Canada, Venezuela, Germany, World Bank, Citi, Hollywood, South China Sea
Marc Ross Daily
February 19, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Marc Ross Daily = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics
✔️ Canada PM's chief secretary resigns amid SNC controversy
✔️ Trump urges Venezuelan military to desert 'Cuban puppet' Maduro
✔️ Cuban cigars hit record sales thanks to increasing Chinese demand
✔️ 13 states file lawsuit over Trump’s ‘national emergency’
✔️ Tiny South Africa beach restaurant crowned best in world
Uber isn't remarkable, it's better
Few ideas are new. Uber is executing the 17th century idea of taxis and the 19th century idea of telephones.
What is new are the tactics Uber is employing to execute these old ideas.
Having a service or product that allows you to be global from day one.
Having a service or product that allows you to reduce end-users burdens.
Having a service or product that allows you to reduce end-users uncertainties.
Read full post here: http://bit.ly/2SHOKMW
Senior Aide to Canada’s Trudeau resigns amid political storm: WSJ reports, Gerald Butts stepped down from his role as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary as the fallout from a political storm focused on SNC-Lavalin continued to reverberate in the Canadian capital.
Reuters: Canada PM's chief secretary resigns amid SNC controversy
Conrad Black: The SNC-Lavalin affair is overblown, but the Liberals still bungled it: By accepting her change of positions, Wilson-Raybould has largely disqualified herself from complaining now about the motives for her so-called demotion
NYT: Venezuela’s border showdown could shift crisis
The government and the opposition face a decisive moment on Saturday, when President Nicolás Maduro’s foes have promised to bring in US aid.
Trump was expected to ask Venezuela’s military to break ranks with Mr. Maduro and to call for the immediate delivery of the shipments.
Reuters: Trump warns Venezuela military they are risking their lives and future
Guardian: Trump urges Venezuelan military to desert 'Cuban puppet' Maduro
AFP: Cuban cigars hit record sales thanks to increasing Chinese demand
Boosted by growing demand from China, sales of Cuban cigars reached a record $537 million in 2018, a seven percent increase over the previous year despite global laws against tobacco, the partially state-owned Habanos said Monday.
"China has surpassed France as the second biggest market for Habanos" behind Spain, said the cigar company's vice president Jose Maria Lopez Inchaurbe.
Minxin Pei: Why a US-China trade deal is not enough: If the US and China fail to reach a comprehensive trade agreement, bilateral trade will plummet, and the unraveling of the US-China economic relationship would accelerate. But even if an agreement is reached, that unraveling will continue, because, at its core, the trade war has always been about security.
Trump will decide if auto imports are a national security threat, as EU retaliation looms: LAT reports, companies and governments from Europe to Asia have warned Trump that tariffs on car imports would hurt the US economy and disrupt the global auto industry, which is already mired in a slump.
FT: EU threatens retaliation if US imposes punitive car tariffs
European Commission to ‘react in a swift and adequate manner’ to any levies.
US insists Europe is following Trump’s lead. Cue awkward silence: Bloomberg reports, a former German ambassador to the U.S. offered a bleak conclusion: “We have a real problem.’’
Germany's Angela Merkel makes arms export pact with France: DW reports, Germany is prepared to compromise its arms export guidelines to facilitate joint defense projects with France, according to an internal government document. France wants to continue selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.
@britainelects: Westminster voting intention:
"A new centrist party opposed to Brexit": 8%
No need for Shinzo Abe: Trump already nominated for Nobel Peace Prize: Reuters reports, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not saying whether or not he nominated Trump for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but the question may be moot: the US president has been put forward by others for the prestigious award.
WP: Japan’s Abe won’t confirm Trump Nobel Prize nomination, but media reports say he made it
Kaushik Basu: Ending America’s World Bank monopoly: David Malpass, Trump's nominee to lead the flagship development bank, appears distinctly unsuited to the job. To protect the World Bank 's work– and the interests of the world's poor – it may be time to end the tradition whereby the American candidate always wins.
A real tube carrying dreams of 600-MPH transit: NYT reports, Virgin Hyperloop One is testing a system that would put passengers in pods hurtling through vacuum tubes. Other companies are moving ahead with similar plans.
High street ‘not dead’ and could be industry hub, says report: FT reports, Britain’s high street “is not dead” and struggling town and city centres could be transformed by becoming industry hubs instead of places to shop, according to new research refuting claims that a crisis in bricks-and-mortar retail is killing then off. The Centre for Cities, an independent think-tank, said on Tuesday that local councils should shift town centre economies away from an “overreliance on retail” towards high-skilled industry, and said the belief that high streets were “dying” was misplaced.
