economy? The Baltic Dry shipping index dipped below 600 for the first time since 2016.
EU lawmakers approve free trade deal with Singapore: The free trade deal is the EU's first with a member of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The European Parliament's approval will clear the path for the deal to come into force as early as this year.
Japan’s government plans to set up a new watchdog to scrutinize big tech companies like Facebook and Google amid growing concerns about monopoly practices and the handling of personal data.
Beijing + Caracas: China has been holding talks with Venezuela’s opposition to safeguard its investments, hedging its bets as pressure builds on embattled leader Nicolás Maduro.
Venezuela opposition leader issues ‘direct order’ over aid: FT reports, Guaidó lays down challenge to military to allow convoys to enter country on February 23.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez expected to call for snap election: After a defeat on a budget vote, Spain's government will likely announce fresh elections, to take place in April. The ruling socialist party currently leads, with 30 percent approval from voters.
Matteo Salvini talks up seizing control of Italy’s gold reserves: FT reports, Matteo Salvini has raised the possibility of wresting control of Italy’s sizeable gold reserves away from the country’s central bank in the latest in a series of threats to the independence of the Bank of Italy by Rome’s populist coalition.
“The gold is the property of the Italian people, not of anyone else”
May’s Brexit point man lets slip PM’s possible endgame: FT reports, overheard by an ITV News journalist in a Brussels bar, Olly Robbins remarks suggest choice for MPs could be deal or Article 50 extension.
May going for an all or nothing, last minute vote....
Choice = May's deal or long Brexit delay
The moment Macron gave up on Trump: After 18 months of frustrating efforts to sustain a partnership with America’s president, the “special relationship” is over. https://bloom.bg/2DzXCtC
Martin Wolf: The libertarian fantasies of cryptocurrencies: Digital money needs tough regulation rather than bleating in favour of ‘innovation.’
El Chapo found guilty and facing life imprisonment.
Household credit: An average household now has three credit cards.
Esports: Global esports revenues will grow 38 percent to $906 million in 2018 and further grow to $1.65 billion by 2021. North America will account for 38 percent of the 2018 revenue, or $345 million, while China will be 18 percent, or $164 million.
Esports will continue to be smaller in revenues than traditional sports, but it is rapidly gaining in terms of numbers of spectators.
Germans on the road:
German travel industry had a record year in 2018.
Three in five of Germans traveled last year.
Thirty-four percent of Germans spent their holidays in Germany in 2018.
Spain was No. 1 destination.
Trump intends to sign border deal to avoid another shutdown, @DanaBashCNN reports
US-China: Trump said he’s open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement
WSJ - Editorial: Jobs and steel tariffs: Border taxes produce small benefits for some, higher costs for many.
There are more job openings than the number of Americans who are unemployed.
The US national debt just topped $22 trillion for the first time in history.
‘Finish the wall’? Facing failure, Trump tries rebranding: LAT reports, unable for two years to get Congress to approve billions for a border wall, President Trump nonetheless makes big claims about new construction. The truth is something else.
How Manafort’s 2016 cigar club meeting with a Russian goes to ‘the heart’ of Mueller’s probe: WP reports, in a sealed court hearing last week, prosecutors revealed they are deeply focused on a dinner Paul Manafort had at the Grand Havana Club with Russian political operative Konstantin Kilimnik.
WP: ‘You can feel it now’: New Democrats push party, and 2020 candidates, to the left on divisive issues
Politico: 'Old, male, and pale': 2020 Democrats under pressure to hire minorities
Starbucks’ Schultz shuns Democrats in bid for White House: FT reports, coffee billionaire says party has shifted too far to the left for him to support it.
Janan Ganesh: Don’t count out the moderate Democrats: For all the talk of leftist ideas and policies, the party faithful really want to win.
Michael Bloomberg’s $500 million anti-Trump moonshot: Politico reports, the sum represents a floor, not a ceiling, on the billionaire’s potential spending to defeat the president in 2020.
WSJ: Tesla should pull an Apple: Leave ‘production hell’ to other people
The real money isn’t in building beautiful things. It’s in creating them.
Ask me about the U-Shaped business model curve.
"To Musk, car production is a math equation that should be solved. By adding automation and continually improving processes, efficiency will rise and costs will plummet, all while keeping Tesla’s fate in its own hands. That’s been costly, though, with Tesla reporting very little profit over the past 15 years and burning through a bundle of cash."
Cars produced per employee:
Tesla rushes Model 3s to China before trade-war truce expires.
Amazon + GM in talks to invest in electric pickup truck maker Rivian.
Ikea looks to launch sales platform including rivals’ products: FT reports, retailer sees opportunity between its own website and ecommerce giants such as Amazon
Virgin Trains USA halts IPO plans.
LAT: As tobacco sales dry up, Kentucky farmers look to the state’s ‘original crop’ — hemp
Google plans a cheaper smartphone to draw users into internet empire: Nikkei reports, tech giant seeks to exploit Apple woes to drive hardware expansion.
Oscar contender Spike Lee: ‘It’s not my job to be the culture police’: The director on being in the running for the big Oscars 30 years after ‘Do the Right Thing’ was snubbed.https://on.ft.com/2SwgQe9
“That was some shenanigans, subterfuge, straight skulduggery. He got robbed of that Academy Award. He was too black, too strong.” The words are spoken by two characters in the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It and refer to Denzel Washington, but they come from the pen of Spike Lee and they carry more than a whiff of autobiography.
Go see BlacKkKlansman.
Oscars = Sunday, February 24 @ 8:00 pm ET
Oscar predictions: Times critics pick who will and who should win this year https://lat.ms/2RWL6cN
Hollywood outraged by plan to present Oscars in TV ad breaks: Stars lambast ‘insulting’ bid to cut Academy Awards’ running time by presenting cinematography and other awards during commercials.
Tommy Wiseau, the eccentric film-maker behind The Room, widely considered the worst movie ever made
THOUGHT LEADER TACTIC OF THE DAY
Present a 90-second video weekly on your YouTube page commenting on the news of the week.
Mammoth extends their ski season to July 4
Champions League - Round of 16 - Leg 1 of 2:
Tottenham v Dortmund @ 300pm ET
Liverpool v Bayern @ 300pm ET
Did Neymar’s absence help PSG to prosper at Manchester United?
US Presidents Cup captain Tiger Woods on Wednesday named the experienced Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson as three of his assistants for the showdown against the International team in Melbourne later this year.
Westminster’s Best in Show = King the Wire Fox Terrier
The diminutive male defeated some 2,800 dogs from 203 breeds, including Bono, a Havanese, who took reserve Best in Show.
It was the 15th time that a wire fox terrier has claimed the top prize at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the most of any breed.
Terriers have won 47 of 112 times at Westminster.