Sri Lanka, Adidas, Don McGahn, Luckin Coffee, Beyoncé

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What I am watching today = April 23, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ Sri Lanka links bombings to New Zealand attacks

✔️ A new Adidas shoe uses just one material + fully recyclable

✔️ Pelosi urges caution on impeachment 

✔️ Amazon strengthens ties with Casino

✔️ The mystery of business casual


7 deadly sins of communications

Based on my experience, communication efforts fail because of these seven reasons:

1. No clear and consistent strategy

2. Over-indexing on tactics

3. Poor organization and staffing

4. No consistency or editorial calendar 

5. Know-how is not shared and made available

6. Efforts are reactive and by chance

7. Online activities not in sync with offline activities



Sri Lanka links bombings to New Zealand attacks: WSJ reports, Sri Lanka’s government has information indicating the plotters of Easter bombings that killed more than 300 people were reacting to the New Zealand shootings that left 50 Muslims dead in March, the country’s defense minister said.

Huawei has received funding from Beijing security agencies: According to a source for The Times, which indicates the CIA warned British intelligence of the links; China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and another branch of Chinese intelligence reportedly funded the telecom.

At Tokyo C20, civil society leaders from around the world press to be heard at Osaka G20: JTJ reports, participants from 40 countries concluded a gathering in Tokyo calling for inclusion at the Group of 20 leaders’ summit set to be hosted by Osaka this year.

Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet Vladimir Putin.

Japan softens tone on North Korea and Russia in foreign policy report as Abe pursues deals: TJT reports, Tokyo removed a reference to applying “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang and stopped short of explicitly claiming ownership of the Russian-held islands off Hokkaido.

FT: Japan scrambles to recover F-35 jet before Russia or China

Civilian ship joins search operation that highlights sensitivity of craft’s technology.

US, Indian navies practice hunting submarines together in Indian Ocean: Stars & Stripes reports, a Navy P-8A Poseidon and guided-missile destroyer recently joined with the Indian navy’s P8-I Neptune for submarine-hunting drills near Diego Garcia. 
To help counter China, US turns to the Coast Guard: WP reports, as a US Coast Guard cutter sailed through the East China Sea last month, Chinese vessels shadowed it on the high seas, service officials said. It was a reminder to the Americans of where they were: in a strategic area a couple hundred miles from China’s shores. 

How China is replacing US as Asia’s military titan: Reuters reports, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has refashioned the People's Liberation Army into a force that is rapidly closing the gap on US firepower – and in some vital areas has surpassed it. American victory over China in a regional war is no longer assured.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s unsteady steps revive worries over Beijing succession plan: WSJ reports, images of a slightly limping Xi Jinping stirred questions about his health and renewed concerns about succession plans for the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao.


London calling: Trump to pay a state visit to Britain in June as a guest of Queen Elizabeth II.

How to become the next prime minister: The next Conservative leader must clear three tricky hurdles before they end up in Downing Street.

Brexiteers rewrite the rules in fresh bid to oust May: The Times reports, Tory Brexiteers will make a fresh attempt today to oust Theresa May within weeks by changing party rules to allow another challenge to her leadership. Members of the party’s powerful backbench 1922 Committee are to meet this afternoon for an emergency session.

Colm Kelleher: The EU’s post-Brexit ambitions miss an important point: Lost in the London v Europe dogfight is a larger truth — the market is global, not regional.

How long will Angela Merkel's chancellorship last? DW reports, Angela Merkel says she wants to remain in office until her term is up. But behind the scenes, plans are already being hatched for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to take over the chancellorship.


A new Adidas shoe uses just one material – and is fully recyclable: Usually, Adidas's trainers include more than 12 different materials. The Futurecraft.Loop uses one plastic and could usher in an era of shoe subscriptions.

"It's estimated that 300 million pairs of running shoes are thrown away each year in the UK alone."


FNC: House Judiciary chairman subpoenas ex-White House counsel Don McGahn

Mueller report fallout threatens to redefine constraints on presidency: WP reports, the aftermath of the special counsel’s report, as well as Congress’s inability to help serve as a check on President Trump, could create a precedent in which it remains unclear where to draw lines on presidential behavior.

NYT: Pelosi urges caution on impeachment as some Democrats push to begin

Kamala Harris calls for impeachment of Trump: FT reports, the California senator is second major presidential contender to demand Congress acts.

Meet the Democrats’ new voice on foreign policy: Politico reports, Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) is an unlikely member of Congress. But he's fast becoming a force on Capitol Hill.

Herman Cain withdrew from consideration for the Federal Reserve board.

Lighthizer aide to depart as US-China trade talks progress: FT reports, the top legal adviser to Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, is leaving the Trump administration at a delicate moment in the negotiations to resolve Washington’s trade dispute with China. Stephen Vaughn, the general counsel at USTR, will be replaced by Joseph Barloon, a lawyer at Skadden Arps, in the role in the coming weeks

Q1 2019 fundraising totals:

1. Trump $30m
2. Bernie Sanders $21m
3. Elizabeth Warren $17m
4. Kamala Harris $13m
5. Kirsten Gillibrand $12.6m

Where is Howard Schultz?

