What I am watching today = May 20, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Scott Morrison, Pollsters, Tibet, Google, Huawei, Roland-Garros
✔️ Australian PM Scott Morrison upset pollsters’ expectations
✔️ EVs projected to be 60-70% of car sales by 2040
✔️ Trump scrambles to reverse Rust Belt slide
✔️ Google halting services for smartphones made by Huawei
✔️ French Open starts today at Roland-Garros
The media is lying to you about Trump's China tariffs
That's the headline for an op-ed penned by Brett Arends in MarketWatch.
He goes on to say: "The hysteria must have a political agenda because the amount that's being charged is peanuts."
Sure, Arends has a point, that in real numbers the tariffs are small when measured against a $20 trillion economy.
However, Arends fails to measure the psychological costs of creating trade frictions with no explanation for America's leaders where we are going with this.
Plus, he fails to calculate the costs of American companies selling goods and services with operations in China (Apple famously generates 20 of its revenue there, and both Ford and GM sell more cars in China than North America). Second, he fails to calculate the opportunity costs of companies spending now spending resources on lawyers, lobbyists, and supply chain pros instead of R+D, innovation, and shareholder dividends.
Please don't take my word for it.
If tariffs were so amazing, the stock market would go up, not down.
This column has all the hallmarks of click bait and being sensational for being sensational.
Frankly, the oped is a doughnut - it tastes good, but it's empty calories.
India: Exit polls suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set for another five years at the helm of Asia’s third-largest economy.
Equities and rupee gain on the prospect of policy continuity and further reforms.
Australian election: The victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison upset pollsters’ expectations after six tumultuous years of conservative government. His Labor opponent, Bill Shorten, will resign his party leadership.
Morrison’s victory stuns Australia: Scott Morrison, Australia’s conservative prime minister, won his first full term in office on Saturday, confounding expectations that the country’s voters were ready for a change in course after six years of tumultuous leadership under his party.
“The Australian electorate, not unlike internationally, is fragmenting,” said Paul Strangio, associate professor of politics and international relations at Monash University. “Ultimately,” he added, “Shorten’s unpopularity has been something of a millstone.”
Australian voters back PM Morrison's faith in fossil fuel: Australia’s re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison once brandished a lump of coal in parliament, crying, “This is coal - don’t be afraid!” His surprise win in what some dubbed the ‘climate election’ may have stunned the country, but voters should know what comes next in energy policy - big coal.
National Review - Editorial: Working-class voters deliver a win for Conservatives in Australia
"How the Coalition won is not so unexpected. It won blue-collar workers, outer-city and suburban seats, and regional constituencies, especially in Queensland. Australia’s cultural equivalent to the U.S. South delivered only five of its 30 seats to the ALP despite the party’s high hopes of gains there. On the other hand, inner-city seats in Sydney, Melbourne, and other metropolitan areas, inhabited by well-paid professionals, continued to drift leftward, dividing their votes between Labor and the Greens."
Australia’s China challenge: With Beijing pushing as far as it can wherever it can in the era of Xi Jinping, Australia has become a global case study in Chinese government influence. https://nyti.ms/2VN3fk9
Tom Mitchell: Xi Jinping is preparing China for a long trade war: Chinese president’s state apparatus could help him to outlast Trump. https://on.ft.com/2VNb4q2
Tim Culpan: The tech Cold War has begun: China now has no choice but to pursue technological independence and will burn the cash to achieve it.
Destination Tibet: US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad is scheduled to visit Tibet this week, the first visit to the region by a US ambassador since 2015, amid escalating trade tension between the two countries.
Rare earths next in trade spat? Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths facility fueled speculation that the strategic materials could be weaponized in China’s tit-for-tat with the US on trade.
Election 2019 and Canada-US trade: A break in trade hostilities with US offers respite to PM Justin Trudeau ahead of elections.
European companies forced to hand tech to China: Latest survey shows 1 in 5 feel compelled to transfer technologies for market access.
