Yield Curves Invert, Genoa Bridge, David Ignatius, John Hickenlooper, Disneyland Shanghai, WeWork, Jay-Z

Marc Ross Daily August.png

Marc Ross Daily
August 14, 2019
Curation and commentary from
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Share with a friend - they can subscribe

Yield Curves Invert, Genoa Bridge, David Ignatius, John Hickenlooper, Disneyland Shanghai, WeWork, Jay-Z


✔️ Recession fears escalate

✔️ The rise of the virtual restaurant

✔️ Ignatius: Democrats need to stop running scared on foreign policy

✔️ WeWork Cos. disclosed its plans for IPO

✔️ NFL taps Jay-Z for social-justice and entertainment


Brand purpose has become essential - are you doing it correctly?

Memo: How to Communicate like a Thought Leader | Number One

The key to purpose is recalling its purpose.

"Purpose-led brand communications is not just a matter of 'make them cry, make them buy,'" Unilever CEO Alan Jope said at Cannes earlier this year. "It's about action in the world."

Many professional communicators frequently conflate brand purpose with cause marketing, often linking brands with causes that don't clearly fit, make sense, or generally miss the mark.

Purpose, when matched with action and amplification, can help your company engage all stakeholders with inspiration and innovation as well as serving as an internal organizing principle.

Brand purpose is what your own, what you are shaping, what you are promoting, and what is driving you to compete for customers.

Brand purpose is more profound and more vibrant than cause marketing.

Brand purpose should be a multi-decade commitment and not based on a short-term cause marketing fling.

Read the full post - here.



Trade war takes toll on economic growth in Germany, China: WSJ reports, Germany’s economy shrank in the second quarter and China reported a raft of weak data, sharpening fears over how far the spillover from the global trade dispute is damaging the prospects for growth.

AFP: China economy shows new signs of weakness with soft data

German economy contracts as global trade slowdown takes toll
: FT reports, Eurozone’s largest economy shrinks 0.1% in second quarter, adding to recession fears.

Recession fears escalate: Reuters reports, Germany's economy went into reverse. China's growth is slowing. And the US bond yield curve has inverted. All of these factors are sowing fears of a coming recession.

AFP: German Q2 contraction fires calls to boost public spending

FT: Bond market flashes ominous warning for US and UK

Key portions of yield curves ‘invert’ for the first time in more than a decade.

Bloomberg: Yield curves invert in US, UK as ‘doom and gloom’ spreads

: In 1945 it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending the Second World War. The formal surrender took place on September 2, 1945.

As ‘America First’ erodes US influence, crises in Asia escalate: NYT reports, Trump has taken a hands-off approach to conflicts — including Kashmir, Hong Kong and the rivalry between Japan and South Korea. Governments are ignoring the Trump administration’s mild admonitions and calls for calm.

FT: Trump retreat on some tariffs raises scant hopes

Move seen as only temporary reprieve in US-China trade war despite market enthusiasm.

Nikkei: US delays China tariffs on phones and laptops for Christmas season

NY stocks jump on the news, pushing up Apple and Nike shares.

US delays tariffs on key Chinese goods, prompting market surge: DW reports, the US has announced a delay imposing tariffs on certain Chinese products that had been earmarked for the measure from next month. China has said the tariffs were "not a constructive way" to resolve the trade conflict.

Trump finally acknowledges his tariffs could hit consumers: WP reports,with his announcement of a delay in tariffs on Chinese goods, he contradicted his own mantra that the Chinese are paying the full price of his tariffs.

@CNBCnow: BREAKING: USTR removes items from upcoming China tariffs due to 'health, safety, national security' factors and delays until Dec 15 tariffs on cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors & some items of footwear/clothing

@niubi: Remarkable cave by trump on his tariff threat from early August. The message to Beijing is trump can’t hold firm because of worries voters may get unhappy with more expensive holiday goods. So why would beijing make concessions?

WSJ: Hong Kong tightens airport security after days of protests

Hong Kong protesters apologize after chaos grips airport
: NYT reports, demonstrators promised to do better, and the airport said it would limit terminal access to passengers and workers.

Hong Kong protesters apologize, face tipping point after demonstrations at airport turned violent: WP reports, protesters sought sympathy and forgiveness as they fought to regain control over a narrative that seemed to be tilting in Beijing’s favor for the first time.

The Times: Hong Kong protesters are terrorists, says Beijing after Chinese men detained

LAT: Satellite photos appear to show Chinese armored vehicles near Hong Kong

NYT: ‘Hong Kong thing’ is ‘very tough,’ but Trump doesn’t criticize China

Catherine Philp: Hong Kong protests: Fears of another Tiananmen Square are no longer absurd

Jamil Anderlini: Hong Kong’s future hangs by a thread
: It has become an obstacle to Xi Jinping’s vision of a ‘great rejuvenation’ of China.

Thomas L. Friedman: Trump and Xi sittin’ in a tree: Both men have overplayed their hand and are desperate to be seen as the winner in their trade war. https://nyti.ms/2YNDBwZ

Americans’ view of China sours as trade war rages: FT reports, the survey shows 24% view Beijing as ‘greatest threat’ to US in the future, on a par with Russia.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted between mid-May and mid-June, after the acrimonious breakdown of trade negotiations between the senior US and Chinese officials, found that 60 percent of Americans have an “unfavorable” view of China, compared with just 26 percent who held a positive view.

This marked a sharp increase in Americans who view China in a negative light compared with 2018, when 47 percent of the US public said they had an unfavorable view of China, and the highest level of unfavourability since the Pew series began in 2005.

The Times: Philip Hammond ‘confident’ parliament can stop Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings forcing through no‑deal Brexit

No-deal Brexit will be stopped, former finance minister Hammond says: Reuters reports, Parliament will block a no-deal Brexit if unelected people behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson try to wrench Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 without an agreement, former finance minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.

Philip Hammond: ‘To say that people voted for hard Brexit simply isn’t true’

"it’s time for our government to demonstrate its commitment to a genuine negotiation with the EU to achieve a deal that will maintain Britain’s trade with its nearest neighbors, protect British jobs and ensure our future prosperity."

Donald Trump plans G7 snub by meeting Boris Johnson first: The Times reports, Trump is preparing to meet Boris Johnson before seeing any other European leaders to “send a signal” to them at the G7 summit in France next week. The US has said it is prepared to work immediately on sector-by sector trade agreements after Britain leaves the European Union.

@btharris93: Random, pointless fact for the day: Theresa May was the first British Prime Minister since Anthony Eden who didn't have a James Bond film released during her premiership.

Italy marks Genoa bridge disaster in shadow of political crisis: AFP reports, Italy on Wednesday marked a year since the Genoa motorway bridge collapse that killed 43 people, as the country grapples with a political crisis sparked by far-right leader Matteo Salvini. A mass took place in a warehouse near the spot where a section of the Morandi highway fell during heavy rain on August 14, 2018, hurling dozens of cars and several trucks onto railway tracks below.

Genoa Bridge collapse: "This bridge has become a symbol of what has not been working in Italy"

Italy's Salvini suffers a setback in bid to topple government quickly: DW reports, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini failed to force a no-confidence vote in parliament this week. Salvini is aiming for fresh elections, to capitalize on his right-wing League party's soaring popularity.

AFP: Notre-Dame cathedral 'still at risk of collapse' after fire

David Gardner: India’s clampdown in Kashmir reflects international disorder
: Narendra Modi is taking advantage of Donald Trump’s wilful and erratic foreign policy.

Kashmir: Pakistan's Khan vows to 'fight until the end': DW reports, during a visit to Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan accused India's military of "planning" action in regions controlled by Pakistan. Khan said Pakistan was "fully prepared to respond."

Russia urges villagers to leave radioactive blast site: WSJ reports, residents of a town in Northwestern Russia were urged to leave their homes, days after a nearby Defense Ministry test of a nuclear-powered engine exploded, boosting radiation levels that alarmed the region.

Russia calls, then cancels, town's evacuation after nuclear mishap: DW reports, radiation has spiked at a nearby town following last week's explosion at a rocket testing site. First responders have been silenced and villagers told to leave, but the evacuation order has since been canceled.

Secret Russia weapon project: gamechanger or PR stunt? AFP reports, A deadly explosion at a Russian testing site has focused attention on President Vladimir Putin's bid to build a nuclear-powered missile that the Kremlin hopes would give Moscow the edge in a new arms race. Western experts have linked the blast at the Nyonoksa test site on August 8, which caused a sharp spike in local radiation levels, to the 9M730 Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile first revealed by Putin in 2018. The Kremlin has, however, not confirmed that the accident was linked to the Burevestnik project and the identity of the missile that exploded remains uncertain. But while a nuclear-powered missile with the theoretical ability to strike any target on planet earth may seem attractive, analysts warn the technical difficulties and risks could outweigh any strategic gain.

Russia after Putin: 2024 is a long way off, but the battle for the Kremlin has already begun: Tom Parfitt of The Times writes, the violent state response to protests in Moscow is evidence of the growing influence, at the highest level, of the security apparatus

Bloomberg: Mauricio Macri to announce plan to ease Argentines' economic pain

Fernandez says ball is in Macri’s court to stem market turmoil

Measures due to be unveiled Wednesday morning in Buenos Aires

Hector Torres: Argentina’s political rivals must face up to urgent economic realities: Mauricio Macri cannot cajole middle-class voters by saying he keeps the markets happy.