NYT: Biden looms, but Bernie Sanders is running his own race

Hogan visits New Hampshire, hoping to find activists eager for an intraparty fight
: WP reports, even though most New Hampshire polls show most of the GOP base is solidly behind President Trump, the moderate Republican governor of Maryland is flirting with a primary challenge.

How to redesign GDP for the 21st century: Quartz reports, for decades, economists have tried to come up with better methods of measuring the economy than gross domestic product. But the dominance of GDP—a single figure, universally understood, and widely used for almost a century—has endured. This is despite its shortcomings gauging wellbeing and other factors that are important to a nation’s economic health. Now, though, some economists have created an ambitious new measure with the potential to challenge the preeminence of GDP. This new metric doesn’t directly measure happiness or wealth or development, but calculates something else GDP neglects—free digital goods and services. These 21st-century technologies have basically broken 20th-century practices for measuring the economy. MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, along with Avinash Collis, W. Erwin Diewert, Felix Eggers and Kevin J. Fox, have developed “GDP-B”. It’s designed to capture the numerical value of the things that we don’t pay for but still have plenty of value, such as online maps, photos taken on smartphones, Wikipedia, and social media.


This Estonian start-up is a thorn in Uber’s side: NYT reports, the ride-hailing company Bolt is an unexpected success story, and an example of a troublesome global trend for Uber.

Amazon strengthens ties with French food retailer Casino: Reuters reports, Amazon and French retailer Casino are expanding their partnership, with Amazon installing pick-up lockers in Casino stores and making more of the French company’s products available on Amazon.

Last April I predicted that Amazon would buy a French retailer.

Luckin Coffee has filed to list publicly in the US as the loss-making company battles to dethrone Starbucks in China.


Beyday: HBO had been courting Beyoncé in an attempt to air Homecoming, a behind-the-scenes look at her Coachella performance. Then, Netflix made a counteroffer so large that HBO — which has spent decades cultivating a reputation as a distributor with staggering coffers — balked and had to pull out. We now have that number: Variety reports Netflix inked a $60 million deal with Beyoncé for three projects, meaning that Homecoming sold for $20 million. It’s good to be the queen.

The mystery of business casual: No one knows what shoes to wear to work. Silicon Valley has an answer.

In defense of disorder: Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


NAFTA, Communists, Shinzo Abe, Barbara Bush, Beyoncé, Manchester City

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NAFTA, Communists, Shinzo Abe, Barbara Bush, Beyoncé, Manchester City

Marc Ross Daily
April 16, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ China’s Xi Jinping says he is opposed to lifelong rule

✔️ Shinzo Abe visits Trump at Mar-a-Lago this week

✔️ U.S. bans American cos from selling to China's ZTE

✔️ Beyoncé is bigger than Coachella

✔️ Manchester City clinches Premier League title


Go back to school

One of the best thought leader, low hanging fruit techniques is to get reconnected to your school - be it high school, college, or graduate. 

You need your schools.

Over the last few days, I have been down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina attending alumni weekend festivities for the Kenan-Flagler Business School. I was fortunate to be asked to speak with two marketing classes of current students on the intersection of the retail sector and public policy as well as lead a lecture on retail disruption for the alumni back on campus. You can see the decks here: retail politics and retail disruption.

Talking with students as they are about to embark on their careers is a fantastic opportunity. To answer their questions and share your experience I find to be a most wonderful exchange for all involved. Also, you need to be on your game as your audience has immediate access to the WWW to challenge your ideas in real-time, or worse, you are white noise as they tune you out, so they update their Pinterest pages.

Speaking with the alumni, be it 2017 MBA graduates not even 365 days out of college, or older students who departed the school in the 80s, 70s, and even 60s can't be beaten as a venue to present your ideas. This type of cross-generation audience fosters an exchange of experience and knowledge that is a challenge to replicate on a daily workday.

As you think about upping your thought leadership game as a means to improve your experience and knowledge, think about going back to school. Reach out to that alumni director, speak with a former teacher, or find conference taking place on campus.

The ability to share ideas, speak with students, engage alumni from decades past in a safe and friendly environment is a powerful tool that will help you expand your thought leader capabilities. 


NAFTA: Why the US car industry is trapped in Trump’s trade crossfire

China’s Communists rewrite the rules for foreign businesses:NYT reports, the party is strengthening its influence — often gaining direct decision-making power — over the international firms doing business in China.

FT: China caught off guard by unpredictable Trump


China delays deal reviews as U.S. trade frictions build: WSJ reports, Qualcomm and Bain Capital are most at risk if the delays scuttle their respective deals. Putting off approvals of cross-border deals that could benefit U.S. firms is bound to further rattle policy makers in Washington as the two sides enter the next phase of high-stakes dance. “Merger reviews and decisions should be based on consistent, scientific, market-based calculations and never the politics of U.S.-China relations,” said Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council.

