What I am watching today = April 19, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics
✔️ Ghana is world's fastest growing economy
✔️ Carmakers eye the moon
✔️ AG Barr will hold a presser on the Mueller report at 9:30 am ET
✔️ Daimler invests $100m in battery start-up
✔️ How the ‘Drake curse’ became a thing in sports
Business Schools = Less Math and Management. More Policy and Politics.
With an endless news cycle, a continuous flow of global trade, protectionist laws, and committed geopolitical powers, global politics and global business is being shaped from many directions and far beyond a nation’s borders and a company’s boardroom. Decisions made in Beijing now affect events in Brussels which in turn compels policy in Ottawa and then again impacting Santiago.
The ability to manage this dynamic, globalized political environment, particularly at the intersection of public policy global business, coupled with an underlying cultural phenomenon rejecting the establishment, this new environment is more challenging for business leaders and global companies.
The pace involved in addressing global business challenges has increased as well as, with the scale of the problems expanding to an ever-growing globally diverse network of stakeholders. Disenfranchised and left-behind voters around the world have spoken and demanded a greater share of the profits. The traditional capitalist ideal of being responsible solely to shareholders in under threat and business going forward will involve numerous stakeholders, including governments, media, bloggers, consumers, non-governmental organizations, investors, employees, and citizens.
For future business leaders, simply put, there are a lot more people that will hold you accountable and want a say in the process. Having a genius marketing plan and solid accounting skills won’t be enough.
The time is now for MBA programs to recognize this challenging global public affairs environment. It is critical that classes utilize case studies that explore the nexus between multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, government officials, institutions, investors, and recent elections.
World-class business leaders will need to excel with a foundation of fundamental business management skills, but they must be equally deft at grasping the intersection of history, politics, geography, culture, and economics to manage this new global business paradigm.
MBA programs must prepare future business leaders with the hard and soft skills to understand and engage global problems, comprehend economic development challenges and opportunities, and connect how these issues spread in a globally interconnected marketplace all influencing and disrupting global politics and global business like never before.
The world's fastest growing economy is located in Africa: Ghana's economic strength is expected to soar in 2019. Many other African countries lag far behind, says the IMF report. http://bit.ly/2Va0AzO
The IMF talks of a growth rate of 8.8% in its World Economic Outlook, which would make Ghana the fastest growing economy in the world in 2019. Last year, the country's economy only grew by 5.6%, putting it in sixth position.
AP: NKorea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks
North Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.
430,000: Japan's population is shrinking by the equivalent of a medium-sized city each year due to a rapidly declining birth rate. The native-born Japanese population fell by 430,000 in 2018, while 161,000 migrants entered the country, partially offsetting that loss.
China and Japan inch closer for insurance against Hurricane Trump: Nikkei reports, Asia's two biggest economies accelerate diplomacy but produce few results.
Trump stirs alarm that he may be giving China a new trade weapon: Bloomberg reports, details of the US commitments and how the enforcement mechanism will operate remain scant. But Mnuchin’s comments have caused plenty of raised eyebrows from legal scholars to the business community and Congress. If the US allows China reciprocal enforcement powers, it would make China “judge, jury and executioner as to whether we have honored our obligations,’’ said Daniel Price, who served as a senior economic adviser to President George W. Bush and is now at Rock Creek Global Advisors in Washington. “I don’t think the US business community is sufficiently alert to the risk of constantly being exposed to unilateral enforcement action by China.”
US firms no longer 'positive anchor' for Beijing ties: AmCham in China: Reuters reports, Frustrated US businesses can no longer be counted on as a “positive anchor” in US-China relations, a top US business lobby said on Wednesday, arguing any deal to end trade tensions must address structural problems in China’s economic system.
"The media is getting very excited about the fact that Chinese GDP data was somewhat stronger than expected. This data is presented with all the quality and accuracy we have come to expect from China. China's GDP is not necessarily very important to the global economy – it is the integration, not the size of an economy that gives it global importance." --- UBS' Paul Donovan
US and China set tentative timeline for new trade talks: WSJ reports, the US and China have tentatively scheduled meetings as they seek to close out a trade deal, with negotiators aiming for a signing ceremony as soon as late May.
State Department approves new deal with Taiwan for F-16 training, maintenance: UPI reports, the US State Department has approved a $500 million possible contract renewal for training of Taiwanese F-16 pilots and maintenance support.
