MOU, Munich Security Conference, Millennials, Michael Gianaris

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

MOU, Munich Security Conference, Millennials, Michael Gianaris 

Marc Ross Daily
February 15, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ Munich Security Conference: A masterclass in backroom diplomacy

✔️ Wellbeing trend for healthier office furniture

✔️ First Democrat debates for 2020 set for June

✔️ 'Amazon isn't bigger than New York'

✔️ Atherton, California = The wealthiest town in the United States


Talk to strangers: It will change your life.


Munich Security Conference: A masterclass in backroom diplomacy: Every year, powerful global leaders gather in Munich to discuss peace and diplomacy. But the conference is not just a show of power, it is a diplomatic laboratory of possibilities that takes place behind closed doors.

Chinese, US trade negotiators inch toward an agreement: WSJ reports, negotiators concluded weeklong talks and made some progress on a memorandum of understanding that could serve as the basis for a deal that President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping could later finalize at a summit.

US-China trade talks finish with little sign of progress: FT reports, teams had hoped to produce ‘memorandum of understanding’ to facilitate Xi-Trump summit.

The Chinese love an MOU.

US and China will continue trade talks next week.

Chinese state media: “both sides are satisfied”...

Reuters: Mnuchin says US had 'productive' trade meetings with China

Wonderful. What does that mean?

Mnuchin calls US-China talks ‘productive’ as deadline nears: Bloomberg reports, the two sides have failed to narrow the gap around structural reforms to China’s economy.

@onlyyoontv: “We are willing to adopt a cooperative approach to resolve and promote an agreement acceptable to both sides. However, cooperation requires certain principles.” - President Xi’s reminder to the U.S. that #China has its own bottom line in trade talks, says state media @XHNews

Nigeria votes: Forecasters are split over who will win Saturday’s election between President Muhammadu Buhari and his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar. The nation of 200 million people has faced numerous election rigging, which has marred almost every vote since Africa’s biggest oil producer got independence from the UK in 1960.

Ecuador and the IMF have launched formal talks about a potential financial bailout for the South American country.

OTD: In 1965 Canada flew its newly adopted red maple leaf flag for the first time.

Spain votes: PM calls snap election for April 28. This will be Spain's third election in four years.

Theresa May suffers fresh Commons defeat: MPs voted by 303 to 258 - a majority of 45 - against a motion endorsing the government's Brexit negotiating strategy. The defeat has no legal force and Downing Street said it would not change the PM's approach to talks with the EU. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to "admit her Brexit strategy has failed" and to come forward with a plan Parliament would support.

FT: Brexit vote ‘shambles’ blows hole in May’s authority

The resurgent left: Millennial socialism
: The Economist reports, a new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems.

What is more problematic - populism or socialism?


Wellbeing and noise concerns fuel "accelerating" trend for healthier office furniture: Soundproof pods, saddle-shaped chairs, adjustable-height desks, and wobble boards were in abundance at Stockholm Furniture Fair last week, as privacy and wellbeing become essential aspects of office furniture design.

Pricing algorithms can learn to collude with each other to raise prices: If you shop on Amazon, an algorithm rather than a human probably set the price of the service or item you bought. Pricing algorithms have become ubiquitous in online retail as automated systems have grown increasingly affordable and easy to implement

NASA wants to get to the moon ‘as fast as possible.’ But countries like China and India are racing there, too.: WP reports, like the Cold War space race, the new lunar activity is fueled by national pride and a quest for scientific discovery. But this new Space Age also features a third factor: Greed.

End of fast fashion? Millennials are increasingly buying clothing that's characterized by durability and utility. This has led to a surge of interest in brands like The North Face and Patagonia.


It's an emergency: Trump plans to sign a spending bill that keeps the government open and will then declare a national emergency to seek more border-wall funding.

WP: ‘Off the rails’: Inside Trump’s attempt to frame a border wall defeat as a victory

Ted Cruz: Make ‘El Chapo’ pay for the border wall

William Barr 
Confirmed as Attorney General.

First Democrat debates for 2020: As many as 20 Democratic presidential contenders could qualify for the first two televised primary debates beginning in June. The DNC said the candidates will need to achieve at least 1% in a series of polls and show an ability to raise money online to qualify for the first two debates.

The first debate will be televised by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo while the second debate, in July, will air on CNN.

The DNC said the debate slots will be chosen at random and a maximum of 10 candidates will appear on stage during the individual debates. 

National Council For the American Worker: Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty are joining Trump’s business advisory board to help come up with solutions to prepare millions of Americans for the shift toward automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace. Cook and Rometty will be joined by other business executives, including the CEOs of Walmart, Lockheed Martin, and Home Depot. The group also includes two governors and leaders from trade groups. The board will be co-chaired by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump.

State Capitalism with American Characteristics.

I can't wait for Team Trump's Department of Software, Agency of Fintech, and AV Czar.

Peggy Noonan: Republicans need to save capitalism: Democrats have gone left, so they’re not going to do it. The GOP needs a renewed seriousness.

LAT: Trump's company scraps plans for new hotel chains, blaming politics 


Speak at three conferences - think adjacent possible when it comes to venues and topics.


CNBC: Amazon says it will not build a headquarters in New York

"We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the US and Canada."

NYC tells Amazon no way and leave, but the city is totally cool with a Duane Reade and Rite Aide on every corner.

Congratulations citizens of Long Island City ... You stopped the future.

NYT - Editorial: New York returns 25,000 jobs to Amazon: As the company cancels its plans for a major Queens campus, anti-corporate activists got what they wanted at a great cost.

'Amazon isn't bigger than New York': meet the man who killed HQ2: Guardian reports, Michael Gianaris turned his outrage into leverage when he was appointed to an obscure state board – and soon after, the company called the project off.

@pkafka: Reminder that Google is buying approximately all the real estate in Manhattan south of 23rd street and it’s NBD.

Apple's plans to launch its new iOs TV streaming service in either April or early May. 

JPM Coin: JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business. 

Richard Waters: Everything still to play for with AI in its infancy: IBM and Google’s differing approaches highlight extent to which field is wide open.


$450,696: That’s the average household income in Atherton, California, the wealthiest town in the United States for three years in a row now.

How the US has hidden its empire: The United States likes to think of itself as a republic, but it holds territories all over the world – the map you always see doesn’t tell the whole story.

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.