What I am watching today = April 4, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics
✔️ IMF warns that tech giants stifle innovation and threaten stability
✔️ PM clutches at straws as Brexit deadline evaporates
✔️ Inside the race to build the burger of the future
✔️ America’s biggest economic challenge may be demographic decline
✔️ The disciplined pursuit of less
IMF warns that tech giants stifle innovation and threaten stability: The Guardian reports, adding its contribution to the growing public debate about the corporate power exercised by the US tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, the IMF said it would be concerned if there was any further increase in the clout of already dominant firms. The IMF said there was a need for stronger competition policy to ensure that established firms did not block the entry of potential rivals and called for excess profits to be targeted by a tougher international tax regime.
@stevenportnoy: JUST IN: Trump says the incident at Mar-a-Lago was "just a fluke," says he's not concerned about Chinese espionage at his Florida club.
US bid to maintain tariffs snarls trade talks with China: WSJ reports, US demands that punitive tariffs remain to ensure China enacts overhauls has emerged as one of the biggest sticking points as trade negotiators opened new talks.
Bloomberg: US said to set 2025 target for China to fulfill trade pledges
Does Made in China 2025 still work for everyone?
Trump may announce plans for a summit with China’s President Xi Jinping on Thursday when he meets with the country’s vice premier.
Trump meets with the Chinese leader’s special envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, at the White House today at 4:30 pm ET.
GOP strategists believe trade deal with China—whatever the terms—will reduce uncertainty in the global economy and could give a boost to markets.
Keyword = whatever
US and China draw closer to final trade agreement: FT reports, top US and Chinese officials have resolved most of the issues standing in the way of a deal to end their long-running trade dispute but are still haggling over how to implement and enforce the agreement, people briefed on the talks have said.
Lighthizer is insisting on Washington’s right to unilaterally impose punitive tariffs on China if there is a violation of the agreement, and a guarantee that China would not retaliate with its own tariffs or challenge the action at the World Trade Organization — difficult concessions for Beijing to accept because they are seen as undermining its sovereignty.
Xi-Trump summit in Osaka in play as China braces for longerfight: Nikkei reports, the great powers' battle for hegemony threatens to make trade deal tentative at best.
My guess = a Trump - Xi | US-China summit will be announced today and will take place in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G20 meeting set for June 28-29.
Audrey Jiajia Li: Uber but for Xi Jinping: Shiny new app, same old propaganda.
Xuexi Qiangguo — “study and make the nation great” — has become ubiquitous in China, an instant messenger, news aggregator and social network all in one. Introduced by the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in January, the first and second characters in the name, when combined — xuexi — mean “study/learn”; the same character, xi, also happens to be the character in President Xi Jinping’s last name. The app’s name, thus, can also be read as “study Xi and make the nation great.” And they are, by the tens of millions.
As of late March, Xuexi Qiangguo had been downloaded over 73 million times on Huawei’s app store.
Nicholas Kristof: Even after a trade deal, be wary of China: When an agreement is reached, President Trump may hail it as a triumph. But other big problems need attention.
Trump and Xi will probably soon reach a trade agreement, but that won't solve the biggest problems.
In short, the Xi regime is complicated. It cheats, oppresses and brutalizes, but it also educates, enriches and saves lives.
US businesses stock up after Trump’s threat to shut border: FT reports, companies say they are increasing inventories to guard against supply-chain risks.
Forget advice toast running short, America would stop manufacturing.
US shift on Mexican border triggers trade bottleneck: WSJ reports, Mexican officials and business leaders along the U.S.-Mexico border warned that delays at ports of entry are causing tens of millions of dollars in losses for shippers and logistics companies.
Ethiopia calls for review of Boeing 737 Max flight controls: FT reports, investigators find that pilots were not to blame for crash near Addis Ababa last month.
German factory orders post biggest slump in two years: FT reports, manufacturing orders fell 4.2% from the previous month amid drop in foreign demand.
Brexit: A bill to prevent no-deal passes Commons by one vote.
PM clutches at straws as Brexit deadline evaporates: The Times reports, Theresa May’s two-year strategy to deliver Brexit was always reliant on a single factor that is today now beyond her control: the threat of a deadline. Last night, by the narrowest of margins, MPs voted through a bill that would give the Commons the power to veto or amend any Article 50 extension request tabled by the prime minister.
@hattiesimplepol: Pretty big day in the end:
- PM/Corbyn talks
- Juncker says no to short extension to A50
- Cooper bill (which would effectively prevent no deal) passes Commons grilling by 313-312
- Ministerial resignations
- Speaker had to step in to cast a vote rejecting more indicative votes
MPs approve bill to force May to seek Brexit delay: FT reports, measure passes by single vote as PM and Corbyn begin talks on future ties with EU.
I love the Brits - they demand to leave the EU but will only do so if they have a deal from the EU.
Theresa May’s appeal to Labour to help to implement Brexit is an admission of failure yet may be the only course to avoid no-deal.
Philip Stephens: Goodbye EU, and goodbye the United Kingdom: The invented identity of ‘Britishness’ is unravelling as English nationalism takes hold.
Rob Mudge: Brexit: What's gone wrong for the UK's Labour Party? UK Prime Minister Theresa May's final Brexit gamble is to seek help from an equally divided and dysfunctional Labour Party. It's almost like the blind leading the blind.