Army secretary reveals weapons wish list for war with China and Russia: Defense One reports, US Army leaders revealed Tuesday that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields of the future.
Poland and US closing in on deal to build ‘Fort Trump,’ sources say: Bloomberg reports, Poland is nearing a deal with the US to establish an American military base in the former Communist bloc country, according to people familiar with the matter -- an outpost the Poles see as a deterrent to Russian aggression and that the Kremlin would likely consider a provocation.
Trudeau challenged: Alberta became the third major Canadian province over the past year to elect a conservative-leaning government. The trend threatens to check Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party agenda as he prepares to face the electorate later this year, trailing in the polls.
US-Canada rift widens over training for 737 MAX pilots: WSJ reports, a rift between the US and Canada is growing over how to ensure the safety of Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX planes, as Ottawa’s focus on additional pilot training could lead to a delay in getting the jet back in the air.
Bogota the new city of spies: Geopolitical crises tend to create unexpected centers of refuge and espionage: West Berlin in the Cold War, Amman, Jordan in the buildup to the conflict in Iraq. Now a shift in the world’s attention to Venezuela — which has seen the departure of US diplomats and an influx of Russian military advisers — has made neighboring Colombia's capital, Bogota, a proxy battleground thronged with mercenaries, agents and clandestine operations.
FT: Moderate Conservatives eye challenge for party leadership
Amber Rudd says it is ‘entirely possible’ she could run as One Nation candidate.
Bloomberg: Brexit delay spurs UK frenzy for summer breaks in EU
Brexit: How it came to this: How the Irish backstop emerged as May's Brexit nemesis. Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit. http://bit.ly/2Vc8gBF
The roots of the UK’s political and constitutional crisis spread far and wide: decades of anti-EU propaganda, a Tory party civil war, a reckless Cameron gamble, a dogged, blinkered successor, a divided Labour party. And with a starring role, the backstop.
Ted: Facebook's role in Brexit - and the threat to democracy: In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election -- Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past? Watch - here.
Carmakers eye the moon: The next frontier for carmakers could be the moon. China’s BAIC Group is developing joint technology with the country’s Lunar Exploration Project for lunar exploration. Toyota is also teaming up with Japan’s space agency to build a lunar rover, expecting to put it on the moon by 2029.
The coming obsolescence of animal meat: Companies are racing to develop real chicken, fish, and beef that don’t require killing animals. Here’s what’s standing in their way. http://bit.ly/2KLdxw7
HBR: Does higher education still prepare people for jobs?http://bit.ly/2KMlW2t
'More and more students are spending more and more money on higher education, and their main goal is largely pragmatic: to boost their employability and be a valuable contributor to the economy. Even if the value attached to a university degree is beneficial to those who obtain it, companies can help change the narrative by putting less weight on “higher education” as a measure of intellectual competence and job potential, and instead, approach hiring with more open-mindedness."
French supermarket tests robot delivery: Reuters reports, Casino’s Franprix chain will test the delivery robots on the streets of Paris’s 13th arrondissement for a year. In the French capital, where Amazon has been running its Amazon Prime Now express delivery service since 2016, the speedy and convenient delivery of food has become a battleground among retailers.
Mueller report will be lightly redacted, offering detailed look at Trump’s actions: WP reports, the report is said to show that the special counsel decided he could not come to a conclusion on obstruction because it was difficult to determine the president’s intent.
Mueller Report: Attorney General William Barr will hold a press briefing on the Mueller report at 9:30 am, with Congress expected to receive the report between 11:00 am and noon.
Enjoy the ride and plan accordingly.
The White House already knows some of the details of the report.
Pelosi, Schumer call for Mueller to testify ‘as soon as possible’: WP reports, the Democratic leaders criticized Attorney General William P. Barr for his handling of the special counsel’s report.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to leave the Trump administration.
In some US counties, more than 40 percent of all arrests are for marijuana possession.
FT: Sanders leads Democrats in fundraising for 2020 race
Contenders build up war chests to challenge Trump for US presidency.
2020 defense: Twenty-two House districts represented by freshman Democrats that Trump won in 2016 are emerging as key battlegrounds for both parties, as Republicans seek to regain ground in a presidential election year and Democrats try to extend the majority they won in 2018.
Daimler invests $100m in Californian battery start-up: FT reports, the German carmaker announces move for 10 per cent stake as part of electric vehicles push.