The shrinking middle class: By the numbers: Fortune reports, the American middle-class ideal was forged in the decades after World War II, when economic growth and wage increases climbed in lockstep for nearly 30 years. That pairing dissolved abruptly in the 1970s. Between 1973 and 2017, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the productivity of the economy grew 77%—but average compensation rose only 12.4%, adjusted for inflation. This divergence coincided with a shift in economic gravity, away from manufacturing and toward services and “knowledge industries.” That shift weakened the labor unions that had helped rank-and-file workers in many professions claim a bigger share of the bounty. Just as important were tax reforms that favored investment and real estate earnings over wage income. The upshot: an economic order in which the capital-owning class enjoys great advantages—and the costs of admission to and the exclusion from that class grow ever higher.
eSports revenue: Global revenue from eSports is expected to reach a record $1.1B this year, topping $1B for the first time, up 27% from 2018 driven by advertising, sponsorship and media rights, according to a just-released report from industry research and consulting firm NewZoo.
White House defends Trump’s emergency declaration amid mounting challenges: WP reports, critics have seized on recent comments by President Trump as proof that he did not need to declare an emergency at the southern border. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time,” he said last week.
13 states file lawsuit over Trump’s ‘national emergency’
America's UN Ambassador? Trump is considering four people to be his next UN ambassador: Goldman Sachs partner Dina Powell, the current ambassadors to Canada and Germany, Kelly Craft and Richard Grenell, and John James, a former Republican US Senate candidate from Michigan, according to people familiar with the matter.
@thehill: Obamas expected not to endorse anyone in 2020 Dem primary: report
Auto industry lines up against possible US tariffs: Reuters reports, the US auto industry urged President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday not to saddle imported cars and auto parts with steep tariffs, after the US Commerce Department sent a confidential report to the White House late on Sunday with its recommendations for how to proceed.
"Aluminum tariffs are costing breweries nearly $350 million a year and putting around 20,000 beer-related jobs at risk."
THOUGHT LEADER TACTIC OF THE DAY
Get interviewed on a podcast - do this five times this year.
Amazon in NYC: Despite scratching plans for an HQ2 in Queens, the company has more than 800 open positions in New York City.
Apple is shaking up leadership and reordering priorities across its services, artificial intelligence, hardware and retail divisions as it works to reduce the company’s reliance on iPhone sales.
Facebook joins Amazon and Google in AI chip race: Company needs faster hardware for smart digital assistant and real-time video moderation.
Facebook targeted in scathing report by British parliament: NYT reports, after 18 months investigating Facebook and online misinformation, a British parliamentary committee issued a scathing report on Monday, accusing the company of breaking data privacy and competition laws and calling for new regulations to rein in the technology industry. Repeated scandals involving Facebook and other tech companies demand more government oversight, the committee concluded, including laws making internet companies legally liable for content shared on their websites.
“The era of self-regulation for tech companies should come to an end,” said Damian Collins, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which published the report.
Hollywood faces uncertainty in China as the film business slows: LAT reports, many film executives and producers are increasingly frustrated by the restrictions and unpredictability of the world’s second largest film market.
Citi CEO says machines may cut thousands of call center jobs: US bank can use tech to serve customers better and more cheaply, says Mike Corbat.
Honda set to close Swindon plant in blow to UK manufacturing: Move would place 3,500 jobs at risk just weeks before Brexit.
Tiny South Africa beach restaurant crowned best in world: AFP reports, The Wolfgat -- whose six mostly female staff have no formal training -- opened just two years ago in a 130-year-old cottage and cave on the beach at Paternoster. Chef Kobus van der Merwe, who did not begin to cook seriously until he was 30, forages every day for ingredients on the wild Atlantic shore of the Western Cape near his Wolfgat restaurant, where he also makes his own bread and butter.
Book a table here: https://www.wolfgat.co.za/
Mikaela Shiffrin won her fourth consecutive world championship in the slalom.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after this season.
@AP_Sports: Man United defeats Chelsea, advances to FA Cup quarterfinals
Soccer Matches: Champions League - Round of 16 - Leg 1 of 2:
Lyon v Barca @ 3:00 pm ET
Liverpool v Bayern @ 3:00 pm ET
Atletico Madrid v Juventus - Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET
Schalke 04 v Man. City -Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET