Marc Ross Daily
August 7, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
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Interest Rates, Matteo Salvini, Cord-Cutting, Orange County, Uber, McLaren, Monica Lewinsky, Rugby
✔️ World economy edges closer to a recession as trade fears spread
✔️ US ‘cord-cutting’ gathers pace as TV viewers abandon cable
✔️ Orange County, CA = Now has more registered Democrats than Republicans
✔️ Uber wants to sell you train tickets
✔️ Monica Lewinsky on producing FX’s new Impeachment: American Crime Story
Interest rates around the world: Australia’s central bank held interest rates at a record low of 1%. Even so, the bank warned that Australia needed more economic stimulus amid a slowing economy, hit by a housing-market slowdown and the Sino-American trade war. India, New Zealand and Thailand also cut their interest rates over worries about sluggish economic growth.
Bloomberg: World economy edges closer to a recession as trade fears spread
The escalating trade war between the US and China is nudging the world economy toward its first recession in a decade with investors demanding politicians and central bankers act fast to change course.
Worries about sluggish economic growth, caused by the escalation of the Sino-American trade war and the recent tumbling of stockmarkets across Asia, meant that the cuts were much bigger than expected. Thailand today cut its interest rate by 0.25%, India by 0.35% and New Zealand by a stonking 0.5%. The Philippines may follow suit with a cut tomorrow.
Trump and Xi lock horns — and drag the world with them: WP reports, the standoff between Washington and Beijing could have dark implications for the global economy.
FT: Government bonds rally amid mounting economic gloom
Trio of central banks cut rates in sign of concern over faltering global growth.
German industrial output fall heightens fears of recession: FT reports, June figures raise concern that largest eurozone economy is heading for contraction.
Guardian: Matteo Salvini embarks on 'beach tour' amid election speculation
Far-right leader takes unusual step in effort to drum up support in south of country.
“Beach tour? They’re public meetings that the citizens of the territories have asked for,” he insisted during an interview with Radio 24. “Alas, I’m not going to be playing beach volleyball.”
As Scotland’s ‘trainspotting’ generation ages, the dead pile up: NYT reports, last year there were 1,187 drug-related deaths in Scotland, a record. Older, long-term opioid users account for much of the problem. Overdoses are more common in Scotland, by some measures, than even in the United States.
The Times: Labour and SNP hint at pact to oust Boris Johnson before no-deal Brexit
Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister and SNP leader, opened the door to a “progressive alliance” with Labour if the two parties were able to form a majority after a general election.
Robert Wright: The growing dread of a Scots unionist: It is no longer inevitable that the United Kingdom will remain united. https://on.ft.com/2Ytj5Sh
Alan Lockey: Thatcher or Trump – the big choice awaiting the Right http://bit.ly/2Yqkl8G
Venezuela embargo: At a summit in Peru concerning the political crisis in Venezuela, the United States took a stand against negotiation. “The time for dialogue is over,” its national security adviser John Bolton declared. The new American embargo amounts to a threat against any country or company that would break it. Venezuela’s ambassador to the UN called it an act of war.
FT: Argentina seeks to replicate success of US shale boom
Independent producers and global majors target giant Vaca Muerta formation.
Argentina heads to the polls. What's up for grabs? The country will go to the polls for primary elections on Aug. 11 ahead of the national ballot in October, seen as a referendum on the austerity politics of center-right incumbent President Mauricio Macri amid a tight economic malaise. The primary covers candidates for president, some provincial governors, and national legislators.
China 'encroaching' on Germany's parliament: Green lawmaker: The Bundestag has appealed China's travel ban on a Green party politician, apparently over her criticism of its human rights record. Margarete Bause told DW she has had several run-ins with the Chinese government.
China has told India not to block Huawei from doing business in the country, warning that, if it does, there could be consequences for Indian firms operating in China. America has led a noisy global campaign against the company, which has been accused of spying for the Chinese government.