Brexit chaos stirs bafflement in UK ex-colonies: AFP reports, across much of Britain's former Asian colonies, many are greeting the UK's impending departure from the European Union with a mixture of bafflement, apathy, amusement -- and a touch of schadenfreude. Britain long justified imperial subjugation by arguing Rule Britannia brought order, stability and shared prosperity -- even after its retreat from colonialism birthed a host of troubled new nations still saddled with historical grievances and legacies to this day.
Dubliners cautious as Merkel jets into town amid Brexit impasse: DW reports, the German chancellor is in Dublin to meet the Irish taoiseach, with questions over the future of the Irish border central. The capital's residents hope more support will come for the Irish position.
Inside the race to build the burger of the future: Trump says Democrats and environmental wackos are waging a war on beef. But corporations, not politicians or activists, are leading the post-meat revolution. https://politi.co/2K3tgGx
The heart of a swimmer vs. the heart of a runner: Regular exercise changes the look and workings of the human heart. And researchers are discovering that different sports affect the heart differently. https://nyti.ms/2Uwmw7W
NYT: Some on Mueller’s team say report was more damaging than Barr revealed
Members of Robert Mueller’s team have said their findings are more troubling for Trump than Attorney General William Barr had indicated.
At stake in the dispute is who shapes the public’s initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in US history.
Timothy L. O'Brien: Mueller team finally cracks over William Barr’s letters: US newspapers report that the attorney general has underplayed the obstruction findings. Given his background, maybe he should have recused himself.
House panel seeks to interview Trump inaugural organizer: WSJ reports, the House Intelligence Committee’s move indicates Congress is expanding a probe into how more than $100 million was raised and spent.
OTD: In 1818 the US Congress fixed the number of stripes in the American flag at 13, with one star to be added for each new state.
Where is Howard Schultz? Oh, he's doing a Fox News town hall tonight at 6:00 pm.
Wisconsin, ground zero for 2020 politics, looks like a tossup again: NYT reports, for Democrats, an effort to rebuild their Midwestern “blue wall” for the 2020 election is showing gains in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Tim Ryan (D-OH) is scheduled to appear on “The View” today, where he is expected to announce his presidential campaign, according to a BuzzFeed article.
Stacey Abrams (D-GA) said she wants to make a decision this month about running for a US Senate seat from her home state and thinks she could hold off on making a decision about running for president until this fall.
Update: Caracal Global = 2020 Presidential Candidates by Tier: http://bit.ly/2UtzWl1
Up 1 (Now Tier 1)
Bernie Sanders (D)
Down 1 (Now Tier 2)
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Amy Klobuchar (D)
Howard Schultz (I)
Up 1 (Now Tier 3)
Pete Buttigieg (D)
Down 1 (Now Tier 4)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
America’s biggest economic challenge may be demographic decline: Slower growth in the working-age population is a problem in much of the country. Could targeted immigration policy help solve it? https://nyti.ms/2UzW4Ky
Andreessen Horowitz is blowing up the venture capital model (again) http://bit.ly/2K227nb
Carlos Ghosn was arrested again in Tokyo after prosecutors said they suspected the former Nissan chairman abused his position for personal gain.
Tesla reported a 31 percent drop in deliveries of vehicles in the first quarter, the company said.
Ford to launch 30 new models in China to stem plummeting sales.
German AV tests: VW joins BMW in testing self-driving cars on German city streets.
Condé Nast announced that Roger L. Lynch, most recently the head of Pandora, would be its new chief executive.
Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas closing will happen, but not for a while: LAT reports, there’s still time to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas before it closes. Plans to shut the resort next fall and turn it over to Virgin Hotels have been postponed until February. In the meantime, Hard Rock is opening a lounge and restaurant for those who want to visit the Strip resort. Virgin now expects to start renovations in February with a hotel opening in November 2020 after election day.
AFP: Singapore casino resort to get $3.3 billion expansion
How Disney grew its $3 billion Mickey Mouse business–by selling to adults: Apple, Gucci, Kate Spade, Uniqlo, L’Oréal, and Maybelline are just a few of the companies that sell Mickey-branded products for grown-ups. Here’s how Disney made adults fall in love with a cartoon character. http://bit.ly/2K9n3c2
Superdry founder faces struggle to end brand’s arid spell: FT reports, Julian Dunkerton confronts empty boardroom and falling share price on first day back.
One of my favorite docs = Cut From a Different Cloth follows Idris Elba as he teams up with Superdry founders, Julian Dunkerton, and James Holder, to launch a new fashion line.
UniCredit waits in wings to bid for Commerzbank: FT reports, Italian lender prepares rival offer should Deutsche Bank deal falter.
LAT: HBO to relocate its West Coast home from Santa Monica to Culver City
China Tobacco looks to take on global cigarette makers: FT reports, the combination of a slowing domestic economy and efforts by health officials to curb smoking in a country where over a quarter of the adult population are regular users, means the company is now taking aim at western rivals in global markets.
A monopoly in the world’s largest cigarette market is no longer enough for China National Tobacco.
Reuters: Elite US school MIT cuts ties with Chinese tech firms Huawei, ZTE
The most colorful places in the world http://bit.ly/2K5fcML
Extreme loneliness or the perfect balance? How to work from home and stay healthy: More and more people are working where they live, attracted by the promise of flexibility, efficiency, and no commute. But does this come at a cost to their wellbeing? http://bit.ly/2K3BH4J
The disciplined pursuit of less http://bit.ly/2K54SUM
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.