Austria: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz dissolved the government after Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, a prominent anti-immigration advocate, resigned after the release of a video of him offering public contracts to a woman he believed to be a Moscow oligarch.
Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old comic with no political experience, announced the dissolution of parliament in his inaugural speech as the president of Ukraine on Monday. By disbanding the chamber and calling early elections, the new head of state is hoping to win the support he needs to tackle a raft of challenges, including a struggling economy and the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Italy: Tensions in Italy’s coalition government appear to be growing with differences of opinion between the ruling Lega party and 5 Star Movement becoming more pronounced.
Brexit: Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn moved closer to fully backing a second Brexit referendum, saying the public should be given a choice on any deal to leave the European Union.
The Tories: The Conservative Party was once a calm and calculating organization intent on political victory. It has lost that status as the issue of Europe so clouds its judgment.
Clare Foges: A vote for Johnson is a vote to break up the UK: Many think that after May things can only get better, but Johnson is a tartan-wrapped gift for Scottish independence.
Boris Johnson is currently the bookmaker’s favorite to succeed PM May and be the next leader of the Conservative party.
Andrew Hill: Artificial intelligence creates real strategic dilemmas: When managers start to rely on machine-learning, our humanity is needed more than ever.
Nick Butler: How to meet the challenge of plastic waste: Converting trash to energy could provide a solution to a problem that blights our oceans.
EVs projected to be 60-70% of car sales by 2040.
Politics shift to the courts: Trump is refusing to cooperate with numerous congressional probes of himself and his administration, taking a defiant stance that is likely to result in a court battle with Democrats in the US House of Representatives.
Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) says Trump’s conduct impeachable: “Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
Trump predictably responded by calling Amash as a “total lightweight” and “loser.”
Politico: Trump scrambles to reverse Rust Belt slide
His campaign is moving to shore up his standing in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — where its own polling shows him trailing Joe Biden.
Today: Trump will hold a rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.
Trump's path to 270: Trump won all four states -- Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida -- in 2016. He probably needs at least two of those four -- and maybe three -- to win a second term. And his campaign team knows it.
Election 2020 and US-China trade: Trump says only he is tough enough to negotiate with Beijing - Democrats say he’s not up to the task.
WP: As Trump escalates China trade dispute, economic ties lose stabilizing force in matters of national security
"Well, I've seen the future of the Democratic Party, and it's Mayor Pete." -- Joe Scarborough
Brigadoon Annapolis 2019 | Salon Dinner + Sailing
Buy your ticket - here.
Google is halting some services for smartphones made by Huawei.
Bloomberg - Editorial: Trump’s Huawei attack is a serious mistake: Banning one of China’s most high-profile companies from US networks makes sense. Putting it out of business does not.
Australian telcos blindsided by US trade war hit to Huawei: Telstra says it only sells Huawei's flagship P30 phone. Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are trying to work out the implications of the latest hit to Huawei, this time through the Android operating system.
The Spotify for classical music: Idagio streams classical music, from Gregorian chants to the minimalist movements of Philip Glass. While the genre accounts for just 5 percent of the recorded music market, listeners tend to be affluent and loyal.
Detroit innovation center: Stephen Ross is in talks with Dan Gilbert and the University of Michigan about establishing a manufacturing innovation center in downtown Detroit. The concept calls for an innovation center that could house research and development for UM and would represent a major expansion into Detroit for the university.
Robert Smith stunned Morehouse College graduates during his commencement address: He pledged millions of dollars to pay off every penny of student debt for the class of 2019.
Tyler Brule on Monocle's Travel Top 50: Monocle Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brule discusses the magazine's guide to the best airlines, hotels and other travel service providers. He speaks from Zurich on "Bloomberg Surveillance." https://bloom.bg/2VP6cAO
Brooks Koepka wins the PGA Championship.
War of Will wins the Preakness Stakes.
Man City wins the domestic treble.
French Open starts today at Roland-Garros.
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.