African swine fever in China: This is the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac calendar, but China’s hogs have little to celebrate. African swine fever, highly contagious, has spread to all of China’s provinces. Some 1.2m pigs have been culled, according to official statistics. Unofficial reports suggest far more. While not harmful to humans, African swine fever is fatal for pigs. There is no vaccine or cure. And the extent of the epidemic may be worse than China’s authorities admit.
Kashmir: The world's most dangerous conflict: The dispute over Kashmir has poisoned relations between India and Pakistan since the two became independent countries in 1947. Here's an overview of how tensions have grown more dangerous over the past seven decades. http://bit.ly/2YrCT8C
Seaside break no summer camp for China leadership at Beidaihe resort: SCMP reports, past and present leaders will soon gather at this historic northern seashore. US-China relations, unrest in Hong Kong, Taiwan elections and the economy are all expected to be discussed.
China warns Hong Kong protesters, signals growing impatience: WSJ reports, China’s top office for Hong Kong affairs signaled Beijing’s waning patience with protesters in Hong Kong, warning them not to underestimate the strength of the central government and urging the local police to punish those who break the law.
LAT: China warns Hong Kong facing biggest crisis since handover
Beijing summons 300 Hong Kong leaders as lawyers back protesters: The Times reports, China summoned hundreds of pro-Beijing MPs and business leaders from Hong Kong to the mainland, seeking to bolster support for the territory’s chief executive amid the city’s “most grim situation” since British rule.
AFP: Chinese police drill video raises Hong Kong fears
China digs in to outlast US in trade dispute: WSJ reports, Xi Jinping, struggling to revive economy and quell Hong Kong protests, has little leeway for concessions that would undercut strongman image.
Trump’s China battle heads into the danger zone: Politico reports, the surprise labeling of China as a currency manipulator opened a new phase in Trump’s economic standoff with China.
US collected $63 billion in tariffs through June: WSJ reports, the tariff hikes approved by President Trump have infuriated Beijing and escalated the U.S.-China trade war, but there has been at least one beneficiary: the US Treasury.
FT: Trump plays down fallout from China trade war
Top economic aide says president wants to make deal despite latest escalations.
Reuters: US labeling China a currency manipulator is groundless, China FX regulator
WP - Editorial: Trump, still in search of a China strategy
"Trump’s approach inspires no confidence that he has some strategic objective in mind, as opposed to the continuation of conflict with China for its own sake. We don’t expect the president to announce his negotiating goals in advance. He should, however, base policy on objective economics, not a general anti-China animus. In that respect, his administration’s mostly symbolic decision to brand China a currency manipulator was anything but reassuring."
Thomas L. Friedman: How Trump and Xi can make America and China poor again: The trade war is heading in a dangerous direction for the whole world. https://nyti.ms/2YvFXR1
Mohamed A. El-Erian: So the US called China a 'currency manipulator.' Now what?: It’s an escalation of trade conflict, and that war is likely to get worse before detente.
Mark Gongloff: Trump sets trap for China, steps in it: His escalations make it harder for Xi to cut a face-saving deal. https://bloom.bg/2MLCo2m
John C. Hulsman: Come together: What the Beatles and the Stones can teach the West http://bit.ly/2YC5hFn
NATO needs to address China's rise, says Stoltenberg: Reuters reports, NATO needs to understand the implications of China's rise as Beijing expands its power around the world, including areas that may challenge members of the North Atlantic security body, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
Russia and Iran to face western navies in Gulf: The Times reports, Russia and Iran are to hold joint naval exercises around the Strait of Hormuz, raising the risk of a dangerous confrontation with western forces in the Gulf.
Salt Lake Tribune: Jon Huntsman resigns as US ambassador to Russia to return to Utah for possible run for governor
FT: US ‘cord-cutting’ gathers pace as TV viewers abandon cable
A fifth of households set to have ditched contracts by year-end as streaming upends sector.
Trump to face skepticism, protests in El Paso, Dayton: WP reports, the open repudiation of a visiting president in the aftermath of a mass tragedy was striking as a growing chorus of critics made clear that President Trump would not be universally welcomed.