Uber nears investment deal for self-driving car unit: WSJ reports, $1 billion investment by group including SoftBank would value division at $7.25 billion.
Some drivers for Uber in DC found it ‘unsustainable,’ study finds: WP reports, the Georgetown University study conducted in 2016 found 33 percent of drivers fell into a “debt trap” working for the ride-hailing service, taking on debt to drive, and all of them lamented its “slippery” wage.
Champion - owned by HanesBrands — hit jackpot, as the teens have bestowed their favor upon it. Last year Champion booked $1.4 billion in sales, and the company hopes to dial those up to $2 billion by 2022. Male teens consider it a top-15 brand, and Champion is worn by 9 percent of upper income boys and 5 percent of girls
Everlane jumps into the $20 billion US sneaker market: Bloomberg reports, the startup famous for environmentally conscious clothing is going after planet-friendly sneaker heads.
FT: Blackstone to ditch partnership structure and become corporation
'It's an absurd profession': the world's most infamous bouncers tell all: Guardian reports, they have a fearsome reputation for excluding eager clubbers – but as a documentary about Berlin’s doormen is released, three of them explain why their policies are ‘all about tolerance.’
See the trailer for Berlin Bouncer - here.
Caroline Bullock: Flexible working for parents is great. But child-free people need it, too: The office-bound 9-5 job is an anachronism. All workers, whatever their family status, need greater control over their lives. http://bit.ly/2KUp6Bk
Selfie seaths are an epidemic: Outside reports, a recent report found that 259 people died between 2011 and 2017 while stepping in front of the camera in often dangerous destinations. Our writer went deep on the psychology of selfies to figure out what's behind our obsession with capturing extreme risk-taking.
How Paris firefighters saved Notre Dame: Decisions to focus on belfries and to dial back water pressure were key to preserving structure and artwork. https://on.wsj.com/2VfRX77
The chaplain, the cathedral fire and the race to rescue Notre-Dame’s relics: By the time the Paris Fire Department’s chaplain made his way inside Notre-Dame, flames had already consumed most of the cathedral’s roof and its spire had smashed onto the nave. “I had two priorities: to save the crown of thorns and a statue of Jesus,” Father Fournier said. https://nyti.ms/2KOcLyu
"It was a task emergency workers had prepared for. Firefighters held exercises focused on saving its treasures."
Candice Carty-Williams: 'The swag is limitless': why Beyoncé's Beychella Homecoming film is so radical: The singer’s Coachella concert documentary reveals her intimate humanity, celebrates the culture that built her, ousts stereotypes and redefines blackness.
See the trailer for Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé - here.
Cracking his whip, musher Michael Inuarak keeps his dog team in line as he prepares to take part in the annual Nunavut Quest. CBC reports, for the past few weeks, the 22-year-old Inuarak has been preparing for the Quest — a gruelling, weeklong traditional dog sled race where competitors traverse an unforgiving sea of ice and tundra. This year, the race starts in Inuarak's hometown of Pond Inlet and ends more than 300 kilometres away in Arctic Bay. Running a dog team is about family and keeping the Inuit way of life strong, Inuarak said. "My happiest moment was dog sledding with two of my other brothers and my grandfather, all at the same time," he said. "That's what I always wanted to do — run my dogs with my family." http://bit.ly/2KIUsdX
Alliance of American Football files for bankruptcy: WSJ reports, the Alliance of American Football, a professional football league that suspended operations after less than two months of competition, has filed for bankruptcy.
How the ‘Drake curse’ became a thing in sports https://lat.ms/2L24Ldp
Champions League - Final Four:
Tottenham v Ajax: 30 April + 8 May
Barcelona v Liverpool: 1 + 7 May
Ajax (NED) | UEFA ranking: 20: They dethroned champions Real Madrid, and then stopped Cristiano Ronaldo in his tracks, so what else is left to fear?
Barcelona (ESP) | UEFA ranking: 2: Messi has never had to wait more than four years between European titles – why start now?
Liverpool (ENG) | UEFA ranking: 12: Last season's runners-up have lost none of their attacking edge, but now have added steel at the back.
Tottenham (ENG) | UEFA ranking: 18: Having eliminated both Dortmund and Manchester City, this looks to be a side primed for knockout football.
How Pep Guardiola lost control of the Champions League: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola helped set new standards for what is possible in English soccer, but his squads have failed to get anywhere in Europe. https://on.wsj.com/2V1b5Wj
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.