Bloomberg: Trudeau takes big lead on economic stewardship ahead of election

Canadian leader pulls ahead of rival as economy firms up

Conservatives need to articulate economic vision: Nanos


The rise of the virtual restaurant: NYT reports, food delivery apps are reshaping the restaurant industry — and how we eat — by inspiring digital-only establishments. No longer must restaurateurs rent space for a dining room. All they need is a kitchen, or even just part of one.


David Ignatius: Democrats need to stop running scared on foreign policy: One of the weirdest aspects of this year's Democratic presidential campaign is that foreign policy, potentially one of President Trump's most vulnerable issues, has been nearly absent from the debate. Trump is steering the country into a foolish trade war with China that has spooked the stock market, frightened farmers and fueled uncertainty among investors at home and abroad. Without any significant pushback from Democrats, his tariff-driven “America First” agenda is pushing us toward what could be a decades-long cycle of global retreat and economic decline. Even Trump seems worried about his tariff zealotry, moving Tuesday to delay the latest round from September to December.

WSJ: Iowa farmers stick with Trump despite trade war

Bloomberg: Trump’s new farm tariffs no match for China’s retaliatory duties

New data shows US farmers are likely to feel more of the pain.

Donald Trump must win over suburban women to clinch swing state: FT reports, Republicans need to make crucial gains in three of Philadelphia’s four ‘collar counties.’

Bloomberg: Trump 2020 Rust Belt pitch threatened by manufacturing recession

US factory output declining this year as job growth slows

President has boasted about gains in workers at factories

Trump is trying to turn Biden’s gaffes into a major liability: WP reports, Joe Biden’s verbal miscues have always been part of his charm, baked into his reputation as a plain-spoken politician who delivers impossible-to-diagram sentences and whose rhetorical flourishes can quickly veer off course. But now, that habit is colliding with a much more damaging narrative pushed aggressively by President Trump and nagging at some of Biden’s fellow Democrats: that he is a man past his prime.

NYT: As debate deadline nears, Democratic candidates scramble to make the cut

Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Tom Steyer are getting closer to making the debate stage, and they’re urgently seeking supporters who can help them earn a spot.

Colorado's Hickenlooper may drop presidential bid for Senate race: Reuters reports, the former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is considering ending his bid for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination in order to run for his state’s US Senate seat

Elizabeth Bruenig: In God’s country: Evangelicals view Trump as their protector. Will they stand by him in 2020?


Brigadoon Los Angeles 2019 | Salon Dinner

September 26

Topic: Business Startup Strategy | Operations + Finance
Location: Jonathan Club - Beach (Santa Monica)

More details + tickets - here.


RealReal’s revenue soars as its loss widens: WSJ reports, the San Francisco-based company reported total revenue for the second quarter jumped 51% from a year earlier to $71 million.

Can climbing Everest help sell a handbag? WSJ reports, top luxury brands have been compelled to look beyond traditional advertising—driven in part by consumers’ desire for companies with a sense of mission. How premium marketers are looking to the ends of the earth, from the depths of the South Pacific to the peak of Mount Everest, to set them apart

Chinese AI start-up DeepBlue takes self-driving buses global: FT reports, the manufacturer benefits from Beijing’s push to foster leaders in artificial intelligence.

AP: CBS, Viacom to reunite as media giants bulk up for streaming

Disneyland Shanghai sued over 'double standards': AFP reports, A Chinese student is suing American giant Disney alleging double standards because the company bans visitors to its Asian theme parks from taking their own food. The lawsuit against Shanghai Disneyland takes the entertainment company to task because the same strictures do not apply in its US or European parks. The legal action, which has sparked widespread support on social media, comes as China and the US spar over trade, and as tensions rise between the world's two largest economies. The student, surnamed Wang, says she had her "rights violated" after being barred from bringing in her own meal, forcing her to buy "overpriced" food inside the park.

WeWork Cos. disclosed its plans for an initial public offering revealing a net loss of $690 million in the first six months of this year as it moves toward a fall listing that will test investors’ appetite for money-losing startups.

Share of the global smartphone market:


Nokia: 38.6%
Blackberry: 19.9%
Apple: 16.1%
HTC: 4.5%
Samsung: 3.3%


Samsung: 18.7%
Apple: 18.2%
Huawei: 16.1%
Xiaomi: 7.6%
OPPO: 7.8%



WSJ: NFL taps Jay-Z for social-justice issues—and entertainment offerings

The league and Roc Nation struck a wide-ranging deal that includes creative projects and a prominent role in the NFL’s social-justice initiative.

Football may affect brains, even without concussions: NYT reports, the brain tissue of college football players showed signs of “fraying” after a season of play.

Today: Liverpool face Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


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.