Biden plans to say Trump has ‘fanned the flames of white supremacy’: WP reports, the former vice president will cite the recent shooting in El Paso and other hate-inspired episodes during the current Republican president’s tenure, according to excerpts of his remarks.
Beto O’Rourke is attending an El Paso, Texas community rally timed to serve as counterprogramming to Trump’s visit.
'Red Flag' gun control bills gain support with Republican: NYT reports, after back-to-back massacres, Republicans in Congress are coalescing around bills to help law enforcement take guns from those who pose an imminent danger.
Warren has built a monster’: Inside the Democrats’ battle for Nevada: Politico reports, the Massachusetts senator is turning heads in the early voting state with the size of her operation — and crowds.
Reuters: Presidential hopeful Klobuchar woos rural votes, vows help for farmers
Orange County, longtime GOP stronghold, now has more registered Democrats than Republicans: LAT reports, the county that nurtured Ronald Reagan's conservatism and is the resting place of Richard Nixon is now home to 547,458 registered Democrats, compared with 547,369 Republicans, according to statistics released early Wednesday morning by the county Registrar of Voters. And the number of voters not aligned with a political party has surged in recent years, and now tops 440,770, or 27.4% of the county's voters.
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Walgreens to close 200 US stores.
Uber wants to sell you train tickets. And be your bus service, too.: NYT reports, the ride-hailing company, craving growth, is looking to public transit for riders and revenue. Cities aren’t sure whether to welcome it.
Study finds that Uber and Lyft play a role in traffic congestion in DC and other urban areas: WP reports, the report, paid for by the ride-hailing companies, shows that private cars and commercial trucks still make up the vast majority of vehicles on city streets.
Nikkei: China's UNISOC eyes 2020 launch for 5G chip to rival Qualcomm
No. 2 player pushes up timetable amid efforts to cut reliance on US tech.
The Times: Rare McLaren F1 LM set to sell for £19m
It is one of two F1 road cars that were upgraded to the LM specification by McLaren — in tribute to their 1995 Le Mans winning car — and is being sold by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey, California.
FedEx ends ground-delivery deal with Amazon: Bloomberg reports, Amazon is emerging as a competitor by building its own shipping network.
Monica Lewinsky on producing FX’s new Impeachment: American Crime Story: Vanity Fair reports, Lewinsky says Ryan Murphy’s dedication to “giving a voice to the marginalized” persuaded her to sign on to his series exploring the investigation of Bill Clinton.
BTW - A&E's documentary series The Clinton Affair is sensational and weaves together never-before-seen archival footage with exclusive new interviews to examine the biggest political scandal of a generation and its lasting influence and reverberations on our country.
HBO's 'Years and Years' is unsettling, but needs to be seen http://bit.ly/2YxDLIY
Are you watching? It really is unsettling.
A grimly compelling study of the psychology of fanaticism: Understanding the suicide wave in Germany in 1945. https://econ.st/2Yx9oSP
Redskins to offer gambling-focused preseason telecast: AP reports, the Washington Redskins will become the first NFL team to have a gambling-focused telecast of their games, offering cash prizes to viewers who correctly predict in-game outcomes during the preseason. The telecasts on the regional cable network NBC Sports Washington will follow a formula established by the Redskins' NBA neighbors, the Washington Wizards. The Wizards, however, offered the free-to-play contests during the regular season, while the Redskins will have them only during the four preseason games, when NBC Sports Washington has TV rights.
Can the Giants really bank on Daniel Jones? NYT reports, the team brass thinks he can be the next Eli Manning. Giants fans wondered why a Duke quarterback was worth the No. 6 pick. We talked to over 30 people who know Jones best to figure him out.
Try, try and try again: Rugby's attempts to break China: AFP reports, rugby is going through growing pains in China, where the sport is known as 'olive ball' remains mysterious to many and attempts to spread its popularity are stuttering. While Japan is getting ready to host the Rugby World Cup from September 20, the game is struggling for a foothold in China, its giant neighbor to the west.
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.