What I am watching today = May 31, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Mexico, Markets, E-sports, Kamala Harris, 'Octo-champs', Liverpool v Tottenham
✔️ Trump ‘gone rogue’ on trade
✔️ Lib Dems lead the polls
✔️ 70 billion hours = total amount of time that Americans spend in their cars annually
✔️ Uber posted a $1 billion loss in the first quarter
✔️ Someone bought a $400,000 diamond ring at Costco
"Even if you made the greatest thing in the world, if you don't have an angle with which to sell it, you're basically sunk.” -- Patrick Stickles, Titus Andronicus frontman
Bloomberg: Trump ‘gone rogue’ on trade is last thing global economy needs
Trump threatens tariffs on Mexico over immigration: WSJ reports, Trump said the US would impose escalating tariffs on Mexican imports beginning June 10, in an effort to push Mexico to stem the flow of asylum-seeking families to the border.
Stocks and bond yields fell after Trump threatened to impose escalating tariffs on Mexico.
Team Trump has now decided it is cool to weaponize trade to shape foreign and domestic policy - it's also a sign they are desperate.
Team Trump's governing of the global economy is a combination of Wag the Dog, Canadian Bacon, South Park's "Blame Canada," and Veep.
The 5 percent tariff on all imported goods from Mexico would begin June 10 and gradually increase.
Where is Larry Kudlow?
FT: Trump’s tariff threat on Mexico rattles global markets
Russia ‘probably’ not adhering to nuke test ban, DIA director says: AP reports, US intelligence official says Russia “probably” is not adhering to a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing.
Orville Schell: Tiananmen: The crackdown that defined modern China: In the spring of 1989, a democratic future for China seemed possible. Then came Tiananmen. The US-China relationship still hasn’t recovered. https://on.wsj.com/2Wxu8bd
FT: Investors grow anxious over Trump-Xi G20 meeting
Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit next month, Trump and Xi have downplayed the chances of a breakthrough in talks to resolve their trade dispute.
Markets are pricing in a surge in volatility around next month’s encounter in Japan.
Top industry standards body drops Huawei from its journals: FT reports, the IEEE has banned reviewers employed by tech company, sparking outrage in China.
Bloomberg: China threatens sweeping blacklist of firms after Huawei ban
Targets companies that violate market rules, cut off supply
China plans to set up a list of foreign companies and other entities that it deems unreliable.
CBC: China tells Canada of 'consequences' of helping US with Huawei case
Reuters: Pompeo warns Germany on consequences of buying Huawei
Trump to threaten curb on intel sharing with UK over Huawei: FT reports, Trump to issue warning during three-day trip to Britain next week
Philip Stephens: Britain is now stranded in Brexit limbo: Barring a referendum, doing nothing looks increasingly like the default option.
"The nation cannot remain trapped in a dismal nether world stranded between leave and remain. Halloween, October 31, is the deadline."
Brexit shutdown slashes UK car production by 45 percent.
YouGov: Lib Dems lead the polls as they start to become “the party of the 48%”
"Their stance on Brexit is only now paying off for the Lib Dems. While it is a strategy the party has been pursuing since the referendum result in 2016, YouGov analysis following the 2017 general election showed that trying to be the party of “the 48%” hadn’t worked for them so far."
"This is because “the 48%” didn’t really exist at that point, as a large chunk of Remainers wanted to get on with leaving the EU and most of those who still opposed Brexit were loyal to the Labour party."
Bloomberg: Can we trust the UK poll that shows Liberal Democrats leading?
An astonishing British opinion poll has put the Liberal Democrats in first place, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party second, and the Conservatives and Labour Party -- the two biggest -- tied in third. Is this really the moment that UK politics is reshaped?
North Korea 'executed' officials after failed Trump summit: report: AFP reports, North Korea executed its special envoy to the United States following the collapse of the second summit between Kim Jong Un and Trump, a South Korean newspaper reported Friday. The Chosun Ilbo said Kim Hyok Chol, who laid the groundwork for the Hanoi meeting and accompanied Kim on his private train, was executed by firing squad for "betraying the supreme leader" after he was "won over to the US" during pre-summit negotiations.
Venezuela’s economic chaos: Inflation hit 130,000 percent in Venezuela last year and the country’s gross domestic product contracted by 22.5 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2018.
LAT: Ethnic violence in Ethiopia has forced nearly 3 million people from their homes
In total, 2.9 million people had been displaced by December 2018, more than those dislodged in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan combined, according to estimates published this month.