U.S. bans American companies from selling to China's ZTE: Reuters reports, the U.S. Department of Commerce is banning American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years for violating the terms of a sanctions violation case.

FT: China’s Xi Jinping says he is opposed to lifelong rule

Asia’s reliance on
U.S. takes backseat to China: Bloomberg reports, Japan and China are holding their first high-level economic dialogue in almost eight years against a backdrop of trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump. China has replaced the U.S. as the number one trading partner for most nations in Asia, even those that have military alliances with the U.S., like South Korea and Japan.

China and Japan hold first economic talks in eight years. 

LAT: Snubbed by Trump, Japanese leader returns for summitat Mar-a-Lago

Tokyo fears Trump could link security with trade at
summitwith Abe: Reuters reports, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could find his oft-touted close ties with Donald Trump sorely tested at a summit this week in which Tokyo fears the U.S. leader will to try to link vital security matters with touchy trade topics.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Trump at Mar-a-Lago on April 17-18.

Topics on the agenda:

Reconsidering TPP
Dealing with North Korea
Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs
Chinese influence

WP: Trump’s trade moves could send Germany into a recession, report warns

Air strikes on Syria will not change war’s trajectory
: FT reports, the US drew a red line, but its response runs the risk of being seen as weak.

Washington plans to impose new sanctions on Moscow today, punishing it for having helped the Syrian government use what are believed to be chemical weapons.

Friday's airstrikes, which hit three targets, were intended to keep the West from being dragged further into Syria’s seven-year war. 


Some Republicans see House Speaker race as an open field: WSJ reports, the race to succeed Paul Ryan as House speaker is an open field, some Republicans say, even as Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been hesitant to pose a direct challenge to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

A post-Trump GOP might emerge from a Ryan Underground: The immediate future, for both Trump and what is now his party, is bleak. But perhaps this upcoming time in the wilderness will enable the emergence of a new right-of-center Ryan Underground movement that helps Republicans reclaim their status as the party of ideas. LAT - Dan Schnur

NYT: Barbara Bush, seriously ill at 92, is stopping treatment

Supreme Court considers whether states should have powerto tax all online sales: WP reports, can states force retailers with a “virtual presence” to collect tax on sales?

Fintech in the US is stymied by old-fashioned regulators


WPP CEO Sorrell, contending with probe, decided to resign: WSJ reports, before stepping down, Martin Sorrell faced a choice: endure an investigation into an allegation of personal misconduct, or leave the advertising giant he founded, say people familiar with the board and Mr. Sorrell.

Volkswagen’s commercial-vehicles unit said it is considering a full takeover of Navistar.

MoviePass, the $9.95-a-month cinema subscription service, could shake up the film industry — if it survives long enough

Silicon Valley venture capitalists prepare for an IPO wave: NYT reports, investors, bankers, and analysts said they expected a wave of initial public offerings to bring some of the most highly valued and recognizable start-ups to the public market over the next 18 to 24 months — and billions of dollars in returns to their executives and investors. The potential bonanza would follow years of waiting as a few dozen companies amassed valuations without precedent in the private market.

Google’s Facebook copycat moves leave it more exposed to privacy backlash: Bloomberg reports, Facebook took all the heat, but consumers are still skittish about the search giant when it comes to privacy.

Spanish luxury brands buoyed by high-end tourists

Blackstone to embark on $4.6 billion corporate shopping spree in Japan.

Elon Musk worries that AI will create an “immortal dictator.”

Japanese convenience stores limber up in effort to spur growth


Why glass milk bottle deliveries are back: As concern over plastic pollution rises, a pint-sized revolution is taking place on doorsteps across the UK.

Nostalgia and ethos - two of the winning tactics for companies and brands to embrace in this new business environment.

Should female athletes sue the networks for equal coverage?

How to take on ‘Big Sugar’ and win


RIP: R. Lee Ermey, 'Full Metal Jacket' sergeant, dies at 74

What was it like to live in Watergate? Before its name became a byword for corruption and criminality, "Watergate" meant luxury living for DC's elite.

How Beyoncé changed Coachella's temperature: LAT reports, the pop superstar's knockout performance signals the festival's larger effort to diversify its view.

Beyoncé is bigger than Coachella: Beyoncé set a new standard with her performance at the Coachella festival in California, according to the NYT pop music critic.


The Bob Lefsetz Podcast: Shirley Manson: She's the lead singer of Garbage, opens up about growing up in Scotland, religion, music, and sexuality, on this week's episode of The Bob Lefsetz Podcast.


Manchester City clinches Premier League title.

AFP: Manchester City target Premier League dynasty

NFL draft: AP reports, Big D is about something other than Dallas. The NFL is bringing its Big D — the draft — to Jerry Jones’ palace. This draft, the first in a stadium, will pay homage in so many ways to the cliche that everything is bigger in Texas. Ever since the league decided to put the draft up for bids and move it around the country, the focus has been to make it grow even larger than the cottage industry it has become.

Most selections (12): Green Bay Packers
Dates: Apr 26, 2018 – Apr 28, 2018
First selection: Cleveland Browns