Clay Risen: The Rough Riders’ guide to world domination: How Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish-American War set the course for future conflicts. https://nyti.ms/2Kil6Zo
Clothing waste: Google and Stella McCartney announce a sustainable fashion pilot program at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. The British fashion designer has been a long-time advocate for sustainable fashion, and will now use Google Cloud data analytics and machine learning to give the brand a more detailed view into its supply chain.
Video gaming levels up into a sport: E-sports evolved from a hobby into an obsession, into a business — and now it is a full-fledged entertainment industry. http://bit.ly/2WxcaFW
What happened after India eliminated cash: Two years ago, the Indian government abruptly wiped out most of the nation’s currency in hopes of ending black money and curbing corruption. Has the experiment worked? http://bit.ly/2WxdyIy
2 weeks is the average time that it takes Spotify to “quickly surface new, popular songs”, as compared with three (3) entire months for the usual FM radio stations.
US drive time: 70 billion hours is the total amount of time that Americans spend in their cars annually, and in light of that Spotify is testing a voice-controlled in-car device dubbed “Car Thing” to be used to listen to music (and podcasts).
Oh boy: In a now-deleted tweet, Trump says he “had nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected.”
It now appears that Trump is publicly admitting, for the first time at least, that Russia shenanigans helped get him elected president.
Trump's second term? An American University professor who has correctly predicted 9 presidential elections says Trump will win in 2020 unless Democrats impeach.
LAT: After dazzling debut, Kamala Harris falls from top of presidential pack
"She drew a crowd of roughly 20,000 to a lavish Oakland rally. She raised $1.5 million in just 24 hours. She boasted a string of endorsements from California politicians."
"But as she returns to the Bay Area this weekend for the annual state Democratic Party convention — along with 13 other candidates eager to fight on her home turf — Harris no longer dazzles quite so much."
I still have her as a first-tier candidate - probably because I think she'll be the Dem's VP nominee.
Update: Caracal Global 2020 Presidential Candidates Ranked by Tier: http://bit.ly/2UtzWl1
AL-SEN: Alabama Republican Roy Moore is insisting he can win a Senate rematch in 2020 and says he won't be influenced by Trump's tweets urging him not to try.
House primary contests: Incumbent House members hardly ever lose primaries. In the post-World War II era, more than 98% of House members who have run for reelection have been renominated by their own parties.
Tim Harford: Compromise dies in the age of outrage: Hardening political positions are the sclerosis that may lead to a heart attack for democracies.
Brigadoon Cincinnati 2019 | Salon Dinner
Buy your ticket - here.
The 18th edition of strategy+business's best business bookshttp://bit.ly/2WyZ62W
737 Max may be grounded for months: The Boeing aircraft is unlikely to return to commercial service before August in the wake of two deadly crashes, according to the head of industry trade body Iata.
$7.17 billion was Sony Music Corporation’s reported earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2019, which meant a slight increase of 1.3% from the previous year.
20 million people currently subscribe to Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service for $7.99 per month.
Gaana: India-based music streaming has 100 million monthly active users.
Uber posted a $1 billion loss in the first quarter.
FedEx will deliver packages seven days a week starting next year.
Someone bought a $400,000 diamond ring at Costco.
North Face apologizes over Wikipedia 'hack': BBC reports, clothing firm North Face has apologized for manipulating Wikipedia to make images of its products more prominent in Google results. Its ad agency put images of models wearing North Face gear on Wikipedia pages about remote locations. In a video, the firm boasted that the stunt boosted its search engine ranking and cost "nothing".
Renault says board will meet Tuesday to respond to Fiat Chrysler bid.
Today: A Star Wars theme park opens at Disneyland in California.
LAT: 'Octo-champs': National Spelling Bee ends in a stunning 8-way tie
‘The Spy Behind Home Plate’ review: play ball, fight Nazis: A documentary tells the story of Moe Berg, a major-league catcher who went undercover during World War II. Watch the trailer - here: http://bit.ly/2Koxwz1
China’s soccer push takes a new tack: Naturalizing foreign players: NYT reports, China’s recent effort to become a serious soccer nation has taken some curious turns, as the country grapples with creating a team capable of performing at the highest level while retaining characteristics championed by the central government. Last year, for example, clubs scrambled to honor a semiofficial edict that banned visible tattoos during games. That led to the sight of players’ wearing bandages or long sleeves to cover up any offending body art. Further chaos occurred when top-division teams were told to release some of their most promising young players at midseason so they could attend military-style training sessions.
Champions League - Final
Liverpool v Tottenham - Saturday, June 1 @ 3:00 pm ET
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.